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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 7 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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19 comments on “Air Fryer Pretzel Bites {Soft Pretzel Bites}”

  1. I’m making these for an Oktoberfest party for everyone to snack on while I finish cooking the rest of the meal (I’m never ready when they arrive). I made them today (beforehand) to try them out and they are AMAZING!!! I am going to really impress my friends!

  2. Will all purpose gluten free flour work?

    • A friend did it but needed to add a bit more water to make the dough workable. She was unable to roll the dough to make ropes, but she could free form the dough balls. Her preference was to do the baking soda bath with them.

  3. These are amazing and super easy to make! I have a small air fryer and was still done in less than an hour. My kids like them better with the water method but I like them best when they’re in my tummy! Thank you for adapting your already delicious pretzel rolls! 

  4. If I freeze them. How would I do the baking soda step? Can I do that frozen? Fresh, I prefer the flavor and softness of the baking soda step. They were great thanks!!!

    • I haven’t tried that, but I *think* if you defrost them fully you should be able to do the baking soda bath. If you try it please let me know how it works out and I’ll update the notes.

      • I thawed them and it worked!!! I froze them on a platter and stored in a ziplock. Today I thawed them in the fridge. I did the baking soda method and cooked them in the air fryer. They were perfect!!Thanks so much!

      • Awesome! Thank you so much for letting me know. 🙂

  5. I cannot wait to try this recipe! 

  6. I absolutely love this recipe! I look for any excuse to make them. They make a dull meal fun. I have to make a half batch because they are too yummy to last.

  7. Yum! I made these for a Super Bowl snack last night. I just made half a batch and I regret it because they were awesome. I loved how chewy they were and how quickly they came together. I suspect that I will make these again soon as a side to soup.

    • I’ve never had them with soup; you’re a freaking genius, Louisa!

      If you do make a full batch next time, you can freeze the unbaked bites for future meals. We had them yesterday and I just popped them into the air fryer for 6 minutes.

  8. I have been eyeing these off for awhile now and finally made them for superbowl today. Both my husband and I love them! We didn’t have pretzel salt but some fine seat salt did the trick. I’m so glad I have a bunch left in the freezer now because I’d be lying if I said I’m already dreaming about the next time I try them!