Pretzel-Wrapped Sausage Bites with Cheesy Beer Dip

It doesn’t matter where we are — a movie theater, amusement park, mall, or a beer garden — if there’s a soft pretzel on the menu, we’re in. Now if there’s a cheese dip offered? We are powerless against its charms. June is National Dairy Month, and to highlight the wonderful relationship between Oregon dairy farmers and beer brewers who give their spent brewery grains to cows to upcycle, we’ve prepared these savory pretzel bites stuffed with juicy nuggets of sausage and a warm and gooey beer-cheese dip. Reducing waste while making great cheese? We call that sustainably delicious. (Vegetarians: feel free to use your favorite plant-based sausage here.) Makes 16 bites.


Pretzel bites

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ lb fresh sausage (you can remove casings from fresh links if you can’t find it bulk)
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • Flake salt or pretzel salt for sprinkling
  • Beer-Cheese Dip

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup wheat beer or pale ale
  • 8 oz white cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • Instructions

    Pretzel Rolls

    1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Affix the dough hook attachment and mix and knead the dough for 8 minutes, until a soft dough forms. Add more flour as needed to ensure the dough is soft and pliable but not sticky.
    2. Cover the bowl and set in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough becomes puffy and doubles in size, about 60 minutes.
    3. Divide the dough and the sausage into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten in the palm of your hand. Add a ball of sausage and then enclose the dough around it, pinching the edges shut. Repeat with the remaining dough and sausage, and leave them to rest for 5 minutes.
    4. Preheat the oven to 475o and line a baking sheet with parchment.
    5. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then dissolve in the baking soda. Working in batches, lay the pretzel balls into the baking soda bath and cook for 1 minute, spooning the solution over the bites to ensure they’re completely coated. Scoop the bites out with a slotted spoon or slotted spatula and lay them on the parchment.
    6. Sprinkle the pretzels with the flake or pretzel salt then bake until well-browned and the sausage is fully cooked, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

    Cheese Dip

    1. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour becomes fragrant and begins to turn golden brown.
    2. Whisk in the milk until no lumps remain, then whisk in the beer. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is bubbly and begins to thicken. Stir in the shredded cheese until it’s melted and thoroughly incorporated with no lumps, then stir in the mustard powder.
    3. Transfer the cheese dip to a fondue pot or crock pot to keep it warm, and serve with the sausage-pretzel bites.