Find out if pretzels are gluten-free, plus what brands offer gluten-free pretzel rods and sticks – and where you can buy them.
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If you’re just getting started with a gluten-free diet, you may have discovered that some of your favorite snack foods contain gluten. One of my all-time favorite snacks are pretzels. I feel a little bit like Bubba from Forrest Gump, because I love all kinds of pretzels. Pretzel twists, pretzel sticks, pretzel rods, soft pretzels, giant pretzels. All of the pretzels.
But if you’re like me and can’t eat anything with gluten in your diet, your love of pretzels may have had to take a back seat while you figure out what options you have. Finding a gluten-free pretzel option isn’t too hard when you know what to look for.
I’ve done a full post on gluten-free pretzels, but thought I’d dedicate this one to gluten-free pretzel rods and gluten-free pretzel sticks specifically. Find out in this post which brands of gluten-free pretzel rods you can buy at the store, as well as gluten-free pretzel sticks.
First, let’s cover the basics of pretzels and gluten-free pretzels, so we’re all on the same page.
What are pretzels?
Pretzels are a type of snack food that can come in a few different varieties: hard and small snack pretzels or soft and larger pastry-like pretzels.
Pretzels are a popular snack food in the U.S. and many folks enjoy them alongside sandwiches, in mixes like Chex mix or trail mix, or as an addition or alternative to potato chips for game day or other gatherings.
Read on: Gluten-free pretzels
Read on: Gluten-free dairy-free Chex mix
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 of 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: Are pretzels gluten-free?
Read on: 101 Gluten-free Dairy-free Snacks
What’s the difference between pretzel twists, rods, and sticks?
The only real difference between pretzel twists, rods, and sticks is the shape. Pretzel twists are formed into a classic pretzel shape with two arches connected by a rounded triangle bottom.
Pretzel sticks are generally the same width as a pretzel twist but are shaped in lines rather than twisting the dough. Pretzel rods are essentially pretzel sticks but larger in size.
The recipe for all different types of pretzels is generally the same, so you can find a product from one brand that makes all three of these and they all have the same ingredients. It really is just a difference of shape and nothing else.
Where can I buy gluten-free pretzels?
Gluten-free pretzels weren’t always easy to find and you’d have to go searching for them at health food stores or online to get them. These days, they’re much easier to get access to at many larger grocery stores.
Any larger grocery retailers, like Safeway, Kroger, or other big named stores, will likely carry gluten-free pretzels. Look for them either in the snack aisle of the health food area or with the potato chips at your local store.
You can also find gluten-free pretzels on websites like Amazon or one of my favorite places to shop, Thrive Market. Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices, but at the very least, I like to look there to see what the packaging looks like so I know what I’m looking for when I make it to the store.
Gluten-free Pretzel Rods
There aren’t too many pretzel rod options for a gluten-free diet, but these two brands came up time and again as I was researching this post.
This brand of pretzels offers a thicker style gluten-free pretzel rod that are both gluten and dairy-free. You can feel good about this option for your gluten-free diet, as they are made with the following ingredients.
“Whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, organic palm oil, organic cane sugar, organic salt, organic apple cider vinegar, organic caraway seeds, sea salt, sodium bicarbonate, sunflower lecithin.
Snyder’s Pretzels has a number of pretzel options, including their gluten-free pretzel rods. These are “true” pretzel rods in terms of their size and shape, and what you’d expect from a pretzel rod.
Here are the ingredients you can find in this brand of gluten-free pretzel rods:
“Corn starch, potato starch, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, palm oil, dextrose, cellulose gum, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), oat fiber, sunflower lecithin, yeast, xanthan gum, citric acid, salt.”
Gluten-free Pretzel Sticks
There are more options for gluten-free pretzel sticks than rods. Look for one of these brands next time you’re at the store or when looking online.
FitJoy has a number of pretzel offerings, one of which are their grain and gluten-free pretzel sticks. They are made with cassava flour and are considered allergen-friendly all around.
These are the ingredients in FitJoy’s gluten-free pretzel sticks:
“Cassava flour, potato starch, chickpea flour, high oleic sunflower oil, tapioca starch, chickpea protein, sea salt, date nectar, yeast, sunflower lecithin.”
The gluten-free pretzels from From the Ground Up are a unique blend of cassava flour and a vegetable blend. They offer a number of varieties of gluten-free pretzels, with twists and sticks, and come in two flavors: cauliflower and butternut squash. Their pretzel sticks are the cauliflower variety.
Here’s what you can expect to find in these gluten-free pretzel sticks:
“Cassava, cauliflower, non-gmo corn starch, non-gmo expeller pressed canola oil, salt, vegetable blend (spinach, broccoli, carrot, tomato, beet, shiitake mushroom), yeast.”
Glutino pretzels are some of the most easy to find gluten-free pretzels in my area. These taste like normal pretzels and are perfect for snacking or enjoying in a homemade Chex or trail mix.
These are the ingredients in Glutino gluten-free pretzel sticks:
“Corn starch, potato starch, white rice flour, soluble corn fiber, palm oil, salt, cane sugar, cellulose gum, sunflower lecithin, sodium bicarbonate, yeast extract, sodium acid pyrophosphate, citric acid.”
LiveGFree is another popular gluten-free brand, and one of the products they offer are their gluten-free pretzels. Look for these locally or at online retailers.
These are the ingredients you can expect to find in LiveGFree’s gluten-free pretzel sticks:
“Corn starch, potato starch, rice flour, palm oil or canola oil, tapioca starch, modified tapioca starch, soluble corn fiber, sugar, salt, yeast, cellulose gum, sodium acid pyrophosphate, inactive yeast, sunflower lecithin, sodium bicarbonate, xanthan gum.”
We talked about Quinn gluten-free pretzel options when we covered their pretzel rods. This brand also offers pretzel sticks that are both gluten-free and grain-free, using cassava flour as their main ingredient. They have two options: “sea salt” and “touch of honey.”
This what Quinn gluten-free pretzel sticks in the Sea Salt flavor are made of:
“Whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cassava flour, high oleic sunflower oil, organic cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, xanthan gum, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, baking soda, vitamin E.”
Quinn’s gluten-free pretzel sticks in Touch of Honey flavor contain the following ingredients:
“Whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cassava flour, high oleic sunflower oil, organic honey, organic cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, xanthan gum, organic blackstrap molasses, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, baking soda, vitamin E.”
We already talked about how Snyder’s pretzels offer not only traditional pretzels, but have some great gluten-free options as well. This includes their gluten-free pretzel sticks. They come in both regular and Honey Mustard & Onion flavors.
Here’s what Snyder’s gluten-free pretzel sticks (regular flavor) are made of:
“Corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, palm oil, dextrose, cellulose gum, sunflower lecithin, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), yeast, citric acid.”
These are the ingredients in Snyder’s gluten-free Honey Mustard & Onion pretzel sticks:
“Corn starch, palm oil, potato starch, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, dextrose, onion powder, cellulose gum, sunflower lecithin, maltodextrin, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), citric acid, mustard flour, vinegar powder, yeast, honey powder, spice, modified corn starch, turmeric extractives (color), spice and coloring (contains turmeric), natural flavor, soda.”
If you’ve been looking for gluten-free pretzel rods or sticks to enjoy for your favorite snacks or to add to Chex mix, trail mix, or to have on hand for some Game Day snacks, I hope this post has helped you source some great options to look for at the store or seek out online.
There aren’t a ton of gluten-free pretzel rods and sticks available, but just a few options so you can still enjoy them for all your snacking needs.