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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
No need to bake with this strawberry pretzel salad. A simple pretzel crust is topped with a sweetened cream cheese and cool whip middle layer, then finished off with a strawberry jello layer for this delicious dish.
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Table of Contents
  1. STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Strawberry pretzel salad is an old-fashioned Southern no-bake dessert recipe that’s popular at potlucks and holiday dinners. But why it’s called a salad is anyone’s guess! This fruity, sweet, and salty treat is actually a strawberry dessert with a creamy filling and buttery pretzel crust.

Other fruity and easy-to-make potluck desserts we love include blueberry dump cake and no-bake strawberry jello pie.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD INGREDIENTS

strawberry pretzel salad raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 5 cups of salted pretzels (You’ll need five cups of whole pretzels. After you crush them, you’ll have about two and a half cups.)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups ice water

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

STRAWBERRIES: Pretzel jello salad doesn’t have to be strawberry flavor. You can use fresh raspberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges, peaches, pineapple, or even a mixture of different fresh fruit if you’re feeling fancy.

WHIPPED TOPPING: If you can’t get Cool Whip, an alternative to this whipped topping would be softly whipped cream with a little sugar added. Check out our own homemade whipped cream recipe.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels (You’ll need five cups of whole pretzels. After you crush them, you’ll have about two and a half cups.), ¾ cup sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the 9×13-inch pan. (You can crush pretzels by putting them in a Ziploc bag and using a rolling pin, wooden spoon, or your hands to crush them).

PRO TIP

Make sure there aren’t any large pieces of pretzels, be sure to crush them very well – if you would like you can use a food processor to crush them.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

STEP THREE: Bake the pretzel base for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

STEP FOUR: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, and the vanilla until well combined. Next, carefully fold in the Cool Whip.

PRO TIP

If the Cool Whip is your favorite ingredient in this dessert, you can add a little more on top of each serving.

STEP FIVE: Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled pretzel crust. When adding the cream cheese filling to the pan, make sure that it goes all the way to the edges of the pan. This creates a barrier to prevent the jello from seeping down into the pretzel bottom layer and making it soggy.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

STEP SIX: In a medium bowl, dissolve the jello in two cups of boiling water. Once it is completely dissolved, add two cups of ice water and stir. Stir in sliced strawberries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the jello is just starting to thicken but has not yet set.

PRO TIP

When making the jello, don’t leave it in the fridge for too long. If it sets too much it will have chunks and won’t pour evenly. If you just can’t get enough of jello, you can add an extra 3-ounce box of gelatin and an extra two cups of water.

STEP SEVEN: Carefully pour the strawberry jello mixture over the cream cheese and whipped cream layer. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or until the jello is set. Slice into squares to serve.

HOW TO SERVE

Make this tasty treat to bring to a gathering. The sweet and salty combo will be a huge hit with everyone. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an added level of decadence.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: It’s perfectly fine to make this strawberry pretzel dessert a day or two ahead of your party. Just cover it and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. Strawberry pretzel salad with fresh strawberries will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.

IN THE FREEZER: It’s not a good idea to freeze this delicious recipe. Freezing jello destroys the chemical bonds in the gelatin, which means that it will become runny when you defrost it. The strawberries and hard pretzels are likely to go a bit mushy too.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, bringing an easy dessert to a family gathering, or just want a simple dessert for the holiday season, this classic strawberry pretzel salad recipe is sure to go down a treat. The sweet strawberry jello, creamy Cool Whip, and salty pretzel crust together create a taste sensation that will be a family favorite.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use a different base for this salad?

While pretzels are in the name of this strawberry jello pretzel salad, you could replace the crushed pretzels with graham crackers or vanilla wafers for the crust.

Can I change the flavor of this dessert?

This recipe is flexible. Change up the fruit and jello flavor to whatever you prefer. Or mix and match. Try blueberries with lemon or black cherry jello for fun combinations.

What kind of pretzels are the best choice for this recipe?

Salted pretzels should be used for this recipe as they add that salty element. You can use either pretzel sticks or twists.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

5 from 6 votes
No need to bake with this strawberry pretzel salad. A simple pretzel crust is topped with a sweetened cream cheese and cool whip middle layer, then finished off with a strawberry jello layer for this delicious dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • cups crushed pretzels (You’ll need five cups of whole pretzels. After you crush them, you’ll have about two and a half cups.)
  • cups sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip
  • 3-4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces strawberry gelatin (2 packages)
  • 2 cups water, boiled
  • 2 cups cold water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels, ¾ cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 pan. (You can crush pretzels by putting them in a ziploc bag and using a rolling pin, wooden spoon, or your hands to crush them.)
  • Bake the pretzel base for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, and the vanilla until well combined. Next, carefully fold in the Cool Whip.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the pretzel crust. When adding the cream cheese mixture to the pan, make sure that it goes all the way to the edges. This creates a barrier to prevent the jello from seeping down into the pretzel base and making it soggy.
  • In a medium bowl, dissolve the jello in two cups of boiling water. Once it is completely dissolved, add two cups of ice water and stir. Stir in sliced strawberries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the jello is just starting to thicken but has not yet set.
  • Carefully pour the strawberry jello over the cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or until the jello is set. Slice into squares to serve.

Video

Notes

TIP: Make sure there aren’t any large pieces of pretzels, be sure to crush them very well – if you would like you can use a food processor to crush them.
 
TIP: If the Cool Whip is your favorite ingredient in this dessert, you can add a little more on top of each serving.
 
TIP: When making the jello, don’t leave it in the fridge for too long. If it sets too much it will have chunks and won’t pour evenly. If you just can’t get enough of jello, you can add an extra 3-ounce box of gelatin and an extra two cups of water.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 789IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Genia says

    5 stars
    This looks like a really great salad, I’m always looking for pretzel crust recipes. I do have just one little problem with this recipe, it calls for strawberries. Have you ever subbed out strawberries with another fruit? I’m highly allergic (like don’t go grocery shopping or shopping at farmer’s markets during strawberry season) and would like to use something else. Maybe blueberries? Or mango? Any ideas?

      • Colleen Fagan says

        A friend of mine uses bluebirries and black cherry jello and it is totally awesome!

    • Ruthi says

      5 stars
      It’s really good with peaches too! Use peach jello if it’s available in your area. I couldn’t find strawberries @ Christmas so I used mixed berry’s frozen with strawberries jello

  2. Delesha says

    5 stars
    Totally awesome. This recipe worked so now it goes in my keeper recipe book . And it’s totally delicious πŸ˜‹. I made a small pan plus a dozen tarts with it . πŸ˜‹πŸ‘πŸ’•

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