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Air Fryer Pretzel Bites {Soft Pretzel Bites}

These Air Fryer Pretzel Bites are so easy to make and taste amazing! Chewy, soft, and perfectly salty, you’ll love this pretzel bites recipe for an afterschool snack, game day treat, or anytime you need the perfect party appetizer. No air fryer? Don’t worry because I have oven-baking instructions too!

a bowl of air fryer pretzel bites topped with salt

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There’s nothing like the taste of fresh doughy pretzels – soft and chewy and topped with crunchy salt!

Just like my Air Fryer Ravioli, Easy Air Fryer PicklesFried Artichoke Hearts and Air Fryer Zucchini Chips, this recipe takes something simple and turns it into a health(ier) appetizer or game-day snack. All thanks to the magical air fryer.

Besides mustard or Greek Yogurt Ranch, these bites are amazing with some homemade Pub Cheese. Want a sweet version of these bites? Check out these Cinnamon Pretzel Bites With Apple Syrup.

Air Fryer Pretzel Bites Ingredients

a bowl of flour, container of salt, yeast, egg, and other ingredients

  • Flour, some all-purpose is lovely!
  • Yeast – rapid rise
  • Sugar, just a little bit. You can also use honey.
  • Salt – sea salt for the dough, and pretzel salt for the top. Don’t have pretzel salt? You can use kosher or flaky sea salt like Maldon.
  • (optional) Egg or baking soda if you want to try one of the methods described below

If you have extra dough, try your hand at making these incredible Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs. They’re so good and freeze very easily!

Use any leftover yeast to make Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread, Honey Wheat Bread, or Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.

I tried three methods when cooking these – baking soda water bath, egg wash, and butter. All three turned out great with just slight differences in the flavor. You can see in the photo below that they all look super tasty!

Please note, the baking soda water bath is the only vegan option.

soft pretzel bites on a wooden tray with 3 labels - butter, baking soda, and egg wash

Egg wash – mix 1 egg with 1 tbsp of water. Brush over the dough balls and sprinkle with salt prior to cooking.

{vegan} Baking soda bath – just like when making Homemade Pretzel Rolls, dipping the bites in 4 cups of boiling water mixed with 1/3 cup of baking soda will give them a perfectly chewy exterior. But…I didn’t find the taste any better when doing this method and it took more time. And um, dirtied an extra dish.

Butter – Probably the easiest (and tastiest) option, simply brush melted butter over the bites once they’re done cooking and sprinkle with salt. It’s best to work in batches of 3-4 pretzels at a time so the salt sticks to the butter before it dries.

Can You Freeze Pretzel Bites?

Yes! Place uncooked dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for ~3 hours. Transfer to freezer-safe storage for up to three months. We love and use these reusable silicone bags.

You do not need to thaw them prior to baking, and we found that even frozen, you only need 6 minutes of cooking time.

6 photos showing the step by step process for making homemade pretzels

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Every air fryer will be different and may need a slightly different cooking time. The bites will be done when the outsides are lightly browned.
  • If you only have active yeast and not quick-rise, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before rolling.
  • Your dough does not need to look perfect before cooking! It will puff up in the air fryer.

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

a dish of pretzel bites topped with salt on a white board
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Air Fryer Pretzel Bites {Soft Pretzel Bites}

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time21 mins
These Air Fryer Pretzel Bites are so easy to make and taste amazing! Chewy, soft, and perfectly salty, you'll love this pretzel bites recipe for an afterschool snack or game day treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water {~110 degrees F}
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar {or honey}
  • pretzel salt {optional}

{Optional} Baking Soda Bath

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda

{Optional} Egg Wash

  • 1 egg {beaten}
  • 1 tbsp water

{Optional} Butter topping

  • 3 tbsp butter {melted}

Equipment

Instructions

Make the Dough

  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the water and yeast. Stir.
  • Add the flour, sugar, and sea salt and stir until it is mostly combined.
  • Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough by hand for 1 minute, bringing it into a ball. Divide the dough into eighths.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into ropes.
  • With a floured knife, slice the dough into 1-inch pieces. (see notes below for optional egg wash or baking soda bath prior to cooking)
  • Lightly spray the basket of the air fryer with olive oil. Place pretzel bites into the basket, giving them enough room to expand.
  • Cook for 6 minutes at 390 degrees F, or until lightly browned on top. If using the butter method, brush melted butter on top of hot pretzel bites and sprinkle with pretzel salt.

Notes

{Optional} Egg wash - beat 1 egg and 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Brush on top of pretzel bites and sprinkle with pretzel salt BEFORE baking in the air fryer.
 
{Optional} Baking soda bath - In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Carefully add baking soda (you may get some foaming action) and carefully place 10 pretzel bites at a time into the water for 30 seconds. 
 
Using a slotted spoon, remove the dough balls from the water and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with pretzel salt. Repeat with the rest of the bites until they have all been boiled. Then bake in the air fryer for 6 minutes at 390 degrees F.
 
Oven-baking - bake at 425 degrees F on a parchment-lined sheet for 10-12 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Pretzel Bites {Soft Pretzel Bites}
Amount Per Serving (8 bites)
Calories 37 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 47mg2%
Potassium 11mg0%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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30 comments on “Air Fryer Pretzel Bites {Soft Pretzel Bites}”

  1. I could not get my pretzel bites to brown!  They looked like albino pretzel bites. They tasted okay but I think the appearance through me off. I baked them in the oven. Next time I will try our air fryer. Hopefully they will look as good as yours!

  2. These were amazing! They only took about half an hour to make including cooking. They tasted so good! I split the recipe in half and really enjoyed it. Will defiantly be making these again.

  3. I have made homemade pretzels before and baked them and really wanted to try this.. but have been busy with life! New Years Eve is appetizer night in our house and although we have all the junk from the store the husband bought( Mama has been recovering from surgery) I really wanted pretzel bites! I whipped up the dough and let it sit about 8 minutes while I cleaned up the kitchen. We did the first batch just tossed into the air fryer and they were light brown and yummy… I did the baking soda method for the rest and they turned out dark brown and delish! We are loving them with yellow or grainy mustard to dip and I have tossed all of them into a bowl with melted butter and a few shakes of garlic salt.. SO FREAKING GOOD!

    • 1) appetizer night is always fantastic, even if you’re not recovering from surgery.
      2) I hope you’re feeling better.
      3) pretzel bites rock, and I love that you created garlic butter for these. YUM!!

  4. I have made the regular pretzel bread and these bites and they are both fantastic! My kids ask for the bites often because they are faster. Any recipe that is fast, delicious, and easy is a winner in my book.