The Best Dips for Your Pretzels

Do the twist for these clever pairings.

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Whether soft and doughy or snappy from a bag, pretzels are a favorite party snack, especially on game day. To up your pretzel game, plan to serve it with a great dip.

Easy to make, dips are a near-universal crowd pleaser, whether served over an afternoon grazing on the patio or during a tailgating party. You’ll often see dips served with vegetables, tortilla chips, and pita chips. But the pretzel is a quality vessel for dips. Wondering what the best dip is to serve? Here are the types of dips that we love with our pretzels. And if you really want to wow, make your own soft pretzels (pictured).

Get Cheesy

There’s a reason why stadiums serve soft pretzels with a side of hot cheese: The flavors meld together really well. You don’t have to rely on something out of a jar or a machine to get that perfect pairing — there are plenty of super-simple cheesy dips that will win at your party. A classic pick is a beer cheese dip. Combine cheddar cheese, cream cheese for creaminess, and ½ to ¾ cups of beer depending on if you’re looking for a thinner or thicker dip. Or try this Gouda-infused version.

If horseradish is more your thing, this recipe calls for a ¼ cup of horseradish plus dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and red onion along with the cheeses – easily whipped up in the Vitamix.

Or you could try a hot variation of a beer cheese dip, both in temperature and flavor with a jalapeno beer cheese dip. This version is more like a queso, ditching the cream cheese but adding in Monterey jack cheese, jalapeno, scallions, tomato and beer (in this case a lager).

Must Have Mustard

Pretzels and mustard go together like lederhosen and Oktoberfest. In fact, all throughout the Oktoberfest tents, you’ll spot lederhosen- and dirndl-clad attendees chomping mustard-slathered pretzels. Bring it home in stein-worthy style with this recipe from Sunny Anderson, made with mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard and lemon juice.

Or you could have the best of both worlds – mustard and cheese – in the same dip! This cheesy mustard dip checks both boxes there and is simple to make with three ingredients to combine, heat and serve.

On the Sweeter Side

Pretzels are uncompromisingly salty, which makes them an unexpectedly ideal pairing with a sweet dip. If you want to go the chocolate route, a chocolate hazelnut dip would work well, like this gooey version from Valerie, which is kind of a dreamy, doughier take on churros and chocolate. This cream cheese-based chocolate chip cookie dough dip is a fun reinterpretation of a favorite dessert, and is easy to make with little ones. Or you could go more classic with a chocolate fondue. It’s easy to prepare and always a party pleaser.

The Right Stuff

Looking to wow your guests? This recipe stuffs spinach and artichoke dip inside a giant soft pretzel. We can’t think of anything better! It may look daunting but the recipe has great shortcuts (like premade pizza dough and string cheese) that makes the effort seem minimal compared to the payoff. But if you prefer your dips on the side, this spinach and artichoke dip will do the trick, too.

Lucky Dip

There is no hard and fast rule with dips so if you love a good hot crab dip, French onion dip, ranch dip or even hummus, go ahead.

Food Network Kitchen's Giant Spinach Dip-Stuffed Pretzel, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

For more dip ideas, check out these related stories:

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