Sloppy Joe Pretzel Bombs

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Sloppy Joe Bombs are bursting with saucy meat and gooey cheese. Make these stuffed pretzel bites today, and everyone will be begging for more!

Transform an ordinary package of frozen dinner rolls into balls of pretzel bread that are packed with sloppy joe filling and melted cheddar.

Serve them up for a weeknight meal or pair them with your favorite game day appetizers. Even kids love them, making them a great alternative to pizza or chicken nuggets.

Enjoy another popular sandwich in poppable form with this Philly cheesesteak recipe. Or, try deliciously seasoned meatballs without the spaghetti!

I even have a breakfast version with eggs and bacon for those mornings when everyone has a million different places to be.

ground beef stuffed bread bites


How To Make Sloppy Joe Bombs

Start by preparing the sloppy joe filling and slicing the cheddar into evenly sized cubes.

If you’re familiar with my other bomb recipes, you know the drill! Defrost the dinner rolls and roll them out into flat circles.

Add a spoonful of filling and one cube of cheddar, then pinch the dough sealed so it forms a ball.

Lower a few at a time into the hot baking soda water – this is what gives them that pretzel color and taste.

Once they’ve all been dipped, brush the stuffed pretzel bites with egg wash and bake until browned!

slicing cubes of yellow cheese on cutting board

Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Try a different cheese. Choose something that melts really well like provolone or Swiss. For an extra kick, try something spicy like Pepper Jack or jalapeño cheddar instead!
  • Double the recipe. These go fast, especially in large gatherings. You may need to cook the meat in separate batches, but you can easily assemble and bake twice as many stuffed pretzel bites at once.
  • Make ahead tip: Prepare the filling and cut up the cheese cubes in advance so all you need to do is put them together. 
  • Have kids helping you? Instead of boiling a pot of water, fill a medium (4 cup) bowl with 2 cups of hot water and add the baking soda. It will give you the same results while keeping them safe from accidental burns.
sloppy joes mixture on circle of bread dough

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • 8 Quart Stock Pot, plus a slotted spoon for fishing the sloppy joe bombs out of the water
  • Baking Sheets lined with parchment paper
  • Small wooden dowel rolling pin – Perfect for small jobs like making TSRI’s bombs! It’s also great for noodles, dumplings, and turnovers, and it even has a ruler on the side.
  • Basting Brush – Useful for everything from greasing pans to basting food.
wrapping bread dough around cheesy ground beef

FAQ – Common Recipe Questions

Can I make the dough from scratch instead?

Yes! You can find instructions on how to do that in this post. The recipe calls for beer, which adds a nice flavor, but you can easily substitute water if you don’t want to use alcohol.

I don’t have a microwave. How should I defrost the rolls?

Follow their refrigerator thaw method or substitute refrigerated tubes of pizza dough instead.

brush egg wash onto pretzel bread rolls

Can I save leftover sloppy joe bombs?

If you manage to have any left, they can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Or, you can freeze them for up to 2 months – that’s a great way to use up filling if you made too much!

Reheat a few at a time in the microwave or a larger batch in the oven until warmed through.

sloppy joe stuffed bread bombs in a stack

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sloppy joe pretzel bomb, close up

sloppy joe mixture inside baked bread

Sloppy Joe Pretzel Bombs

Donna Elick
Sloppy joe bombs are bursting with saucy meat and gooey cheese. Make these stuffed pretzel bites today, and everyone will be begging for more!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 24


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, to dust counter
  • 24 frozen dinner yeast roll dough balls, I use Rhode’s
  • 1 Recipe Sloppy Joe
  • 12 ounces mild cheddar cheese, cut into 24 cubes
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Pretzel salt


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Fill an 8-quart pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle clean countertop with flour.
  • Place 8 dinner rolls on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on defrost for about 2-4 minutes (or until dough is no longer frozen, but not cooked). Remove dough balls from the plate and place them on your floured countertop. Flip the dough balls in the flour so they are all lightly coated in flour. Repeat with the remaining dinner rolls, until all dinner rolls are defrosted.
  • Flatten and stretch one piece of dough, on the floured board, like you are making a mini pizza. Stretch dough to about 3-4” across. You can use a rolling pin if you like. I love to use a small wooden dowel rolling pin, it is perfect for the job.
  • Place one scoop (1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) of sloppy joe in the center of your dough and use the back of the scoop to spread it out over most of the dough. Add a cube of cheese in the center of the rolled dough.
  • Pull the top and bottom edges of the dough together and then the left and right edges. Continue pulling up the edges (pushing the filling back inside as needed) until you have closed the dough. Pinch the dough together to create a ball. If the ball won’t seal, tap your fingertips into the flour and then crimp the seal together.
  • Place the dough balls on your baking sheet, repeat until they are all on the baking sheet.
  • Remove boiling water from heat. Carefully, add baking soda to boiling water a sprinkle at a time. USE CAUTION: IT WILL BUBBLE UP. DO NOT PUT HANDS THROUGH BUBBLED UP WATER. YOU WILL GET BURNED. Place dough balls into water a few at a time. Remove with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds. Place on the baking sheet, so they are not touching, 12 to a baking sheet. Repeat until all Sloppy Joe Bombs are on the baking sheets.
  • Beat the egg and water, in a small bowl. Gently brush the egg wash onto dough balls and sprinkle with pretzel salt.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops are nice and pretzel-y brown, rotating the trays half way through the cook time.
  • The ooey-gooey cheese may escape some of your Sloppy Joe bombs. That is a beautiful thing! Scoop all that cheesy goodness up onto the plate and serve. Your guests will go crazy over them.
  • Remove the bombs from the oven. Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 183cal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 1005mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
sloppy job bombs closeup

Originally published November 2021

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Made these for a baby shower and they were a major hit. Everyone went back for seconds and thirds, even fourths! Totally making these for any family thing.

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