Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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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!

Strawberry pretzel salad on a plate

Ingredients

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.

Ingredients for Strawberry Pretzel Salad in a pan

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.

  1. Crust: Combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter and press into the bottom of a pan (per the recipe below).
  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.

Refrigerate overnight. When ready to enjoy, cut into squares and serve!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad in a pan being made

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’.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad served on a plate

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!)

Strawberry pretzel salad on a plate
4.95 from 101 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
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
  • ¾ cup butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Creamy Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip defrosted

Strawberry Topping

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

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Instructions

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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.
For easy removal from the pan, the dish can be lined with parchment paper.

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 with whipped cream and a title
Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate with writing
close up of Strawberry Pretzel Salad with writing
pouring jello over Strawberry Pretzel Salad and plated dish with writing

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. I seen a recipe for strawberry pretzel salad that had frozen strawberries, jello, white cake mix,whipped cream cheese, water but I can’t find it now??? I have the ingredients but not I can’t find my recipe???? HELP

    1. You can use frozen strawberries if you can’t find fresh (defrost and drain first). Enjoy Debbie!

  2. I made it once, it’s delicious and everyone liked it, but it didn’t hold up well. The jello & strawberry layer kept sliding off the cheese layer.

    1. I have 2 tips for you! 1: When you spread your cream cheese layer, leave it slightly spikey to help hold the Jello securely in place. 2: Don’t add the extra 2 cups of cold water that the box instructions show – this will make the layer firmer and keep it from sliding! Hope this helps you out next time! ~Cheree~ :)

  3. My jello was on top when I put it in the fridge but it sunk to the bottom over night. I made sure my cream touched the sides. I used sugar free jello. Why would this happen? I would like to try again.

    1. Oh no, how disappointing. I can’t say for sure as this hasn’t happened to me. I would think that the sugar-free would be ok but I haven’t tried it.

  4. Do you measure the pretzels before you crush them? I made this before and it was a hit but I wasn’t sure about pretzel measurements5 stars

    1. You could use blueberries for the stars and strawberries in lines for the stripes, then put a clear sweetened gelatin over the top! Or you could do your Jello layer over the cream cheese layer, then spread a layer of cool whip, then layer the fruit on top! Hope this helps out the next time you make it! ~Cheree~ :)5 stars

  5. Made this for the first time and it was so delicious!!! Followed the directions and it turned out great 5 stars

    1. We love this recipe, my mom would make this all the time, but we remember the Pretzel crust being more stuck together.
      We crunched up pretzels really fine this time and added the 3/4 c butter, the sugar. But they weren’t stuck together. Should we add more butter next time?5 stars

  6. Followed the directions exactly. It tasted good, but the layers didn’t stick to each other and it just fell apart when I served it. Disappointing.2 stars

  7. How do I get the pretzel crust not to stick to the pan ever time I make this dessert it take amazing but the crust sticks at the bottom

    1. We haven’t had any issues with our crust sticking but you could try greasing the bottom of the pan to prevent that Blanca.

    2. Try lining your dish with parchment paper and, in addition you could also spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Hope this helps next time you make it! ~Cheree~ :)5 stars

  8. So I was too impatient and didn’t let my crust cool 100% before putting the cream cheese layer on top. It’s in the fridge now, should it still be ok if I didn’t let the crust cool 100%.

  9. Do you add the cold water to the gelatin and boiling water mixture before pouring over the cream cheese layer??

    1. Hi Courtney, for this recipe we actually don’t add cold water to the gelatin. It is just the Jell-O packet and boiling water that are combined and left to cool completely before pouring over the sliced strawberries and cream cheese mixture.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. Do you think this would freeze well for a short period of time or would the Jell-O layer get weird?

    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.