If you like cheesecake, you’ll love this make-ahead dessert.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is an easy dessert with a buttery pretzel crust, a rich cream cheese layer, and fresh strawberries on top.
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, but it’s also best made ahead of time for the perfect potluck treat!
This old-fashioned treat is called pretzel “salad” but really it’s a layered dessert that has a no-bake cheesecake layer and is topped with fresh berries and Jello.
- Crust: crushed salted pretzels, butter, sugar
- Creamy Filling: cream cheese, sugar, whipped topping (such as 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 great in this recipe.
To Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Strawberry jello pretzel salad comes together in three easy steps. Be sure to chill each step between so they set.
- Crust: Combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter and press into the bottom of a pan (per the recipe below).
- Creamy Filling: Whip cream cheese and sugar, fold in whipped topping. Spread over the pretzel layer and refrigerate until firm.
- Strawberry Topping: Combine jello and water with strawberries and pour over the creamy layer.
Refrigerate overnight. When ready to enjoy, cut into squares and serve!
Tips for Perfection
- 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 down to room temperature before pouring on the fresh strawberries so the heat doesn’t wilt them.
- Use whipped topping: Whipped topping is a more stable ingredient that sets more firmly. Whipped cream can ‘weep’.
To Make Ahead
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 four hours to set up, or preferably longer. It will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
This dessert does not freeze well.
More Sweet “Salads” (that aren’t really salads at all!)
- Ambrosia Salad
- Berry Fluff Jello Salad
- Watergate Salad
- Millionaire Cranberry Salad
- Snickers Salad
- Strawberry Banana Salad
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- ¾ cup butter melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 8 ounces Cool Whip defrosted
- 6 ounces Strawberry Jell-O
- 2 cups boiling water
- 4 cups sliced strawberries
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine crushed pretzels, butter, and sugar 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.
- In a large mixing bowl combine Jell-O and boiling water 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 provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)