Auntie Anne’s has become famous for buttery, indulgent pretzels, but you’ll be shocked to see that they are not nearly as unhealthy as you are probably thinking.
- Auntie Anne’s Original Pretzel contains 340 calories and 5 grams of fat, which is lower in calories and fat compared to other large pretzel options from different vendors.
- The Mini Pretzel Dogs are the highest calorie option on Auntie Anne’s menu with 700 calories and 21 grams of protein.
- Asking for pretzels without the butter dip can save around 30-40 calories per pretzel, and for pretzel nuggets, the calorie savings are even greater, potentially up to 100 calories.
If you had to come up with a list of the best smells in the world, the intoxicating aroma of buttery pretzels while you’re walking through the mall is definitely towards the top.
I mean, if you could smell a photo, the above photo would make you immediately hungry.
Because Auntie Anne’s pretzels smell (and taste) so buttery, I always assumed that they were extremely high in calories in fat. Well, it turns out I was wrong!
If you’ve always thought the same, keep reading. I’m going to break down the full Auntie Anne’s menu for you, and even provide you with some tips to make your pretzel experience as “healthy” as possible.
Granted, most of us are choosing a buttery soft pretzel because it’s delicious, not necessarily because we are trying to be healthy. But like all of the content on this blog, my goal is to help you make the right choices for you, and it never hurts to be informed.
Auntie Anne’s vs. Other Soft Pretzels
Considering Auntie Anne’s pretzels are seemingly dripping with butter, it would make sense that they are extremely high in calories, right?
Well, not quite. In fact, if we compare Auntie Anne’s to another option, like a soft pretzel from the Target food court, Auntie Anne’s contains far fewer calories.
Here is a breakdown I put together to compare different pretzel options:
With 340 calories, Auntie Anne’s may not seem like a low-calorie snack, but when compared to other large pretzel options, it’s not a bad choice.
An original pretzel from Auntie Anne’s contains 5 grams of fat, which was the most surprising aspect to me. Considering how buttery the pretzels taste, I figured the fat content would be much higher.
Auntie Anne’s pretzels are lightly dipped in butter after they are baked, which adds maximum flavor without a huge amount of excess calories.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels Calories & Macros
Auntie Anne’s offers a wide variety of options, from their original salted pretzel, to a pepperoni pizza pretzel, to a cheesy pretzel dog. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick snack or a more substantial lunch option, there are great options to choose from.
When I break down menus like this, I often like to explore which options are the best sources of protein, but that does not seem worth doing for Auntie Anne’s. Sure, some options contain protein, but a soft pretzel is never going to be a substantial source of protein.
That being said, depending on your goals, some options are certainly better than others.
Lowest Calorie Pretzel at Auntie Anne’s
Original Pretzel (Without Butter): 310 Calories, 1g Fat, 65g Carbs, 8g Protein
An original pretzel from Auntie Anne’s contains 340 calories, which makes it the lowest-calorie option even with butter. But if you ask for your pretzel without the butter dip at the end, it will bring the calories down to 310, making it a solid option.
Highest Calorie Pretzel at Auntie Anne’s
Mini Pretzel Dogs: 700 Calories, 37g Fat, 72g Carbs, 21g Protein
For what it’s worth, the mini pretzel dogs will yield 21 grams of protein, but it is the highest-calorie option with 700 calories.
If you’re looking for something more substantial than a pretzel, or need to up your calorie intake for weight gain purposes, then these mini pretzel dogs will do the trick.
Lowest Carb Pretzel at Auntie Anne’s
Pretzel Dog: 350 Calories, 20g Fat, 33g Carbs, 10g Protein
This one is all about ratios. When you order a pretzel dog, you are getting much less soft pretzel due to the hot dog, so it brings the carbs way down.
33 grams of carbs may not fit a low-carb diet, but this is a surprisingly well-balanced option. With 350 calories and 10 grams of protein, it won’t be a major contributor to your protein goals, but you could certainly do much worse.
Ordering Pretzels Without Butter
With any of the pretzel options at Auntie Anne’s, you can ask for them to leave off the butter. They’ll swap the butter out for a low-calorie spray, saving you quite a bit of calories and fat.
For most pretzels, leaving off the butter will save around 30-40 calories in total and bring the fat down to just a couple of grams. If you’re following a low-fat option, this is a great route to take!
It’s important to keep in mind that any pretzel with a coating, such as cinnamon sugar, will turn out much better when butter is used. While the pretzel will still be delicious without butter, the pretzel will not be coated nearly as well without it.
If you’re enjoying pretzel nuggets, the calorie savings are even greater. Since each nugget is individually dipped into butter, that leads to a larger surface area being coated, and thus more calories from the butter.
In these cases, you’re looking at saving upwards of 100 calories, which can make a very big difference in the grand scheme of things.
Calories & Macros for Dips & Drinks
While Auntie Anne’s pretzels are delicious on their own, they can be taken to the next level with a dip or drink sidekick.
I love dipping pretzels in cheese, so that is always my go-to, but Auntie Anne’s offers lots of dipping options for a variety of tastebuds.
You can stick with cheese dip or hot salsa cheese dip, or even go the sweet route with caramel dip or sweet glaze.
Most dipping options will set you back roughly 100 calories, but there are a couple of outliers.
First, the marinara sauce is a great low-calorie option with only 30 calories. While it’s meant for the pepperoni pretzel, nobody will judge you for dipping an original salted pretzel in some delicious marinara sauce.
Second, the honey mustard is a standout with 300 calories. I was surprised to see this being so high in fat considering mustard is a low-calorie option and honey is strictly sugar, so I had to fact-check this.
Auntie Anne’s sources their honey mustard from “Ken’s Steak House” brand, which makes their honey mustard with a base of soybean oil. Because of this, the fat, and thus the calories, are much higher than your typical honey mustard.
Lastly, we have the drink options. There isn’t a whole lot to break down here since the drinks are pre-made without customizations available. The only thing worth noting is that if calories are a concern, make sure you stick with a small drink.
While not a huge difference in calories, 190 calories in a small vs 360 calories in a large can really add up.
Conclusion: Is Auntie Anne’s a Healthy Option?
Most of us are not eating soft pretzels to be healthy, but this guide has shown me that Auntie Anne’s is not nearly as calorically dense as I previously thought.
I’m a pretty basic (and boring) person, so my go-to order is always an original pretzel. For me, 340 calories is not very high at all for an indulgent snack.
Plus, when I stop by an Auntie Anne’s location I’m typically with someone else, which leads to me splitting my pretzel.
A fluffy, buttery soft pretzel for around 170 calories? Sign me up.
Not all options at Auntie Anne’s are created equally, so you’ll want to make the best choice for your specific diet, but there are plenty of options to choose from!