Soft Pretzel Bites

soft pretzel bites on a white plate with cheese sauce in a white bowl

Your self control doesn’t stand a chance. If it’s not the buttery soft pretzel bites shattering every ounce of self control you have, it’s most certainly my spicy nacho cheese sauce.

You might realize how easy it is to make soft pretzels at home. Have your own Auntie Anne’s right inside your kitchen with my easy homemade soft pretzels recipe. This simple soft pretzel recipe comes from Kevin’s family– a Quinn family specialty. He and his family made them almost every weekend when he was growing up. They’re fantastic and better yet– they’re easier than you’d ever imagine.

soft pretzel bite dunked into white bowl of cheese sauce

I love turning the recipe into pretzel bites.

2 images of soft pretzel bites before and after baking

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

It’s an easy 4 step process.

Make the soft pretzel dough, roll and cut, dump in a baking soda bath, and bake. Don’t skip the baking soda bath. And here’s why: a quick dip into boiling water and baking soda will give your pretzels that wonderfully authentic golden brown pretzel color. Not only that, the baking soda bath is what gives them their chewy exteriors. Paired with soft fluffy centers? These pretzel bites are out of control delicious.

The baking soda bath is an essential step to soft pretzel bite making. 🙂

Basically, all you do is boil a bunch of water and baking soda together. Working with about 8-10 pretzel bites at a time, drop them in the boiling water, let them soak for about 10 seconds, and remove. Look at their beautiful golden brown color:

soft pretzel bites

I’ll take a dozen right now, please!

Let’s discuss spicy nacho cheese sauce. Nothing processed, nothing scarily-orange… just pure creamy, melty cheese waiting to be devoured. It’s wonderful with vegetables like cooked or raw broccoli, sliced bell peppers, or cauliflower. Because if you’re going to unhealth-ify vegetables, do it with cheese.

For the cheese sauce, you need butter, flour, whole milk, cheddar cheese. Add some spice, salt, and pepper and call it a (delicious) day. For an even more kicked-up version, try subbing half of the cheddar cheese for pepper jack.

cheese sauce in a saucepan with a spatula

soft pretzel bites surrounding a bowl of cheese sauce

You’d also love these with my beer cheese dip, too!

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soft pretzel bites on a white plate with cheese sauce in a white bowl

Soft Pretzel Bites

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 dozen
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Chewy & soft pretzel bites served with a kickin’ cheese dip is the ultimate comfort food and party snack. You won’t be able to stop reaching for bite after bite!


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300ml) warm water, plus 9 more cups for step 5
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (8g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, previously melted and not scorching hot
  • 3.754.25 cups (470- 530g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for the counter surface
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten (optional)
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce for serving


  1. Whisk the yeast into 1 and 1/2 cups warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast may remain. Add salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Whisk until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/4 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes, then shape into a ball. Place in a large greased mixing bowl. I usually use nonstick spray to grease it, but olive oil works too. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 6 sections. Roll the dough into six 20-inch long ropes. Cut the rope into 1.5 inch pieces to make bites.
  5. Combine 9 cups of water and the baking soda in a large pot and bring to a rapid boil. Drop 8-10 pretzel bites into water and let boil for a quick 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the bites aren’t touching.
  6. Brush beaten egg over each pretzel bite. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  7. Bake batches for 15 minutes each, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with spicy nacho cheese sauce or honey mustard. Pretzel bites remain fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container, though they will lose some softness.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for three months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzel bites while still cold, but allow some extra time for the bites to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking. Baked pretzel bites freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven at 300°F (149°C) until warm.
  2. Egg: I like to brush the pretzel bites with beaten egg right before baking. This helps the salt stick, adds a lovely shine to the finished pretzels, and helps create a slightly chewier and crispier exterior. Feel free to skip it.
  3. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: soft pretzel bites


  1. Zara Saiyed says:

    Sally, this recipe turned out amazing!! I must say as well, I BEG of you, PLEASE make another protein smoothie recipe! I’ve tried all of them and I am NEVER disappointed as they are always my go-to post workout smoothie! You tailor the recipes perfectly with simple and easy-to-find ingredients, I can’t wait for the day that another one comes out!

  2. I made these yesterday afternoon and my kids were grabbing them off the cookie sheets as I was pulling them out of the oven! They were almost gone within 5 minutes when I reminded them to save some for their Daddy for when he got home from work. They were quickly gone when he arrived home. 🙂 I was told I HAD to make them again. I’m usually really bad when it comes to things that require yeast, but these turned out great! Easy Peasy! I took half of them and dipped the tops in water then cinnamon sugar when they came out of the oven and left the other half salted. Both were incredible! Thanks Sally for making me a better baker! Your ‘how to correctly measure flour’ post completely changed how I bake! Thank you for taking the time to detail in each recipe not just the ‘how’ but the ‘why’. Thank you too for the pictures. I don’t ever make a recipe unless I have a picture to see what it’s supposed to look like – very visual learner here. Thank you again!

    1. Thanks Stacey. What a sweet comment – I’m so happy to help give you confidence in the kitchen. Thanks so much for reporting back!

  3. I made these last night and my husband went crazy on them! Thank you for such a great recipe and easy to follow directions. I’ve attempted soft pretzels once before but the directions and time it took was not worth the end result. But these were perfect! It took less then an hour start to finish. I look forward to your new posts, I try to make at least one of your recipes every week. 🙂

  4. I made these pretzel bites and coated them first in butter, then in a layer of cinnamon sugar. They were soft and fluffy and absolutely divine! They disappeared on the first day. Thanks for another great recipe!

  5. PlatinumDaisy says:

    Made these and they were a HIT!! Thank you! I skipped the egg wash due to my little guy’s egg allergy and was nervous that it would ruin them, but they turned out GREAT! Thanks again!

  6. I made this recipe at the weekend and it was amazing! I love pretzels but this is the first time I have made them. It was great to not have to worry about making the dough into the usual pretzel shape. They tasted so great and I was very happy. Thank you for another great recipe!

  7. Made these for a memorial service. Perfect finger food snack. Chewy, carby, goodness….and don’t get me started on the delicious cheese sauce. While my hubby is happy with plastic based processed sauces…I prefer the real thing, and this sauce delivers!

  8. I took these to a tailgate last night and they were a hit! I didn’t have time for the cheese sauce but they were delicious with just a really nice mustard. My boys were so disappointed there weren’t any to bring home. They have requested I make more of these and your red velvet cookies for their lunches. They never agree on anything so you are now the hero of our kitchen! I love that you give weights for your dry ingredients. It makes baking so much easier. Thank you!

  9. These were a HUGE hit in my house!! I made them for Sunday football. My husband was so impressed and said it was one of the best things I have made. I was slightly intimidated at the thought of making homemade pretzels but so happy I gave them a try because they were AMAZING!! Thank you for the recipe. Already shared it with a few friends. Love everything I find on here.

  10. I love that you left make-ahead instructions for the dough! So often missing and so important to know if it is ok or not to make ahead. Can’t wait to see how these turn out!

  11. Just made these tonight with my son. They were AHmazing! We lightly basted them with butter when they came out of the oven. Easy to make (the 10 year old did most of the work), and truly delicious. Thanks!

  12. How would I make these with a cinnamon sugar topping instead of salt?

    1. I would simply mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle each unbaked pretzel with it. Instead of an egg, brush with melted butter (about 1/4 cup of it).

  13. The pretzel bites with the cheese sauce are outstanding! The cheese sauce came out a little thicker than I wanted, and not sure how to correct that. More milk?

    1. More milk will help, yep!

  14. I just made these, and they were *wonderful.* I didn’t have any of the problems previous commenters mentioned; they turned out exactly right (even though I was out of parchment paper and used greased foil instead). My husband and I just ate 3/4 of the batch, and most of the cheese sauce!

    I’ll definitely be making these again; my husband and I agreed that this is a new favorite!

  15. OMG these were super easy and AMAZINGLY good! I couldn’t believe I made soft pretzels and they totally blow the the frozen food and snack bar ones out of the water!!! I didn’t do the cheese dip, but the plan is to make these into little bites, and use then with a beer cheddar fondue for a super bowl party. I did use salted butter (it was all I had on hand) and reduced the salt in the recipe to 1/2 a teaspoon and I brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with course sea salt before baking! I’m addicted, these were probably the best pretzel I’ve even had.

  16. Made these tonight with my toddler and they were AMAZING ! I cannot gt over how deliciously they were and how they rated just like “real” mall pretzels !!! I have made pretzels in the last and had so much trouble trying to boil a wiggly pretzel shape and sometimes they blabbed up or broke in the bath. But the “bites” solved that problem! Next time I will make two batches – they were THAT good ! Thanks for having such straightforward and successful recipes. You’re so talented !!

  17. I want to make these but I only have salted butter… can I substitute that? If so, do I remove the salt?

    1. Yes. Since it is only 1 Tablespoon of salted butter, you do not have to alter the amount of salt in the dough.

  18. I made these for my cousin to take to work as a snack. She loved them so much that she raved about them to her coworkers and brought them the rest! These are just as delicious the next day as they are hot off the pan! Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks for reporting back Marissa!

  19. just made these today with your cheese sauce and OMG! Amazing! Delicious! One of my stepdaughters was totally smitten With them! Ate them right up! I look forward to making these again…..a lot!! Having a girls night soon and I can’t wait to bring these! Thank you! Everything I’ve tried of yours so far is wonderful! This is the first place I check for recipes!

  20. Hi there!  I just wanted to verify that these pretzel bites are wonderful!  I am a caterer, and was recently asked by a Bride to make “Mini pretzel bites.”  I tried this recipe first, and will not need to try any others. I will be making your spicy cheese sauce as well, although not until closer to the end of the week.  I made a honey mustard sauce as well to go with them. 
    Thanks for all you do!
    Blessings 🙂

  21. I made these today and they were sooo good! Mine only needed 13 minutes but they were perfect! Thanks so much for all the great recipes!

  22. I’ve been following your blog (more like stalking) for the past two weeks and I’ve literally made about 10 of your recipes. All fabulous. As I was waiting for your recipe of The chocolate chip cookie to bake last night, I came across this little gem. I literally just finished making them and have a batch in the oven. Huge, huge win!!! My husband can’t put them down, or the cookies, I might add lol. My next mission is your pie crust and pecan pie. By far, your blog is my favorite!! Thanks so much!!

    1. So happy you love these and are enjoying my blog! That pie crust is my absolute favorite.

  23. Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

    My office is doing a holiday potluck, and we were told to sign up to bring our “specialty”. When I finally got around to signing up for a dish, someone had already signed up for my specialty (mac and cheese). Boo. All of the dessert slots were taken too, and other than that, I’m really not that much of a cook. So I was browsing around your blog looking for something yummy, and I came across this recipe. I did a trial run today, and the pretzels are a hit with my husband! And this recipe is SO EASY. I wasn’t able to test out the cheese, as I don’t have whole milk, but I’m sure it will be great!

    If I double up on the soft pretzel bites, do you think I will also need to double up on the cheese? Or is one recipe of the cheese plenty for two recipes of pretzels?

    1. Hey Kelly! So happy these got your approval to make for the potluck. They’ll be a hit, I’m sure! I don’t think you’d need to double the cheese. The recipe makes a lot of cheese dip! And some people might not even want cheese with theirs, you know?

  24. I just wanted to say that I have tried more than a few pretzel recipes, and yours was the first that tasted like mall pretzels, better even! Thanks so much for posting this great recipe, and I will be sure to point people here if they need a fail-proof amazing snack 🙂

  25. I’ve made these so many times but hadn’t reviewed yet! Just have to add my praises to the list–these are the BEST pretzels! I’ve also used to dough to wrap around little smokies to make pretzel dogs. Either way, this pretzel recipe is always a hit in my house! (As are all of your recipes that I’ve tried!) Thank you!!!

  26. Amazing! We had so much fun making these last night. We put half the dough in the fridge for tonight so I hope it works as well. I’m excited to try wrapping little smokies some time. We made a spreadable pub cheese to eat them with. Made a frigid Sunday night in bearable!

  27. I’ve made this recipe countless times and everyone loves it.  I’m a beer geek and now when I head to beer festivals these always go with me.  I’m not the “pretzel guy” and people keep raving about how good they are!

  28. These were great! I made them for my Christmas party and they were a huge hit! Instead of brushing them with an egg, I brushed them with melted butter. They were aaaamazing! The tasted just like Auntie Ann’s. Thank you! 

  29. Susie Snyder says:

    Hi Sally,

    I just finished making these and they tuned out well except they stuck to the parchment paper. What did I do wrong?

  30. I just made these today, but without the cheese sauce! I just used a premade one. This recipe is AMAZING!!! Its labor intensive, but totally worth it. The pretzel bites came out golden brown, with a loud beautiful crunch on the outside and a soft, fluffy pretzel on the inside. My family and I devoured them. Two thumbs up!!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally