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How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Soft Pretzels

You’re looking at a spicy twist on a classic! These jalapeño cheddar soft pretzels start with a simple 7-ingredient dough made with Platinum Yeast by Red Star. Garlic powder, hot jalapeños, and sharp cheddar cheese turn ordinary pretzels into a completely irresistible kicked-up snack.

For the best homemade soft pretzels, I recommend using a strong and dependable yeast. Platinum Yeast from Red Star is a premium instant yeast. Its careful formula contains natural dough strengtheners and makes working with yeast simple.

To make the dough, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook, or a regular large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. After the pretzel dough comes together, it’s time to knead it. This is very easy, and quick, too. Either keep the dough in the stand mixer bowl and mix for longer OR knead the dough by hand on a floured counter. Whichever method you use, it should be about 3 to 4 minutes of kneading.

The BEST part about this recipe, besides the irresistible salty, garlicky, spicy flavors… is that there’s hardly any rise time. Cover the kneaded dough and let it rest for just 10 minutes. During this time, you can prepare the baking soda bath. After the 10 minute rest, it’s time to shape the pretzels.

My #1 success tip? Use a baking soda bath when making soft pretzels from scratch. Why? A quick dip in boiling water + baking soda helps give the pretzels their classic flavor, chewy texture, and golden-brown color. If you skip this step, you’ll just have pretzel-shaped bread.

This recipe yields 12 pretzels. After boiling, brush the pretzels with melted butter. Place a few jalapeño slices on each, then top with coarse salt. About halfway through the bake time, remove the pretzels from the oven, and sprinkle on the cheese. The cheese melts and gets a little crispy around the edges. SO GOOD!

These make an excellent weekend or game day snack! I like serving with stone-ground mustard, or a cheese dipping sauce.

Jalapeño Cheddar Soft Pretzels Video Tutorial:

Jalapeño Cheddar Soft Pretzels

You’re looking at a spicy twist on a classic! These jalapeño cheddar soft pretzels start with a simple 7-ingredient dough made with our Platinum Yeast. Garlic powder, hot jalapeños, and sharp cheddar cheese turn ordinary pretzels into a completely irresistible kicked-up snack.
Yield 12 pretzels




  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (around 100℉/38℃)
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) table salt
  • 1 teaspoon (1.5g) garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon (12.5g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 3/4 cups (469-500g) all-purpose flour (plus more for work surface and hands)

Baking Soda Bath

  • 1/2 cup (120g) baking soda
  • 9 cups (2.13L) water


  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons; 56g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 to 5 jalapeños, sliced
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (188-250g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  • Prepare the dough: In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yeast into the warm water. Cover and allow to sit for 1 minute.
  • Whisk in salt, garlic powder, sugar, and melted butter. Add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup (125g) at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, or use a dough hook attachment, until combined. Add ¾ cup more flour and mix for 1 minute. If the dough is still sticky, add ¼–½ cup more, as needed.
  • Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment and beat on low speed for 3–4 minutes, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3–4 minutes. Poke it with your finger—if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready for the next step. If not, keep kneading.
  • First rise: Shape dough into a ball. Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To freeze, see freezing instructions in recipe Notes. (Meanwhile, I like to get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 7.)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with greased parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Shape pretzels: With a sharp knife, bench scraper, or pizza cutter, cut dough into ⅓-cup sections (about 75g each). Roll a piece of dough into a 20 to 22-inch rope. Form a circle with the dough by bringing the two ends together at the top of the circle. Twist the ends together. Bring the twisted ends back down towards yourself and press them down to form a pretzel shape.
  • Prepare water bath: Bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.
  • Boil pretzels: Drop 1 or 2 pretzels into the boiling water for 20–30 seconds. Any longer than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Place several jalapeño slices on each, pressing down lightly to get them to stick. Sprinkle each with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels. If desired, you can cover and refrigerate the boiled/unbaked pretzels for up to 24 hours before baking in step 9.
  • Bake: Bake for 10 minutes, remove pretzels from the oven, and sprinkle 2–3 Tablespoons of shredded cheese on top of each. Return to the oven for 8–12 more minutes, until the pretzels are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm.
  • Cover and store leftover pretzels at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They lose a little softness over time. To reheat, microwave for a few seconds, or bake at 350°F (177°C) for 5 minutes.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled pretzels freeze well for up to 3 months. To reheat, cover and bake frozen pretzels at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through, or you can microwave frozen pretzels until warm. The prepared pretzel dough can be frozen in an airtight container for 2–3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time, about 1 hour, for the shaped pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath.
  2. Can I skip the jalapeños? Yes, of course. You’ll still butter and salt the boiled pretzels, and leave off the jalapeños. Bake as directed, add cheese, then continue baking.
  3. Cheese: I recommend sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe, but you can use another semi-hard, flavorful cheese such as pepper jack, gouda, or Colby cheese. For best taste and texture, shred the cheese off the block yourself with a cheese grater. Pre-shredded cheese is drier than freshly shredded, and contains anti-caking agents.
Recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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Sally McKenney is a professional food photographer, cookbook author, and baker. She has written, photographed, and published more than 1,000 from-scratch recipes and written three cookbooks. Her thorough step-by-step tutorials give millions of followers the knowledge and confidence to bake from scratch.

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