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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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Strawberry pretzel salad is a summer staple. It has layers of salty pretzel crust, a creamy cheesecake like center and yummy strawberry topping. It is perfect for BBQs and family reunions.

slices of strawberry jello pretzel salad ready to eat.

This yummy recipe is a classic for good reason. It is such a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

I just love that dishes like this are called salad. It makes it feel okay to serve it as a side dish instead of a dessert.

Though we did actually enjoy this one as a dessert as that is truly what it is whether we want to admit that or not. I won’t judge you no matter how or when you serve it.

Recently my dad mentioned how he was craving strawberry pretzel dessert. I knew I could make that happen for him.

Ingredients including pretzels, sugar, butter, strawberry jello, frozen sliced strawberries, and whipped topping ready to be made into strawberry pretzel dessert.

We have had a recipe for an orange creamsicle pretzel salad here for quite a while. There is also a delicious recipe for cherry cheesecake pretzel salad, but somehow I hadn’t posted a recipe for the classic strawberry version.

So I had to share it with you. It will ne a perfect addition to your picnic, bbq, potluck or bbq menu.

Making the Layers

This yummy dish is built on a base layer of crushed pretzels. The salty crunchy pretzel bits are mixed with sugar and butter to make a crust just like you would a graham cracker crust.

pretzel crust in pan waiting for filling

The middle layer is simply made with cream cheese, sugar, and whipped topping. You can use whipping cream if you prefer, but using Cool Whip makes it extra easy.

The top layer is made from strawberry Jello and water. A lot of people use frozen sweetened strawberry slices, but this time I used plain frozen sliced strawberries.

Sliced fresh strawberries work as well. You can even use a can of strawberry pie filling if you want.

This recipe is pretty forgiving. Just make sure you give the gelatin plenty of time to cool before you pour it over the creamy filling.

You want it to be slightly thickened before you add it to the pan. That will keep it from seeping through and making a mess of the layers.

Cream cheese filling spread over pretzel crust with bowl of strawberry jello in background.

The other trick to nice layers is to make sure the cream cheese mixture is spread all the way out to touch the pan all the way around. That keeps the liquid jello mixture from seeping below it.

Once it is all layered, it needs to chill for a few hours. That allows it to set up and become perfect for cutting and serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pretzel salad made of?

Pretzel salad is a type of dessert that is popular in the midwest and south. It features a crust made from crushed pretzels, butter and a little bit of sugar. That is topped by a fluffy sweetened cream cheese mixture. The top is gelatin and fruit. It is a great dessert for summer get togethers and bbqs.

What kind of pretzels are best for strawberry pretzel dessert?

Use small, salted pretzels for this recipe. Either the mini twists or sticks. You want them to be crunchy and the smaller size makes them easier to crush.

More Great Jello Recipes

Cherry pineapple Jello salad is sure to be a hit with your family. It is a simple make ahead side dish or simple dessert that is festive for a holiday or fun for a BBQ.   

Creamy orange jello dotted with mandarin slices and topped with a fluffy vanilla topping makes for a perfectly refreshing and delicious orange creamsicle jello salad!

Piece of layered strawberry jello salad with pretzel crust, cream cheese filling and strawberry jello top.

Creamy green gelatin salad has bright flavor and is fun to serve!  This recipe is coming to you from great-grandma’s recipe box.

Red white and blue stained glass Jello is perfect for patriotic summer holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. However you can mix and match the colors to make it perfect for any holiday or event.

7 Up Jello Salad is a perfect retro recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas or a potluck anytime throughout the year.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

slices of strawberry jello pretzel salad ready to eat.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Strawberry pretzel salad is a summer staple. It has layers of salty pretzel crust, a creamy cheesecake like center and yummy strawberry topping. It is perfect for BBQs and family reunions.
5 from 11 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

Pretzel Crust

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter

Strawberry Jello

  • 6 oz strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 16 oz. frozen sliced strawberries

Creamy Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip or similar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Stir together pretzels and sugar in a 9×13-inch pan. Drizzle butter over mixture, stirring to coat. Press into bottom of the pan to form a crust.
    2 cups crushed pretzels, 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar, ½ cup butter
  • Bake 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, dissolve jello in boiling water.
    6 oz strawberry Jello, 2 cups boiling water
  • When the powder is dissolved, stir in the sliced strawberries. Set aside to cool.
    16 oz. frozen sliced strawberries
  • When the pan with the pretzel crust is cooled to room temperature, beat cream cheese and sugar together until the mixture is smooth.
    8 oz cream cheese, ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
    8 oz. Cool Whip
  • Spread cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust, make sure the filling touches the edge of the pan everywhere. Put in the refrigerator to chill until the jello mixture is completely cooled and is starting to thicken up a bit.
  • Gently pour cooled jello mixture over the filling. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.
  • Serve cold and refrigerate leftovers.

Notes

For the strawberries in this recipe you can use pretty much anything you'd like. It works well with frozen unsweetened strawberries, frozen sweetened strawberries, sliced fresh strawberries or even a can of strawberry pie filling.
If you would rather use fresh whipped cream instead of Cool Whip, that works too. Use about a cup of heavy cream, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a couple of Tablespoons of sugar. Mix it into the cream cheese mixture and then beat on high until the mixture is fluffy.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 5gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 352mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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5 from 11 votes (11 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Andrea Nine

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

This is one of our favorites, especially in the summer! I like making it with pineapple too! Now you’ve got me wanting to make it again ASAP! Have a great day!

Carlee

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Oooh, pineapple sounds delicious. I'm going to have to do that one!