Pimento Cheese Filled Pretzels
These pimento cheese filled pretzels are the perfect appetizer that everyone will love! Fluffy soft pretzel dough gets stuffed with pimento cheese, boiled, then baked. They're cheesy, spicy, and the perfect mini pretzel buns!
Pimento cheese is a gift from the Gods and no one can tell me otherwise! This pimento cheese appetizer is the perfect party snack that is sure to leave you and your guests coming back for more.
A quick, homemade pimento cheese gets scooped into balls, frozen, and wrapped into an easy soft pretzel dough. The pretzels get boiled in a baking soda water bath, topped with coarse sea salt, then baked until golden brown.
The cheese melts into the fluffy pretzel dough and makes for the perfect combination. It's spicy, cheesy, salty perfection!
If you're searching for more pretzels, try my crab pretzel or pumpkin spice soft pretzels! This is a super versatile dough that can be made into pretzel bites, normal pretzels, logs, buns...you name it!
- Dry ingredients. All-purpose flour, yeast, brown sugar, salt.
- Wet ingredients. Water, unsalted butter.
- Baking soda. A ½ cup is needed for the baking soda water bath - don't skip this!
- Dairy. Sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese.
- Pimentos. One small 2oz jar, drained and rinsed.
- Jalapeños. I prefer to use pickled jalapeños in the recipe rather than fresh.
- Sea salt. Use coarse or flaky sea salt for the tops of the pretzels.
STEP 1: Make the pretzel dough in a stand mixer with the hook attachment, then knead it for about 5 minutes until it becomes very soft. Add the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow it to rise until doubled in size.
STEP 2: While the dough rises, make the pimento cheese by combining everything in a food processor. Also bring a large pot of water to a boil.
STEP 3: Scoop heaping tablespoons of pimento cheese onto a parchment-lined sheet or plate and freeze for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled.
STEP 4: Cut the dough into 12 pieces using a knife or bench scraper. Take one piece and just barely flatten it. Add a piece of frozen cheese and transfer it to your palm. Use the other hand to pull the edges of the dough upwards and pinch them all together to seal.
Place the dough ball seam side down and roll it in a clockwise motion to seal. Transfer to a parchment-lined (grease the parchment, too) pan.
Forming the Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Hot tip! Cover the pieces of dough you're not working with (use plastic wrap or a tea towel) until you're ready to use them. This helps prevent them from drying out.
STEP 5: Add the baking soda to the boiling water, then boil 2-3 pretzel balls at a time for thirty seconds. Transfer the boiled pretzels back to the baking sheet and continue with the rest of the pretzel rolls.
STEP 6: Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt, then bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then dive in (but be careful of the molten lava cheese).
Storing and Freezing
Store the baked pretzels covered in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven (375℉ for 5-7 minutes).
The pretzels can also be frozen and cooked from frozen. Follow all instructions, baking only to the 10-minute mark. Allow them to fully cool, then freeze in a tiptop bag. Reheat the pretzels from frozen at 400℉ for 10 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.
What to Stuff Pretzel Bites With
While I fully suggest stuffing the pretzels with pimento cheese, you can also try the following combinations:
- Jalapeno cheese
- Cream cheese
- Beer cheese
- Pizza fillings (sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni)
- Ham and cheese
They can also be topped with garlic butter or rosemary!
FAQs & Tips
Can pretzel dough be refrigerated?
Yes! The prepared dough can be stored in the fridge (covered) for one day, or frozen for two months. Allow the dough to thaw fully in the fridge, then assemble the pretzels as directed. Allow the dough to warm up and puff up slightly before boiling.Do you have to boil pretzels before baking?
No, but also yes. You know that tangy flavor and chewy exterior that is unique to pretzels? It's the baking soda water bath! I do not recommend skipping this.Why did my cheese stuffed pretzels explode?
This can happen if there are any weak spots in the pretzel dough. Try to keep the dough even the entire way around the pretzels. However, cracks can be inevitable in pretzels and it will still taste delicious.
More Delicious Appetizer Recipes
- Spinach and Feta Pinwheels
- Crab Pretzel
- Reuben Hand Pies
- Prosciutto Asparagus Puff Pastry Bundles
Pimento Cheese Filled Pretzels
Soft Pretzel Dough
- 1 cup warm water 110℉ (8oz)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 1 packet (21g)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar 13g
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted 30g
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 360-420g
- 8 cups water 64oz
- 1/2 cup baking soda 144g
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 oz full-fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise 75g
- 2 oz pimentos one small jar
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños 35g
- Pretzel Dough
- Add the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, melted butter and 3 cups of flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated.
- Increase to medium speed and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides. If needed, add the remaining flour a spoonful at a time until the dough feels slightly tacky, but not sticky and coming off on your fingers.
- Turn out the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough turns smooth, soft, and very easy to work with.
- Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, turn it to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Rise in a warm place for about 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- While the dough rises, prepare the pimento cheese.
- Drain and rinse the pimentos and shake dry. Add the pimentos and pickled jalapeños (no juice) to a food processor and pulse until minced.
- Add the mayonnaise, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese and pulse until combined but a bit of texture remains.
- Use a tablespoon measure or small cookie scoop and scoop 12 mounded scoops onto a small pan lined with parchment. Freeze the cheese balls for at least 15-30 minutes, or until the dough is ready.
- Once the dough is almost doubled, preheat the oven to 425℉/218℃ and bring the pot of water to a simmer. Also line two large baking pans with parchment paper (then spray with nonstick spray), or a silicon baking mat.
- Once the dough has risen, split the dough into twelve pieces. Cover any pieces you're not working on with plastic wrap.
- Flatten the dough very slightly (don't press down too much or make any areas too thin) then add a frozen cheese ball.
- Transfer the dough to your pam, then use the other hand to gently pull the very edges of the dough upwards and pinch everywhere on the top to fully seal.
- Place the dough seam side down and gently roll in a clockwise motion. Transfer the pretzel ball to the baking sheet, then continue with the remaining dough and cheese.
- Add the baking soda to the simmering water (and turn it to high boil), then transfer a few pretzel balls at a time to the water bath for 30 seconds. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them to the greased parchment cookie sheets.
- Top each pretzel with coarse sea salt (optional), then bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy hot!
- Try to keep the dough as even as possible the whole way around the cheese ball. Any areas that are too thin can split during the baking process.
- Take a picture of the dough when you start the rise so you have a reference of when it's doubled in size!
- This recipe can easily be halved to make 6 pretzels.
- Storing: Store the pretzels covered in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven (350℉ for about 7 minutes).
- Freezing: Follow all instructions, baking only to the 10-minute mark. Allow them to fully cool, then freeze in a sealed container. Reheat the pretzels from frozen at 375℉ for 10 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.