Salty, sweet, and all-around twisted — there’s no arguing that pretzels aren’t a near-perfect snack. Whether you prefer them crunchy or soft, dunked in mustard or covered in cinnamon sugar, there’s no limit to the number of ways you can enjoy this food, so in honor of National Pretzel Day, it’s time to try out some new and unique pretzel recipes that go beyond classic.
No one can dispute that the scent of the pretzel shop in the mall (looking at you, Auntie Anne’s) is one of the most tantalizing of all fragrances. So it’s got to be even better when you make pretzels in your own home. But you don’t have to go traditional — try making pretzels filled with cheese for a comforting snack, or turn up the heat with the help of some Sriracha. There are plenty of pretzel dessert recipes that will prove that pretzels and chocolate might be the ultimate combination, too.
Whatever your snacking personality may be, National Pretzel Day is time to enjoy some carby, malty snacks. Plus, you don’t need any serious dough-twisting skills to make pretzels at home. These 18 recipes show that it’s possible to make your favorite treat better than ever.
1. Homemade Pretzel Pizza Bites
Forget garlic knots — pretzel dough adds an unexpected (and welcome) saltiness to A Beautiful Mess' cheese-stuffed bites. Serve them with plenty of marinara sauce.
2. Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Pretzels
Here's a simple snack by Averie Cooks that you can whip up in a cinch — perfect for snacking while catching up on Jane the Virgin.
3. Pretzel Doughnuts
Not only do these salty-sweet doughnuts by A Cozy Kitchen have a subtle pretzel taste — they're also topped by crunchy pretzels (and a fair serving of chocolate frosting, of course).
4. Soft Pretzel Twists With Cheese Dipping Sauce
These pretzel twists by Mel's Kitchen Cafe are a pretty easy-to-make version of a classic, but it's the homemade cheese sauce that really takes them to the next level. Be sure not to use pre-shredded for optimal deliciousness.
5. Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels
These pretzel rolls that Smitten Kitchen made for The Kitchn are definitely a more indulgent take on the traditional soft pretzel, making them a perfect breakfast pastry (or afternoon coffee snack).
6. Cheesy Pretzel Chicken Pops
You can even have pretzels for dinner. A Spicy Perspective uses them to create the crunchiest coating for chicken tenders, and serves the result with plenty of honey mustard.
7. Spinach Artichoke-Stuffed Soft Pretzels
Spinach-artichoke dip-stuffed pretzels already sound too good to be true — and yet Half Baked Harvest makes them even better with crispy bacon.
8. Honey Mustard And Onion Pretzels
This simple recipe by Table for Two is an easy way to make store-bought pretzels even better — using just four other ingredients.
9. Nutella-Pretzel Truffles
Pretzels are what make Brown-Eyed Baker's truffles a perfectly balanced mix of smooth and crunchy.
10. Homemade Pretzel Bread Bowls
Oh, yes. Your favorite soup side/serving method just got even better. A Beautiful Mess likes pairing this bready concoction with tomato bisque, but broccoli cheddar would taste delicious as well.
11. Everything Soft Pretzels
Two amazing bread products in one. A Cozy Kitchen's everything bagel-inspired soft pretzels are, well, everything.
12. Salted Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Bark
If you're craving anything salty or sweet, there's absolutely nothing like Mel's Kitchen Cafe's pretzel bark. But be warned: this stuff is addictive.
13. Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls
Combine the hearty dough and malty taste of soft pretzels with the sweet, fragrant taste of cinnamon rolls, and you have the masterpiece that is The Kitchn's pretzel cinnamon rolls.
14. Honey Sriracha Pretzel Knots
Not the biggest fan of a sweet and salty combo? Try turning up the heat instead with A Spicy Perspective's Sriracha pretzels.
15. Chocolate Chip Cookie-Stuffed Pretzels
This pretzel creation by Half Baked Harvest and a cold glass of milk may be the ultimate pairing. Just be sure to eat them warm!
16. Jalapeño-Stuffed Taco Pretzel Bites
Cream cheese and cheddar balance out the spicy kick of these pretzel bites by Taste and Tell.
17. Pretzel Baguette With Mustard Butter
You're going to want to smear every surface of this fluffy baguette with this vibrant mustard butter by Table for Two.
18. Mini Pretzel Dogs
Forget pigs in a blanket — Joy the Baker's pretzel version makes this classic snack taste just a little more gourmet.
Images: A Cozy Kitchen (3); A Beautiful Mess (2); Averie Cooks; Mel's Kitchen Cafe (2); The Kitchn (2); A Spicy Perspective (2); Taste and Tell; Table for Two (2); Brown Eyed Baker; Joy the Baker