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!

More Appetizers & Snacks

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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. These were perfect for Game Day. Thank you.

  2. Wow. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe, and easy to follow directions . I was a bit nervous as I was making the pretzel bites for company, and didn’t know if they would turn out that great. Well they ended up tasting even better than I could have imagined, and looked just like the ones you get at the mall. My guests LOVED them and so did I! Thanks again!

  3. I made these on New Year’s Eve to pair with buffalo chicken dip. They were the star of the evening without a doubt – but I had so much dip leftover because everyone was just grabbing the pretzel nuggets and popping them in their mouth as they passed the plate. Another winning (and totally easy even you would think they would be intimidating) recipe!

  4. Note to anyone reading this that has yet to make the pretzel bites…. DO NOT FORGET THE PARCHMENT PAPER. I showed this recipe to my brother a few days ago, and he decided to make them…. without parchment paper…. on my new baking sheets…. Now I have to soak them to get the bottoms off the bottom.

    But they are tasty, I give them that.

  5. I have made these several times, they are delicious. I always skip the baking soda bath though, I don’t care what they look like since I’m just going to snack on them with hubby. I find that with the egg wash I still get a crunchy outside and chewy soft inside. Hardest part of making these is rolling out the ropes, I end up with all different sizes, but they all still taste great, the smaller ones make great taste testers (someone has to make sure every batch that comes out of the oven is still good).

  6. Tried this recipe and pretzels came out perfect! However the bottoms got stuck baadlyy to the parchment paper so all my pretzels were wasted from the bottom. Any suggestions how to avoid this?

    1. Hi Sana. I’m not sally but have been baking for over 5 years and following sally’s blog since almost day 1. Parchment paper is a little tricky since the pretzels are preboiled I suggest investing in a silpat. Pretty sure that is what Sally uses for this recipe. It’s a lot better than parchment paper for basically everything except when you make brownies and want something as an overhang to take out!

      Best of luck!

    2. I had that same problem. On my next batch, I used aluminum foil and sprayed some cooking oil. That fixed the problem.

  7. I made these today with the spicy cheese dip. Unfortunately they came out perfect and I can’t stop eating them!   Diet?  What diet?

  8. These turned out great- and the cheese sauce too! I would like to make these for a Christmas appy in 2 weeks. It made a lot of cheese sauce. Can  I freeze the sauce? it would be lovely if I could make a batch of fresh pretzels and just whip some cheese sauce out of the freezer and bring to dinner. I have a couple other dips to name too. 
    If not how long can it stay in the fridge? 

    1. Yep, you can freeze the sauce for up to 2-3 months. Just thaw in the fridge and heat up on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

  9. I made this for a Christmas party and they were a huge hit! At first it looked like a ton of food but they were gone fast! I can’t wait to make again for other parties! Directions were easy to follow!  I couldn’t find insant yeast so I used regular and allowed my dough to rise a little over an hour.  Next time I will watch closer as baking as some of mine get extra golden brown, but were still tasty!

  10. I made this tonight. They came out beautiful! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  11. P.J. Scott says:

    Sounds fantastic and can’t wait to try. Any issues leaving out the brown sugar and butter aside from the taste? Dietary issue.

    1. No issue besides the slight change in flavor.

  12. After removing the pretzel in boiling water with baking soda. Do I need to let the pretzel dry or I immediately brush with egg wash then bake?

    1. Hi Helen! No need to wait for the pretzel bites to dry before brushing with egg wash.

  13. So easy and yummy! Made them with my 2 and 4 year olds tonight for a fun movie night snack

  14. Hi Sally,
    I made these pretzel bites and they were SO delicious!
    My family absolutely loved them.
    Thanks for this fantastic recipe.

  15. Would the steps be any different if I used active dry yeast instead of instant?

    1. The rise time will take longer with active yeast but you can use it!

  16. I’m sure there has been a similar question but I haven’t found it yet… is there a way to do some of the prep ahead of time? I want to make a double batch for Super Bowl, but don’t want to do all the work when all my guests are here!

    1. Sure can! See my Make ahead/Freezing section in the recipe.

  17. Help! How would you suggest bringing this to a party? Is it possible to do the bath and bake later? Is reheating an option? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Emily! Baking soda bath, then baking a couple hours later is just fine! I do that all the time. 🙂

  18. Can I double or even triple the recipe? Or would I have to separately make it three times.

    1. Hi Kathryn! For best taste and texture, I highly recommend making separate batches of dough.

  19. These are great. I made them for a get together with some friends and they loved them so much they left with the leftovers. Plus they’re are easy to make.

  20. Hi Sally! I made these today with a honey mustard dip for a snack before lunch… they were delicious! My family loved them ☺
    Veronica from Italy!

    1. How do you make a honey mustard dip?

      1. Hi! For the honey mustard dip I wisk together 3/4 cup honey,
        1/2 cup yellow mustard and
        1/4 teaspoon paprika!

  21. Konnor Von Helsing says:

    Your base pretzel recipe is absolutely delicious… my daughter has asked me every day for the past 2 1/2 weeks when am I going to make more of those soft pretzels or the pretzel rolls I made… well, she got her wish last night… I made pretzel dough but I did t make pretzel dough to make pretzels … I wanted to try something…. I made. ……. PIZZA CRUST!!!! Yes, I said pizza crust! I made your basic pretzel dough recipe and then I made a slight change to it… I added a table spoon of onion powder and another one of garlic powder to the flour and salt mixture… after mixing every together, letting it rise for about half an hour, I split the dough into 4 pieces and took one of them and worked it out into a medium/large crust … after which I took another piece and rolled it out into a long Rope and sliced it into 4 pieces so I could get them into my pot of baking soda bath water… then I wrapped it around my crust and pressed It into the dough… I then loaded it up with my Alfredo sauce, mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses, baby spinach and diced cooked chicken pieces… popped it into the oven at 400* until the cheeses had dinner melted down into ooey gooey deliciousness and the crust had baked up to a rich golden brown…. I can’t begin to tell you good this thing was!!!! I will never make another pizza crust the old way again! From here on out, pizza crusts will be made with pretzel dough!! I wish I had the forethought to take a picture of that pizza… I could kick myself… I did however, snap one of the bites and pretzels I made today with the other half of the pizza crust dough that was left over 🙂

  22. I have made the recipe many times and they are great. Do you think I can use cookie cutter for the dough? Or they will loose the same into the boiling water?

  23. Skip the egg wash and just put the course salt on before baking. Then melt some salted butter and add just a touch of sugar to the butter. Brush it on before serving. It makes them taste like a famous brand of mall pretzels!

  24. I followed this recipe for bagel bites and they turned out fantastic. I skipped the cheese sauce. Whilst I was forming the little bites from the raw dough; I’ll have to honestly say I got a little tired and cocky and started just eyeballing to approximate sizes. With the very last batch of dough; Ibmade two full sized pretzels and tge rest larger bite sizes about 3″ long each. The second batch I used for the cinamon sugar flavored one. The first batch was strickly salty with kosher salt. I egg-washed the entire batch before baking. The sweet batch I brushed butter and sprinkled white sugar and cinnamon after baked.
    The salted batch was salted right before baking.
    Again, they all came out chewy soft yet bordered crunchy. Yum! Thank you so much. And also right before this recipe I made soft baked regular sized pretzels and before that I made bagels! They seem tto all have the same concept of boiling before baking! One led to the other! Again thank you!

  25. Well, you’ve done it again Sally! Thank you Quinn Family! These are awesome.
    I cut them a little smaller, about 1″ and cut the time down to about 12 minutes.
    I’m going to have some happy kids when they get some from school!

  26. I ruined it twice I believe. I think it’s too wet but I was afraid to add more because I technically got to the max limit in the recipe. I do the spoon and level method for flour and as I measured the three cups out I put it in my handled 4 cup measuring dish and I noticed both times it was under 3 cups so should I have added more? Am I not measuring the flour correctly? I have the second batch “rising” right now but I don’t think it’s going to do anything. Last effort before I have to go buy some haha. I will get it right some day!

    1. Hi Courtnie, The most accurate way to measure is to weigh your ingredients if you have a kitchen scale. You can add up to 4.25 cups or 530g of flour. There are some more photos and a video in my post for Soft Pretzels that you can check out to see exactly what your dough should look like. Also, check what type of yeast you are using. I use instant yeast – if you are using regular your rise time will be longer.

    2. I had the same problem of my dough being too wet and sticky and they didn’t rise much but they still came out great.

  27. These were super easy to make and delicious to taste. Thank you for making baking easy and fun!

  28. Made this for the Super Bowl. I am not an experienced baker but even I was able to make these. I didn’t get to the cheese sauce this time but the pretzel bites were awesome and super easy.

    1. I don’t see why not.

  29. I use this recipe all the time, love it!

    1. Just made these – one of my lockdown recipe try-outs – they are amazing!!! My teenage son has just devoured 6 in a row! About to make the beer cheese dip to go with them. So simple to make, it will definitley be an addition to our party snacks (once this lockdown lifts!)

  30. Perfect, Sally! This recipe is a joy to make – I love the feeling of satisfaction when the dough comes together so beautifully after kneading, and feels so soft and pillowy……gets you poetic about bread dough! 😀 #sorrynotsorry
    And they turned out beautifully – half had disappeared before they left the baking tray! Thank you for an amazing recipe, Sally!

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