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What Are the Vegan Options at Papa John’s? (Updated Guide)

What Are the Vegan Options at Papa John’s? (Updated Guide)

Vegan Options at Papa John’s

Papa John’s is the fourth largest pizza delivery chain in the US. However, Papa John’s introduced vegan options after its competitor chains did. Vegans need not worry as it now offers some of the best options among pizza chains. 

At Papa John’s, the dough and sauce are vegan. You can opt for breadsticks with sauce and many cheeseless pizzas. You will find the pizza sauce, barbeque sauce, and garlic dipping sauce are vegan as well. They also offer many vegan beverages. 

If you are a vegan and want to eat at Papa John’s, you can try the foods and beverages discussed below. 

Pizza Crust

Pizza dough is a vegan option at Papa John’s. However, you will have to make the right choice for it to be a fully vegan option. Many crusts here are made of a mix of non-vegan and vegan dough. 

The fully vegan option is the original hand-tossed dough. Choose this as your base, and you will make a good start. It is made of enriched wheat flour, sugar, water, salt, and soybean oil. The yeast has no animal derivatives in it.

No L-cysteine is used in the pizza dough. Further, cheese is neither dusted nor baked into the pizza’s crust. 

While the thin crust may seem tempting, it contains milk. The gluten-free crust option is made of milk and egg yolks. 

Pizza Sauces

There are two pizza sauces on the menu at Papa John’s that are vegan. These are the pizza sauce and the BBQ pizza sauce. 

The pizza sauce is made only of vegetables. It contains vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, sugar, salt, sunflower oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Among the spices are basil, oregano, and black pepper. No animal fats are used in the sauce. 

The BBQ pizza sauce is also vegan. You can choose the original hand-tossed dough and top it with these pizza sauces for a customized vegan pizza. 

Vegan Toppings For Pizza

You can complete your pizza at Papa John’s by opting for the toppings you prefer. By customizing it, you can rest assured that your food is vegan. Here are the available vegan toppings:

  • Green peppers
  • Onions
  • Green olives
  • Black olives
  • Pineapple
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Banana peppers
  • Fresh spinach


Here are some of the vegan sauces offered at Papa John’s:

  • BBQ dipping sauce
  • Garlic dipping sauce
  • Pizza dipping sauce
  • Buffalo dipping sauce


Along with the sauces above, you can opt for vegan seasonings. Top your pizza or season your breadsticks with the special seasoning packet and the crushed red pepper packet. 


The breadsticks are a great vegan option at Papa John’s. They are dry breadsticks; you can add any of the sauces and seasonings outlined above. The original breadsticks are the standard vegan choice. 

If you don’t want to customize your order, this is the option you should pick. However, Papa John’s also offers garlic parmesan breadsticks. These are not vegan and contain milk products in them.


The choices of vegan beverages at Papa John’s are not too many. If you find yourself in need of a drink, you can opt for the options below. 

  • Mountain Dew
  • Pepsi
  • Diet Mountain Dew
  • Pepsi Zero Sugar
  • Sierra Mist
  • Aquafina (bottled water)

Ready-To-Order Pizza Options

Papa John’s does not offer any vegan ready-to-order pizzas. However, you can pick the garden fresh pizza. This pizza is covered with vegan pizza sauce. Over this are toppings of green peppers, onions, ripe black olives, and baby portabella mushrooms. 

You will also find Roma tomatoes that are freshly sliced. However, the vegetarian version has 100% real cheese. For the vegan option, you can order the garden fresh pizza without the cheese. 

Vegetarians can also enjoy spinach Alfredo pizza. However, it is not apt for vegans as it contains garlic parmesan Alfredo sauce. Instead of this option, you would be better off getting a customized pizza.

Is There a Vegan Cheese Option at Papa John’s?

No, there is no vegan cheese available at Papa John’s. The most-used cheese here is mozzarella. It contains pasteurized milk, whey protein concentrate, and other ingredients that make it unsuitable for vegans. 

PETA-Recommended Meal You Can Get on the Road

According to PETA, you can opt for a vegan meal at Papa John’s if you are on the road.

Small alterations in the pizzas can go a long way for vegans. The PETA employee who tried the same said that the staff at Papa John’s are friendly about vegan customizations. In addition, here are a few other places where you can get vegan food on the road.

  • Chipotle: You can choose the veggie bowl option here. It is similar to a regular burrito but won’t have the tortilla. It comes with white rice, black beans, onions, green peppers, and other vegan ingredients. It also comes with mild salsa.
  • Taco Bell: You can opt for the seven-layer burrito here. Ask the staff not to add the three-cheese blend and the sour cream. In a flour tortilla, you will have seasoned rice, diced tomatoes, lettuce, beans, and guacamole. 
  • Subway: You can get the veggie delight here. Don’t add the cheese; get it served on Italian bread. You can pick any veggies you like. Avocados can add the necessary creaminess. 

Kitchen Protocols at Papa John’s

There may be a few kitchen practices that vegans disapprove of. Read ahead as we list the kitchen practices at Papa John’s that may be of interest to vegans. 

  • The kitchen staff keeps their meats, veggies, and cheeses separately in clean and sanitized Lexan pans. These are then stored in the refrigerator.
  • Each Lexan pan is cleaned and sanitized after each use. The same is true for utensils and cutting surfaces.
  • All-vegetable pizzas may be sliced with the same cutter used to slice pizzas with meat toppings. Separate cutters are only used for separate sauces. 
  • Pizza cutters are only washed every two hours or after use with anchovies, jalapeno peppers, and banana peppers. They are not sanitized between each use. 
  • You can ask the manager at the Papa John’s outlet to use a sanitized cutter for your vegan pizza. They will gladly do so for you. 

Can I Order Any Other Sides?

Unfortunately for vegans, the only side available is the original breadsticks. The other options are the following: 

  • Garlic knots: These contain milk. 
  • Cheesesticks: These contain milk as well.
  • Garlic parmesan breadsticks: As discussed, these include dairy.
  • Cinnamon pullaparts: These have both eggs and milk.
  • Chocolate chip cookies: These contain eggs and milk.
  • Double chocolate chip brownies: These contain milk and eggs as well.

If you are a vegan, you won’t find dessert choices at Papa John’s. 

Does Papa Johns’s Have Whole-Food Plant-Based Options?

A whole-food, plant-based diet is very beneficial and can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. It also has many other health benefits and is a great option for managing diabetes and preventing cognitive decline. 

However, you will not find foods that fit this diet at Papa John’s. No options come without sugar, processed white flour, or oil. There are no fruit sides or salads on the menu, either. 

The original crust is a vegan option but contains processed wheat flour and sugar. It is also full of high omega-6 oil because of the added soybean oil. If you want vegan whole foods, you must order some toppings.

It is not even close to an ideal order. The pizza sauces also contain sugar. However, you can choose the regular pizza sauce to make a slightly healthier choice. While you can get a decent vegan meal, no whole foods are available. 


The key reason that Papa John’s is an excellent vegan option on the go is that it allows you to customize your food. You just have to omit the cheese, and you can eat a filling vegan meal. However, a lot more can be done to bring more options to vegans. 

Papa John’s is adding several new and exciting vegan food to its UK menu. 

With increasing environmental awareness, customers are bound to demand more. In addition to vegan options, whole-food additions are also necessary.