The 21 Best Tasting Vegan Cereals (Ranked!)


My Saturday mornings as a kid were spent watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and tearing through a box of cereal. Ever since those days, I’ve loved having a bowl of cereal, curling up on the couch, watching some Netflix – or whatever everyone watched before Netflix.
 
Going vegan has taken a blowtorch to all my favorite cereals
 
So, I set out to find what are the best vegan cereals. After spending over $100 on cereal I learned a few things. First, I learned buying 20 plus boxes of cereal will have people look at you like you’re a lunatic. Secondly, I learned what cereals are good, which are great and which taste like the box it came in.

With each ranking,

I’ll give you the low down on the taste, calories and protein and on some cereals Jen (the smarter and more responsible vegan) will give you facts you need like processed sugar being used etc. With that being said, TASTE was the top determiner on where these cereals were ranked. As you’ll learn through these rankings, as I did while reviewing where I placed each cereal, that I’m still that kid on Saturday morning when it comes to how I want my cereal to taste.

Secondary to taste was calories and protein content.

I’m an avid weightlifter and while I’ve learned that you don’t need to consume animal products to get the protein I need, I like to be very aware of where all my protein is coming from. I’ve also switched the serving size from the arbitrary serving size that they give you on the box, which is random and different on each cereal, to my own personal serving size of 2 cups. This is the amount that fits in my cereal bowl that I made in art class in high school YEARS ago.

Here we go – a complete ranking of the 21 best vegan cereals starting with…

Nature's Path Sunrise Crunchy Maple

21. Sunrise Crunchy Maple – When you’re doing a list of the best vegan cereals, someone has to be last. For this list it’s Crunchy Maple. To sum it up in one word – Weird. There are a lot of flavors and textures competing in the bowl and it just didn’t make any sense to me. There are Rice Krispy type pieces, little puffs and flakes – all different tastes and textures. I honestly don’t think any of them on their own would be all that bad, but all together it’s a train wreck. Avoid if possible.

Calories: 330
Protein: 6g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Gluten Free, Non GMO & Organic on packaging

20. Fiber One Original – Tastes like the box it comes in. Next.

Calories: 240
Protein: 8g

19. Van’s Simply Delicious Cinnamon Harvest – It’s hard to look at the Cinnamon Harvest box and not think, hey, these should taste kinda like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Fact is, they don’t. At all. Maybe they don’t deserve to be this low, but all I can taste when I eat them is disappointment.

Calories: 320
Protein: 5g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Gluten Free, Non GMO, Organic, Corn Free, Dairy Free & Nut Free on packaging

18. Rip’s Big Bowl Triple Berry Walnut Cereal – These are super healthy–possibly the healthiest cereal on this list. Based on pure taste these are, well, not really the reason you’re choosing Engine 2. You have to go into the bowl fully aware that you’re about to have a healthy, really good-for-you cereal. I feel like it would take awhile to get your taste buds to the point where you really enjoy it. However, if you’re all-in on a healthy bowl of cereal, go for it. Also, I believe the term is “nutrient dense” – a 2 cup serving packs over 500 calories and 19g of protein, both second on this list.

Calories: 533
Protein: 19g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan and Low Sodium on packaging

17. 365 Morning O’s – Booooooooooring. So unbelievably boring. These are the 365 version of Cheerios. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just super bland. There are better options out there. If you are eating these straight up, without adding other things to them then I’m concerned you live a joyless life.

Calories: 200
Protein: 8g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Organic, and Kosher on packaging

16. Barbara’s Original Puffins – Like a slightly worst tasting (although admittedly healthier!) Cap’n Crunch. Very much a, “Cap’n Crunch slightly destroy your mouth,” texture. As far as flavor goes, they have a slight cinnamon flavor and not much else. However, they’re definitely a tier up from the bottom three on the list. I probably wouldn’t buy these again, but if they were in the pantry, I wouldn’t hesitate to pour myself a bowl.

Calories: 240
Protein: 5g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Non-GMO & Kosher on packaging

15. Cap’n Crunch – I think most of us are aware that Cap’n Crunch is not a “healthy” cereal. But when your pantry is loaded up with organic and non GMO cereals with whole grains, protein, flax and all kinds of other health conscious ingredients – my goodness does Cap’n Crunch seem awful for you. If you can get around the food colorings and ingredients you can’t pronounce AND the fact that at 3g it’s the lowest protein content of any cereal on the list, Cap’n Crunch is still the great tasting cereal that will destroy the inside of your mouth with it’s jagged edges.

Calories: 293
Protein: 3g

Jen’s Notes: Contains Brown Sugar, Palm and Yellow Dyes. Brown Sugar gets processed using bone char. Palm oil devastates forests, animals and people. Look for products that use responsibly sourced palm oil or avoid it all together. Yellow Dye #5 & #6–all I can say is do your research. Many studies have been done on these dyes, require special labeling in Europe or are banned all together in other countries. 

14. Kashi Dark Cocoa Karma – This Kashi cereal has Frosted Mini-Wheats vibe from a look and texture standpoint. Taste wise they have a slight chocolate flavor. They do hold up in milk better than I expected and find themselves right in the middle of the “not bad, but there are much better options out there” tier.

Kashi is super annoying when it comes to serving size. A serving size is simply 34 biscuits. So, I’m doubling it for my numbers here:

Calories: 400
Protein: 10g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Non-GMO & Fair Trade certified cocoa on packaging

13. Quaker Life Original – Simple, but solid. That’s the only way I can think to sum up original Life cereal. There is not a lot of flavor going on, but unlike the Morning O’s, they’re very enjoyable. The crunch holds up decently to milk, but I wouldn’t let them sit for too long. Also, sneaky high protein amount with 9g in my 2 cup serving.

Calories: 320
Protein: 9g

Jen’s Notes: Contains sugar, calcium carbonate and BHT. Sugar that is not notated as organic or Cane is processed with bone char. Calcium Carbonate can be Vegan but could possibly not be. Most come from limestone or other rocks and rarely come from oyster or mussel shells. BHT is a waxy substance, derived from components of petroleum, that keeps food from going rancid–not vegan. And while it is, “generally recognized as safe,” by the US FDA, it is banned in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and throughout Europe. 

12. Grape Nuts Original – Similar to Life in the fact that there isn’t a ton of flavor going on, but they’re enjoyable. They hold their crunch extremely well in milk and your last bite is going to be pretty similar to your first bite. Now, as it comes to the nutrition, I may need to rethink my full ‘2 cup’ bowl. Grape Nuts packs a PUNCH of calories and protein – 840 calories and 32g of protein (insert big eyed shock face emoji). This is not to mention that I’d be throwing down 28g of fiber for breakfast – heck of a way to start the day.

Calories: 840
Protein: 32g

Barbara's Puffins Protein Berry Burst

11. Barbara’s Berry Blast Protein Puffins – Want your puffins with a boost of protein? Yes please! Not only are the Berry Blast puffins the best tasting of the puffins, the added boost of protein was almost enough to get these puffins into the top ten.

Calories: 280
Protein: 12g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO & Kosher on packaging

10. Kashi Go Chocolate Crunch Cereal – Cracking the top ten of the best vegan cereals is our second Kashi cereal – the Go Chocolate Crunch. This is a really solid cereal. Great crunch, good taste and filling (over 500 calories in my bowl). At 24g, the protein content is amazing. Lastly, Go Crunch makes a cameo appearance in the original Thor and if it’s good enough for Thor it’s good enough for me.

Calories: 506
Protein: 24g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, use Fair Trade Chocolate & Non-GMO on packaging

9. Love Grown Power O’s – This is our first of (spoiler alert!) two Love Grown cereals on the list. Love Grown is a relatively new cereal brand made from beans. Power O’s are their version of, you guessed it, Cheerios. The taste will throw you off at first, but it really grew on me. They have a great crunch that holds up in milk. Lastly, you get 10g of protein with only 208 calories per bowl, which is a great protein ratio.

Calories: 208
Protein: 10g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Gluten Free & Non-GMO on packaging

8. Cap’n Crunch w/Crunch Berries – One of the best tasting cereals on the list. If you’re a cereal fan I shouldn’t have to explain to you how Cap’n Crunch with the delicious Crunch Berries taste. If you’re not a cereal fan then I’m not quite sure why you’re reading this list. Let’s be honest though, they’re sitting at number 8 because they’re easily the worst for you on this list. I’ve never felt more shame pouring a bowl of cereal after reading through an ingredient list. But, make no mistake, they are oh-so-good!

Calories: 267
Protein: 3g

Jen’s Notes: Contains Brown Sugar, Palm and Yellow Dyes. Brown Sugar gets processed using bone char. Palm oil devastates forests, animals and people. Look for products that use responsibly sourced palm oil or avoid it all together. Yellow Dye #5 & #6–as above with the regular Cap’n Crunch, I ask you to do your research or even better, don’t eat these! Many studies have been done on these dyes, require special labeling in Europe or are banned all together in other countries. 

7. Love Grown Chocolate Comet Crispies – Our second Love Grown cereal. This is Love Grown’s version of Cocoa Krispies. Like the Power O’s, the test is really different than a rice based cereal, but it really grew on me. It has a great cocoa taste, great crunch and holds up fantastic in milk. If you give Love Grown a buy, wait until your second bowl to fully form your opinion – it may grow on you quick like it did me.

Calories: 240
Protein: 8g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Gluten Free & Non-GMO on packaging

Nature's Path Cinnamon Jungle Munch

6. Nature’s Path Cinnamon Jungle Munch – This is the point in the list where it started to become apparent to me that I’m still a 12 year old child when it comes to my taste in cereals. There are a lot of animals on boxes in the top 6. (and to be fair, there’s an astronaut on number 7 comet crispies) As for the Jungle Munch, the taste is great, good sweetness with a punch of cinnamon. Texture is good and doesn’t go to complete mush in milk.

Calories: 320
Protein: 5g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Gluten Free, Organic & Non-GMO on packaging

5. Reese’s Puffs – Were you just shocked to find out Reese’s Puffs are vegan? I was too! If you want to wake up in the morning and take a sledgehammer of peanut butter and chocolate straight to the face then look no further! These things are unbelievably good. Are Reese’s Puffs as healthy as our Top 4. Nope. That’s how they ended up at 5, but for a guilty pleasure they’re hard to beat.

Calories: 320
Protein: 5g

Jen’s Notes: Contains sugar. Sugar that is not notated as being Organic or Cane is processed with bone char.

4. Cascadian Farms Fruitful O’s – These little gems are a play on Fruit Loops and they do a pretty good job of imitating the originals. The flavors are a little subtle than I remember from Fruit Loops, but if you were a Fruit Loop fan (I was pretty indifferent when it came to Fruit Loops) then I would definitely give these a shot.

Calories: 280
Protein: 4g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Organic & Non-GMO on packaging

3. Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch – Don’t get your hopes up. Don’t get your hopes up. This is what I have to tell myself every time I try a cereal that is pretending to be my all-time favorite Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Jen has bought me multiple cereals that looked like CTC on the box and each one has completely disappointed. Is Cinnamon Crunch as good as CTC? No. Let’s not get carried away here, BUT they are really frickin’ good.

Calories: 280
Protein: 4g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Organic & Non-GMO on packaging

2. Nature’s Path Chocolate Koala Crisp – In my opinion, if you’re going to imitate a cereal you better do it well and Nature’s Path nailed it with Koala Crisp. A chocolaty rice crisp cereal that reminds me childhood without all the guilt. About half way through the taste test I was sure that cute, cuddly Koala would be wearing the crown, but it got knocked off the number 1 spot by a bit of a surprise…

Calories: 293
Protein: 5g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Gluten Free, Organic & Non-GMO on packaging

Nature's Path Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax

1. Nature’s Path Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax – Are you surprised? I was. I never would have thought a cereal with the word flax in the title would have won a best cereal taste test, but here we are. Does it taste great? You bet. Has a bit of a Honey Smacks taste to it, but with an addition of blueberries. Does it hold up to milk? 1000% yes. The last bite has the same great crunch as the first bite. It’s amazing. It’s organic. It has 18g of protein per bowl. If you haven’t already, go get you a box of Blueberry Cinnamon Flax and give it a go.

Calories: 420
Protein: 18g

Jen’s Notes: Denoted as Vegan, Organic & Non-GMO on packaging

Veggl

VeggL is the passion project of Jen & Ryan. Both vegan (Jen since 2012, Ryan since 2018), they wanted to help other vegans & plant based folks through an incredibly frustrating process--trying to figure out what you can eat & where in the US. Pictured w/ our pups, Mia & Chompers.

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