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Soft Pretzel Nuggets with Spicy Cheese Dipping Sauce

A favorite soft pretzel recipe in nugget form with a spicy, cheesy dipping sauce.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 423 kcal
Author Michelle


For the Soft Pretzels:

  • cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • teaspoons active dry yeast 1 packet
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cups baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water whisked together (for egg wash)
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

For the Spicy Cheese Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 jalapeños seeded and minced
  • 2 chipotle chiles minced (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 12 ounces canned evaporated milk (1½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese cut into cubes and softened
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (about 3 cups)


  1. Make the Soft Pretzels: Combine the water, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.
  2. Add the flour and butter. Use the dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with the vegetable oil; set aside.
  5. Combine the water and baking soda in a large, wide pot (a Dutch oven works perfect for this). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
  6. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a rope about 1-inch in diameter. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. Place onto the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, about half a baking sheet at a time (or however many will fit comfortably given the size of your pot – don’t crowd them), for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a spider strainer or a slotted spoon. Place the boiled pretzels back on the baking sheet, brush the top of each with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Bake until dark golden brown in color, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Make the Cheese Dipping Sauce: (I made the sauce while the pretzel dough was rising, then reheated it gently over extremely low heat when ready to serve.) Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and jalapeños and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
  10. Stir in the chipotle peppers and the evaporated milk, then whisk in the cornstarch until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the cream cheese and mustard. Stir until the cream cheese is completely melted.
  11. Add the shredded cheese a handful at a time, stirring after each until the cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately, or keep warm over the very, very low heat (do not let the bottom of the pan scorch) or on the warm setting in a small slow cooker.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition Facts
Soft Pretzel Nuggets with Spicy Cheese Dipping Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 423 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 2476mg108%
Potassium 211mg6%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 670IU13%
Vitamin C 3.6mg4%
Calcium 306mg31%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.