If you’ve ever made a batch of soft pretzels, you know that it’s tough to keep them all from being eaten in one sitting.
But what do you do with the leftovers? This is a question that I find myself asking quite often.
I love soft pretzels, but they can be a bit on the pricey side.
So, when I have leftovers, I need to figure out what to do with them.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to use up those extra pretzels.
Read on for some of my favorites.
Make breadcrumbs out of them
Then use them for meatloaf, fried chicken, or veggie burgers
Did you know that you can turn leftover soft pretzels into a crispy, savory topping for meatloaf or veggie burgers?
The recipe is simple.
Just toss your leftover pretzels in a food processor or blender and pulse until they’re coarsely ground.
Then stir the crumbs into an egg and coat your meat with them.
Be sure to bake the meatloaf or burgers at a slightly lower temperature than usual so that the crumbs can crisp up.
Use them as a base for homemade cheese sauce
The cheese sauce is one of my favorite ways to turn leftover soft pretzels into a new dish.
Simply melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, stir in 1/4 cup of flour to form a roux.
Let it cook for about five minutes until it begins to bubble.
Then slowly pour in 4 cups of milk and whisk until the mixture thickens to form your base cheese sauce.
Stir in some spices like salt, black pepper, dry mustard powder, and cayenne.
Add 1 cup of grated cheese to the saucepan and stir until it melts.
Pour your cheese sauce over leftover soft pretzels and top with additional grated cheese or bacon bits for a new pretzel twist on mac and cheese.
Use them as a pizza crust
Another new way to use pretzels is as a pizza crust.
Just substitute one of your crusts with crushed-up soft pretzels in the same ratio that you’d normally use for breadcrumbs.
This will give your pizza an irresistible new flavor.
Make pretzel crumbs for meatloaf, burgers, or fish cakes
You can also take leftover soft pretzels and turn them into a breadcrumb-like mixture to use as a meatloaf, burger, or fish cake base.
Just pulse the pretzels in a food processor until they’re coarse crumbs and then stir them into eggs to form a moist coating.
Turn them into pancakes
For a sweeter take on leftovers, you can make pancake batter out of them.
Just add in some eggs, baking powder, salt, and sugar to create a pancake-like batter that you can fry up into pancakes.
Add in any fruit or syrup for an even sweeter experience.
Turn them into stuffing
You can also turn leftover soft pretzels into stuffing.
Just take the pretzel crumbs and mix them with cooked celery, onion, butter, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, parsley flakes, and vegetable broth.
Stir well to combine.
The texture will be moist but firm enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball. (source)
Turn them into soft pretzel nuggets
You can also form leftover soft pretzels into balls and deep fry them to make “soft pretzel nuggets” that you’ll love dipping in mustard or ketchup.
Just roll the dough into small balls, then deep fry them for four to five minutes.
You don’t want to leave them in too long or they’ll burn.
Drain them on paper towels and serve them warm.
Add them to a soup as a thickener
Adding soft pretzels to soup is yet another way to enjoy leftovers.
Just dice up leftover soft pretzels and add them to a pot of boiling chicken or beef broth.
Let the mixture cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then pour in some heavy cream and stir to combine.
You can also puree it down with an immersion blender or in a regular blender if you want it to be smooth. (source)
Dip them into chocolate
Last but not least, one of my favorite ways to use leftover soft pretzels is dipping them in chocolate.
Melt some milk, dark, or white chocolate, and dip the ends of your leftover pretzels into the melted chocolate.
You can even decorate them by sprinkling some mini chocolate chips or pretzel pieces onto the chocolate while it’s still melted.
Let the pretzels cool in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
Make some puddings
Another way to turn leftover soft pretzels into a sweet treat is by making pudding.
Melt together 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of pretzel crumbs, and 1/4 cup sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk together 4 egg yolks until they’re pale yellow.
Then stir the milk mixture into the eggs to combine before adding it back into a pot.
Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
Let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to chill.
You can add some pretzel pieces or caramel sauce before serving.
If these ideas aren’t enough for you, you could always try making homemade soft pretzel bites.
Just heat up the leftover dough from your soft pretzels and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
Deep fry the pieces in oil until they puff up, then toss them in cinnamon sugar.
How do I make the pretzel dough?
It’s really simple.
All you have to do is combine 1 cup of warm water with 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast in a bowl.
Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then add in 1 tablespoon of sugar and 4 tablespoons melted butter.
Mix everything together using your hands or an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
Once all the ingredients come together, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 1/2 cups flour.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes before placing it in a greased bowl and letting it rise for an hour. (source)
Can I use kosher pretzels instead of regular ones?
Yes, but you’ll need to adjust your quantities.
Since kosher pretzels tend to be smaller, you can use about 1.5-2 cups of pretzels instead of the 3 provided in this recipe. (source)
Can I make these ahead of time?
You can form and bake your dough ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.
Just let it come to room temperature before serving.
You can also make your pudding ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.
Do I have to serve them warm?
No, not at all.
In fact, you can actually reheat leftover soft pretzels to give them a freshly baked texture again.
Just place the leftover pretzels in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes, then top them with cheese and put your oven on broil.
Let the pretzels cook until the cheese is melted, then serve.
How do I form the pretzels?
It’s actually way easier than it looks.
All you have to do is cut your dough ball into 8 pieces, then roll each piece out into a long rope.
Shape the dough ropes into simple pretzels by first crossing one end over itself.
Next, cross the other end over the top of the first side to make an “X.”
How do I coat them in baking soda and water?
Pour some hot water into a large bowl and add in 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
Dip the pretzels in the mixture for 15 seconds, then place them on a greased cookie sheet.
Can I make these without dairy?
Vegan pretzels are also an option, but you’ll need to use a vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance.
So there you have it.
Some different ways to turn your leftover soft pretzels into a delicious dessert.
Whether you want to make pudding, fry them up into bites, or bake them into a fresh loaf, we’ve got you covered.
And if that’s not enough for you, we’ve even included a recipe for homemade soft pretzel dough.
So what are you waiting for? Get baking.