The Best Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads That Aren’t Nutella
Looking for a less sweet, more complex, vegan alternative? You’ve come to the right place.
Invented in Italy in 1964 and introduced in America in the early '80s, Nutella is the ubiquitous chocolate hazelnut spread we’ve come to know and love. And while the indulgent spread is one we crave, many other brands have entered the market with their own chocolate hazelnut spreads in an effort to introduce options that are more artisanal, more allergen-friendly, and perhaps even a little bit better for you.
“The addictiveness lies in the ingredients from Nutella,” says Selena Ayala, CNP, an integrative nutritionist and health educator. “So it's very high in sugar and saturated fat, so the excitement of and attraction to Nutella is the sugar rush, the dopamine that we receive when we have a spoonful of Nutella.”
While we will always love Nutella, we also love having options. Though before you read on, it’s worth noting that all of these spreads are distinctly different from Nutella, and while we are drawing comparisons to Nutella, all of these spreads are unique in their own right, bringing new and interesting flavor profiles and textures to the market for us to enjoy. So with that being said, read on for our picks for best chocolate hazelnut spreads that aren’t Nutella.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Fine & Raw Oat Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Spread
- Best Budget: Rigoni di Asiago Dairy-Free Nocciolata Hazelnut Spread With Cocoa
- Most Fudgy: Gooey Hazelnut Cocoa Spread
- Most Classic: TBH Hazelnut Cocoa Spread
- Best Drizzle: Ghia Ghianduja
- Best for Your Skin: Deux’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread for Collagen Support
Best Overall: Fine & Raw Oat Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Spread
Oil It’s Made With: None | Vegan: Yes | Total Sugars: 7 grams
- Dairy free
- Responsibly sourced
- Unique flavor compared to competitors
- Sticky mouthfeel
Why we chose it: Fine & Raw was recommended by almost all of our experts, which makes sense since the brand is known for making quality spreads. This variety in particular is great for people who need an allergen-friendly alternative.
Multiple experts we spoke with listed Fine & Raw as one of the best chocolate hazelnut spreads. What makes this brand so special is that they make artisanal chocolates, confections, and spreads by hand. Plus, their spreads are plant-based and utilize coconut sugar, which Ayala says is much better for you than granulated sugar. “Coconut sugar is almost identical to a cane sugar,” she says. “It’s really good because it contains healthy fats, and it's high in dietary fiber, so I especially love this brand for the health benefits.”
Both Ayala and Nikki Hayes, owner of specialty food store Stella’s Fine Market, love Fine & Raw for their responsible practices. “I have Fine & Raw in my store, and I have a lot of varieties,” Hayes says. “I love that they source everything responsibly and use minimal ingredients, and it's a local brand in Brooklyn. I just love everything about them.”
While Fine & Raw has many different varieties of chocolate hazelnut spread—dark chocolate, crunchy, classic, sugarless—we were particularly intrigued by this oat milk one, which is safe for many people with allergies. That includes those who are gluten-free, since Fine & Raw uses gluten-free oats.
Hayes has found this variety to be particularly popular with her customers. “Most of my customers, even tourists, they are coming in, they have some type of allergy, [and] they think they can't have it. Then they turn it around, they look at all the ingredients, and they're like ‘I can have this!” she says.
In terms of flavor, this spread leads with nuttiness and has a subtle cocoa flavor that complements it. It also has a nice saltiness to it, which balances with the sweetness nicely. The spread is thick and creamy, which is great for slathering on toast, but it can also lend to a sticky mouthfeel, not unlike when you eat a big spoonful of peanut butter. As well, this spread is on the pricey side at just under $14 a jar.
Oil It’s Made With: Sunflower oil | Vegan: Yes | Total Sugars: 18 grams
- Robust chocolate hazelnut flavor
- Smooth texture
- Under $10 a jar
- Relatively high in sugar
- Made with hazelnut paste
Why we chose it: The most affordable spread on this list, Rigoni di Asiago’s version has a robust flavor and silky texture.
In our humble opinion, after extensive testing, this spread has the best flavor on the list. It has a robust hazelnut flavor that melds beautifully with the notes of chocolate. This is only complemented by the silky-smooth texture of the spread. And it retails for just $5.79 at Kroger (though we picked this spread up at an Italian market for $5.99). Plus, it’s also dairy free, though there is a dairy version available as well.
Interestingly, the first ingredient listed is cane sugar, which makes sense since this spread has the most sugar of any on this list at 18 grams (which is still 3 grams less than Nutella). And it’s also made with hazelnut paste instead of hazelnuts, like many of the other spreads on this list.
Most Fudgy: Gooey Hazelnut Cocoa Spread
Oil It’s Made With: None | Vegan: Yes | Total Sugars: 6 grams
- Extremely fudgy texture
- Not too sweet
- Lower in calories than other brands
- Not an ideal drizzle or dip
- Made with hazelnut butter
Why we chose it: Deep, dark, and super fudgy, this spread is great on toast or just on a spoon.
What became obvious to us when we were testing is that this spread is noticeably different. The darkest in color of all the spreads we tested, Gooey is pretty low in sugar, keeping its flavor from venturing too sweet. But its most satisfying characteristic is how fudgy it is. It has the thickest texture of any spread we tested, and we found that makes it great for slathering on toast or eating straight out of the jar.
But, depending on your preferences, its texture could also be its downfall in that its thickness doesn't lend itself to a drizzle or dip. So, it’s not necessarily the most versatile spread on the market, but it is very delicious. It's also made with hazelnut butter instead of just hazelnuts, which leaves some room for ambiguity.
Most Classic: TBH Hazelnut Cocoa Spread
Oil It’s Made With: Sunflower oil | Vegan: Yes | Total Sugars: 10 grams
- High in protein
- Classic chocolate hazelnut flavor
- Optimal spreadability
- Most ingredients compared to the rest on our list
- Relatively high in sodium
Why we chose it: One of the most classic versions on this list, TBH is a great choice for those wanting something familiar but with less sugar and more protein.
Founded by Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp, TBH is a nice gateway into alternative chocolate hazelnut spreads. The taste and texture aren’t identical to Nutella, but they’re not too far off either. Plus, TBH has 6 grams of protein, compared to Nutella’s 2, making it a heartier spread for snacking.
This spread is really solid all the way around, but with 11 ingredients, it does have the most of any spread on this list. That being said, American-grown hazelnuts are first on that list. As well, this spread is the highest in sodium on the list at 45 grams, compared to Nutella’s 15.
Best Drizzle: Ghia Ghianduja
Oil It’s Made With: Extra virgin olive oil | Vegan: Yes | Total Sugars: 9 grams
- Super easy to drizzle on ice cream, crepes, waffles, and more
- Extra virgin olive oil gives it a unique flavor
Why we chose it: Loved by the specialty grocers we spoke with, Ghia’s Ghianduja utilizes extra-virgin olive oil, which lends a unique flavor and makes it great for drizzling.
"Ghianduja is the product that made me rethink what I thought I knew about chocolate hazelnut spread,” says Katherine Lewin, founder and CEO of the dinner and party essentials store Big Night. “Sure, Nutella is great, but it's never been the sweet condiment I reach for again and again. Ghianduja, on the other hand, is so perfectly balanced between chocolate-y and nutty, so smooth and silky, I not only want to slather it on every type of carb, I also want to spoon it right from the jar. And I do. A perfect afternoon pick-me-up."
More a drizzle than a spread, Ghia’s Ghianduja is incredibly decadent. Made with extra-virgin olive oil, you get those fruity notes, as well as a lovely richness. It stays loose in the jar, so it’s very easy to drizzle over any number of desserts. Plus, it’s made with only seven ingredients, and it’s vegan.
Because of its drizzly nature, though, it can be quite messy and a little oily. This spread is also the priciest on our list, sold in packs of two for $32 on Ghia’s site.
Best for Your Skin: Deux’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread for Collagen Support
Best for Your Skin
Oil It’s Made With: None | Vegan: Yes | Total Sugars: 7 grams
- Supports natural collagen production
- Made with just six ingredients
Why we chose it: With ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin C, this spread not only tastes good, but also helps support your skin.
A chocolate hazelnut spread that beautifies your skin? Sign us up! Of the six ingredients Deux’s spread uses, two of them are aloe vera and vitamin C, which help hydrate your skin and work with your body to support the production of collagen. Not to mention, this spread is also great for any type of usage—from dipping to drizzling to slathering (or just eating it right off the spoon).
The only real con about this product is that it is pretty pricey at $15 a jar.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Hayes says one of the most important things to consider is what’s on the ingredient list. For all of the products she carries in her store, she vets the ingredients, making sure there’s nothing funky or odd in the lineup. “It could look really great, and it's made with this and that, but it could have these weird thickeners, so I always look at that.”
Of course, how much you’re willing to pay for a chocolate hazelnut spread is a big factor to consider, as well. With Nutella generally costing between $3 and $10 for one jar (depending on the size of the jar and store you buy it from), it is still a pretty cost-effective option, whereas many of the ones on this list cost more than $10. However, many of the spreads on this list are specialty products and tend to be more suitable for various diets, since many of them are dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and don’t contain palm oil.
“Customers are really savvy now, and they're not okay with plastic,” says Hayes. “I just heard yesterday from a customer, they were wondering why a certain popular condiment was still in a plastic container. And I agree.”
Hayes considers the packaging before she buys a product, especially for something like a chocolate hazelnut spread, which you might want to heat up. “If you're going to want to spread it over waffles or something, you need it to melt,” she says. “So unless you're scooping it out [and] putting it in another container, some people might just put that plastic container right in the microwave, and that's not great to me. I know glass is more expensive, and it's harder to get. But I just think glass is way better.”
Is chocolate hazelnut spread healthy?
It’s complicated. Hazelnuts are good for you (more on that in a minute) and cacao is good for you. “Cacao as a category is healthy,” says Sarah Wragge, holistic nutritionist, wellness coach, and CEO of Sarah Wragge Wellness. “Cacao is really incredible because it sort of rivals an espresso bean or a coffee bean.”
Cacao, Wragge says, is a neurotransmitter activator, and consuming cacao beans can even offer healthful benefits for our gray matter. “They activate the brain. They awaken that creative part of your brain. They allow us to feel euphoria and help release oxytocin,” she says. “So is [cacao] healthy for the brain? Actually, yes. But is it healthy when [brands] dump a bunch of sugar into it and syrups and gums and emulsifiers? No.”
It’s worth being mindful of the ingredients in the spread you’re looking to choose, so you can make the most informed decision. But ultimately, different experts say different things. Ayala advises eating chocolate hazelnut spread in moderation. H Coakley, MSPH, RDN, says it’s more than fine to eat it than to be restrictive about it. “I think that it's totally okay to work that into your regular life,” they say. “I think that we have a tendency sometimes to…we tend to suppress preferences. And then you get the opposite where someone is like, ‘I ate the whole jar of Nutella,’ as opposed to just allowing that to be a part of your life.”
Are hazelnuts healthy?
On their own, yes. “Hazelnuts have a lot of benefits,” Wragge says, which include:
- Contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acid
- Helps prevent hypertension
- Heart healthy
- Can reduce cholesterol and inflammation
What do you eat chocolate hazelnut spread with?
You can eat it on toast, waffles, drizzled over ice cream, baked into cookies or brownies, swirled together with whipped cream for a quick-and-easy mousse, slathered on a graham cracker as the chocolate element in s’mores, or with a spoon straight out of the jar. The possibilities are truly endless.
While Nutella tends to be the easiest chocolate hazelnut spread to find in stores, as well as being affordable and absolutely delicious, there are many other chocolate hazelnut spreads on the market to love, and for all sorts of reasons. All of the ones we’ve highlighted are vegan, not made with palm oil, and have flavor profiles different from Nutella. Some offer a toastier, nuttier flavor, while others have a deep, more complex cocoa flavor. In terms of flavor and texture, you really can’t go wrong with any of the spreads on this list.
For this guide, we tested eight different chocolate hazelnut spreads. We took into account the oil the spread was made with (if any), the amount of sugar in the spread, the ingredients listed, the texture of the spread, and, of course, the flavor. We made our picks based on which spreads taste the best, have the best texture, utilize quality ingredients, and are suitable for different diets. We also spoke with nutritionists and specialty grocers to get insight into chocolate hazelnut spreads that aren’t Nutella and which they prefer. We took their recommendations into consideration, and ultimately their insights helped us arrive at our final picks for best chocolate hazelnut spread.
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