Improved methods for the recovery of xanthophylls from corn gluten meal are provided. More specifically, methods for the recovery of xanthophylls from corn gluten whereby relatively dry corn gluten is extracted with an organic alcohol followed by a saponification reaction to convert xanthophyll esters to xanthophylls is described. Also described are methods for the recovery of xanthophylls from corn gluten meal whereby relatively dry corn gluten meal is extracted with a first solvent containing and antioxidant and the resulting extract is, optionally, purified. Using these is methods, xanthophylls can be recovered from corn gluten meal in higher yields, at greater efficiencies, and in higher purity as to compared to prior art methods. Moreover, the xanthophyll products recovered in these methods are ideally suited for use in food products and in pharmaceuticals. These materials are especially suited for use in poultry feeds to provide the desired, healthy yellow color or hue in broiler and egg yolks.