Pretzel Bites with Cheese Dip // 3 Ways + VIDEO

Overhead shot of pretzel bites in serving platter with small bowl of cheese sauce.

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!

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:

If you loved this Pretzel Bites recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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.
4.06 from 54 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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!

Nutrition

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! 

64 comments

  1. Catherine

    I had no idea pretzels were so easy! These look like the perfect snack to make all football season long!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I was shocked at how easy these were to prepare too! It’s the best feeling when you see them brown up in the oven! And the smell! That too!

      Reply

  2. Jenni Kupelian

    Man, If I could wheat, I would start here 🙂

    Reply

  3. Monica Louie

    These look so delicious! Can’t go wrong with some pretzel bites and cheese sauce! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You’re right Monica – These are totally one of my comfort foods!

      Reply

  4. Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife

    I keep meaning to make pretzels because my youngest kid is on a weird soft pretzel kick, so your recipe came at the right time! Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope he loves ’em Marlynn! You’d be the BEST MOM EVER!!!

      Reply

  5. Create/Enjoy

    I don’t eat grains or dairy or processed foods, but… great photos! =) TV snack foods are fun!

    Reply

    1. Ajbject

      4 stars
      What was the point in commenting? Did you need someone to acknowledge the fact that you only eat cardboard?

      Reply

  6. Stephanie

    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

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It’s really, really easy to make these pretzel bites Stephanie – Fun too!

      Reply

  7. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    I could be talked into watching football if we had these during the game! 😉

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Ha Ha – Love it Liz! I don’t watch a lot of football, but love to cheer on my Ducks!

      Reply

  8. heather @french press

    what a delicious game day snack! and that cheese sauce is a must!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Everyone loves to dip, right?! This cheese sauce is perfect for that 😉

      Reply

      1. Michelle

        Does it have to stay warm?

        Reply

        1. Erin

          Hi Michelle – The pretzels do not need to stay warm, although they will lose a bit of their softness. The cheese sauce should be kept warm over low heat if not eating right away. I hope this helps!

          Reply

  9. kelsey

    ah these look completely amazing! i am drooling!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Kelsey! I’m trying hard not to make these on a weekly basis – They’re SO good and perfect for snacking!

      Reply

  10. Melinda

    OH man, these look so amazing! I will definitely be trying them!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you do give these pretzel bites a try Melinda – They’re SO yummy!

      Reply

  11. Trish

    Oooooh! I’ve been wondering when some Oktoberfest recipes will start to pop up! These looks oh so delicious. And cheers to no damage to your wine drinking hand!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It’s that time of year, right Trish?! I’ve always wondered why most Oktoberfests are in September…

      Reply

  12. Shannon

    The pretzels are delicious, but they really stuck to the parchment paper.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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!

      Reply

  13. Jenifer Talbott

    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

    Reply

  14. grace

    I made these today and was so impressed!!! They actually taste like Auntie Anne’s and are so delicious. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Aren’t they the best Grace?! I was so excited when I finally learned how easy it is to actually make pretzels at home (and good too)!

      Reply

  15. Rufusd

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      That should work just fine Rufusd – Just be sure that you put them on a non-stick surface. Enjoy!

      Reply

  16. Beth

    Is there a special salt you use? If so where did you get it?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Beth – I just use coarse kosher salt which you’ll find easily in your local supermarket. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  17. Vandy

    5 stars
    Hi, the recipe looks awesome. I just had one question. Can I make the cheese sauce a couple of days ahead of time
    Thanks

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Vandy – Yes, you should be able to reheat the sauce easily in the microwave.

      Reply

  18. Christopher

    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.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m glad you liked them Christopher – A perfect snacking food for snowed in days!

      Reply

  19. Tara

    How many pretzels does this recipe make? Making for our super bowl party tomorrow!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Tara – This makes a LOT of pretzels. Definitely enough for 6-8 people.

      Reply

  20. Cheri

    5 stars
    So easy & good, 2nd review in my 5 years on pinterest, thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So happy to hear that you liked them Cheri!

      Reply

  21. Kadi

    3 stars
    Mine taste like baking soda. What did I do wrong?

    Reply

  22. Sarah

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Sarah – You do. That’s what will give them their golden color, since they’re boiled the baking soda.

      Reply

  23. Lisa

    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?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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.

      Reply

  24. angela

    Will the cheese sauce stay dipable once it cools? Thinking a couple hours into the party at room temp. Tan!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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!

      Reply

  25. Kate

    5 stars
    These were so easy and they actually taste just like pretzels!! I’m so excited to take them to a dinner party tonight!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Right?! They are a definite crowd pleaser at parties too!

      Reply

  26. Kelsey

    How many does this make??

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Kelsey – You’ll end with with about 48 pretzel bites.

      Reply

  27. Stephanie

    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!

    Reply

  28. Allison

    Just made these for the Super Bowl. They were surprisingly easy, and they came out amazing! Highly recommend this recipe.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so glad you liked them Allison – There are definitely a favorite in our house!

      Reply

  29. Malorie

    Wondering what type of hot sauce to use for the nacho cheese??

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You could use Franks Red Hot or Tabasco. Whichever hot sauce you prefer will work well!

      Reply

  30. Jesse

    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! 🙂

    Reply

  31. Kelly Boyer

    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.

    Reply

  32. Kam

    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?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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!

      Reply

      1. Kam

        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!

        Reply

        1. Erin

          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!

          Reply

  33. Kip

    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.

    Reply

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