Pretzels are the shapeshifter of snack foods. You can enjoy them salty or sweet, plain or barbecue-flavored, soft or crunchy. But if you're following a gluten-free diet, you may not be able to enjoy every bag.
Most pretzels, especially the soft kind, are made with wheat flour. But these days, you can find plenty of gluten-free pretzels online or at your grocery store. Just be sure to check the label carefully or choose from our safe options.
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Gluten-Free Pretzels to Try
- Snyder's Gluten-Free Hot Buffalo Wing Pieces ($18.99 for 2 bags, Amazon.com)
- Real Food From the Ground Up Cauliflower Pretzels ($19.62 for 6 bags, Amazon.com)
- Quinn Touch of Honey Pretzel Sticks ($30.49 for 8 bags, Amazon.com)
- Savor Street Grain-Free Gourmet Pretzels ($19.99 for 4 bags, Amazon.com)
- Fit Joy Himalayan Sea Salt Twists ($21.29 for 2 bags, Amazon.com)
- Snack Factory Gluten-Free Original Pretzel Crisps ($44.85 for 12 packs, Amazon.com)
Are Pretzels Gluten-Free?
There's no one way to make pretzels — you'll often find many brands, flavors and varieties at your local supermarket. For pretzel lovers, this is fabulous news (who doesn't love a huge variety of pretzels in the cabinet), but for those following a gluten-free diet, this makes snack shopping more difficult.
For the most part, pretzels are made with wheat flour, which means they contain gluten in the recipe. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and these grains' derivatives, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
You may want to be extra cautious of any dips you buy, too. There's no shortage of flavors out there and different companies and recipes may include gluten-based ingredients.
But if you're buying your own pretzels (or dip) at a store, you can keep an eye out for some gluten-free brands (more on that below).
How to Find Gluten-Free Pretzels
Even if the pretzels you're buying contain no gluten ingredients, they may still be at risk for cross-contamination, which occurs when gluten foods come in contact with other ingredients either through manufacturing or preparation, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
You can avoid cross-contact by choosing your bag carefully. To play it safe, avoid pretzels at a party or restaurant, unless you can be certain they're gluten-free.
At the grocery store, read the ingredient list of any package you decide to buy. Look out for any gluten-based foods and check the allergen listing for wheat or gluten, too.
If the ingredients are gluten-free-approved, find a "Gluten-Free" label on the front package of the product. This label is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration and signifies that the food you're eating has less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is generally safe for people with celiac disease to eat.
If you want even more security, buy pretzels that are labeled "Certified Gluten-Free" and are assessed by qualified third parties, such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The GFCO has especially strict standards, certifying foods that have only 10 ppm of gluten or less, according to the organization's website.
Gluten-Free Pretzels to Buy
Now that you know how to find a bag of safe-to-eat gluten-free pretzels, keep an eye out for these gluten-free varieties from trusted brands.
1. Snyder's Gluten-Free Hot Buffalo Wing Pieces
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $18.99
2. Real Food From the Ground Up Cauliflower Pretzels
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $19.62 for 6 packs
3. Quinn Touch of Honey Pretzel Sticks
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $30.49 for 8 packs
4. Savor Street Grain-Free Gourmet Pretzels
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $19.99 for 4 packs
5. Fit Joy Himalayan Sea Salt Twists
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $21.29 for 2 packs
6. Snack Factory Gluten-Free Original Pretzel Crisps
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $44.85 for 12 packs