High Protein Healthy Soft Pretzels

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Pretzels. Who doesn’t know and love this quirky-shaped and soft-baked pastry? We know we do, and even if you don’t admit to it — you do too! (Well, you’re on this recipe page, right?)

You’re in for a ride because this easy recipe we’re sharing is packed with protein, low in fat, and an excellent pair for any pretzel topping!

At just 280 calories, it offers 25 grams of protein without losing the traditional flavors of the original recipe.

We make sure that you’ll have no choice but to want to try these easy homemade soft pretzels that you can ration through the week and still meet your dietary goals!

High Protein Healthy Soft Pretzels

These high-protein, healthy soft pretzels are huge for only 280 calories each and pack in 25g of protein. With their yeast-risen dough and baking soda boil, they are indistinguishable from less healthy versions.
Servings 6 pretzels
Calories 280 kcal


Water & Yeast

  • 265 g water
  • 6.6 g instant yeast

General Ingredients

  • 300 g all-purpose flour
  • 65 g casein protein unflavored
  • 65 g whey protein unfavored
  • 13 g vital wheat gluten
  • 8.4 g salt

Water & Baking Soda

  • 66 oz water
  • 72 g baking soda

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 50 g fat-free milk


  • 9.0 g pretzel salt


  • Combine yeast and warm water, set aside to dissolve
  • Set aside 30g of flour, then sift together all remaining dry ingredients and mix with a whisk. Add to the water and yeast. Mix well. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and fold/knead for a few minutes. Divide dough into equal parts. Pre-shape into logs, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll each piece out into a 24" rope and then twist into pretzel shape. Repeat for all pieces. Do some final shaping if you want. Then cover and let them rise for 30 minutes. Also preheat your oven to 450F
  • After 20 minutes, boil ~8 cups water on the stove. Once it's bowling, add baking soda.
  • After 30 minutes your pretzels should be ready. Uncover them, do any additional shaping if necessary, then add them to the water and baking soda mix 1-2 at a time, top side down, and boil for 30 seconds. Flip over and boil for another 30 seconds. Remove with spatula, let excess water drain off, then place back onto baking sheet. Repeat for all pretzels.
  • In a small bowl make an egg wash by whisking together egg and milk. Brush each pretzel with egg wash, then sprinkle pretzel salt or Moldon flake salt onto each pretzel.
  • Bake at 450F for ~15 minutes, or until exteriors are mostly all golden brown. You can also air fry them (for less time) but we much preferred the results in the oven.
  • Optionally brush with melted butter. Serve hot with mustard, cheese sauce, or whatever else you like.


  • There is a technique to being able to roll out your dough into long rolls. You can’t use too much flour or your dough will slide, not roll. A little oil (seems to) helps. Twist your hands in towards you and out away from you roll, stretching the dough outwards. 
  • To help you reach the 24″ target, measure once and place tape or some other objects as goal posts.

Why This Recipe Is Great

Balanced Macros

Most pretzels are high in carbs and low in protein. To hit the macros your body needs, we focus our recipe on making a high-protein pretzel that tastes just as good (or better!)

Trademark Taste and Texture

We boil the pretzels in a baking soda and water solution to preserve that trademark pretzel taste and chewy exterior. Boiling instantly puffs the dough, and the baking soda gives it that appetizing bronzed color.

Beginner-Friendly Recipe

Don’t be afraid of the yeast-risen dough! This recipe is easy to follow, and you don’t need to wait long for the dough to rise. There is no risk of under or over-proofing to create those air pockets we need for our pretzels.

Make an Entire Batch with One Baking Session

Do you only have the time to bake on the weekends? That’s absolutely okay! You can bake alone, with your partner, or with your kids and create a big batch you can enjoy for the whole week.

It gets more fun as you can play around with different toppings each day if you want!



Yeast is a very important ingredient in baking bread. Aside from that classic yeasty flavor it produces, it also creates air pockets in the dough for crispier and fluffier pretzels.

We prefer instant yeast for quicker soft pretzel making, but you can also use active dry yeast if you’re more comfortable with it.

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is an excellent choice for a fluffier texture and softer pretzels. It’s also the most widely used flour, so you may already have it in your pantry.

Unflavored Whey and Casein Protein

Search, and you’ll realize that most of the high-protein pretzel recipes out there use Greek yogurt to stack on protein, but we don’t think it’s best for this recipe.

We opt for unflavored whey and casein instead for two reasons: to pack more protein and keep the traditional pretzel flavors.

Vital Wheat Gluten

Gluten is required to work and shape the dough. In traditional pretzels, the flour would provide enough gluten. But since we’re replacing a good amount of flour with the whey and casein mix, we need to add that gluten content back in.

Vital wheat gluten is also high in protein and extremely low in fat.

Baking Soda

Note that it doesn’t go in the pretzels but in the water in which the pretzels are boiled. We tried making these pretzels without this step and just dunking them in hot water and baking soda, as other recipes suggest. Still, there’s no denying the impact of boiling them in the baking soda and water solution.

You’ll recognize that classic pretzel smell immediately after you boil them and before putting the batch in the oven. You’ll soon enjoy that chewy exterior that comes with the classic pretzel, but they are much healthier this time.

Egg Wash

You can skip this step. In our opinion, egg wash is best only for aesthetics. But if you want your pretzels to get that shiny, golden brown — go for it.

We use a large egg and fat-free milk for this egg wash.

Pretzel salt

This is another optional ingredient, but it’s perfect if you’re really after that classic pretzel look and crunch.

You can also use larger salts, like Maldon sea salt flakes, bagel salt, kosher salt, or other coarse salts. Fine salts like table salt aren’t really good because they’ll dissolve in the dough.

Toppings and Customizations

Pretzel Bites or Pretzel Sticks

Want something easy to bring when you’re out? (Perhaps, sneaking in some snacks at the movies?) You can follow our recipe without changing anything but shaping the dough into smaller pieces to get those tasty pretzel bites or sticks.

Mini Pretzels

Make skinnier, 12″ pretzels you can snack on for longer. They’re also a great alternative if you want to cut the jumbo soft pretzel’s calorie count by half.

Classic Toppings

If it’s your mission to go for the original pretzel taste, you must stick with coarse salt and yellow mustard. Sprinkle the salt before baking the pretzel for a light crunch.

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

Cinnamon sugar pretzels combine the classic soft pretzel texture with a sweet, comforting taste of cinnamon sugar, perfect for a cozy snack or dessert. It balances the flavors and is simply irresistible!

Salted Chocolate or Caramel Toppings

If you want to elevate the taste of your freshly baked pretzels, you can mix two flavors. Use sea salt, chocolate, or caramel for sweet and salty pretzels that will surely be a hit in your home.

Sesame or Chia Seeds

Sesame seeds are a great source of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It also helps lower cholesterol and arthritis pain.

Chia seeds, on the other hand, are popular in the nutrition world as it slows digestion and makes you feel full longer. This is besides its omega-3 and other antioxidants.

If you prefer a simple topping, definitely go with sesame or chia seeds and save more calories for whatever dip you plan to pair it with.

Savory Soft Pretzels

There are many to choose from if you’re after savory soft pretzels. Some popular picks are bacon bits and cheese, garlic parmesan, and pesto.

Try the garlic butter, where you need to mix melted butter, minced garlic, and parsley (if you’re feeling luxurious) and brush it over your homemade soft pretzels.

White Whole Wheat Flour

If you don’t mind for your pretzels to be a little less fluffy, you can use whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour has a mild sweetness and is an excellent source of fiber and protein.

Expert Tips

Sift and whisk dry ingredients together

Remember to sift and whisk your dry ingredients together to break up clumps and homogenize your mixture.

Put some flour aside

We reserved 30 grams of flour for dusting, kneading, and folding. You don’t want to use all your flour and end up with super sticky pretzel dough.

Know when to proof yeast

If you know your yeast is good, then there’s no need to proof it with warm water and sugar. If you’re unsure, then it’s best to proof it.

Don’t wait long for the dough to rise

You don’t have to wait long for the dough to rise. They will puff up in the boiling water, and pretzels are supposed to be denser than light and fluffy bread anyway.

Keep to minimal flour when rolling

You’ll want your 24″ ropes to be a little sticky to roll them easily. That being the case, you need a minimum amount of flour on the pretzel ropes and the rolling surface.

Stretch the dough for the perfect pretzel shape

When it’s time to put the pretzel dough in the boiling water, you can stretch them out a bit to make the holes bigger and keep a nice-shaped pretzel dough.

Use a cooling rack

Put your pretzels on a wire rack to cool them after removing them from the oven. This is to prevent the bottom part of the pretzels from being soggy.

Bulk Prepping and Storage Tips for this Healthy Soft Pretzel Recipe

To start, you’ll want to gather your ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Once the dough is formed, knead it for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Then, let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until it doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, you can shape it into pretzels and boil them in water and baking soda. This will give the pretzels their classic flavor and texture.

Once done, you can either bake the boiled pretzels immediately or cool them and freeze them for later cooking.

To freeze the pretzels, place them on a baking sheet or a plastic wrap separately and put them in the freezer until solid. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

You can keep the frozen pretzels for up to 12 months. But we recommend consuming your frozen pretzels within a month.

When you’re ready to enjoy your pretzels, thaw them for a few minutes before baking. You can also refrigerate them for a few days if you plan on eating them soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are soft pretzels healthy?

Soft pretzels can be healthy if made with nutritious ingredients and consumed in moderation. However, most traditional soft pretzels are high in calories, sodium, fats, and carbohydrates.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, try making your own soft pretzels with our recipe that uses whey and casein for high protein content.

What is a healthy substitute for pretzels?

There are many healthier recipes and substitutes for pretzels, including raw veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumber, as well as air-popped popcorn, rice cakes, whole-grain crackers, and roasted chickpeas. These options are low in calories and high in nutrients, making them great alternatives to traditional pretzels.

But if you’re craving soft pretzels, you don’t need to look for substitutes; you can just follow our recipe!

What does baking soda do for soft pretzels?

Baking soda is used to give soft pretzels their distinctive color, texture, and flavor. When pretzels are boiled in water mixed with baking soda, a chemical reaction occurs that causes the surface of the dough to become alkaline.

This alkalinity helps the pretzels develop a deep brown color during baking, plus a crispy exterior. It also gives the pretzels their characteristic chewy texture and slightly bitter flavor.

Can you eat pretzels on a diet?

While pretzels can be included in a diet, they are generally not the healthiest choice due to their high carbohydrate and sodium content. One serving of pretzels can quickly add up in calories and spike blood sugar levels.

But they can still fit within your daily calorie and macro targets. Our soft pretzels recipe is much easier to fit into those targets because of its lower calories and higher protein.

Why are pretzels so high in calories?

Pretzels can be high in calories because they are dense and carb-heavy, particularly due to the refined carbohydrates like white flour and the butter in the pretzel dough. Many pretzels are also coated in salt, oil, or other flavorings that can add to their calorie count. Additionally, some commercial brands of pretzels may contain added sugars or other additives that contribute to their calorie content.

Our pretzel recipe is not high in calories and is a healthy option with extra protein.

How many calories are in a soft pretzel?

The number of calories in a soft pretzel can vary depending on the size and ingredients used. A medium-sized soft pretzel can average around 250-300 calories. However, some commercial brands of soft pretzels can have even more calories, with some jumbo-sized pretzels containing upwards of 500 calories.

It’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and balance pretzel intake with other healthy foods to maintain a well-rounded diet. This is why our pretzel recipe only has 280 calories with 25 grams of protein.

Are pretzels okay for weight loss?

While pretzels are not the most weight-loss-friendly snack due to their high carbohydrate and sodium content, they can be included in moderation as part of a balanced diet. It all depends on food allocation and choosing healthier pretzel recipes without added sugars or oils.

Pretzels with more protein also help you feel fuller for longer and maintain a healthy weight; that’s why we created a great recipe you can try at home.


Well, there you have it, folks! Our recipe for Jumbo High Protein Healthy Soft Pretzels is the perfect snack for anyone looking to indulge in a classic treat without sacrificing their health goals.

With a delicious combination of healthier alternatives, these pretzels offer a tasty way to up your protein intake and keep hunger at bay. Plus, their signature chewy texture and golden brown color make them an impressive addition to any party spread or game day snack table.

So, next time you’re craving a pretzel, why not give our healthy recipe a try? Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!

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