Gluten-free Vegan Cheezy Jalapeno Soft Pretzels

 *This recipe has been updated (as of 4/1/15) to a MUCH tastier, soft pretzel that you will love. As you can see, the updated pretzel looks like this (this is without the jalapenos and cheeze):

Easy-to-Make gluten free soft pretzels (free of xanthan gum too!)

….versus below what I made over two years ago. Ain’t it awesome how skills can be grown and enhanced if you just keep at something? I guess that is what happens when you finally switch over to a site vs .com 😉 I have learned A LOT over the course of these two years and to say that my talent in the kitchen has developed over time is an understatement. I am confident that you will love this new version!

“Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we would like to dream about. The off-center, in between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught, and in which we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit.

Jalapeno and Vegan Cheeze soft pretzels (gluten free)

Everything is material for the seed of happiness, if you look into it with inquisitiveness and curiosity. The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment. There is always potential to create an environment of blame…or one that is conducive to loving-kindness.

-Pema Chodron

Easy-to-Make gluten free soft pretzels with a tutorial


Gluten-free Vegan Cheezy Jalapeno Soft Pretzels
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 Pretzels
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2¼ tsp. dry active yeast
  • ½ tsp. coconut sugar (or use granulated sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp. pysllium husk powder + 3 Tbsp. warm water, sit for 1 minute to thicken
  • ½ c. vegan cheese (reserve 3 Tbsp. for topping)
  • ¼ c diced jalapenos, canned (reserve 1 Tbsp. for topping)
  • 3¼ c. Cara's All-Purpose flour blend
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Water bath:
  • 6-8 c. water
  • ¼ c. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Lightly coat with:
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt
  1. Allow the yeast and sugar to froth in the warm water for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until well-combined. Take out about 1 c. of the flour and keep nearby in a measuring cup nearby. Add the yeast mix, oil, maple syrup, vegan cheese, jalapenos, and thickened psyllium into the bowl with flour and stir until dough becomes scrappy. Start adding the other half of the flour, ¼ c. at a time until mixed in and a dough starts to form. Start kneading the dough with your hands for a couple of minutes in the bowl at this time to get it smooth. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
  3. Divide the dough into six, even and smooth balls.
  4. Roll each ball out with your hands on a lined flat surface until you have a long 14" snake-like dough piece. For the bunny shape, cut off 2" of the dough and set aside. For regular soft pretzel shapes, keep at 14". Follow the tutorials in the post for how to shape your pretzels. For the bunny, take the remainder 2" piece, roll it up and fill in the gap for the tail.
  5. Place on a baking sheet, cover and allow to gently rise for 30 minutes in a non-drafty spot in your kitchen.
  6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Bring your water to a boil in a large pot. Add the baking soda (slowly, it will start to cause your water to rise) and maple syrup.
  8. Gently place each pretzel in one-by-one with the guidance of a large spatula that will guide each one into the water. Allow to boil for 1 minute on each side, very gently turning over on the other side. Be careful, if done too quickly your pretzels can fall apart.
  9. Place on a baking sheet (with your spatula), lightly coating the tops with olive oil and sprinkling with coarse sea salt immediately. Coat with remainder vegan cheese and jalapenos. Repeat for each one.
  10. Bake for 22-25 minutes, turning the baking sheet around after the half-way point of cooking. Bake until a beautiful brown exterior forms. Allow to cool fully on the baking sheet before enjoying.



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  1. Christine says:

    It seems the stars would have to align for this recipe to work. I am not new to GF cooking or baking, but these were an epic fail for me. From the dough not staying together, to a 12″ long rope making the pretzels way too pudgy, to the pot of water exploding all over my stovetop when I put the HALF A CUP of baking soda in (the question above as to whether that was a typo wasn’t answered), to the pretzels falling apart during their 30-second dunk, to the finishing product tasting so strongly of baking soda as to make them completely inedible. Guess I should quit pining for my gluten-y pretzels days – some things just can’t be duplicated. Would be interested to hear whether/how other people managed to get this recipe to work. For now, I’m hoping sodium bicarbonate in large quantities isn’t harmful.

  2. these look amazing! I do have a question do you think subing the flax and water for 1 egg would work just the same? thanks so much =)

  3. I wonder if this dough would work well as a pizza crust? What do you think? From the picture, it looks like it would be a good crust… but would the fact that you wouldn’t boil it make it not work?

  4. Hi! I think I may have left a comment for you on your now defunct site. Ooops. First, this recipe looks amazing! I want to make them but since I am not gluten intolerant, I wondered if I could substitute the gf flour for either whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat (or even half ww and half all-purpose)? If I can, would you recommend reducing the amount of flour? By how much? Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Sherry!
      Hmmmm, this is a tricky question because gluten-free baking is so different from using wheat flour. You can definitely test it out by using a little less flour but I am not sure if it turn out the same. Give it a try and let me know though! Good luck :)

      • Thanks, Cara. I will definitely give it a whirl. Never got around to it yesterday, but also wanted to wait and see what you had to say. When I do make them, I’ll be sure to let you know the results.

  5. hah! typed in and here you are. Did I miss the triumphant announcement?

  6. Hurray, you’re back! It’s funny you posted a pretzel recipe, I’ve got one ready to post next week. Love homemade pretzels, yours looks delicious.

  7. You are a genius! These taste amazing! Now that they are done and I know how good they are let me say a bit more about how I made them (I didn’t want to admit my modifications until I knew they worked) Just so you know, I almost never make anything exactly as the recipe says; I am sure you are all the same. I used my Kitchenaid mixer fitted with the dough hook (next time I think I will use the paddle instead) I think this recipe would also work in a Cuisinart with the pastry blade. After the dough came together I kneaded the cheese into the dough (I used Daiya Havarti with garlic and jalpenos) I had tasted the cheese so I knew I would want a little more spice so after I shaped the dough I pressed a few jalapenos on top of half of them. Then I stuck it all in the frig for an hour. I boiled them and then put them in the pre-heated oven. Just before I closed the door I spritzed a bit of water around inside as I (used to) do when baking bread. I checked after 8 minutes – I was too excited to wait – and decided they were going to need a little more browning – so I brushed the tops with melted soy-free Earth Balance, sprinkled with coarse sea salt and popped them back in for another 3 minutes. Yumm – oh! I have to stop eating them or I will spoil my appetite for dinner.

  8. So so happy I found your blog. I am new to gluten-free and vegan and I need to be soy-free as well. I love baking so this was not a stretch so much as an educational experiment with gluten free flour. My pretzels are in the oven. I had to use quite a bit more flour than in the recipe but that is not unusual in humid Florida (where the temperature was 82 today by the way) so my batch rolled out to 8 pretzels. I also, used a baking trick I have learned for the humidity – I refrigerated the shaped pretzels for an hour before boiling to try to keep them from falling apart, 5 of them came out great. 3 fell apart and looked more like sort of beige intestines (ewww!) but I put them in the oven anyway, If these taste as good as your photo looks and I make them again I think I will put the shaped pretzels in the FREEZER for an hour before boiling and see if that prevents the intestine oops. I’ll let you know how they turn out. ANd I’m really looking forward to more recipes. Cheers!

  9. Did you really mean a half cup of baking soda in the boiling water?

  10. Yummy! These look awesome. A like a little spice!

  11. These look so delicious! Love the flavors you’re using. Happy New Year!

  12. Love the spice – these look seriously mouth watering! Did I ever tell you the story about me and jalapeno’s when I was preggers? Worst acid reflux EVER and the only thing that cured it was extra-hot hot sauce and jalapeno peppers – on everything…even apples…actually tastes really good so try not to judge 😉

    • HAHA! That is too funny, Suzanne. I have no idea how that even worked but I am sure your skin was glowing during your pregnancy from sweating a lot :)

  13. I want to eat one right now! Yum!

  14. I’ll have to try these soon, they’re so cute. Plus, I’m thinking of concentrating on more bready than sweet this year. Saints preserve us. :-)

    • You and me both! I read the “Gluten-free and Vegan Bread Making” cookbook at the gym last night and I turned to Matt on the treadmill and said “This is my new year’s resolution! To conquer gf/vegan bread making.”

      • Which one? I bought two just before xmas. One was the artisan one, for which I’m still awaiting an errata page, sure. The other is “The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread.” I mean I’m going to need something good to put those home made cheeses on right?

  15. Beautiful pictures and excerpt – these look super yummy, cheesy, spicy bread? I’m in!

  16. 1) Absolutely beautiful picture, Cara.
    2) I am amazed that you made gluten free pretzels and boiled them and everything!
    3) These are awesome.
    4) You are awesome.
    5) Glad to see a post from you!

  17. I am pretty sure I have told you that you’re amazing… but just in case I haven’t yet, you’re amazing! These look wonderful! :)

  18. das cute. 😉


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