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Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels

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These homemade Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels are made with beer and loaded with diced jalapeños and cheddar cheese. They’re soft, chewy, buttery, and delicious!

a pile of homemade soft pretzels on a plate

Homemade Cheddar Pretzels with Jalapeños

I know what I’m making for every game day ever…and it’s definitely these Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels from The Simple Kitchen Cookbook.

Now, I’ve actually made homemade pretzels before, but I found that doing that made me crave them even more. This is pretty dangerous because I’d be the only one actually eating them…and I most certainly don’t need a whole batch to myself. Or maybe I do…

These buttery pretzels are loaded with diced jalapeño and cheddar cheese and finished off with a bit of melted butter and a sprinkle of pretzel salt. They’re perfectly soft and chewy, and deliciously golden-brown. Serve them alongside a bowl of jalapeño spinach cheese dip for a perfect game day or party appetizer (or solo snack)!

Here’s the Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Warm Beer – I used Pacifico but any type of beer should work.
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • Granulated Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Kosher Salt
  • Jalapeño – be sure the take the seeds out and mince the jalapeño pretty finely before adding it into the dough.
  • Cheddar Cheese– shredded
  • Hot Water
  • Baking Soda
  • Egg
  • Cool Water
  • Pretzel Salt – or another coarse salt.
  • Melted Butter

How to Make Cheddar Pretzels

These homemade soft pretzels are surprisingly simple to make!

Make the Dough

  • Heat the beer. Warm the beer in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish until it reaches 110-120ºF. Pour the warm beer into the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • Bloom the yeast. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over the beer and stir it together. Allow the yeast to bloom for 3-5 minutes or until it’s the mixture is really foamy.
  • Make the dough. Add in the flour and salt and knead the dough until it comes together in a ball.
  • Add the mixins: Mix in the jalapeños and cheese until fully combined. Add flour if needed until the dough is no longer sticky.

Shape and Prepare for Baking

  • Make a baking soda bath. In a mixing bowl, combine hot water and baking soda. Stir until smooth.
  • Twist the pretzels. Place the dough on an un-floured counter and form a ball. Quarter the dough, then roll each quarter into a log. Cut each log into 3 equal pieces. When you’re finished, you should have 12 pieces of dough. Roll each “rope” out until it is 12-18 inches long, then fold each rope in half and twist it together. Pinch the bottom edges together and tuck under the edge.
  • “Bathe” the dough. Place each pretzel twist into the baking soda bath for 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a lined baking sheet.
  • Add the egg wash. In a small dish, beat together egg and cool water. Brush that mixture over the top of the pretzels and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake and Serve

These will bake in an oven that’s been preheated to 450ºF for 8-10 minutes or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter, then serve immediately.

overhead of a a plate piled with cheddar jalapeño pretzels

Why Do Soft Pretzels Need a Baking Soda Bath?

The baking soda bath is what gives the pretzels their signature chewy interior, slightly crispy golden-brown exterior, and classic pretzel flavor. Don’t skip this part!

Tips for Homemade Soft Pretzels

  • If the dough is too sticky, add little bits of flour at a time until it isn’t. You should be able to touch the dough with your fingertip and pull it away with no dough stuck to your finger.
  • If your dough is stretching and then shrinking while you’re rolling it out, just go slower and allow it to rest a bit so it can hold its shape better.
  • Swap the beer. If you’re sensitive to alcohol, you can swap the beer out for water instead.
  • Salt it! Homemade pretzels just aren’t the same without good salt. I recommend pretzel salt or a large flaked sea salt for the best flavor and that classic salty crunch.
  • Use a light-colored baking sheet so the bottoms of the pretzels don’t brown too quickly in the oven.
overhead of a plate filled with homemade soft pretzels garnished with jalapeño slices

Serving Suggestions

  • Don’t Forget the Dip: I recommend serving these cheddar pretzels warm right from the oven and with a side of jalapeño spinach dip for dunking. You can also serve them with plain queso, nacho cheese, spinach artichoke dip, or on their own!
  • Spicy Corn Muffins: If all your friends love the spicy combo of jalapeño and cheddar, try serving these cornbread muffins along side it.
  • Game Day Eats: If you are making these for gameday, consider adding a side of chicken taquitos.
cheddar jalapeño pretzel being dipped into a bowl of cheese dip

Can I Prepare These Ahead of Time?

If you need to plan ahead, assemble the dough as instructed, then store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to bake it, thaw in the fridge if frozen then bring the dough to room temperature and proceed with the recipe as instructed.

How to Store Leftover Pretzels

Leftover homemade pretzels will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To enjoy again, warm in the microwave or at 325ºF in the oven until heated through.

More Game Day Recipes

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closeup of a plate piled with homemade soft pretzels

Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 39 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

These homemade Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels are made with beer and loaded with diced jalapeños and cheddar cheese. They’re soft, chewy, buttery, and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups warm beer (110°-120°F)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 ½4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons cool water
  • Pretzel salt (or another coarse salt)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Heat the beer in a microwave safe dish to 110°-120° F. If it’s too hot, allow to cool. Then pour the warm beer into the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over top of the beer and stir together. Allow the yeast to bloom for 3-5 minutes (or more as needed until really foamy).
  4. Add 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour and salt to the mixer. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes until the dough comes together into a ball.
  5. Next add the jalapenos and cheese and mix until combined about 1 minutes. The dough should be tacky, not sticky. When you touch the dough with your fingertip and then pull it away, there should be no dough stuck to your finger. If your dough is sticky, add additional flour, about ¼ cup at a time.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda and stir until the baking soda dissolves.
  7. Place the dough on an unfloored counter and form a ball. Quarter the dough. Roll each quarter into a log and then cut it into 3 equal pieces. When you are done, you will have 12 pieces.
  8. Roll each rope 12-18 inches long. Fold the rope in half and then twist together. Pinch the bottom edges together and tuck under the edge.
  9. Place the pretzel twist in the baking soda bath for 30-45 seconds. Remove the twists from the water with a slotted spoon and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Retwist as needed. Repeat for all 12 pieces.
  10. In a small dish, beat the egg together with the water. Brush the egg wash over the pretzels and sprinkle with a coarse salt.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. One removed from the oven, brush the tops with melted butter. Serve warm.

Notes

  • This recipe is reprinted with permission from Donna Elick and Page Street Publishing
  • Donna’s tip for this recipe is, if you’re sensitive to alcohol, you can substitute the beer for water.
Nutrition Information:
1 Pretzel
252
4.4 g
1498.7 mg
9 g
33 g
1.3 g
9 g
39.2 mg
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cheddar Pretzels, Homemade soft pretzels

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