Skip to Content

Are On The Border Chips Vegan? Can Vegans Eat On The Border Chips?

Are On The Border Chips Vegan? Can Vegans Eat On The Border Chips?

Answer: It depends.

Depends
Are On The Border Chips Vegan? Can Vegans Eat On The Border Chips?

On The Border Chips are a fast-growing, American brand of Mexican salsa and tortillas, of which some have minimal ingredients and are certified organic. Under the ownership of On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, a restaurant chain with over 150 locations in the United States, On The Border Chips are widely available through their website, Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Located north of Dallas, Texas in Carrollton, On The Border Chips are supplied from different facilities in the United States and Canada. Proper handling and allergen management are prioritized to minimize potential cross-contamination and to ensure the safety of products and consumers. They claim that their ingredients are carefully and responsibly sourced mainly from the United States, with a few exceptions from trusted partner suppliers.

The original recipe for tortilla chips involved corn tortillas, vegetable oil, salt, and water. Most of the time, these corn chips are vegan-friendly, and only become non-vegan depending on the toppings, spices, and flavorings used.

Most On The Border Chips are vegan-friendly, but not all are certified vegan. The issue of animal-based contaminants is also unlikely due to the strict manufacturing standards and procedures. However, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts are likely allergens.

Here, we’ll be discussing each variant of On The Border Chips and determine which ones are vegan and which ones aren’t. We’ll also be looking into their salsa dips as I can’t simply fathom how one should eat tortilla chips without a spicy dipping sauce. So, we’ll help you figure out which crunchy, spicy snack combo you should relish in from On The Border Chips & Salsa.

What Are Tortilla Chips?

Tortilla chips are a Mexican-based snack made from corn tortillas and are baked, then fried. Corn tortillas are thin, unleavened bread made from hominy, vegetable oil, salt, and water. Hominy, in Spanish, means “milled corn,” and is a ready-to-eat food product produced from dried, nixtamalized maize corn. Finally, nixtamalized maize is corn soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution such as limewater or calcium hydroxide.

According to a few scholarly articles, nixtamalized maize has proven greater benefits than unprocessed maize. It’s more easily ground, possesses better flavor and aroma, and develops a more favorable nutritional value.

Nixtamalization increases vitamin B3 niacin and calcium during the steeping process of maize in an alkaline solution, and also decreases the presence of mycotoxins up to 97% – 100%.

According to Healthline, niacin helps improve blood fat levels, reduce blood pressure, treat type 1 diabetes, boost brain function, and protect the skin from sun damage.

Calcium is present in all of On The Border Chips varieties, and this essential vitamin mainly benefits bone health and nerve function.

Mycotoxins are produced by fungi that we’d collectively call “molds,” and they can cause food poisoning that may result in severe stomach aches, and most fatally, death. Treating maize in an alkaline solution helps disinfect and preserve the corn kernels, making them more adaptable to hot and humid environments.

On The Border Chips: Vegan Varieties

Traditional Tortilla Chips

Classic Tortilla Chips with authentic recipes and prime ingredients for an irresistible flaky texture and crunchy bite. All variants under this category are gluten-free and flavored with sea salt, there are no artificial flavors, colors, or MSG present in these products.

Homestyle Thick & Crispy

Feel relaxed with the taste and sense of home, homemade-style tortilla chips made from thick-cut tortillas fried extra hot for a full-flavored rich taste finished with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), sea salt, calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime).

Nutrition facts: 160 cal per 1 oz serving (9 chips), 10 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 2.5 monounsaturated fat, 5 g polyunsaturated), 120 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber), and 2 g protein.

Cafe Style

On The Border signature chip that started it all. Made with a blend of yellow and white corn flours to create a unique flavor, the chips are crispy, bubbly, flaky, and ready for dipping.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), and sea salt.

Nutrition facts: 150 cal per 1 oz serving (7 chips), 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 2 monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated), 115 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g dietary fiber), and 2 g protein.

Cantina Thins

Light and crispy, cantina-style chips designed to enjoy with a thinner dip. Cooked from whole white corn for a characteristic corn texture and flavor.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), and sea salt.

Nutrition facts: 150 cal per 1 oz serving (10 chips), 9 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 2 monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated), 120 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, and 2 g protein.

Fiesta Dippin’ Chips

The shovel-like design makes this variety perfect for scooping an ample amount of dipping sauce. On The Border chips are sturdy, yet crispy with a light-roasted corn flavor.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), and sea salt.

Nutrition facts: 150 cal per 1 oz serving (13 chips), 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 2.5 monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated), 115 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, and 2 g protein.

Cafe Lightly Salted

Infused with the authentic and great taste of On The Border signature Cafe Style, but with 50% less sodium. Cafe Lightly Salted is made with only 3 premium ingredients: corn, sea salt, and oil, but with little than 55 mg sodium.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), and sea salt.

Nutrition facts: 150 cal per 1 oz serving (7 chips), 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 2 monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated), 55 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g dietary fiber), and 2 g protein.

Tortilla Rounds

Hardier chips made perfect for warm dips, On The Border Tortilla Rounds are made with a blend of yellow and white corn flours to achieve a flaky, flavorful bite in every dip.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), and sea salt.

Nutrition facts: 150 cal per 1 oz serving (12 chips), 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 2 monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated), 115 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g dietary fiber), and 2 g protein.

Recommendations

Whatever diet you pursue (low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, low-salt, etc.) there’s an On The Border Chips for you, and whatever flavor it may be, all that matters is that you’re happy.

For low-calorie preference, I recommend Fiesta Dippin’ Chips since it has only 150 cal per 13 pieces, and paired with a desirable dipping sauce, you can keep your calorie count on the low while getting fuller faster with this variety.

For low-fat, Tortilla Rounds are your best bet at only 8 g total fat and 1.5 g saturated fat. Studies suggest that it’s best to mitigate saturated fat to the lowest levels and replace your intake with mono- and polyunsaturated fats instead.

For low-carb, Homestyle has the least amount of carbs per serving, but it also has an adequate amount of fiber which benefits gut health.

For low salt, obviously, go for the Cafe Lightly Salted with only 55 mg sodium.

Flavored Tortilla Chips

Classic crunchy texture, but with more exciting flavors to tickle the taste buds, On The Border Flavored Tortiall Chips are great for snacking on the go, even without dips. Spicy, crispy, and simply unforgettable.

However, they do contain a lot more ingredients than their traditional varieties, including natural flavors, artificial additives and colors, and types of MSG.

Cafe Style Salsa

Made with a blend of tomatoes, onions, and garlic flavorings, for the taste of salsa built into an authentic chip you can enjoy at home or on the go.

Contains corn, vegetable oil ( also one or more of the following: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and/or soybean oil), salsa seasoning (maltodextrin, salt, dextrose, tomato powder, onion powder, corn starch, yeast extract, garlic powder, citric acid, paprika, torula yeast, parsley, cayenne pepper, natural flavors, distilled vinegar, yellow 6 lake, and red 40 lake), and paprika extract (color).

Maltodextrin is a heavily-processed carbohydrate derived from rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch. It’s commonly used as a bulking agent and a preservative in packaged food. It’s usually gluten-free and 100% plant-based.

Dextrose is an artificial sweetener and preservative, but technically, it’s a naturally-occurring sugar found mostly in corn. Almost chemically identical to glucose, it’s a source of quick energy.

Yellow 6 and red 40 are petroleum-based food colorings, but warnings suggest that they’re potentially carcinogenic if taken excessively in processed food. Most packaged sweets, snacks, pastries, and preserves contain petroleum-based dyes, this is one of many good reasons to maintain a healthier diet by lessening your junk food consumption.

Nutrition facts: 150 cal per 1 oz serving (7 chips), 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g dietary fiber, 1 g total sugar), and 2 g protein.

Organic Chips

On The Border Organic Chips use organic blue corn flour, oil, and sea salt to make crispy and bubbly, restaurant-style chips. Their Blue Chips are USDA Organic and non-GMO verified.

Contains organic blue corn, organic expeller-pressed sunflower oil and safflower oil, and sea salt. Certified no MSG, no artificial flavors and colors, gluten-free, and vegan.

Organic Blue Traditional Style

Nutrition facts: 160 cal per 1 oz serving (8 chips), 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated), 115 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g dietary fiber), and 2 g protein.

Organic Blue Rounds

Nutrition facts: 160 cal per 1 oz serving (8 chips), 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 6 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated), 115 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g dietary fiber), and 2 g protein.

On The Border Chips: Non-Vegan Varieties

  • Jalapeno Ranch Flavored Chips – contains buttermilk
  • Cafe Style Queso Flavored Chips – contains whey, cream, cheddar cheese, and other dairies

On The Border Salsa: Vegan Flavors

  • Original Salsa – Mild
  • Original Salsa – Medium
  • Original Salsa – Hot
  • Chunky Salsa – Mild
  • Chunky Salsa – Medium
  • Cantina Salsa – Mild
  • Cantina Salsa – Medium
  • Guacamole Salsa
  • Southwest Bean Dip

Bottom Line

On The Border Chips & Salsa are great snacks to splurge on whether you’re relaxing at home, on a road trip, or needing a break in the office, these tortilla chips might just be the spice of life that you need. Most of them are totally vegan-friendly and simply delicious with the least amount of processed, artificial ingredients.