Are Pretzels Vegan? Unknot The Answer! [Bonus: DIY Pretzel Recipe]

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Pretzels are my lifesavers in between meals or late at night when I feel like munching on something. They’re one of my favorites!

The only problem is pretzels today come in so many varieties and flavors. This makes me stop and ask sometimes, are pretzels vegan?

We all know that pretzels are pretty basic, but it’s still a valid question. In the vegan world, we take all questions seriously!

Traditionally pretzels have been vegan, but modern varieties are a different story. Did pretzels completely lose its vegan-friendly simplicity all in the name of flavor?

What Is A Pretzel Made Out Of?

Now let’s start figuring out the answers by unknotting a pretzel’s ingredients. What are the basic ingredients of a pretzel? Here are the ingredients that a pretzel can’t do without:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Shortening
  • Water
  • Yeast/Leavening

These ingredients are vegan, right? Well these basic ingredients are what makes traditional pretzels vegan. However, as with all changes brought about by modern food processing, some pretzels are now no longer vegan-friendly.

Of course this doesn’t mean that vegans can’t have pretzels anymore. We still can! We just have to know what to watch out for.

Well these basic ingredients are what makes traditional pretzels vegan. However, as with all changes brought about by modern food processing, some pretzels are now no longer vegan-friendly.

What Can Make Pretzels Not Vegan? Things To Watch Out For!

As if the pretzels’ twists are not enough, commercial manufacturing continues to add more twists to the traditional pretzel. Aside from the dozens of new shapes and flavors, there are now dips to upgrade your plain pretzels whenever you want.

All these new varieties are of course exciting, but can we vegans enjoy them? Well you know the drill: we have to check the labels first!

So what can food companies add to pretzels that can make it non-vegan? Here are the most common ones:

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Mono- and Diglycerides (may come from animal fats)

These are the items in the ingredients list that should tell you to put it back in the shelves. Traditional pretzels don’t have dairy in them but newer flavors call for it. So before you give that new flavor a bite, check the labels first!

Traditional pretzels don’t have dairy in them but newer flavors call for it. So before you give that new flavor a bite, check the labels first!

Common Non-Vegan Pretzel Flavors To Avoid

Have you seen all the new pretzel flavors in grocery shelves? Well don’t get too excited yet!

Not trying to burst your bubble, but as a vegan, you can’t just grab anything in the snack aisle. Well any grocery aisle for that matter. Unless it’s the vegan aisle, of course!

Now these flavors are of course a no-brainer. But then again, remember that there are brands who have successfully made vegan versions of some of these flavors.

Those are quite a few exceptions though. Anyway, unless they come in a vegan label, AVOID these pretzel flavors:

  • Bavarian
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Honey
  • Mustard (some have dairy)
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Sour Cream

This list also applies to pretzel dips. The dips will be harder to figure out, so if you ask me, I’d rather make my own pretzel dip. The only time you can have these flavors is if they come with a vegan label.

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How To Order Vegan Pretzels At Food Stalls

Pretzel shops are also quite common if you notice in malls and event venues. In this case, they don’t come in labels.

The good thing though, is most of these shops are more hands-on with their products. While they can’t change what goes in the dough, you can always do these:

  • Ask if the dough has any dairy or animal products in it
  • Request to skip the butter coating, and any other non-vegan add-ons.

Some shops will be able to tell you what goes in the dough. This is much better than having to go through labels. If the staff behind the counter can’t tell you what you need, just look for another pretzel shop.

FAQs

Do you still have questions? I’m sure you do! The most common questions are of course about the most popular pretzel brands today. So here are the answers from my own research:

Do pretzels have dairy?

Traditional pretzels are vegan by default. However, Some pretzels today contain dairy. There are commercial brands and homemade recipes that have milk and/or butter in it. Some may also contain eggs.

Are soft pretzels vegan?

Not all. This will depend on the brand. Most pretzels are made soft by adding dairy products such as milk and eggs. However, it’s also possible to achieve the softness by using baking soda bath instead of dairy products.

Are hard pretzels vegan?

Most are. Hard pretzels are basic pretzels without the shortening. Plain, hard pretzels are mostly vegan, but always check the labels for dairy products to be sure.

Are bavarian pretzels vegan?

No. Bavarian flavors are made with milk and butter.

Are Auntie Anne’s pretzels vegan?

Unfortunately not. Auntie Anne’s claim to only use 5 simple ingredients in their original pretzels, which are their plain ones.

However, the 5 ingredients include milk and butter. If their most basic pretzels contain dairy already, then you can’t enjoy the rest of their flavor, either.

Are Wetzel’s pretzels vegan?

According to Wetzel’s allergen information page, their original flavor, even without butter, may contain eggs. This means, as their information shows as well, that all their pretzels may contain eggs. So no, Wetzel’s’ pretzels are not vegan.

Are SuperPretzels vegan?

Yes, except for the Cheese-Filled Softstix which contains milk products.

Are Rold Gold pretzels vegan?

Many of their flavors are vegan except the following: cheese, honey, buffalo wings, parmesan, honey, and flamin’ hot.

Are pretzel crisps vegan?

Some pretzel crisps are vegan depending on the brand. If you want further information, check out my blog post I dedicated specifically to pretzel crisps HERE.

Are Snyder’s pretzels vegan?

Mostly, yes. Snyder’s of Hanover offers a lot of flavors that are vegan-friendly. Most of the pretzels under their traditional line are vegan.

Just avoid the ones with honey, butter, buttermilk, salted caramel, cheddar, cheese, and pumpkin spice flavors. Check the complete list below.

Are Philly pretzels vegan?

No. The brand uses milk in their pretzel dough.

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Is Mr. Pretzels vegan?

The brand claims to only use the “finest quality natural ingredients”. The problem is, it is so difficult to find out what these natural ingredients are!

Well no matter how much they promote the “freshness and taste” of their pretzels, I will not dare try it. Not until they are transparent enough. The consumers deserve it, after all. Until then, I’d say avoid it for now.

Are Target pretzels vegan?

Target sells many pretzel brands which you will have to check one by one through the labels. Their own pretzel brand, Wondershop is not vegan as it may contain milk and eggs.

You might also see a page in Target that says vegan, or use the search bar for vegan pretzels. Beware though, as both will show you non-vegan items too.

When you use more than one word in the search filter, you will get results for both words separately. This means the results will show you both “vegan” and “pretzels” when you search for “vegan pretzels”. So yes, the result will include non-vegan pretzels too.

As for the pretzels in their café and food court, not all of them are vegan. Target has an accessible nutritional guide online for their café, but it doesn’t show the ingredients.

An ingredient list is one of the easiest things that companies can and must include on their food labels. If they make such information difficult to find, it makes me think they are hiding something. So just like the secretive Mr. Pretzels, I will avoid them.

Are Wawa pretzels vegan?

Many vegan sites will say Wawa pretzels are vegan-friendly. However, its ingredient list includes mono- and diglycerides.

These are fatty acids from either plants or animals, but the most common source is the latter. Wawa pretzels’ ingredients list doesn’t specify this detail, and in cases like this, I suggest you avoid it.

Vegan Pretzel Brands

Now let’s go to the exciting part, the pretzel brands and varieties that we vegans can enjoy!

Newman’s Own Organics Pretzel Nuggets

  • Organic salted pretzel sticks
  • Organic spelt pretzel twists
  • Organic thin stick pretzels

SuperPretzel Soft Pretzels

  • SuperPretzel Soft Pretzels
  • SuperPretzel Soft Pretzels Bites
  • SuperPretzel Soft Pretzels Multigrain

Rold Gold Pretzels

  • Rold Gold Pretzels Original Tiny Twists
  • Rold Gold Pretzels Original Tiny Twists Fat Free
  • Rold Gold Pretzels Original Rods
  • Rold Gold Pretzels Original Sticks
  • Rold Gold Pretzels Original Thins

Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels

Traditional Pretzels

  • Family Size Mini Pretzels
  • Family Size Sticks Pretzels
  • Family Size Snaps Pretzels
  • Family Size Sourdough Nibblers Pretzels
  • Family Size Sourdough Hard Pretzels
  • Family Size Olde Tyme Pretzels
  • Family Size Thins Pretzels
  • Dipping Sticks Pretzels
  • Rods Pretzels
  • Itty Bitty Minis Pretzels
  • Homestyle Pretzel Rings
  • Unsalted Mini Pretzels
  • Halloween Pretzels

Flavored Pretzel Pieces

  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Hot Buffalo Wing
  • Filled Pieces Real Peanut Butter
  • Jalapeño

Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks

  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Mini Pretzels
  • Hot Buffalo Wings

Glutino Pretzels

  • Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists
  • Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks
  • Gluten-Free Pretzel Chips
  • Gluten-Free Big Pretzels

This list can go on quite long since most pretzels are vegan. But isn’t great to know that there are A LOT of flavors that we can still enjoy? Now you know which pretzel bags to get the next time you go shopping!

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Vegan Chocolate Pretzels

Chocolates, especially milk chocolates are usually not vegan because of the milk in it.

While we vegans are often safer to just opt for dark chocolate, we can still enjoy regular chocolate, without the milk of course! Here are some of the brands that offer vegan chocolate pretzels:

BONUS: To learn how to make your very own vegan soft pretzels, check out the video below!

DIY Vegan Pretzels With Chocolate Dip

Pretzels are pretty easy to make. Don’t have time to make a grocery run? Can’t find vegan pretzels near enough? Here’s an easy recipe for you from Vegan Heaven!

Ingredients:

For the pretzels:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons quick-rise instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the baking soda “bath”:

  • 5 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda

For the salt topping:

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • sea salt

For the chocolate dip:

  • 1 bar of vegan dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the dough and knead the dough with your hands for about 5 minutes. Form it into a ball and cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rise for an hour.
  2. Divide the dough into three parts and roll each part in your hands until you get a long roll. Each roll should be around 1 inch wide. Lightly sprinkle your work surface with flour and place the rolls on it.
  3. Use a pizza cutter and cut the roll into bites (about 1 inch big). You should have around 20 bites. Depending on your preference, you can also change the shape into the traditional knots or simple sticks.
  4. Make the baking soda “bath”: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring the water to a rapid simmer, then add the baking soda. Stir to dissolve the baking soda.
  5. Lower about 5 pretzel pieces at a time into the baking soda “bath” and simmer. After 30 seconds, remove the pretzels from the bath and place them on the baking sheet. Add the next batch until you’re done.
  6. Once all the pretzels are done in the water bath, brush them with the melted coconut oil and sprinkle them with sea salt.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake the pretzel bites for 10-12 minutes or until they’re brown.
  8. Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Serve together with the pretzels. Enjoy!

Conclusion

Most pretzels, especially the plain ones are vegan. However, there are brands that also use dairy products in their basic pretzels.

To make sure your pretzel is vegan, it’s always best to check the labels first. If you’re buying pretzels from food booths, ask what’s in the dough and remember to always skip the butter!

Or to make your life easier, just pick a vegan pretzel brand from the ones I listed above.

Do you love pretzels, too? Which vegan brands are your favorite? Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform.

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