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Pretzel Bites (with Cheddar Sauce)

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close shot overhead shot of a bunch of Pretzel Bites
Our soft pretzel bites recipe with cheddar sauce is a delicious, salty, homemade appetizer that’s complete with a delicious cheese sauce.
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Table of Contents
  1. Pretzel Bites Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Pretzel Bites Recipe 
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These homemade soft pretzel bites with cheddar sauce are the ultimate appetizer. This recipe makes a ton of bites and includes an easy, three-step cheese dip to accompany the soft and salty pretzels.

close up shot of Pretzel Bites (with Cheddar Sauce)

Pretzel Bites Ingredients

Pretzel Bites (with Cheddar Sauce) raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need: 

For the Pretzel Bites

  • 1½ cups water, lukewarm
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant rise yeast (¼ ounce packet) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 cups bread flour 
  • ½ cup baking soda 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tablespoon water 
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling on top

PRO TIP:

Make sure you are using instant yeast rather than active dry yeast for this recipe. 

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 2¼ cups whole milk 
  • ¼ cup salted butter 
  • ¼ cup flour 
  • 2 cups mild cheddar cheese, grated 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard powder 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

COARSE SALT: You can leave the coarse salt off some of the pretzels, in case some prefer them without. 

CHEESE: You can use any type of grated cheese to make your cheese dip. Mild cheddar makes a classic cheese sauce. Try using pepper jack for a spicier flavor or smoked gouda for a smokey flavor. You could even make a couple of different cheese sauces and have multiple options to dip your pretzel bites in. 

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How To Make This Pretzel Bites Recipe 

For the Pretzel Bites

STEP ONE: In the large bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water and instant yeast. Whisk together. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture. Whisk all the ingredients together until they are well combined.

water and yeast mixed together in a bowl

STEP TWO: Next, fit the dough hook attachment on the mixer and turn it on low speed. Slowly add in 3 cups of flour, adding a ½ cup at a time, until the mixture is combined and begins pulling away from the sides and is no longer sticky. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

If you find that the dough is still sticky, add more flour. Add ¼ cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and bounces back when poked with your finger.

flour added to the water and yeast mixture and then whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Place the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for 2 minutes and shape into a ball. Place in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

dough formed in a ball on a floured cutting board

STEP FOUR: While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Cut the dough into six equal pieces, roll each piece into a 1-inch long rope, then cut each rope into 1½-inch bites. 

PRO TIP:

A pizza cutter is a great tool to cut the dough into pieces easily.

cut dough on a cutting board

STEP FIVE: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

STEP SIX: Add each piece of dough into the boiling water (work in batches) and let cook for 20 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place bites on the baking sheets evenly spaced about an inch apart. 

cut dough in a pot with water

STEP SEVEN: In a small bowl, combine egg and water. Beat together. Brush beaten egg wash over each pretzel bite and then sprinkle with coarse salt. 

brushing beaten egg with a brush egg wash

STEP EIGHT: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and let bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your pretzels at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

baked Pretzel Bites on a parchment lined baking sheet

For the Cheese Sauce

STEP ONE: In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted completely, add flour and whisk together until there are no lumps.

flour and combined with the butter in a pan

STEP TWO: Turn heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk. Let cook over medium heat whisking often for about 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. 

milk whisked into the mixture in the pan

STEP THREE: Add cheese, salt, and ground mustard. Whisk to combine until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. 

cheese, salt, pepper, and ground mustard whisked together in a pot

How To Serve

These pretzel bites are the perfect appetizer to serve on game day or another large gathering of friends. Add our cucumber bites and stuffed mushrooms for two more popular dishes.

If you are a fan of the cheddar cheese dipping sauce, then you will love both our beer cheese dip and chili cheese dip.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover cheese sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Homemade pretzel bites are definitely best when stored fresh, however, if you have leftovers, you can store them in a Ziploc bag with the air squeezed out. When reheating, brush them with a little water and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze your leftover pretzel bites for an easy snack later on! To do so, just let the pretzel bites cool off after taking them out of the oven. Then place them in the freezer until they are frozen solid, usually about 1 hour. Remove them from the pan and place them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

close up of a bunch of Pretzel Bites

Our easy pretzel bites recipe is a delicious, salty, homemade appetizer that’s served with an easy-to-make cheese sauce. You can even make a variety of cheese dipping sauces. This classic mall food court snack has never been easier to make at home!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use all-purpose flour for this pretzel recipe?

We would recommend using bread flour for this recipe. You can use all-purpose flour in place of bread flour, but the lower protein content in all-purpose flour means it may yield a slightly wetter dough and make the pretzel dough harder to work with.

Can I substitute pretzel salt for coarse salt?

If you have actual pretzel salt, use it in place of coarse salt. Kosher salt or bagel salt would also work well.

Can I freeze pretzel bites?

You can freeze pretzel bites for up to three months. We don’t recommend trying to freeze the cheese sauce as it will lose the creamy texture.

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Pretzel Bites (with Cheddar Sauce)

5 from 3 votes
Our soft pretzel bites recipe with cheddar sauce is a delicious, salty, homemade appetizer that’s complete with a delicious cheese sauce.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 9

Ingredients
  

Pretzel Bites

  • cups water, lukewarm
  • teaspoons instant rise yeast, ¼-ounce packet
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • coarse salt, for sprinkling

Cheese Sauce

  • cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard powder

Instructions
 

Pretzel Bites

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water and instant yeast. Whisk together.
  • Add the butter, brown sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture. Whisk until combined.
  • Fit the dough hook on the mixer and turn on low speed. Slowly add in 3 cups of flour, ½ cup at a time, until the mixture is combined and pulling away from the sides.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for 2 minutes and then shape into a ball. Place in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • While your dough is resting, bring a large pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Cut dough into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into 1-inch-long ropes. Cut each rope into 1½-inch bites.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Add each piece of cut dough into the boiling water (work in batches) and let cook for 20 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place pretzel bites on the baking sheets evenly spaced about an inch apart.
  • In a small bowl, combine egg and water. Beat together. Brush beaten egg wash over each pretzel bite and then sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and let bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cheese Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low, heat the butter. Once the butter is melted, add flour and whisk together until no lumps remain.
  • Turn heat to medium and slowly whisk in milk. Let cook over medium heat whisking often for about 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken as it cooks.
  • Add cheese, salt, pepper, and ground mustard. Whisk to combine until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure you are using instant yeast rather than active dry yeast for this recipe. 
  • If you find that the dough is still sticky, add more flour. Add ¼ cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and bounces back when poked with your finger. 
  • A pizza cutter is a great tool to cut the dough into pieces easily.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your pretzels at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

Nutrition

Sodium: 2409mg | Calcium: 264mg | Vitamin A: 613IU | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 200mg | Cholesterol: 71mg | Calories: 443kcal | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fat: 19g | Protein: 16g | Carbohydrates: 51g | Iron: 3mg
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