Find out if pretzels are safe for a gluten-free diet, plus get a list of gluten-free pretzel brands to look for at the grocery store.
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Pretzels have always been one of my favorite go-to snack foods. When I was a kid, my mom sent pretzels in my lunch for years on end.
I was a packed lunch kid, and every day I got the same thing: a turkey sandwich, an apple, a cookie, and a little bag of pretzels.
I’m still a big fan of them even though I’ve probably eaten my weight in pretzels a hundred times over during my lifetime. I can’t get enough!
These days, I like to enjoy them in homemade gluten-free Chex mix, dipped in dairy-free chocolate, packed with some nuts for a DIY trail mix, and even used as a dip in hummus sometimes. I like to eat them at home, pack them as a gluten-free hiking snack, and they’re a good gluten-free kid-friendly snack too.
Read on: Is hummus gluten-free?
Of course with all snack foods, being gluten-free requires me to look closely at each and every food that enters my body.
It means that scouring ingredients lists to find out if something will give me a reaction before I buy it or let it even enter my house.
Even though it was years ago, I will always remember learning that most of my favorite snack foods weren’t gluten-free and feeling desperate to figure out what I actually could enjoy in its place. If you’re currently there or looking for answers, this post is for you.
In this post, we’re going to answer the question: are pretzels gluten-free? We’ll dive deep into what pretzels are made of and if they’re safe for a gluten-free diet.
We’ll also go over some gluten-free pretzel brands and talk about what these are generally made of. Finally, I’ll share some answers to some pressing questions about pretzels at the very end.
If you’re a pretzel lover, you’ll want to read this one!
What are pretzels made of?
Most pretzels are made using enriched flour or wheat flour, salt, corn oil, corn syrup, ammonium bicarbonate, malt extract, and yeast in some combination or another. Each brand might have slight variations on these ingredients, but these are generally what you’ll find in most pretzels.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form or gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Are pretzels gluten-free?
Since most pretzels are made with flour derived from wheat and malt, we can be sure they are not gluten-free.
That doesn’t mean that ALL pretzels contain gluten, but the majority of the ones you’ll find at grocery stores and the ones that are especially easy to find are.
If you love pretzels and follow a gluten-free diet, there are still options for you! Let’s go over some of these in detail.
There are a number of brands who make gluten-free pretzels, pretzel rods, and pretzel sticks. Let’s dive into the details of what makes these pretzels gluten-free, and go over some of the brands to be on the lookout for.
Read on: 101 Gluten-free Dairy-free Snacks
Read on: Gluten-free pretzel rods & sticks
What are gluten-free pretzels made of? What are gluten-free pretzel ingredients?
Many brands are creating dedicated gluten-free pretzels by trading in the wheat flour for gluten-free flours, and getting some very delicious and crunchy pretzels that don’t make you miss the gluten one bit.
Some of the more popular ingredients in gluten-free pretzels are potato starch, rice flour, tapioca starch, and cornstarch.
Some brands have taken new and interesting approaches to making gluten-free pretzels by using cassava flour like From the Ground Up and Quinn brands to make them grain free as well as gluten-free.
Read on: Is cornstarch gluten-free?
Read on: Is rice flour gluten-free?
Next time you’re at the store or are looking online for some gluten-free pretzels, look for one of these brands. This list includes brands that offer pretzel twists, rods, sticks, and a variety of different flavors.
Be sure to check ingredients lists before purchasing as some of these brands make both pretzels that contain gluten and those that are gluten-free.
Barkat pretzels are a great option for a gluten-free diet. These are made with maize starch, unhardened vegetable oil (palm oil), potato starch, sea salt, invert sugar syrup, dry yeast, stabilizer (carboxymethylcellulose), emulsifier (soya lecithin), raising agents (sodium pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), acidity regulator (sodium hydroxide).
You can look for them locally or on Amazon.
Read on: Is soy lecithin gluten-free?
This brand offers gluten-free soft pretzels, as well as mixes to make your own at home. They are made with rice flour, corn starch, tapioca starch, light brown sugar, xanthan gum, corn flour, water, yeast, and sunflower oil.
Get them on their website here: Dutch Country Soft Pretzels
Read on: Is corn flour gluten-free?
Ener-G Foods gluten-free pretzels are delicious and crunchy. These are made with potato flour, corn starch, rice flour, organic palm fruit oil, tapioca syrup, baking powder (sodium pyrophosphate, potato starch, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), cellulose gum, bamboo fiber, salt, yeast.
You can look for them at your local grocery store.
FitJoy pretzels are considered gluten-free, grain-free, and plant-based. They are made with cassava flour, potato starch, chickpea flour, high oleic sunflower oil, tapioca starch, chickpea protein, Himalayan sea salt, organic honey, yeast, and sunflower lecithin.
They come in a variety of flavors like: hatch chile, honey mustard, white cheddar, Himilayan pink salt twists, and Himilayan pink salt sticks.
Read on: Does honey mustard have dairy?
The pretzels from From the Ground Up offer a different twist on normal pretzels. They use vegetables like cauliflower and butternut squash in addition to cassava flour to create these gluten-free snacks.
The ingredients in these pretzels are: cassava, cauliflower/butternut squash, non-gmo corn starch, non-gmo expeller pressed canola oil, salt, vegetable blend (spinach, broccoli, carrot, tomato, beet, shiitake mushroom), and yeast. Their butternut squash pretzels also have turmeric and cinnamon.
From the Ground up offers four options of pretzels: cauliflower pretzel twists, cauliflower pretzel sticks, butternut squash pretzel twists, and butternut squash pretzel sticks.
The Glutino brand is one of the easiest for me to find locally, and they are a great gluten-free pretzel option.
They are made with corn starch, potato starch, white rice flour, soluble corn fiber, canola oil, faba bean protein, salt, cane sugar, cellulose gum, brown rice flour (rice flour, rice bran with germ), leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate), canola lecithin, a fiber blend of lemon, pea, potato, psyllium, and seaweed fiber, yeast extract, and rosemary extract.
The ingredients list isn’t short, but they come in a variety of gluten-free options:
- Pretzel Twists
- Pretzel Sticks
- Honey Mustard Pretzels
- Big Pretzels
- Pretzel Chips
- Yogurt Covered Pretzels
- Fudge Covered Pretzels
You can look for the Glutino brand of pretzels locally or find them on Amazon.
This brand is owned by Utz, another maker of gluten-free pretzels.
These are certified gluten-free and are made from Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Soluble Corn Fiber, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Canola Oil, Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Bamboo Plant Fiber, Proprietary Blend of Vegetables (Spinach, Broccoli, Carrot, Tomato, Beet, Shiitake Mushroom).
Gratify gluten-free pretzels are made with corn starch, rapeseed oil, sesame seeds, rice flour, sugar, soy flour, soy protein, sea salt, cellulose gum, soy lecithin, yeast extract, and leavening.
You can find Gratify pretzels in a few different varieties: pretzel thins, sesame seed, everything, white chocolate and peppermint covered, milk chocolate covered, and sea salt thins.
Look for them locally or find them on Amazon.
Live G-free offers both pretzel twists and sticks. These are made from corn, potato, and rice flour to give that classic pretzel crunch we all know and love.
Look for this brand at your local grocery store or find them on Amazon.
Gluten-free pretzels from Quinn snacks are made with sorghum flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, organic palm oil, sea salt, organic evaporated cane juice, organic apple cider vinegar, xanthan gum, sodium bicarbonate, and sunflower lecithin.
These pretzels come in a variety of flavors and options:
- Maple Almond Butter Filled Nuggets
- Grain Free Cracked Pepper Pretzel Chips
- Grain Free Original Pretzel Chips
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Nuggets
- Peanut Butter Filled Nuggets
- Classic Sea Salt Twists
- Classic Sea Salt Sticks
- Deli Rye Style Rods
- Touch of Honey Sticks
These gluten-free pretzels from Savor Street are gluten-free and no-grain. They’re made with cassava flour, potato starch, palm oil, tapioca starch, fabe bean protein, tapioca syrup, salt, milled flax, and sunflower lecithin.
They come in Gourmet and Seasoned flavors.
You can buy them on Amazon or look for them locally.
Snack Factory makes gluten-free pretzel crisps that are a crunchy snack that are more flat than other pretzels you’ll find on the market.
These gluten-free pretzels are made with corn starch, potato starch, long grain white rice flour, corn fiber, palm oil, sugar, cellulose gum, salt, sunflower lecithin, yeast extract, baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, citric acid, and chicory root extract.
Snack Factory has three varieties or gluten-free pretzel crisps: everything, original, and original minis.
You can find these at your local store or look for them on Amazon.
Snyder’s of Hanover is a well-known pretzel brand. They have started making gluten-free pretzels in a few different varieties: pretzel rods, cinnamon brown sugar pieces, sticks, mini pretzels, honey mustard and onion sticks, and hot buffalo wing pieces.
You can find them online on Amazon or look for them locally.
Trader Joe’s has a gluten-free pretzel option in their snack aisles that I really enjoy. These pretzels are made with corn starch, dehydrated potato, rice flour, canola oil, corn dextrin, sea salt, cellulose gum, sugar, dried yeast, soy lecithin (emulsifier), leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid pyrophosphate). mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, citric acid (for freshness).
Find them at your local Trader Joe’s store.
These soft gluten-free pretzels are stored in the freezer and finished up baking at home.
Tonya’s pretzels are made with these ingredients: rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, milk, sugar, butter, eggs, potato flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, yeast, and salt.
You can look for them locally or order them from their website to have them delivered to your home.
Utz makes gluten-free pretzels, but you’ll need to find the specific gluten-free option. Most of their other pretzel products are not gluten-free, so be sure to look for the gluten-free label.
Based on their website, it looks like these are now being produced under the Good Health Enjoy Being Good brand, but know that they likely contain the same ingredients. If you happen to stumble upon gluten-free Utz products, these are a safe option for your gluten-free diet.
Look for them locally or if you find them online.
These are just some of the brands of gluten-free pretzels available. If you find a package of pretzels and aren’t sure if they are gluten-free, be sure to check the ingredients list before buying. Check for any hidden names of gluten and look for that gluten-free label.
One of my little secrets is that I carry around a copy of my GFDF Take Along Cards so that I always have a point of reference when I can sneak a peek at the ingredient list of a food.
You might still have a few more questions about pretzels, so let’s get those answered.
Are pretzels dairy-free?
Most plain hard pretzels are dairy-free. Many soft pretzels are not dairy-free, as they contain butter.
The place you’ll want to look for hidden sources of dairy are in any flavorings that have been added to the pretzels, like cheddar flavored or butter flavored pretzels. Look for hidden sources of dairy in the ingredients list if you also avoid dairy in addition to gluten.
Are pretzel crisps gluten-free?
Depending on the brand, most pretzel crisps are not gluten-free.
The Snack Factory does make a specific gluten-free option that is safe for your diet. Be sure to check ingredient lists and look for a gluten-free label before buying.
Are Rold Gold pretzels gluten-free?
Rold Gold pretzels are made using wheat flour, so they are not gluten-free. Look for one of the brands listed above for a gluten-free pretzel option to enjoy instead.
I hope if you’ve been looking for a delicious gluten-free pretzel option that you’ll try one of these great brands. In all the pretzels I’ve tried, I’ve never noticed much of a difference between the gluten-free ones and the normal wheat pretzels.
Enjoy these next time you’re looking for a snack, to take on a trip, or to dip in your favorite dairy-free chocolate for a yummy treat.