Strawberry Pretzel Salad isn’t really a salad at all; it’s an easy make-ahead dessert recipe.

This dessert starts with a buttery pretzel crust topped with a cheesecake-like layer and fresh strawberries in Jell-o.

slice of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Ingredients

  • Pretzels: Use either mini pretzel twists or pretzel sticks and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Cream Cheese: Use a block of cream cheese, not the spreadable tub. Full fat cream cheese sets the best.
  • Whipped Topping: I use whipped topping (such as Cool Whip) in this recipe to keep it easy however, you can use whipped cream if you’d prefer.
  • Fresh Strawberries: For the best flavor and prettiest dessert, use fresh sliced strawberries. If using frozen strawberries, add them to the hot Jell-O once it’s mixed (no need to thaw first).
  • Strawberry Gelatin: The strawberry jello layer is easy and a pretty topping on this recipe. You can use any flavor of red jello (like raspberry). Ensure you use the larger 6-serving-sized box.


This recipe can be made with other varieties of fruit and Jell-O. Try the following:

  • raspberries and raspberry Jell-O
  • canned mandarin oranges or peaches and orange Jell-O
a pretzel crust in a 9x13 pan  with strawberries beside it

How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This strawberry pretzel salad recipe comes together in 3 easy steps. Be sure to chill between each step so the layers set up.

  1. Crust: Combine the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a baking dish (recipe below).
  2. Creamy Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar, and stir in whipped topping. Spread over the pretzel layer and refrigerate until firm.
  3. Strawberry Topping: Combine strawberry jello and water with strawberries and pour over the creamy layer.
  4. Refrigerate overnight: When ready to enjoy, cut into squares and serve!

Tips for a Perfect Dessert

  • Cool layers: Allow each layer to cool/chill before adding the next layer.
  • Protect the crust: Spread the cream cheese layer all the way to the edge to prevent the pretzel crust from becoming soggy.
  • Cool Jello: Allow the Jell-O to cool to room temperature before pouring on the fresh strawberries so the heat doesn’t wilt them.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad served on a plate

To Make Pretzel Salad Ahead of Time

Strawberry pretzel salad is best when made at least half a day in advance (making it a great dessert or potluck dish).

It needs a minimum of 4 hours to set up, or preferably longer. It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

This dessert does not freeze well.

More Sweet Salads

(that aren’t really salads at all!)

Did you make this Strawberry Pretzel Salad? Leave us a rating and a comment below.

piece of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate with a fork
4.96 from 280 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad has a salty pretzel crust topped with a cream cheese layer and finally fresh strawberries in Jell-O.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
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Pretzel Crust

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces whipped topping such a Cool Whip, thawed

Strawberry Topping

  • 6 ounces Strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups fresh sliced strawberries


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl and press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gently fold in Cool Whip with a spatula. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the pretzel crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • While the cream cheese mixture is cooling, whisk Jell-O and 2 cups of boiling water until the Jell-O is completely dissolved. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature until completely cooled.
  • Place the sliced strawberries over the cream cheese mixture. Pour cooled Jell-O overtop.
  • Refrigerate until firmly set, at least 4-6 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve.



Do not follow the instructions on the Jell-o box. Ensure the Jell-o is the larger 6 oz size box.
The pretzels are crushed first and then measured. Use a food processor or a rolling pin to crush the pretzels. 
4.96 from 280 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 244 | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 28.2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
plated Strawberry Pretzel Salad and a slice with whipped cream with a title
Strawberry Pretzel Salad with whipped cream and a title
sweet Strawberry Pretzel Salad with writing
creamy Strawberry Pretzel Salad with a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. Awesome recipe….I made it using fresh strawberries from our garden …everyone loved it especially my husband. Will definitely be making this again soon.5 stars

  2. I haven’t had this dessert for years. So happy to run across the recipe. I can’t wait to make it!5 stars

    1. If using strawberries in juice, I would recommend thawing and draining them first. They might be slightly sweeter but still delicious.

  3. Can you use the frozen strawberries sliced strawberries with sugar? If you can do I need to change anything else in recipe? Thank You

    1. You can use frozen strawberries if you don’t have fresh, Lynn. Just make sure they are thawed. Let us know how it turns out for you!

  4. Thank you for this post! I never had pretzel salad until this past Xmas and I immediately fell in love with it (and I’m 38 lol). After reviewing several different recipes on Pinterest, yours is definitely one of the best and have made it three times already. So thank you again 5 stars

    1. The Jello layer might slide off if the cream cheese layer isn’t fully set or if the pretzel crust is too warm when you add the Jello. Make sure each layer gets its chill time in the fridge, and the strawberry pretzel salad should stay stacked properly. I hope that helps!

  5. I added 1/2 cup of minced pecans to the pretzels/and like always your desserts are fantastic5 stars