Parmesan Pretzel Knots

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Parmesan Pretzel Knots + Cheese Sauce + Marinara is basically my idea of the perfect game day food.

Parmesan Pretzel Knots with Parmesan Cheese Sauce

With the big game right around the corner, I thought it might be time to step things up a bit. Game Day snacks are a specialty of mine. Regardless of if the party is at my house, or I’m cooking for a private chef client, I’m all about serving an array of snack food. These Parmesan Pretzel Knots are going to be present from here on out. It’s a classic pretzel dough recipe that packs an Italian punch. Loaded with grated Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and then dipped in a Parmesan cheese sauce – I mean it’s a match made in heaven.

Parmesan Pretzel Knots Recipe

You could twist these into a traditional pretzel shape, but I’m currently obsessing over the knots! Check out the step by step picture below on how to twist these pieces of dough into the perfect shape.

How to Form a Pretzel Knot

Pretzel Knots Prep

Parmesan Pretzel Knots

5 from 6 votes


For the Pretzel Knots

  • 1 1/2 cups warm 110 to 115 degrees F water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable oil for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt
  • Warmed Marinara Sauce for serving

For the Parmesan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste


  • Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour, butter, italian seasoning and parmesan and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside. Meanwhile, bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  • In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll into ropes, fold the rope in half around your finger, twist 2 to 3 times and then tuck the end into the hole where your finger was holding. Place onto 2 parchment-lined and sprayed half sheet pan. (if you have one, a silpat sheet works best as there’s not possible chance for sticking)
  • Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

For the Parmesan Cheese Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour into melted butter and whisk for 1 minute until golden.
  • Slowly stream in the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Add the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Pour the cheese sauce into a bowl and serve alongside the pretzel knots.


adapted from Alton Brown

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking


    1. Yes, that marinara sauce looks good , but wow, never knew how to twist a pretzel before! I mean, I know that seems basic but for people who don’t bake a lot not really. Kind of staring into space right now just thinking about it.

    1. Hey Nika!! You could make the dough, shape the pretzels and then freeze them. Then the day of, thaw them out totally and bake as the directions say!

    2. Gaby – to clarify, would you freeze after shaping but before boiling? Or freeze after boiling? Thank you!!

  1. Hi Gaby,
    As a big fan all the way from Jerusalem, Israel (you’re international!) I have a couple of questions:
    First of all, how much yeast comes in a packet by you guys?
    Second, I have no idea what the equivalent to Italian seasoning is here. Do you think you could break it down for me?
    Or maybe you have an idea for a substitute?
    I’m dying to make these!!!! 🙂

    1. Of course!! 1 yeast packet here is 7 grams or 1/4 ounce!

      And you could use any combination of rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley and thyme!! In fact you could use just basil, or just parsley – but equal amounts of each would give you a basic homemade Italian Seasoning!

  2. You are a culinary genius! These look absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to make them. Love your beautiful photos and incredible recipes.

    1. I’ve never done it by hand so I can’t answer you with 100% certainty! I think if you give it enough arm power you could – but it would take a while to get it to the same place a mixer gets it to!

  3. Are there any adjustments to be made for cooking at high altitude? These look amazing for Tahoe Super Bowl extravaganza! Thanks!!

    1. Hey Elisa! I haven’t tested them at high altitude so I’m not sure. Do you normally adjust baking? Sorry I cant be of more help!

  4. Just made these and they turned out perfect. Definitely a recipe to keep! Perfect addition to some slow cooker soup!

  5. Hi Gaby!

    How many pretzels does this recipe yield? Trying to figure out if I need to double the recipe for the game! thanks!

  6. Hi, these look amazing! I was wondering if you’ve ever made these smaller? Would it be less of a cook time? I was thinking cutting them in half so I would have double the pretzels!


  7. These look amazing! Do you think the cheese could be reheated (if I made it ahead) or is it a make it and use it immediately situation?

  8. How does instant yeast translate into this recipe? (Measurement, and how to use) Sorry – bread making amateur here!

  9. Hey Gaby!
    I don’t have a mixer with dough attachments…I was wondering if that’s a necessity or could I knead it by hand? I have a regular Cuisinart hand mixer? Could that work or does it have to have the special dough attachments?


  10. Hi. I want to make these for Sunday. If I can’t get pretzel salt, what other kind of salt can I use?
    Thank you!

  11. These are super delish I made them last year! I’m going to my Dad’s house though can I make them ahead like an hour before will they still be good if not fresh out of the oven?

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfectionnnnn. I added Italian style soffrito herbs instead of traditional Italian spices and Would be good with WGC Tastes Like Pizza too!

  13. 5 stars
    These were excellent and the recipe easy to follow.
    If I wanted to make just plain pretzel knots would it work to just omiut the Italiand seasoning and parmessan?

  14. Hi Gaby, I am definitely dough challenged… there a dough that can be bought that I could “juzzz” up to be like,this pretzel dough? Thanks?

  15. Can I make the dough, shape the pretzels and boil them, and leave out to cook in the oven until later in day before the game?

    1. I haven’t tried that – but I think that would work. Although the skin might be a little tougher if it sits out too long

  16. Hi Gaby!

    Love your recipes. I’m currently making these pretzel knots but my dough is not as smooth as yours. I followed the recipe exactly. Do you have any thoughts on why that might be? It’s rising now and I’m hopeful it will be fine. I didn’t do the ounce to cups conversation and went with 4 1/2 cups as you suggested.

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious! Made these on Super Bowl Sunday and they were really good. The dough came together easily in my mixer and were easy to twist and shape. Really tasty alone or with marinara sauce.

  18. Just to give some feedback on if you dont have a kitchenaid stand mixer, I made these over the weekend and used my vitamix food processor to mix the dough (multi-use blade). It worked out jsut fine and I did do a little extra kneading by hand after removing it from the mixer. Also I have made this with the ninja processor with dough blade and it came out fine. So yes, lots of options for those of us without a stand mixer.

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