Homemade pretzel bites are the perfect dippers for this tangy, rich beer cheese sauce. This is a perfect party appetizer recipe for a crowd.
Looking for a hot appetizer to serve a crowd? These homemade pretzel bites with beer cheese sauce are always a hit.
Making these starts with a quick, easy pretzel dough that you make yourself. Yeast, water, sugar, flour … the simple ingredients may already be in your pantry.
But how do the pretzels get that airy inside and smooth outside? It happens through a combination of a brief rising period for the dough, boiling the pretzels and then baking them.
And the result is terrific — tender, homemade pretzel bites are so delightful. And they are even better when served with an irresistible, bold beer cheese sauce.
This sauce begins with a classic roux — butter and flour. Then it’s mixed with beer and milk, seasoned with dry mustard and swirled with a sharp cheddar. Finish it off with salt to bring out the flavors and you have a delightful sauce for dipping those pretzel bites into.
But I should admit that there’s a secret to the sauce.
The flavor of the cheese sauce will change depending on the beer you use. A hoppy beer like an IPA will result in a hoppier sauce. A smoother beer, like a lager, will result in a smoother flavored sauce. A rich beer like a stout will result in a richer beer cheese sauce.
The choice of beer is all yours — just be sure to choose one that you love.
Now, who’s ready to get cooking? Invite some friends over — it could be to watch a game, a movie, to play board games or whatever — and whip these up to enjoy.
Looking for another appetizer to serve? These pair really well with my recipe for Barbecue Meatballs Appetizer.
- 3 tbsp baking soda
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- coarse salt (such as coarse kosher salt)
Beer Cheese Sauce:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup beer
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp ground dry mustard
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large pot, dissolve the baking soda in 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it sit undisturbed until it foams -- about 2-3 minutes. Stir the sugar into the yeast mixture. Add the flour and salt and stir well to combine.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Divide into four pieces and roll each one into a long rope. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Let sit for 10 minutes
- Drop the pretzel pieces into the boiling water, about 10 at a time, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove to the prepared baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Continue until all the pretzels have been boiled.
- Brush the pretzels with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- While the pretzels are baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk the flour into the butter until fully combined and golden. Add the beer a little at a time, whisking thoroughly until combined. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking until fully combined. Whisk in the ground mustard. Continue cooking until it's steaming hot. Whisk in the cheese until smooth. Remove from heat and season with salt, as desired.
- Serve the pretzels and cheese sauce together immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 2348mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.