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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 or game day treat.
a dish of pretzel bites topped with salt on a white board

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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.

a dish of pretzel bites topped with salt on a white board

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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.

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.

What to Serve With Soft Pretzel Bites

Besides mustard, Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce, or Greek Yogurt Ranch, these bites are amazing with some homemade Pub Cheese or this Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball. Want a sweet version of these bites? Check out these Cinnamon Pretzel Bites With Apple Syrup.

Pretzel Bites – Three Ways

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

Option 1 – Egg Wash

Mix 1 egg with 1 tbsp of water. Brush over the dough balls and sprinkle with salt prior to cooking.

Option 2 – Butter

Probably the easiest 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.

Option 3 – Baking Soda Bath (Vegan option)

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, dirtied an extra dish.

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 still 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.
a hand dipping a soft pretzel into a dish of mustard
a dish of pretzel bites topped with salt on a white board
Print Recipe
5 from 21 ratings

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 {see notes for active dry 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.
    1 1/2 cups water, 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
  • Add the flour, sugar, and sea salt and stir until it is mostly combined.
    4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp sea salt
  • 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 brush 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. See notes below for egg wash or baking soda bath options.
    3 tbsp butter, pretzel salt

Notes

  1. If you only have active yeast and not instant/quick-rise, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before rolling.
  2. {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.
  3. {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.
    1. 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.
  4. 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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62 comments on “Air Fryer Pretzel Bites {Soft Pretzel Bites}”

  1. So there is no proofing of the dough? Really surprises me!
    Going to give it a try…

    • Hi Melanie, no there is no proofing the dough as long as you use instant yeast/quick-rise. If you have active dry yeast, the recipe states: “If you only have active yeast and not quick-rise, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before rolling.”

  2. I saw your recipe and mamde it at home. It was very good. I fed it to my petents. My parents liked it very much and I managed to make it in a very short time.5 stars

  3. Sarah I have a question for you what if u don’t have baking soda? what do you use instead ?would it taste different? Please answer me back as soon as possible. 

    • There are three total options that you can use, baking soda is only one of them. You can also do an egg wash or a butter wash. I prefer butter.

      There are lots of notes in the post about this. I’d give it another look-see to figure out what would work best for you.

  4. This is the BEST pretzel recipe EVER. Made them for my grandson, who is a VERY picky eater. Hopefully he will like them as I LOVE them !5 stars

  5. Made these last night and they were amazing!  Kids loved them, my husband loved them, and I loved them.  

    However, today they were super chewy,  did I store them wrong? Or do they not store once cooked?

    • A few questions: 1) did you do a butter wash, egg wash, or baking soda bath on them? 2) did you put them in a container for storage before they were fully cooled?

  6. I would like to make these today with my new airfryer. I was reading the instructions, i am use to making breads, buns and sweet paatries. This dough is never risen or rested? . Or am I reading it wrong . I have never made pretzels before.

    • It doesn’t need to rise or rest if you’re using instant/rapid yeast. If you’re using active rise yeast, I’ve noted to let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

      I’m also a bread baker, so I know logically not letting something proof or rise just doesn’t make sense. But this works. 🙂

  7. Just made and they are incredible. Thank you!! 5 stars

  8. Going to try making these tomorrow. My kiddos love pretzel bites but I never buy them because $5 a package is ridiculous. If they lasted more than 4 minutes, maybe it would be ok. Lol