For the first three years I was vegan I would walk by an Auntie Anne’s pretzels, usually at an airport, and smell that delicious fresh baked pretzel smell wafting through the walkway and sigh.
No way, I thought, that those pretzels (not to mention the Cinnabon that they’re often connected with) could possibly be vegan.
Then, Jen and I started VeggL and it became our mission to research every single popular chain restaurant we could find and go through each menu item, one by one, and find which items were vegan-friendly and how to order them.
To my complete shock (and delight!), I came upon the realization that Auntie Anne’s pretzels are vegan… or at least can be made vegan. Let me explain.
How to Order an Auntie Anne Pretzel Vegan
Here’s the catch and what you need to know to order your Auntie Anne’s pretzel vegan.
You see, many (not all though – we detail which pretzels are vegan and which are not down below) of the pretzels at Auntie Anne’s are made with vegan ingredients.
The issue becomes right before the pretzels go into the oven. Before they’re baked they are brushed with a butter sauce which is what renders them not vegan if you simply walk up and try to order a pretzel with no modifications.
However, if you ask them to bake you a pretzel in their next batch (pretzels are constantly being baked fresh throughout the day) with no butter, in our experience, they’re happy to do so.
In fact, pretzels being ordered without butter is so common at Auntie Anne’s that they even provide nutritional information on their nutrition guide for pretzels both with butter and without butter on all their pretzels. There’s even this statement right on the guide:
Since Auntie Anne’s Pretzels are prepared fresh in stores, you can request your pretzel to be made without butter. When served without butter, the Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Raisin, Jalapeño, and Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Pretzels average just 1 gram of fat.
Now, understand that this may end up making your order take a little longer because you’re not going to be able to grab one of the pretzels already prepared. On the other hand, you know you’re getting a pretzel fresh out of the oven!
So, just be patient. If you’re at a mall or the airport (which is where we see Auntie Anne’s the most), ask if you can pay for your pretzel and then come back and pick it up a few minutes later. Go about your business and then come back and enjoy!
Which Pretzels are Vegan at Auntie Anne’s?
We’ve gone through each individual pretzel page along with Auntie Anne’s allergen guide and separated the vegan-friendly pretzels from the ones that are not.
Don’t forget – these are ONLY if they are ordered with NO butter!
- Cinnamon Sugar
- Roasted Garlic Parmesan
- Sour Cream & Onion
The Roasted Garlic Parmesan and the Sour Cream & Onion are not vegan because of the topping that goes on these pretzels. (I feel the Pepperoni is self-explanatory)
For a complete list of EVERYTHING vegan at Auntie Anne’s, make sure to check out our Auntie Anne’s Vegan Guide.
Other Issues: Cross-Contamination & Sugar
Based on the above information that we’ve gone through, we refer to the pretzels (without the butter) as vegan.
However, we do want to notate that there are a few potential issues, that depending on your stance on these issues, could be a concern for you.
Cross Contamination will be an issue at pretty much every restaurant that is not 100% vegan and Auntie Anne’s is no different.
One of their reps told us as much:
Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Mix does not directly contain any ingredients from animal, dairy, or egg sources; however, we identify these ingredients on the allergen chart to make consumers aware of the potential for cross-contamination from other ingredients at the store level (for example some stores sell breakfast sandwiches that include an egg patty).
The second issue is sugar. Auntie Anne’s informed us that:
Our Pretzel Mix does contain sugar processed in a facility that utilizes bone char filters (a customary practice in United States sugar refineries).
Again, you’re going to run into both of those issues at almost any restaurant, especially fast food and fast casual chains. If either, or both, of these are a concern for you, we highly recommend sticking to 100% vegan restaurants or making your own food at home.
Which Dipping Sauces at Auntie Anne’s are Vegan?
It doesn’t feel right to talk about which pretzels you can get vegan at Auntie Anne’s without mentioning the dipping sauces, right?
Here are the dipping sauces that you can get to pair up with your pretzel and the ones you want to avoid:
Vegan Dipping Sauces
- Marinara Sauce
- Sweet Pretzel Dip
(not surprisingly all the cheese based sauces are not vegan)
- Cheese Sauce
- Heated Cheese Sauce
- Hot Salsa Cheese Sauce
- Sweet Mustard
- Light Cream Cheese
Are the Pretzel Nuggets Vegan Too?
Pretzel Nuggets come in three varieties – Original, Cinnamon Sugar and Pepperoni and they’re the same as the regular soft pretzels.
The two that are vegan as a soft pretzel are also vegan as pretzel nuggets, the Original and the Cinnamon Sugar. Just like with the soft pretzels, make sure you order your pretzel nuggets without butter.
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