It’s impossible to resist these Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip! Salty, buttery and warm, soft pretzels are perfect for tailgating, celebrating Oktoberfest, or just for a fun afternoon snack!

It's impossible to resist these Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip!  Salty, buttery and warm, soft pretzels are perfect for tailgating, celebrating Oktoberfest, or just for a fun afternoon snack!

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip

All year long I’ve been participating in a monthly recipe collaboration group where we share recipes around the same theme on the first of the month. When I saw that September’s theme was tailgating, I knew I wanted to share these homemade soft pretzels with mustard cheese dip!

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that a warm, buttery soft pretzel just might be the pinnacle of comfort food. They are so tasty and fun to eat at the same time and I find it so hard to resist them! Homemade soft pretzels are my kryptonite.

Whenever we go to the mall (not often) my girls beg to go to Auntie Anne’s and it takes all my willpower to steer clear. And to be honest, my willpower usually fails me.

But it’s super easy to make these at home for WAY less! And honestly, way better because they are homemade. Which is why homemade soft pretzels are September’s H.O.N.E. Monthly Cooking Challenge as well as my contribution to this month’s round-up of tailgating recipe for you to try all through football season! Keep scrolling past the recipe to see the other fun tailgating food ideas to try from my food blogging friends!

An image of golden brown homemade soft pretzels on a baking sheet with a silicon mat.

This is another fun recipe to make with kids because they have so much fun rolling the balls of dough into long ropes and then trying to twist them together into pretzels shapes. And when the golden pretzels come out of the oven and get brushed with melted butter, it’s all we can do to wait for them to cool enough to start tearing them apart!

While this definitely isn’t an authentic german pretzel recipe, you could still totally makes these to celebrate Oktoberfest at home this year since pretzels have been a big part of German baking culture for centuries. In fact, pretzels have been the emblem used by bakers in southern German since the 12th century! In Germany, you can get large soft pretzels at bakeries or stalls on the street and they are sometimes sliced in half horizontally and buttered inside or filled with sliced meat or cheese.

An image of some homemade soft pretzels stacked in a dish with a bowl of mustard cheese dipping sauce on the side. An image of six homemade soft pretzels brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with salt.

How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

If you have ever wondered how to make homemade soft pretzels and whether it is a difficult or time-consuming task, I’m here to tell you that it’s so much easier than you might think and takes less time than making a loaf of homemade bread.

Just don’t skip the baking soda bath which is what gives soft pretzels their golden brown color, chewy exteriors, and distinctive flavor. Just don’t soak the pretzels longer than 20-30 seconds or they will end up with a metallic taste.

  1. Make the pretzel dough by proofing the yeast in warm water with a little sugar, then adding the flour and salt and kneading in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes until smooth and soft.
  2. Cover the pretzel dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare a baking soda hot water bath while the dough is resting, then divide the pretzel dough into eight equal pieces.
  4. Roll each ball of dough into a long rope, then twist into pretzel shape and dip into the baking soda bath for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt, then bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Brush the hot pretzels with melted butter.

You can go traditional like I did here and top them with coarse salt and butter, or you could skip the salt and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar.

A photo collage of step-by-step images for how to make homemade soft pretzels. An image of homemade soft pretzels in a baking soda water bath before baking. An image of homemade pretzel dough on a baking sheet. An image of homemade soft pretzels with a side of cheesy dipping sauce.

How to Make Mustard Cheese Dip

Here’s my quick and easy way for how to make mustard cheese dip. We typically eat our pretzels plain, but for occasions like tailgating you are probably going to want something more festive to go with them.

  1. Make a roux with butter and flour by whisking them together in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in milk and cook for about 5 minutes until thickened, but still pourable.
  2. Once thickened, whisk in freshly grated cheddar cheese until melted.
  3. Add a tablespoon of your favorite mustard (I love a good spicy mustard!) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately.

This sauce is awesome with pretzels but also really good with veggies like cauliflower or broccoli too.

An image of a cheddar cheese over a roux sauce for making a cheese sauce for dipping soft pretzels. An image of a skillet of homemade mustard cheese sauce for dipping soft pretzels in. An image of a bowl of easy homemade cheese dipping sauce with warm soft pretzels.

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip
Yield: 8 pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip

It's impossible to resist these Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip!  Salty, buttery and warm, soft pretzels are perfect for tailgating, celebrating Oktoberfest, or just for a fun afternoon snack!

Ingredients

Soft Pretzels

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Mustard Cheese Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard or other coarse ground mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

Soft Pretzels

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast, and let it proof for 5 minutes until foaming.  Add the flour and salt and mix with a dough hook to combine, then knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.  Cover bowl of dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough rests, combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the baking soda is dissolved.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  3. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and roll each piece into a long rope, about 30" long.  Twist into a pretzel shape by making an upside down "U" shape and crossing and twisting the ends, then folding them over to the top of the "U".  
  4. Place the pretzels into the hot baking soda bath for 20-30 seconds, spooning the liquid over the pretzels, then transfer to the baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush with the melted butter.  

Mustard Cheese Sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  Whisk the flour into the melted butter until lightly browned and thickened, about 2-3 minutes, to form a roux.
  2. Slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly.  Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens but is still pourable, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce and whisk until it melts into the sauce, then taste and add the mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. 

Notes

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410 Saturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 1282mg Carbohydrates: 38g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 14g

Here are some more great tailgating recipes from some of my favorite food blogging friends:


Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Dog Bites
Football Game Day Cookies
Sun-Dried Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
Tropical Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Sloppy Joe Sliders
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip
Bruschetta Turkey Burger Sliders
Bacon Cheese Ball
Red Potato Salad with Bacon
Easy Pizza Kabobs
Deviled Eggs