Strawberry Pretzel Salad


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Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a classic easy dessert that never goes out of style. A combination of salty pretzels, a rich cream cheese layer and fresh strawberries is combined to create the perfect picnic or potluck dessert! 

Everyone loves a good fresh Strawberry Pie but when we have to feed a crowd, this strawberry pretzel dessert tops my list! Not only is it delicious, it’s best made ahead of time for the perfect potluck treat!

A slice of strawberry pretzel salad topped with cool whip and a slice of strawberry.

What’s in Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

This old fashioned treat is not a salad at all, but a layered dessert that is part no bake cheesecake, and part fruit salad with Jello.

  • Pretzel Crust: crushed salted pretzels, butter, sugar
  • Creamy Filling: cream cheese, sugar, cool whip
  • Strawberry Topping: strawberry jello, sliced fresh strawberries

You can use frozen strawberries if you can’t find fresh (defrost and drain first). You could also substitute or add other fresh fruit. Raspberries or peaches would taste terrific combined with the strawberries.

The crushed pretzel crust pressed into a baking back with the creamy filling in a bowl on the side.

To Make Jello Pretzel Salad

Strawberry jello pretzel salad comes together in three easy steps. Be sure to chill each step between so they set.

  1. Crust: Combine crushed pretzels, sugar and butter and press into the bottom of a pan.
  2. Creamy Filling: Whip cream cheese and sugar, fold in whipped topping. Spread over the pretzel layer and refrigerate until firm.
  3. Strawberry Topping: Combine jello and water with strawberries and pour over the creamy layer.

To let it fully set, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to enjoy, cut into squares and serve!

Two images showing before and after the jello mixture is poured over the strawberry layer.

Tips for the Best Strawberry Pretzel Salad

  • Allow each layer to cool/chill before adding the next layer.
  • Spread the cream cheese layer all the way to the edge to prevent the pretzel crust from becoming soggy.
  • Allow the Jell-o to cool down to room temperature before pouring on the fresh strawberries so the heat doesn’t wilt them.
  • Use whipped topping, not fresh whipped cream. The whipped topping is a more stable ingredient that sets more firmly.

A close up of a slice of strawberry pretzel salad on a plate.

Can You Make it in Advance?

Strawberry pretzel salad is best when made at least half a day in advance. It needs at least four hours to set up, or preferably longer. It will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.

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4.5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Author Kathleen
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a classic family favorite dessert. This easy make ahead recipe is the most delicious combo of sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy!

Ingredients

Pretzel Crust
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
Creamy Filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz Cool Whip defrosted
Strawberry Topping
  • 6 oz Strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Combine crushed pretzels, sugar and butter in a bowl and press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake 10 minutes and cool completely.
  • In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar with a hand mixer on medium until fluffy. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Spread mixture evenly over the cooled crust and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Large mixing bowl combine Jell-O and boiling until jello is dissolved. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature until completely cooled.
  • Place sliced strawberries over the cream cheese mixture. Pour cooled Jell-O overtop.
  • Refrigerate until firmly set at least 4-6 hours or overnight.

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
Keyword Strawberry Pretzel Salad
This strawberry pretzel salad recipe takes 20 mins to prep and is best made ahead of time! Start with a pretzel crust, then a creamy filling, and top with a fresh strawberry & jello mixture! This dessert is so easy to make and always a hit with friends and family! #spendwithpennies #strawberrypretzelsalad #dessert #kidfriendly #jellorecipe
This strawberry pretzel salad recipe takes 20 mins to prep and is best made ahead of time! Start with a pretzel crust, then a creamy filling, and top with a fresh strawberry & jello mixture! This dessert is so easy to make and always a hit with friends and family! #spendwithpennies #strawberrypretzelsalad #dessert #kidfriendly #jellorecipe
This strawberry pretzel salad recipe takes 20 mins to prep and is best made ahead of time! Start with a pretzel crust, then a creamy filling, and top with a fresh strawberry & jello mixture! This dessert is so easy to make and always a hit with friends and family! #spendwithpennies #strawberrypretzelsalad #dessert #kidfriendly #jellorecipe

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About the author

Kathleen

Kathleen is a recipe developer, passionate home cook and the author of the blog Gonna Want Seconds. She has been married to her best friend for 32 years and has two great kids, two Bernese Mountain Dogs, a Quarter Horse and a little green parrot. She is obsessed with cookbooks, cowboy boots, red wine and vintage costume jewelry. Kathleen’s recipes are all tried and true, tested and tweaked and, most importantly, family and friend approved!

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Comments

  1. The recipe calls for 6oz of jello. A regular box size of jello is .32oz so how many boxes of jello do you use? Since it says two cups of water I am assuming 2 boxes.

    1. A 4 serving size box of jello is 3 oz so you would need two boxes. If you choose an 8 serving size, it will be 1 box. The .3 oz is the sugar-free version from what I can see and I have not tried it in this recipe but you would need the equivalent of 8 servings. I can’t say for sure how sugar-free works in this recipe.

  2. I made this alot when my daughter was growing up. This year instead of going to her husband’s family Christmas Eve party..she wanted to come to my house with my 4 grandkids too…it really touched my heart when she requested I make this dessert as her and I both live cheescake! It really is true love can be put into your dishes♡♡also 1st time I used FRESH strawberries..and I recommend fresh over frozen..not so mushie!

    1. We have not attempted freezing this recipe, but I think you are right Nicole. I don’t think this would be a good recipe for the freezer.

  3. Hi, the written instructions do not use the sugar listed in the ingredients. It’s late, I am following the instructions on my phone and instead of adding it to the crust, just thought it was for the whipped topping and cream cheese layer. :(
    No big whoop, but just thought I’d mention it. Thanks though, can’t wait to try this!

    1. Sorry for the confusion. There is 3 tablespoons sugar in the crust and 3/4 sugar added in step 3 to the cream cheese. It should be just fine if the extra 3tbs was added to the cream cheese layer instead of the pretzel crust, I hope you enjoy it!

      1. Just finished compiling it and heading to work. We cannot wait to enjoy after dinner tonight!! :)
        Thanks again!!

  4. I’m trying to find a good warm weather ( 80F) potluck recipe. We have to travel over a hour and I could use a cooler for the trip but it will sit outside, hopefully in the shade. Do you think this would last or “unset” in the warm weather?

    1. This recipe should be fine Debbie. You’re right though, I would definitely transport it in a cooler and and try to find a shady spot on the table for the best results.

  5. On strawberry pretzel pie you didn’t get amounts of the ingredients used. So its hard to make it if I dont know how much to use for each ingredients.

    1. You will find the ingredients and amounts listed on the recipe card part way down the page Phyllis. Enjoy!

  6. This is absolutely one of our favorites!
    My family asks for it all of the time ♡♡
    We use raspberries and raspberry jello too and we love both variations.

    1. Hi Carla, we have only made this recipe as listed. But you could make two batches or try doubling the recipe. Let us know how it turns out!

  7. I love your salads. I’m making your Greek Salad right now. I need to make the strawberry pretzel desert. Yours is the easiest one I have found.
    Thank you.

  8. I have also always used frozen sweetened sliced strawberries in this recipe. The last few times it just didn’t work. The jello wouldn’t set up. It was soupy. I think you’ve answered my problem. I think there are so fewer berries in the “frozen sweetened berries” and the greater amount of liquid is too much liquid for the jello to set properly. Also, the frozen berries I have found are now sold in a 16 oz container instead of the 10 oz box. I tried to compensate by using less hot water. It still didn’t set.
    I will try your method next time with jello and fresh berries. Sounds healthier too! Have you ever tried with sugar free jello? Lower fat cream cheese? Cool Whip Free? Maybe even sugar substitute? Sounds like it could be made for a diabetic! :-) Is truly a delicious dish- often requested for potlucks!

  9. Ooooh a pretzel base!!! I can almost taste the slight salty hit against the sweet strawberries and creamy cheese.

    The perfect balance, and it looks beautiful too!!!!

    Pinning!

  10. This sounds incredibly delicious. Our family has been making something similar to this for years and we love it. I bet this recipe tastes just as great!

  11. Such a clever idea to use pretzels as a base. I am so ready to eat this yummy salad. Strawberries are almost in season so I am ready:)

  12. If the pictures look this good I can only imagine it tastes even better! I’ve never heard of this before but this is definitely a dessert my family would love!

  13. Holy Toledo that looks delicious!! It’s been too long since I’ve had a pretzel cake! Now you’ve got my hungry! Adding this to my must make soon recipes!