Vegan Pretzel Bites

Here in Philadelphia, we LOVE our warm, soft pretzels! And no matter where you are, you’re going to love these soft homemade pretzel bites. These bite-sized beauties are just like the traditional warm pretzels we know and love, but without all the complicated pretzel shape twisting and twirling. Just roll, cut, boil and bake to perfect pretzel pieces every time!


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Growing up in and around Philadelphia, one thing we love almost as much as cheesesteaks are soft pretzels. Some places even serve cheesesteak stuffed soft pretzels! We’ll have to work on a vegan version of that for sure.

But we did already have our pretzel bun recipe that we love to use with plant-based burgers and as bread bowls for our vegan beer cheese soup. And I was inspired by the flood of requests from all of you for taking that recipe as a base to create these adorable pretzel bites.

They might be smaller than their traditionally twisted counterparts, but they still pack that beloved soft pretzel pleasure! And just like our pretzel bun was just made for that vegan beer cheese soup, these pretzel pieces are perfect with our vegan beer cheese dip!

Pin this recipe for later.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Soft Pretzels Recipe

  • They’re the perfect snack that freezes amazingly well! 
  • Great for game-day or poolside parties. Or just because it’s Saturday afternoon.
  • Easier than traditional knotted pretzels and great to make with kids
Overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make soft pretzel bites: vegan butter, flour, yeast, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt

Ingredients for This Vegan Soft Pretzel Recipe

You only need 7 basic baking ingredients to make these vegan soft pretzel bites:

Substitution Options for This Soft Pretzel Recipe (Vegan)

If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you! 

For the all-purpose flour – I haven’t tried it, but you could possibly make these gluten free using GF flour. I wouldn’t recommend making these with whole wheat flour.

For the vegan butter – You could potentially replace the butter with an equal amount of oil. 

For the light brown sugar – Use an equal amount of raw sugar, coconut sugar, agave or the like. Yeast just needs a sweetie to bloom.

For the coarse salt – Pretzel salt can be hard to find. I like to use margarita salt if I don’t have or can’t find pretzel salt or a good coarse salt to use.

How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

You can make this pretzel recipe in either a stand mixer or by hand. If you’re using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to combine ingredients. If not, a sturdy rubber spatula, wooden spoon, or your hand will do the trick.

Two side by side photos of a small metal bowl before and after the yeast has bloomed

Step 1: Activate the yeast.

In a small bowl, pour the hot water over the butter. After butter has melted and the water is at an approximate temperature of 110°F, add the brown sugar and yeast. Give it a light stir and let sit for 5-7 minutes.

Two side by side photos of a red bowl with pretzel dough in it: one before kneading where the dough is shaggy and one after kneading when the dough is smooth

Step 2: Make the pretzel dough.

In a small bowl, pour the hot water over the butter. After butter has melted and the water is at an approximate temperature of 110°F, add the brown sugar and yeast. Give it a light stir and let sit for 5-7 minutes while the yeast blooms.

In a separate, large bowl, add 3 cups of flour and the salt. Add the melted butter and yeast mixture and mix until combined well. Then, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the flour.

Mix this until a shaggy dough ball forms and continue for about 2-3 minutes after that until the ball is solid. If you’re using your hands, flip the shaggy dough onto the counter and knead well for 2-3 minutes until a solid dough ball forms.

Check your dough. If it is super-sticky, you may want to add some more flour. Knead in 1/4 cup at a time until it’s not completely sticking to your fingers when you touch it. 

Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel for one hour to let the dough rise.

Three side by side photos of the process of forming homemade pretzel bites: cut into pieces, roll into a long snake, and cut into 1 inch pieces

Step 3: Cut the pretzel bites.

Punch the dough down. (That just means deflate some of the extra air.) Then, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and cover five of them with your tea towel so they don’t dry out.

Roll each piece into long rope or snake-like pieces of approximately 1/2 – 3/4 inch diameter. Taking a sharp knife, bench scraper, or a pizza cutter, cut the pretzel dough “snake” into 1.5-2 inch pieces.

Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover to let sit for another 20 minutes. This recipe makes quite a bit, so you might need a few baking trays. If you need, cover the unrolled dough and place in the fridge to slow the rise until you’re ready to cut, boil, and bake.

Step 4: Boil the pretzel bites

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400°F and heat 6-8 cups of water in a large pot until just boiling. Stir in baking soda (slowly and carefully, lest your pot boil over) and keep at a rolling boil.

Gently drop each pretzel bite into the baking soda water. How many you can fit depends on the size of the pot you’re using, but don’t overcrowd them. Cook for 40 seconds until the pieces float. 

Then, remove the pieces of dough from the boiling water using a slotted spatula or slotted spoon and place them back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Step 5: Bake and enjoy!

Finally, sprinkle each pretzel bite with the coarse sea salt and bake at 400F for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. 

How to Store Pretzel Dough Overnight

  • Pretzel dough can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator to slow the rising process. The dough will be at its best for 24 hours after making it when stored in the fridge.
  • Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes after taking it out of the fridge for it to loosen up. Then it should be good to roll out and cut.
  • Do not attempt to store the pretzel bites after boiling in the baking soda bath if you have not baked them. Basically, once you boil, you gotta bake.

The raw dough and cooked pretzel bites can both be frozen as well! Instructions for freezing cooked pretzel bites are below.

Close up overhead shot of a batch of homemade vegan soft pretzel bites on a parchment-lined baking sheet

How to Serve This Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe

Serve these pretzel bites warm with any – or all! – of the following dips:

These pretzel bites are also a delicious alternative to bread or crackers as an accompaniment to a wide variety of soups like:

A hand holds a pretzel bite with a bite taken out of it up to the camera

How to Store Leftover Vegan Pretzels

Fridge: Leftover soft pretzel bites will be at their best for about 3 days stored in an airtight container. If you plan to store leftovers, we highly recommend not salting the pretzels you’re storing until you’re ready to serve. This will help you avoid that “raisin” effect with your leftover pretzels. (IYKYK)

Freezer: If freezing your cooked pretzel bites, allow them to cool fully before placing them in an airtight, freezer-safe bag or container. Stored properly, they should be at their best for up to one month.

If you want to freeze the raw dough, wrap the separate pieces of raw dough after the first rise when you cut it into six pieces. Remove from the freezer to thaw for at least 7 hours at room temperature and then roll out and continue the recipe from there. Frozen dough will be best up to one month.

How to Reheat Pretzel Bites

Reheat non-frozen pretzels in the microwave on high for 30-60 seconds until desired warmth/texture.

From frozen: Frozen pretzels can be reheated in the microwave for about 2 – 2.5 minutes. After the first 1:30, check the pretzels every thirty seconds. 

In the oven: If using the oven, preheat the oven to 400°F and reheat frozen pretzels for 5-7 minutes or until soft and warm. Non-frozen pretzels should be reheated in the oven for about 3-5 minutes.

Overhead shot of mini soft pretzel bites crowding a baking sheet

Vegan Pretzel FAQ

Can you freeze soft pretzel dough?

Yes! Stored properly, pretzel dough should be at their best up to one month. If you are freezing after the first rise, let the dough thaw, and follow directions from cutting and rolling the dough into the long snakes.

Are Red Robin pretzel bites vegan?

Red Robin’s website classifies their pretzel bites as not suitable for vegans.

Is pretzel vegan?

Some pretzels are vegan, but many contain dairy in some form and / or L-cysteine, a dough conditioner. My former favorite stop for soft pretzels was Philly Pretzel Factory, and their pretzels contain both.

Is Super Pretzel vegan?

Super Pretzels regular pretzels are vegan friendly, but not their stuffed variety.

More Vegan Bread Recipes

If you make these soft pretzel bites, we’d love to hear ALL about it! Did you serve them with our vegan beer cheese dip, one of the suggested soups, or just a big side of spicy mustard dip?

Let us know by leaving a comment and star rating below. Enjoy!

Overhead shot of pretzel bites arranged on a baking tray

Pretzel Bite Recipe

Terrence Roche
Here in Philadelphia, we LOVE our warm, soft pretzels! And no matter where you are, you're going to love these soft homemade pretzel bites. These bite-sized beauties are just like the traditional warm pretzels we know and love, but without all the complicated pretzel shape twisting and twirling. Just roll, cut, boil and bake to perfect pretzel pieces every time! 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Breads
Cuisine Baking
Calories 281 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Add the vegan butter and hot water to your mixing bowl or mixing stand bowl*. Stir and let butter melt.
  • After the butter has melted and the water is at an approximate temperature of 110°F, sprinkle in the brown sugar and the yeast. Stir lightly and let sit for 5-7 minutes as the yeast blooms.
  • Add 3 cups of flour and the salt.  If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to combine ingredients. If not, a sturdy rubber spatula, wooden spoon, or your hand will do the trick. Add the wet ingredients and begin mixing until well combined.
  • Scrape the sides of your mixing bowl and add the rest of the flour. Mix until a solid dough ball forms and continue for approximately 2-3 minutes after that. If you’re using your hands, flip the shaggy dough onto the counter and knead well for approximately three minutes until a solid dough ball forms.
  • Check your dough. If it is super-sticky, you may want to add some more flour. Knead in 1/4 cup at a time until it's not completely sticking to your fingers when you touch it. 
  • Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover to let rise for an hour.
  • Punch the dough down, and turn onto a very lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and cover five of them with your tea towel so they don’t dry out. Roll each piece into long snake-like pieces of approximately 1/2 – 3/4 inch diameter. Taking a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the pretzel dough “snake” into equal size pieces of about 1.5-2 inches. Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover to let sit for another 20 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, heat 6-8 cups of water in a large pot until just boiling. Stir in baking soda (slowly and carefully, lest your pot boil over) and keep at a very low boil.
  • Gently drop each pretzel bite into boiling liquid. How many you can fit depends on the size of the pot you're using, but don’t overcrowd them. Cook for 40 seconds. Remove using a slotted spatula or spoon and place them back on the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle them with coarse salt. Bake at 400F for 13-15 minutes. Serve on their own or with our vegan beer cheese dip!

Video

Notes

How to Store Pretzel Dough Overnight

Pretzel dough can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator to slow the rising process. The dough will be at its best for 24 hours after making it when stored in the fridge.
Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes after taking it out of the fridge for it to loosen up. Then it should be good to roll out and cut.
Do not attempt to store the pretzel bites after boiling in the baking soda bath if you have not baked them. Basically, once you boil, you gotta bake.

How to Store Leftover Pretzels

Leftover soft pretzel bites will be at their best for about 3 days stored in an airtight container. If you plan to store leftovers, we highly recommend not salting the pretzels you're storing until you're ready to serve. This will help you avoid that "raisin" effect with your leftover pretzels.
If freezing your cooked pretzel bites, allow them to cool fully before placing them in an airtight, freezer-safe bag or container.
If you want to freeze the raw dough, wrap the separate pieces of raw dough after the first rise when you cut it into six pieces. Remove from the freezer to thaw for at least 7 hours at room temperature and then roll out and continue the recipe from there.

Nutrition

Calories: 281kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 8gFat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1627mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1g
Keyword homemade pretzel bites, pretzel bite recipe, soft pretzel recipe vegan, vegan pretzel bites, vegan soft pretzel bites, vegan soft pretzel recipe, vegan soft pretzels recipe
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