Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Instant Pot Salted Soft Pretzels with Cheese Sauce

Start to finish cook time: 40 minutes (9 prep + 15 yogurt function + 6 prep + 10 oven)
Effort Level: Medium - High
Servings: 8 pretzels

Carbs are my favorite, especially bagels and pretzels! This pretzel recipe is relatively easy compared to bagels and such an easy snack to pull out of the freezer!

Now one thing I've learned about making most breaded products from scratch (bagels, pretzels, bread) is that the time frame you can enjoy fresh is limited. After a few days I've noticed these tend to not taste as yummy and fresh, so I want to specify how to store these Pretzels. They are best consumed fresh, so if you are making as an appetizer do the day of right before event. If you have leftovers, perhaps you are eating more for single servings, freeze leftovers in a fully closed Ziploc immediately after cooling. They can be reheated for 45 seconds in the microwave and seriously taste near identical to how they did fresh!! I've started making these and doing freeze all batches, now instead of buying those boxed frozen pretzels I have these more fresh tasty homemade ones in the freezer on hand. It's so easy and good!

Do note, you need an Instant Pot with the Yogurt feature for this recipe. If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Adapted from

Pretzel Ingredients
  • 1 pkg active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt (for pretzel ingredients)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (for dough)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (to be brushed on pretzels after baking)
  • 1 egg white, scrambled raw
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp salt (for water bath)

Cheese Dip Ingredients
  • 20 oz box of Velveeta Mini Cheese Blocks, Original Cheese, 5 ct (1 block for max 4 pretzels, 2 blocks for full batch pretzels)
  • 5-8 tsp milk (per bar block of Velveeta)

  1. Add warm water, yeast, and sugar into a bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, it should form little algae like bubbles showing it's activating. Be sure water isn't hot or cold, you want warm to the touch. 
  2. After 5 minutes add the melted butter, salt, and flour to the bowl. Hand mix for 3-5 minutes until fully mixed and form a ball. Dough should not be super sticky. 
  3. Take a sheet of parchment paper and place dough ball on top of this, placing inside of your Instant Pot. Select the Yogurt normal function and set for 15 minutes (if it won't let you set for 15 set for 30 and take out at 15). Cover with a pot top, not the normal IP top.
  4. Set your oven to 425 and allow to preheat. In a large pot, start boiling the water and baking soda bath (be sure to add 1 tbsp salt to bath). 
  5. After 15 minutes, remove the dough ball from your IP. Knead a few times and separate into 8 parts.  Roll each into a long rope, then make a "U" shape and twist bringing the rope back down to make a pretzel shape (see pictures). Do this for all 8 pretzels. 
  6. Using a slotted spoon, gently place each pretzel one at a time in the boiling soda water. Allow the pretzel to boil for 30 seconds before removing and transferring to a parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  7.  In a small bowl, scramble an egg white. Brush each pretzel with mixed egg white wash using a brush and sprinkle pretzels with coarse sea salt after that.
  8. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Once out, brush with melted butter. 
  9. Combine Velveeta and 5 tsps milk in a small pot on stove on LOW. Mix frequently until cheese is melted and mixed with milk. This cheese will thicken once removed from heat, so you can keep adding tsp of milk until it's not too thick. Put into dipping bowls and serve with your pretzels.
**Pretzels are best consumed fresh. Freeze leftovers in a fully closed Ziploc immediately after cooling, they can be reheated for 45 seconds in the microwave and seriously taste near identical to how they did fresh***
Add water, yeast, and sugar into a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes,
at which point will look like little floating bubbles.
Add melted butter, salt, and flour to the bowl. Need until
fully blended and cohesive.
Place on parchment paper in IP and set to Yogurt for 15
minutes (if your pot won't let you set that low, set to 30 and
remove at 15).
Meanwhile start your water, salt, and soda bath on stove.
You will want it to reach a full boil.
Remove dough from IP and divide into 8 balls.
Roll each ball into long rope.
Make rope into a U and cross.
Twist down until you have formed a pretzel shape. Be sure
to push ends so they are fully attached to bottom. The fatter
the rope the thicker the pretzel once cooked, the thinner the
rope the larger thinner the pretzel once cooked.
Add pretzel to boiling bath and boil for 30 seconds. They
will fizzle and rise. Using slotted spoon remove.
Set on parchment paper.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Bake for 10 minutes on 425.
While pretzels are baking combine milk and velveeta on
low heat in a pot. Start with 5 tsp milk, and add additional
tsps if needed so consistency is semi loose (it will thicken
a lot once removed from heat so you don't want super
thick will still on stove).
Once pretzels come out, brush with melted butter.
Pour cheese into dipping containers and plate your pretzels for serving.
If freezing instead, place in ziplock and freeze.