Skillet Beer-Cheese Dip With Pretzel Bites

Saddle up to this skillet dip, and get the party started.

Skillet beer-cheese dip with pretzel bites in skillet

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Lydia Purcell; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Whether you’re gathering for the big game, hosting a block party, or you’re in the mood for a seriously good appetizer for family game night, this dip is a knockout!

Salty, pull-apart pretzel bites make the perfect dippers for this double-cheesy dip, which gets a tanginess from sharp Cheddar, creaminess from Havarti, and subtle boozy backbone of flavor from a nice hoppy IPA beer. And because the pretzel bites are frozen, this appetizer comes together in a flash.

Don’t forget to save the salt packets that come with the pretzels—a finishing sprinkle gets these dippers a super-delicious crunch!


  • 8 hickory-smoked bacon slices, coarsely chopped (1 cup)

  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. frozen pretzel bites (such as SuperPretzel), salt packet reserved

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • 1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

  • 1 (7-oz.) block Havarti cheese, shredded (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) IPA-style beer

  • 2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add chopped bacon, and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.

  2. Toss together pretzel bites and 2 tablespoons water on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle half of reserved salt packet evenly over pretzel bites, tossing until coated, and set aside. Discard remaining half of reserved salt packet.

  3. Stir together cream cheese, Cheddar, Havarti, beer, mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Spoon cheese mixture into skillet, and spread in an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until hot and bubbly around edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool 5 minutes. (Do not turn off oven.)

  4. While dip cools, bake pretzel bites at 400°F until heated through, about 5 minutes. Arrange pretzel bites around edges of dip in skillet; sprinkle center evenly with chives and reserved bacon. Serve dip immediately with any remaining pretzel bites.

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