Garlic Parmesan Pretzels - Soft & Chewy | Handle The Heat
Filed Under: Bread | Savory | Snack

Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

By Tessa Arias
  |  
January 5th, 2022
4.87 from 45 votes
4.87 from 45 votes

Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels are crispy and buttery on the outside and soft on the inside. Topped with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herbs for a perfect game day food or savory snack! SO delish.

Yield: 10 pretzels

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook: 16 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Buttery, garlicy, and so cheesy! Texture: Crisp outside, soft inside. Ease: Intermediate. Don't be intimidated by the baking soda bath - it's simple once you get the hang of it! Appearance: They look just as good as they taste! Buttery soft pretzels with the most amazing garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herb topping. Pros: Tastes even better than one you would buy at the ballpark! And absolutely perfect for game day or as a crowd-pleasing party appetizer. Cons: Have to wait for rise time. Would I make this again? Definitely would make this again!

As much as I LOVE the classic Soft Pretzel Recipe on the site (a recipe Joe actually invented!), sometimes I want to spice it up a bit.

What better way to spice up pretzels then by adding heaps of garlic and cheese?! There’s almost nothing better.

Introducing: Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels. The ULTIMATE game day food or savory party snack.

Buttery, cheesy, and loaded with garlic. What more could you want out of a carb?! I’ve shared all my secret tips for making perfect pretzels at home in the pink tip box below.

    How to Make Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

    Knead Your Pretzel Dough!

    This dough is quite dense and heavy so it needs to be kneaded well in order to allow the gluten to develop. The gluten is the backbone of the structure of these pretzels, giving them their distinct shape and chewy texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you can also knead by hand. It’ll just require some upper body strength and about 3 to 5 more minutes of time.

    How to Make A Baking Soda Bath for Pretzels:

    Don’t be afraid of this step. It is really easy, and makes a big difference in getting that golden crispy outside with the soft inside texture.

    1. You’ll need 2/3 cup of baking soda and 10 cups of water.
    2. In a large pot, bring the baking soda and water to a boil.
    3. Boil the pretzels in small batches in the soda solution for 45 seconds, then flip and boil for an additional 45 seconds.

    Note: Make sure to dunk only up to two pretzels at a time to ensure they are able to soak thoroughly.

    How to Shape Pretzels:

    Shape the log into a letter U. Cross the arms placing one over the other, then twist them around each other once. Bring the ends down to the bottom of the U and gently press to stick. Place on two greased parchment-lined baking sheets.

    tutorial showing how to shape pretzels

    Ingredients for the Garlic Parmesan Topping:

    • Unsalted butter
    • Fresh garlic
    • Salt (add more or less to taste)
    • Garlic powder
    • Dried parsley
    • Finely grated Parmesan cheese

    How to Store Pretzels:

    These pretzels are definitely best served the day they’re baked. Even better, still warm from the oven! However, you can store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat in the toaster oven at 350°F for a few minutes to refresh.

    How to Freeze Pretzels:

    Store the baked but plain uncoated pretzels in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

    Defrost by letting them sit on the counter for about an hour. Or, simply microwave for about 30 seconds. If desired for a crispier texture, once defrosted, refresh in the toaster for about 5 minutes. Proceed with coating with butter and sprinkling with the topping as directed in the recipe.

    More Recipes You’ll Love:

    4.87 from 45 votes

    How to make
    Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

    Yield: 10 pretzels
    Prep Time: 45 minutes
    Cook Time: 16 minutes
    Rising Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 31 minutes
    Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels are crispy and buttery on the outside and soft on the inside. Topped with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herbs for a perfect game day food or savory snack! SO delish.

    Ingredients

    For the pretzels:

    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups (355 grams) warm water (about 110°F), divided
    • 5 cups (635 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For baking soda bath:

    • 2/3 cup of baking soda
    • 10 cups of water

    For the garlic Parmesan:

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt (add more or less to taste)
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    Make the dough:

    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the water. Whisk to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes or until frothy.
    2. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups water, flour, and salt and stir to combine. On low speed, gradually pour in the melted butter.
    3. Increase speed to medium and knead for about seven minutes until the dough is elastic and completely smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands. This will be a dense dough, so be careful not to step away from your mixer in case it decides to jump on the counter.

    Shape the pretzels:

    1. There is no need to allow this dough to rise prior to shaping. Remove the dough to a clean work surface (do not flour). Divide into 10 equal pieces (each should be about 100 grams). Roll each piece against the counter or between your palms into about a 20-inch long log.
    2. Shape the log into a letter U. Cross the arms placing one over the other then twist them around each other once. Bring the ends down to the bottom of the U and gently press to stick. Place on two greased parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with all the dough portions.

    3. Cover and allow the shaped pretzels to rise for 30 minutes while you prepare the bath. The shaped pretzels should be slightly puffed before 'bathing.'

    Prepare the baking soda bath:

    1. In a large pot, bring the baking soda and water to a soft boil. Once risen, boil the pretzels in small batches in the soda solution for 30 seconds, then flip and boil for an additional 30 seconds.
    2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pretzels back to the prepared baking sheets. Using a paring knife, score two slices into the thickest part of each pretzel. Repeat until all pretzels have been bathed and scored.

    Bake the pretzels:

    1. Bake both trays at 400°F for about 16 minutes, alternating the trays half through the baking time for even baking, until deeply golden brown. Bake for less time for softer pretzels and more time for crispier pretzels.

    Prepare the topping:

    1. While the pretzels bake, melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the salt, garlic powder, and parsley and stir to combine.
    2. Brush hot pretzels all over with the garlic butter mixture. Sprinkle generously with the Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.
    Course : Appetizer, Snack
    Cuisine : American
    Keyword : garlic parmesan soft pretzel, soft pretzel

    This post was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022 with recipe improvements and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin. 

    January 2022 Baking Challenge

    This recipe was the January 2022 selection for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Full challenge details here. Check out everyone’s pretzels:

    Tessa Arias
    Author: Tessa Arias

    I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

    Tessa Arias

    About Tessa...

    I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

    Find Tessa on  

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    Recipe Rating




    1. #
      Jessy — April 3, 2022 at 8:26 am

      This is a great idea . Are the ingredients for the dough the same to knead with hand, since I don’t have a stand mixer

      • #
        Emily — April 4, 2022 at 2:49 pm

        Hi Jessy! The ingredients will stay the same, you’ll just need to knead the dough for about 3-5 additional minutes than what the recipe calls for. Let us know what you think of this recipe when you give it a try 🙂

    2. #
      Danielle Flynn — January 31, 2022 at 10:59 am

      These were so good! The topping takes them to the next level! Would definitely make again.

    3. #
      Madison L — January 31, 2022 at 8:55 am

      Oh mama are these fantastic! This recipe is so straight-forward and easy to follow, it was really fun too shape these too.

    4. #
      Vanessa Milinazzo — January 31, 2022 at 6:01 am

      Delicious and super easy to make. Was my first time using yeast and the pretzels turned out great!

      • #
        Emily — February 1, 2022 at 9:47 am

        So glad you gave our recipe a try!

    5. #
      Fithria — January 31, 2022 at 2:44 am

      Yummy pretzels

    6. #
      Mike Gilson — January 30, 2022 at 10:10 pm

      These are delicious! I made the beer cheese dip to go with it, but honestly didn’t need to; the flavor of these are great stand alone! Very easy to make (the difference between this dough and the classic soft pretzel dough is minor), and making the garlic butter topping that gets brushed on made me hungry for hours, with the scent floating about the house.

    7. #
      Chrissy Ross — January 30, 2022 at 6:09 pm

      I wanted to love these like all the other of HTH recipes I’ve made, but this was a miss for me. I guess I haven’t had enough soft pretzels in my life, but I found they just tasted like baking soda. The recipe was easy to follow, and the texture was was really nice – hubby loved them, so maybe it’s just me?

      • #
        Emily — February 1, 2022 at 12:39 pm

        Sorry to hear that, Chrissy! I’d suggest placing your pretzels in the baking soda bath for a bit shorter period of time the next time you try this recipe. You’re also welcome to use a lye bath instead, as detailed in the pink box above our Classic Soft Pretzels recipe. I hope you give this recipe another try!

    8. #
      Lesa Cooper — January 30, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      My husband made this with me and we had so much fun!! Loved the amazing flavor, he thought they needed more butter garlic mixture than just brushed on so he kinda poured it on, lol, then covered with the Parmesan!!! So fun!! Great Sunday together time!!

    9. #
      Carolyn — January 30, 2022 at 3:14 pm

      I was excited to make this recipe & while they tasted good, they didn’t turn out as expected. When I left my pretzels to rise for 30 min, they didn’t rise at all – maybe I did something wrong with the yeast or my kitchen was too cool? I wish there was some more explanation about that step in the process. Then when I took them out of the oven they were completely stuck to the parchment paper. My paper was greased so I have no idea what happened. They were so stuck that I had to cut the bottom of the pretzels completely off so I could avoid eating the paper. While my pretzels were mutilated by the time I ate them, the garlic parmesan topping was great!

      • #
        Emily — February 1, 2022 at 2:53 pm

        Sorry to hear that, Carolyn! Your pretzels really shouldn’t stick if using parchment + spray. I’d suggest trying a different brand of either or both, and making sure to allow the excess water from the bath to drip off before placing back on the parchment-lined tray. Tessa just added a note in the directions as well that after letting the dough rise for 30 minutes, your shaped pretzels should be slightly puffed. If your pretzels didn’t puff up a bit, I’d recommend making sure that your yeast is fresh. You can find how to do so in this article HERE. I hope that helps, and I really hope you give them another try. Let us know how it goes!

    10. #
      Shimada — January 30, 2022 at 12:14 pm

      One word: Delicious!

    11. #
      Kim S — January 29, 2022 at 10:05 pm

      I made the garlic Parmesan soft pretzels using the baking soda bath. They turned out fantastic. Tasty, easy to make. We just love them! A great recipe.

    12. #
      Paul H — January 29, 2022 at 7:17 pm

      Pretzels were good, but I used the baking soda method. I wonder if the lye would get closer to the traditional texture of the crust. The garlic parmesan topping was fine. The recipe is very simple to do.

      • #
        Emily — February 1, 2022 at 9:34 am

        Hi Paul! Yes, feel free to use the lye bath to achieve the texture of a Bavarian-style pretzel.

    13. #
      Karen — January 29, 2022 at 6:33 pm

      Just made these tonight and they are amazing! They were slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I made in the lye bath used in the classic recipe so not sure how that could have tributed to the texture but I would make them the same next time

    14. #
      Amy Hoffman — January 29, 2022 at 5:30 pm

      I made these pretzels tonight. They are super good! I love garlic, parmesan cheese & pretzels so I thought it was the perfect combination. The recipe is so well written & easy to follow. I will be making this recipe again!

    15. #
      Jessica — January 29, 2022 at 4:59 pm

      These garlic Parmesan pretzels are amazing. They are so soft and so chewy but not too chewy and the flavor is insane. These will be my go to.

    16. #
      Nicole — January 29, 2022 at 4:05 pm

      These were so tasty! Great flavor especially if you like garlic.

    17. #
      Renee Meaux — January 29, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      Such a delightful recipe! Perfect to go along with soups or just as a snack… delicious!

    18. #
      Suzanne Holup — January 29, 2022 at 12:52 pm

      Followed the recipe exactly as stated and my pretzels turned out beautifully! My husband was my first taste tester and he absolutely loved them! Great snack for football gatherings too : )

    19. #
      Tess — January 29, 2022 at 11:15 am

      These are great and easy to make! Next time I’ll leave them in the baking soda bath for a bit less time because there was a baking soda aftertaste but otherwise awesome.

    20. #
      Linda Daniels — January 28, 2022 at 7:15 pm

      Can one use barley malt powder instead of syrup? And if so, how much and when one one add it?

      • #
        Emily — February 1, 2022 at 10:12 am

        Hi Linda! Just clarifying, this recipe uses 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, not barley malt syrup. You’re welcome to replace the brown sugar with 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup instead. We haven’t tried barley malt powder, so I can’t say for sure. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try 🙂

    21. #
      Kathleen Davis — January 26, 2022 at 4:42 pm

      These garlic parmesan pretzels are delicious! The recipe is easy and fun. Try them!!

    22. #
      Donna — January 25, 2022 at 3:28 pm

      I made the Garlic Parmesan Pretzels as bites to enjoy with a wine and cheese family celebration. The Garlic Parmesan topping was so good I made extra for dipping. They worked beautifully, reheated quickly and like the pretzels and cheese sauce were a hit with the family. Thank you Tessa and HtH!

      • #
        Emily — January 26, 2022 at 7:43 am

        Wow, that sounds like such a delicious time! So fun! Glad to hear everyone loved them 🙂

    23. #
      Megan — January 25, 2022 at 9:32 am

      These were amazing. I fully intend to make a large batch and keep my freezer stocked.

    24. #
      Sophia T — January 25, 2022 at 4:42 am

      The parmesan garlic pretzels were delicious, and so easy to make! They were perfect as a snack on a snowy day.

      • #
        Emily — January 25, 2022 at 11:24 am

        So glad you loved them! I agree, they’re the perfect treat during these winter months!

    25. #
      Emily — January 24, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      Delicious and super easy!!

    26. #
      Michael Dwyer — January 24, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      Fantastic! And fun to make, even though rolling out the pretzels was an unexpected amount of work!

      Of course it didn’t help when I tipped the pan of topping onto the floor with the baking pans as they came out of the oven! I was already on a tight time schedule, but redoing the topping was a quick process the second time around. And I used a coarser salt after seeing how things were coming together.

      • #
        Emily — January 24, 2022 at 4:06 pm

        Oh my goodness, sounds like you had quite the time making these pretzels! Glad they turned out well!

    27. #
      Joy-Anne — January 24, 2022 at 6:21 am

      These were just so mmmm… My brother loved them and asked for a THIRD serving!! Super delicious… absolutely perfect!

      • #
        Emily — January 24, 2022 at 2:00 pm

        Yay!! So happy to hear they were such a hit!

    28. #
      Sara Tiffany — January 23, 2022 at 5:49 pm

      Oh my amazing!! I can’t even put into words how delicious these were!

    29. #
      Natalie — January 22, 2022 at 4:30 pm

      These were delicious! My husband and I loved them and they were the perfect pre-game snack!

    30. #
      Eva — January 22, 2022 at 3:49 am

      They’re really easy to make and greatly explained 🙂 Taste is also yummy, just like garlic bread

      Sadly they tasted a bit too much of baking soda, in my view. And my brush kept on smelling of garlic after washing it :c

    31. #
      Abby — January 21, 2022 at 9:09 pm

      Ahhh!! I love these so much! So fun to make as well and love the short rising time!

    32. #
      Belinda Bazan-Lara — January 20, 2022 at 10:23 am

      I made the Soft Parmesan Garlic Pretzels snd they are outstanding. The recipe was very simple to follow as bd the pretzels are award winning!!! The flavors are perfectly blended and the pretzels are so tender and delicious. Will certainly add this to my Super Bowl menu. Will add small pepperoni too!!!!

      • #
        Emily — January 20, 2022 at 12:14 pm

        Ooo great idea to add pepperoni to the pretzels, yum!! So happy you loved this recipe!

    33. #
      Carla — January 19, 2022 at 8:41 am

      Pretzels have always intimidate me, but Tessa’s directions have always made harder things turn out so I had full faith and was not disappointed!
      So delicious and will definitely be making these again, beautiful flavour!

      • #
        Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:35 am

        Yay! You just gave us the best compliment, so happy to hear how much her directions help! Glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

    34. #
      Dasom Yi — January 18, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      The BEST pretzel recipe ever! I made these for my husband and my 24 months old toddler, and they love them. Thank you!!!

      • #
        Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:41 am

        So happy your family loved them!

    35. #
      Erinn Jambor — January 17, 2022 at 1:32 pm

      These pretzels are amazing! The garlic Parmesan is delicious and the recipe was easy to follow. A great snack!!!

    36. #
      Kiersten — January 17, 2022 at 12:10 pm

      Loved this recipe. Next time I might try blending the butter garlic mixture prior to adding the salt garlic powder and parsley so it spreads a bit easier and captures more flavor!

    37. #
      Jodi Salvage — January 16, 2022 at 6:20 pm

      Cinnamon sugar were the kids favorite but Garlic Parm is my husband’s favorite by far! So delicious!

    38. #
      Celia — January 16, 2022 at 12:18 pm

      I never thought to do any topping besides plain old salt…these are AMAZING!!!!

      • #
        Emily — January 18, 2022 at 10:53 am

        So happy you loved them!

    39. #
      Esther Chow — January 15, 2022 at 7:50 pm

      These were so good! I didn’t have dried parsley but I did have fresh parsley so I added that in the topping.

    40. #
      Amanda Bouchard — January 15, 2022 at 5:41 pm

      These are sooo good and sooo easy!! Could seriously eat a whole pan of them at once!

    41. #
      Dana D. — January 15, 2022 at 2:25 pm

      So delicious was a perfect snack for my husband and my 17 month old! And not as hard as one may think to make!

    42. #
      Celeste Adrianne Bennett — January 14, 2022 at 2:31 pm

      The dough was perfect and very easy to work with. The pretzels turned out amazing! Delicious.

    43. #
      Alyssa Hahn — January 10, 2022 at 10:01 am

      So good!! Soft and chewy.

    44. #
      Hilmarie Tran — January 9, 2022 at 10:40 am

      Super easy and delicious! Husband and kid approved. Will definitely be making again!

    45. #
      Dulce Simental — January 8, 2022 at 3:03 pm

      These pretzels are so savory and delicious. I already can’t wait to make them again!!

    46. #
      Cristina A — January 8, 2022 at 4:57 am

      These pretzels are absolutely delicious! My husband ate 3 in an instant! Pretty easy to make, the recipe is very clear and helpful! I will definitely make this again and recommend it to anyone!

      • #
        Emily — January 10, 2022 at 12:45 pm

        Amazing!! That’s so great to hear, thanks for the comment!

    47. #
      Julie — January 6, 2022 at 6:36 pm

      Sooooo good!! And so easy to make. Do yourself a favor, make these. Now.

      • #
        Emily — January 7, 2022 at 11:57 am

        Glad you enjoyed them, Julie!

    48. #
      Lauri Rottmayer — January 6, 2022 at 11:33 am

      Yummy, squishy, and delicious. Easy to make!

    49. #
      Ayla M — January 5, 2022 at 6:08 pm

      So straightforward and soft! Did ~14 minutes for a little softer pretzels but they still browned very nicely. I found that I needed more of the butter mixture to cover all 10 pretzels but it was delicious. *Chefs kiss*

      • #
        Emily — January 6, 2022 at 9:56 am

        So happy you loved them! Thanks for your feedback 🙂

    50. #
      Catherine — March 31, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Hi,

      I am just curious if you would be able to provide a substitute for the Johnny’s Garlic Spread and Seasoning in this recipe? I live in Canada and don’t seem to have access to it anywhere,
      Anything you can suggest would be most helpful.

      Thanks!

    51. #
      Erika S. — January 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      So excited to try these…I bet adding chives would make them even tastier!

    52. #
      Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — January 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Looks SO good! Love me some soft pretzels!!

    53. #
      Gaby — January 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      These look excellent!!! I am dying ti try these!

    54. #
      Erin | Well Plated — January 19, 2015 at 6:53 am

      I have a soft spot for soft pretzels and these are RIGHT ON!

    55. #
      Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — January 19, 2015 at 5:36 am

      Excited to see Rachel here!! Love that girl!
      AND, I almost love these pretzels more. Can you go wrong with soft, bready goodness and cheese?
      Definitely not. Pinned!

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