Soft Pretzel Bites with Vegan Beer Cheese Dip

A vegan take on the classic duo of soft pretzel bites and cheesy beer dip that compliment each other perfectly!

Super Bowl Sunday is days away and we have you covered for the ultimate viewing party snack! Full disclosure – we are not sports fans in our apartment. Yes, we love a summer Blue Jays game and you bet we hop on the bandwagon when Toronto teams make the playoffs but if you love sports, these will make a great addition to your Super Bowl Sunday experience. If not, make them anyway because these pillowy little bites are an all-around great snack to have for any occasion. Big pretzels are cool, don’t get us wrong, but we love bites. With a crispy golden crust and soft, fluffy centre in each bite they’re adorable, perfect for sharing, and great for dipping too!

Speaking of dips, we’ve paired the pretzels with a beer cheese dip because it’s such a classic match. Our vegan cheese dip gets its amazing depth of flavour from cooking the veggies in beer, adding miso paste for an umami punch, a generous amount of nooch (nutritional yeast), and finally, stirring the blended sauce into a roux (butter and flour) for that creamy cheesy texture we all know and love.   

This iconic combo is a real crowd-pleaser that is sure to become part of your entertaining repertoire! Let us know which type of beer you used and what other dips are your favourite with pretzel bites! 

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations – @smallkitchenbigplates

Soft Pretzel Bites with Vegan Beer-Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 8-10 (about 60 bites and 3 cups of dip)
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A vegan take on the classic duo of soft pretzel bites and cheesy beer dip that compliment each other perfectly!

Ingredients

    Soft Pretzel Bites
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or vegan white sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted and divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    Vegan Beer-Cheese Dip
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup beer (lager or ale), divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon grainy or dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened oat milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions

Make the Pretzel Bites
1. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and set aside for 7-10 minutes to activate the yeast. You will know it is activated when the mixture is bubbly and foamy. Add the teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of melted butter (the other tablespoon will be used to brush the pretzel bites before baking) and mix with a wooden spoon or dough hook of stand mixer.
2. Add in the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing after each cup, until all 4 cups are incorporated. If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead for 4-6 minutes until smooth or if using a mixer, knead on medium speed for 4 minutes. Form the dough into a ball.
3. Lightly oil a bowl, place the ball of dough in the bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place in a warm spot to rise for an hour. The dough should just about double in size during this time. Now you can move onto the beer cheese dip and come back to the pretzel bites in an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line two baking sheets with a silicone mat. Add 10 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the baking soda.
5. Meanwhile, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each one into a long rope (30 cm/12 inches) and cut each rope into 8 2.5 cm (1-inch) pieces.
6. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop 10 bites into the water and boil for 2 minutes, turning them over after 1 minute. Remove from the water and place on the prepared baking sheets and repeat until all of the bites are boiled.
7. Brush each bite with the reserved melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.

Make the Beer-Cheese Dip
1. While the pretzel dough is rising for an hour, start preparing the beer cheese dip. Soak the cashews for 20 minutes and dice the onion and carrots into equal size pieces so they cook evenly.
2. Add the vegetable oil to a pan over medium heat and add the onion and carrot. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, turning down the heat if the onion starts to burn. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of beer and bring the mixture to a simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
3. When the pretzel bites are finished baking, finish the beer cheese dip. Drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a blender with the sautéed onion and carrot mixture, mustard, tomato paste, miso paste, nutritional yeast, and oat milk. Blend on high until smooth.
4. Melt the 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute, until it turns into a paste. Stir in the cheesy sauce from the blender, add the remaining 1/2 cup of beer, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dip is hot and thick, stirring occasionally.
5. Pour the dip into a bowl and serve with the warm soft pretzel bites!

Notes

  1. For the beer, we used Beau’s Lug Tread (a Canadian favourite of ours that has great sustainability initiatives), but feel free to use any lager or ale. For a non-alcoholic version, we recommend Partake Blonde (also a Canadian brewery that is 100% vegan) as we have tested this and it worked great!
  2. If you just want to make the pretzel bites with a simpler dip, combine equal parts grainy mustard and maple syrup and if you want a spicier kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce.
  3. The pretzel bites can be frozen in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months. When you want them, pop them out and leave them on the counter for a few hours or heat them up in the oven for a few minutes.
  4. The beer cheese dip is best served fresh and hot, however, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and just heat it up on the stove when ready to eat.

  1. You 2 have done it again!! The pretzel bites and dip look so delicious in these stunning photos. The recipes are very easy to follow. Thanks for the substitution suggestions and the beer recommendations!!

    Liked by 1 person

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