Pretzel Bites with Cheese Dip (Flavored 3 Ways!)

Pretzel Bites with Cheese Dip are the perfect snack for tailgating. Soft, chewy and bite size with a golden crust, they’re perfect for dunking into a rich cheese dip that can be customized 3-ways.

Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe

There are essentially two parts to this recipe. Soft Pretzel Bites. Cheese Dip. And both… are… AMAZING!

The pretzel bites come together quickly – No need to let the dough rise for hours on end. Just 10 minutes is all it takes and then you’re ready to assemble. Knead the dough, roll it and cut into bite sized bits.

The key here is in the baking soda bath. Before baking, the bites are dipped into a bath of baking soda and water, for a quick 20-second swim. Then, they’re spread out onto prepared baking sheets and baked for 10-15 minutes. In those last few minutes of baking, that deep golden color really develops and then you realize – I made pretzels!

Sprinkle them with a bit of salt, or everything bagel seasoning, and you’re in for a treat!

Close up of pretzel bites on baking sheet sprinkled with coarse salt.

I’m going to be snacking on these all fall! They’re the perfect tailgating snack.

Also – Let’s not forget the glorious pretzel cheese dip. One taste and you will NEVER forget it – Trust me!

Ooey, gooey, creamy, cheesy sauce that coats those pretzel bites in the best way possible. And boy, did it ever. I <3 <3 <3 this pretzel cheese dip. It’s the perfect consistency, doesn’t clump up at all, and is super easy to reheat.

How To Make Pretzel Cheese Dip

  • Heat milk until bubbles form
  • In separate pan, melt butter, whisk in flour, and cook until lightly browned
  • Add warm milk to flour and whisk until thick
  • Stir in cheese

Mustard Pretzel Cheese Dip

  • Make a mustard cheddar cheese sauce for pretzels by adding a dollop of your favorite mustard to the prepared cheese sauce.

Nacho Pretzel Cheese Dip

  • Make a spicy nacho cheese sauce for pretzels by adding 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 1 teaspoon cayenne when you add the cheese.
Overhead shot of pretzel bites on serving tray next to four types of cheese sauce.

Let me just give you a minute to ponder —–> How many of these pretzel bites can you eat in one sitting?

If you do happen to have leftovers, here’s the best ways to store them:

How to Store Soft Pretzel Bites

  • The pretzel bites will remain fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container, though they will lose some softness.
  • You can also freeze the baked pretzel bites. To serve, let thaw then reheat in 300-degree oven until warmed through.
Side view of pretzel bites arranged in serving tray with bowl of cheese sauce.

Appetizer Recipes:

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Pretzel Bites Recipe

Side view close up of pretzel bites.

Pretzel Bites with Cheese Dip

Pretzel Bites with Cheese Dip are the perfect snack for tailgating. Soft, chewy and bite size with a golden crust, they’re perfect for dunking into a rich cheese dip that can be customized 3-ways.
4 from 81 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


Pretzel Bites

  • 1 1/2 cups water (lukewarm)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant rise yeast ((1/4 ounce packet))
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Coarse salt (for sprinkling)

Cheese Dip

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  • salt + pepper to taste

Nacho Cheese Dip

  • Cheese Dip (recipe above)
  • 1 jalapeno (ribs & seeds removed, diced )
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspooon cayenne

Mustard Cheese Dip

  • Cheese Dip (recipe above)
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard

Horseradish Cheese Dip

  • Cheese Dip (recipe above)
  • 2 Tablespoons horseradish


Pretzel Bites

  • Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Whisk well until combined, about 1 minute. 
  • To a mixing bowl add the butter, brown sugar, salt, and yeast mixture. Stir until combined. Slowly add in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix by hand or use mixer fitted with dough hook, until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour and stir. If dough is still sticky, add flour, and additional 1/4 cup at a time, until no longer sticky, and dough bounces back when poked with your finger.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes and shape into a ball. Place in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil with the baking soda, preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Section dough into six equal parts and roll each section into long ropes. Then, cut into 1-1/2 inch bites.
  • Once water is boiling, drop 10 pretzel bites into water and boil 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto prepared baking sheets, making sure that pretzel bites do not touch. Repeat with remaining pretzel bites.
  • Brush beaten egg over each pretzel bite and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the sheet pans once halfway through cooking.

Cheese Dip

  • Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form on the top.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the warm milk to the flour butter mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 2582mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Calcium: 288mg | Iron: 3.4mg

This recipe was originally published in September 2015. It was updated in February 2020 to add new photographs and an instructional video. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

74 thoughts on “Pretzel Bites with Cheese Dip (Flavored 3 Ways!)”

  1. Oh man! I had no idea it was so easy to make pretzels! No need to run to our local Philly Soft Pretzel Factory any more on game day – I can make them myself! And that cheese sauce. Yum! #client

    • Oh no! I generally use my Silpat when making these pretzels and they come right off. I find that it’s better to remove them when they’re still slightly warm though. I hope you were still able to enjoy them Shannon!

  2. Not only can you pour me a glass of wine dahling…feel free to set out the pretzel bites for us to snack on…
    I LOVE YOU MAN…okay so my New York to California roots are showing

  3. I’m planning on making these this weekend before I make them for a party I’m going to in two weeks. I have a question. When I make these for the party I am thinking of boiling them at home, putting them on the cookie sheet and them cooking them at my friends house. Do you think this will work? I want to serve them warm.
    They look awesome!

  4. 5 stars
    They are great and easy to make. Did not have everything to make sauce though. Our once in a decade snow day here in south east Texas , I did not venture out.

  5. Hi, Erin. I plan on making these. Just one question… Do I have to boil these for 20 seconds before I put them in the oven? Thanks!

  6. I made these today, and thought it was odd the recipe called for 1/2 cup of baking Soda but then never mentioned it in the directions. Well…all the reviews said they were awesome so I followed it…to be incredibly disappointed at the taste. 1/2 cup was NOT the correct measurement I’m guessing 🙁 is it supposed to be 1/2 teaspoon or Tbsp?

    • Hi Lisa – Did you add the baking soda to the water? It doesn’t actually go in the pretzels themselves, but it goes in the boiling water bath.

    • Hi! Unfortunately, the sauce will need to be kept warm, or reheated. If you have a small crockpot, that will work. Otherwise, you can just pop it into the microwave when it starts to solidify. Hope that helps Angela!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is so quick and easy and most importantly delicious! I tried to make soft pretzels in the past but they were never “right”. This recipe is great! I’ve made it three times in 2 weeks because the kids keep asking for these soft pretzels!

  8. 4 stars
    These definitely taste like the SuperPretzels soft pretzels! They tasted good, but in my opinion they were not easy to make. I totally destroyed my kitchen! Maybe I’m just not cut out to make homemade soft pretzels. I think these are for someone much braver than I! 🙂

  9. 4 stars
    I think it’s really important to add a couple notes to the cheese sauce recipe. One, add the grated cheese either off heat or while the milk/flour is on very low heat AND add the cheese very slowly. It’s really easy to break the sauce and come up with a grainy texture. Also, definitely use real cheese and GRATE YOURSELF. Pre-grated cheeses are packaged with powders to keep them from clumping which can result in a grainy/separated cheese sauce.

  10. So looking forward to tryingthese out! I think 48 may be too much for our family – could I brush half with butter after they come out of the oven and roll them in cinnamon sugar? Half salty and half sweet?

    • Sounds like a great option Kam! Alternatively, you can adjust the servings in the recipe card (it is editable), and it will adjust the quantities needed. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks so much for the speedy response. My girls and I made them today and they were both a hit – the regular and the cinnamon! Beautifully soft and all around delicious! Mine didnt get that lovely dark color you have in your photo but I only had about 1/4 cup baking soda so maybe that was it. They also stuck, so a silpat will be my mothers day gift to me 😂. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

        • I think that the baking soda is definitely what gives them their color, so that’s probably it! But I’m glad that they still tasted great! Sounds like the perfect Mother’s Day gift Kam! Cheers to you!

  11. I tried making the cheese sauce and it failed miserably. Want to know why? Because I didn’t have the information I needed where and how I needed it.

    Now, I may be a total beginner at cooking, but I am well versed in educating. So, allow me to give you some pointers for future posts.

    Never include summary steps to a recipe BEFORE the actual steps. I, an amateur home cook, saw those vague steps and tried to follow them. My sauce curdled. Only after that did I scan the entire page and find out that you had (slightly) more specific steps much farther down.

    Each step should come with specific time frames, ideal temperatures, and more specific descriptors for consistencies. What’s a light bubble look like? Is it supposed to be thick like a warm maple syrup that drips easily off the whisk, or thick like an alfredo that comes off in oozing ribbons, or maybe thick like a custard that comes off in globs?

    Most importantly, you need to let us noobs know what can go wrong, how to prevent it, how to spot the first signs of trouble, and what to do to recover if things did go wrong.

    I want to trust that this recipe is a good one, but given that I’m missing too much information I’m scared to try it again.

    • The first rule of following any recipe is to read the entire recipe, ingredients and instructions, before you begin. And if every recipe included all the potential pitfalls, or problems, nothing would ever get made.

      Ease up a bit and realize baking/cooking is just like anything else worth doing… it takes practice!


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