Get dipping, cheese lovers! This pretzel cheese dip is restaurant-worthy and comes together easily on the stovetop featuring cheddar cheese and a roux. It’s flavored with serrano peppers, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, and dijon.
If you know anything about my husband, it’s that he’s obsessed with soft pretzels. And, if his pretzel doesn’t come with a legit pretzel cheese sauce, we’re going to have issues!
This is why we set out to make the perfect cheese sauce for soft pretzels. The key to a rich and creamy texture is a simple roux and shredded cheddar cheese. Through testing this recipe, we found that using freshly shredded cheese from a block worked much better than store-bought shredded cheese.
The method is simple and quick: Simply saute the peppers and onion, make the roux, add the milk, melt the shredded cheddar, and stir in the flavors.
What You Need for Pretzel Cheese Dip
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 % milk
- Serrano peppers, garlic, and white onion
- Olive oil
- Salted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Dijon mustard
- Red pepper flakes
- Make it spicy: feel free to add a spicier pepper such as jalapeños if you like heat.
- Add ground meat: you can turn this into a meal by adding cooked ground beef at the end.
- Swap the cheese: feel free to use a different shredded cheese such as Colby jack or Mexican cheddar.
Store-Bought vs. Homemade Soft Pretzels
If you’re in a pinch store-bought soft pretzels pair perfectly with this pretzel cheese dip. But if you’re really going for it, try our soft pretzel recipe over on our sister site, Fit Foodie Finds!
Pretzel Cheese Dip Tips & Tricks
Don’t Melt Cheese Over High Heat
While it’s definitely okay to sauté the onions and peppers over higher heat, DO NOT add in the cheese over high heat. Cheese is finicky and drastic temperature changes can cause it to become clumpy and grainy.
Make Sure You Stir dat Cheese
We love a good low-maintenance melting recipe, but this cheese dip requires stirring throughout the roux-making process as well as when adding the shredded cheese to the pot. This will result in the most creamy pretzel cheese dip you ever did see 😀
SPICE TO YOUR LIKING!
Like a little more kick to your pretzel cheese dip? YOU DO YOU! Feel free to add additional spices that pack a punch like cayenne or your favorite hot sauce or even amp up the red pepper flakes or use a spicy mustard.
This cheese dip is relatively mild when the recipe is followed exactly 😀
This recipe can easily be doubled if you’re serving a larger group. Just make sure your pot is large enough to accommodate all that cheese!
Reversely, you can cut this recipe in half to serve a smaller group as well. Just make sure you’re stirring frequently as the cooking / melting time will likely be less than a full batch!
How to Store Pretzel Cheese Dip
Store this pretzel cheese dip in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When Reheating Cheese Dip: we recommend reheating just like it’s cooked — LOW AND SLOW! Reheat in the slow cooker or stovetop on low, stirring frequently. This will help prevent any separating or uneven reheating.
Freezing Cheese Dip: because cheese has a difficult time with drastic temperature changes, we do NOT recommend freezing this pretzel cheese dip!
Other Ways to Serve this Pretzel Cheese Dip
Obviously, a traditional, warm soft pretzel is perfect for this dip. However, we’ve used it as a more classic cheese dip.
- Tortilla chips
- Sliced red, green or yellow peppers
- Sliced carrots
- Broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Drizzle over tacos, fajitas or quesadillas!
Pretzel Cheese Dip Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large white onion diced
- 2 teaspoons minced serrano pepper seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- ½ teaspoon salt separated
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2 % milk
- 10 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the olive oil is fragrant add the white onion, serrano pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the saucepan. Sauté the onion and serrano pepper together for 3-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Remove the onion and pepper from the pan and set aside.
- Prepare a roux for the base of the cheese sauce. Heat the same saucepan over medium/high heat. Add butter. When the butter is melted add flour and whisk until the butter and flour form a crumble.
- Slowly add milk to the pot, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk the roux over medium/high heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the roux thickens.
- When the roux is thick, turn the heat to low and slowly add the shredded cheese to the roux, whisking constantly until all the cheese is added and melted.
- Remove from heat and whisk the dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes into the cheese dip.
- Serve immediately with warm soft pretzels or keep over low heat, stirring periodically until ready to serve.
Tips & Notes
- While it’s definitely okay to sauté the onions and peppers over higher heat, DO NOT add in the cheese over high heat. Cheese is finicky and drastic temperature changes can cause it to become clumpy and grainy.