Which gluten-free pretzels are best?
Before gluten-free diets were widely accepted, most people avoiding gluten were stuck with boring snack options, like a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. Today, those avoiding gluten have various choices, including a perennial snack-time favorite: pretzels.
For a nearly perfect replica of traditionally made pretzels, Snyder’s of Hanover Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks is the best choice.
What to know before you buy gluten-free pretzels
Soft gluten-free pretzels vs. hard pretzels
Pretzel lovers usually fall into one of two camps: those who prefer the delicious, chewy texture of a salt-crusted soft pretzel and those who crave the crunch and snap of a hard pretzel.
- Soft pretzels: A perfect gluten-free soft pretzel is difficult to find. The ingredient that gives them their toothsome texture is the same ingredient that those with gluten sensitivities need to avoid. Still, gluten-free soft pretzels are available, but they are hard to locate in stores and online.
- Hard pretzels: Hard pretzels are easier to replicate in gluten-free form. They don’t require any special care and are a perfect snack. They also make a good base for creating your own confections, such as chocolate-dipped pretzel rods and pretzel-coated truffles.
The best gluten-free snacks come in different flavors, and pretzels are no different. Many brands are now offering a range of savory and sweet pretzels, including:
- Honey mustard
- Sour cream and onion
- Garlic parmesan
You can even find yogurt- and chocolate-covered gluten-free pretzels.
Some snackers swear that the shape makes a difference. Even if you don’t mind the shape yourself, the pretzel’s shape does determine its best use. For example, for chocolate-covered pretzels, thick pretzel rods and twisted pretzels carry more chocolate coating. However, pretzel sticks are a good choice if you’re just looking for a quick snack.
For dips, try a pretzel crisp. These thin crunchy shapes are perfect for scooping.
What to look for in quality gluten-free pretzels
It is not enough to simply put “gluten-free” on the package. There are governmental standards that must be met in order for a package to be labeled gluten-free. Some manufacturers go even farther, partnering with organizations that specifically serve those with celiac or other gluten sensitivities. This should be noted on the packaging.
Free from other allergens
Many people following strict gluten-free diets are also operating with other food restrictions. If this sounds like you, look for pretzels that are also free from:
- Tree nuts
Keep in mind that even if a product is free of these ingredients, it may be processed in a facility with other snacks that have them included. Check the labels carefully.
When you find a brand you love, the last thing you want to do is keep switching around when you need different sizes. Many pretzel makers offer everything from large 1-pound bags to mini grab-and-go snack packs.
How much you can expect to spend on gluten-free pretzels
Anything gluten-free will have a higher price, and pretzels are no exception. The price varies among brands and depends on the size, but expect to spend $7-$11.
Gluten-free pretzels FAQ
What is gluten, and how is it harmful?
A. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It gives bread its stretchy texture and springy feel.
Unfortunately, gluten can trigger an overactive immune response for people who suffer from certain autoimmune conditions. Even trace amounts, such as a light dusting of flour left on a cutting board, can trigger a serious physical reaction.
What conditions would cause someone to need a gluten-free diet?
A. The most common condition is celiac disease. This chronic immune system and digestive disorder can lead to damage to the small intestine. It’s triggered when an affected person eats even a trace amount of gluten, causing the body to essentially attack itself.
Other conditions where avoiding gluten is part of the treatment include:
- Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
- Gluten ataxia
- Wheat allergies
What are the best gluten-free pretzels to buy?
Top gluten-free pretzels
What you need to know: This large bag is great for sharing, even for those not following a gluten-free diet.
What you’ll love: This 14-ounce bag of pretzel sticks is perfect for larger households or entertaining when you want just one type of pretzel. They are also made without dairy, milk or eggs and processed in a facility that does not process peanuts. This makes it a safe snack for school, too. Look for other Snyder’s shapes in other flavors, too.
What you should consider: Snyder’s is a partner of the Celiac Disease Foundation. There are no real cons to this pick. But make sure the bag you select is clearly labeled gluten-free, as Snyder’s is also well-known for its regular pretzel varieties.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top gluten-free pretzels for the money
What you need to know: This pack of four 5-ounce bags is perfect for on-the-go snacking.
What you’ll love: This thin, baked snack perfectly replicates the flavorful outside of a pretzel. It’s made of non-GMO ingredients and comes in a resealable pouch.
What you should consider: They are minis, so although they have the perfect texture for dipping, it might be challenging.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Check out three different flavors with this variety pack of pretzels.
What you’ll love: This includes one 8-ounce bag of gluten-free pretzel sticks, a 5.5-ounce bag of gluten-free yogurt-covered pretzels and a 5.5-ounce bag of chocolate-covered pretzels. They have a delicious snap and a not-too-sweet taste. It is a great way to try this brand to see which flavors you like best.
What you should consider: Some buyers wanted more chocolate flavor, but these are universally enjoyed otherwise.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.