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Homemade Soft Pretzels with Vegan Cheese Sauce

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Vegan Cheese Sauce

Looking for some vegan appetizers suitable for a crowd? How about these homemade soft pretzels with an easy vegan cheese sauce? I’m not one to brag, but this vegan cheese sauce is the best! It’s made with creamy cashews, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, red onions and jalapenos for a perfect spicy bite. Want to make this vegan appetizer even more simple? Make the soft pretzels into soft pretzel bites and get snacking even sooner!

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cashew cheese sauce, easy vegan appetizers, homemade soft pretzels, how to make soft pretzels, soft pretzels, superbowl party food, vegan appetizers, vegan cheese sauce
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 people


For the Homemade Soft Pretzels

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water appro 100-110 degrees F
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups spelt flour all-purpose flour will also work, but you may have to play around with the flour/water ratio a bit
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 tbsp baking soda for bathing the pretzels in an alkaline bath
  • 6 cups water for bathing the pretzels in an alkaline bath
  • pinch flaky sea salt for seasoning the soft pretzels

For the Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup cashews soaked in hot water for about 1 hour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp light miso paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red onion coursely chopped
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh jalapeno deseeded and roughly chopped
  • paprika for garnishment
  • scallions sliced, for garnishment
  • jalapenos deseeded and chopped, for garnishment
  • grape tomatoes chopped for garnishment


  1. Prepare the cashews by soaking them 2 cups hot water for about 1 hour. It’s best to do this first while you’re making the pretzels. 

  2. Make the soft pretzel dough by combining the warm water, olive oil, yeast and maple syrup. Leave this mixture aside for about 5 minutes and allow the yeast to proof. It should start to bubble and a foam will appear on the water’s surface. 

  3. While the yeast is proofing, combine the flour and salt in a larger bowl. 

  4. When the yeast is proofed, combine the wet and dry ingredients in the larger bowl. 

  5. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon until well combined and then knead until smooth.

  6. Set the dough aside in a lightly oiled bowl and cover gently with a towel. Allow the dough to rise for approximately 30 minutes. 

  7. While the dough is rising, prepare the rest of your ingredients for the vegan cheese sauce. Pre-measure the nutritional yeast, miso paste, tomato paste, brown mustard and lemon juice. Chop the red onion and the jalapeno. 

  8. After the dough has risen, knead it 3-4 more times and roll it out into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 18 inches long. Cut it into equal parts — you should get about 8. 

  9. Prepare your alkaline bath by bringing your 6 cups of water and 2 T. of baking soda to a boil.

  10. Roll each piece into a long 18-inch rope and then fold into a pretzel shape. Drop each pretzel into the alkaline bath for approx. 30 seconds and then place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with course sea salt. 

  11. Bake the pretzels at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them as they bake. Take them out when they’re golden brown.

  12. While the pretzels are baking, rinse and drain the soaked cashews and combine them with the rest of the ingredients in your blender. Blend until creamy. Best served immediately. 

Recipe Notes

  • This vegan cheese sauce does not reheat well in the microwave. The best way to warm this up is to return it to your blender and let it run until it’s warm.
  • Trying to get recipe done faster? Make pretzel bites instead of full pretzels!