Filled with pepperoni, pizza sauce and 2 kinds of cheese, these Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites are the perfect appetizer for watching football!
A few months ago (just before the start of this football season), a buddy and I hopped in the car and drove down to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (i.e. New York City) to catch a game. But this was a different kind of football game. AS Roma was in town playing an exhibition soccer match against Real Madrid. I’ve been an AS Roma fan every since I studied in Italy way back in college (too many years ago to admit now), and I couldn’t pass up the chance to see them play here in the U.S. The only other way to catch a Roma game would be to go to Italy. Ok, twist my arm there! But I can’t drive to Italy, and I can drive to East Rutherford.
Despite dodging thunderstorms during the drive as well as the pre-game, we ended up having a blast. Roma lost 2-1, but I didn’t mind that. As I said, it was a preseason match, and they were up against one of the powerhouses of European
football soccer football. But what shocked me about the game was the cost of concessions!
Now I might be showing my age here, but a beer at MetLife Stadium was $12. $12! I can easily get a 6-pack of good beer at the store for that…and still have a few bucks left in my pocket. I love sports, but I don’t go to professional games very often. I didn’t mind the cost for this one-time occasion, but still. $12!
The concession prices at MetLife Stadium got me thinking about the cost of food and drinks at sports games in general. Did you realize that a hot dog at the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston cost $8? And the cost of a soda + pretzel combo? $17. Seriously?! That soda and pretzel probably cost less than 50¢. I get that there are other costs like labor, fees, etc, but still! $17 for a soda and pretzel? C’mon man! For the record, the new Atlanta Falcons stadium charged 50% less for concessions in their first year (2018)…and they ended up making 16% more compared to the previous year. The lesson? Happy fans buy more!
Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Homemade pretzels are incredibly easy to make, and they’re a staple whenever I get together with friends to watch a game. If you’ve never made homemade soft pretzels, do yourself a favor and make a batch. They’re easy, and they’re delicious! I posted this recipe for Classic Soft Pretzels a few years back, and that post still gets a bunch of visitors around this time every year. I assume folks are looking up recipes for their Super Bowl parties and such. I know I am!
This year, I decided to get creative and turn those soft pretzels into Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites. These pretzel bites are what happens when a truck carrying pizzas crashes into a truck carrying soft pretzels. You’ve got the chewy pretzels wrapped around a cheesy, pepperoni-y filling…and don’t forget the salted top! These pretzel bites were a huge hit in our house!
I suspect I’ll be making another batch (or 6) of these Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites for the Super Bowl. And I won’t be paying $17 for them! (Of course, I won’t be watching the Super Bowl in person, either.) In 2026, the US/Canada/Mexico will host the World Cup, and I know I’ll be taking Robbie to a game. I’ll probably also be telling him (in my best old man voice): “Now son, I remember when a soda and a pretzel only cost $17.”
I hope you enjoy these homemade pretzel bites as much as we do! Cheers, friends!
Looking for more Super Bowl snack ideas? Check out these other favorites:
Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites
For the Dough
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ Tbsp brown sugar
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
For the Pretzels
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 3 oz. pepperoni sliced
- 1¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- coarse salt
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
For the Pretzel Dough
- Using a countertop mixer, combine the first 5 dough ingredients (flour, salt, brown sugar, yeast, and warm water); mix on medium speed for 5-6 minutes.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm (85°F) location for 30 minutes. (Note: I typically put the bowl in the oven. Turn the oven light on, but do not turn actual oven on.)
- Meanwhile, combine the boiling water with the baking soda; mix until well combined. Set aside to cool.
For the Pretzels
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Spray paper with nonstick spray. (Tip: Spray parchment paper liberally or the pretzels will stick as they bake!)
- Preheat oven to 475°F.
- Once dough has risen, divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll one piece of dough into a ~15” long rope.
- Working on a well-floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 3”x18” strip. Spread 2 Tbsp of pizza sauce down center of the dough. (Note: The rest of the pizza sauce will be used for dipping baked pretzels.)
- Layer half of pepperoni evenly down center of dough and then sprinkle half of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top.
- Roll the dough up widthwise to create a long rope; pinch edges tightly to seal. Repeat process with remaining piece of dough.
- Slice each roll into 1” pieces. Place pretzel bites into baking soda/water mixture for 2 minutes (spoon water over the top of the pretzel if it is not fully covered by the water). Transfer each pretzel bite to a parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Sprinkle bites with coarse salt, and allow the pretzels to rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Bake at 475°F for 9-11 minutes, or until pretzels are golden brown in color. Remove pretzels from oven and brush with melted butter.
- Serve with remaining pizza sauce for dipping.