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

A buttery pretzel crust topped is topped with a cheesecake-like layer, and strawberry topping.

This dish has everything: sweet, salty, creamy, and tangy.

piece of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate with a fork

Ingredients for Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This old-fashioned treat is called pretzel “salad,” but really it’s a layered dessert, perfect to serve for Thanksgiving dinner or at Christmas.

  • Crust: crushed salted pretzels, butter, sugar
  • Creamy Filling: a cheesecake-like layer made with cream cheese, sugar, and whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
  • Strawberry Topping: strawberry gelatin, sliced fresh strawberries

You can use frozen strawberries if you can’t find fresh ones (thaw and drain first). You could also substitute or add other fresh fruit. Change up the flavor with raspberries and raspberry Jell-O 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 three easy steps. Be sure to chill each step between so they set.

  1. Crust: Combine the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a baking dish (per the recipe below).
  2. Creamy Filling: Whip cream cheese and sugar, and fold 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 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’.
  • Frozen berries: Thaw and drain frozen strawberries if using.
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 269 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a family favorite. This easy make-ahead dessert is a delicious combo of sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy!
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 butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Cream Cheese 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


  • Preheat 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 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 stir 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.



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. 
For easy removal from the pan, the dish can be lined with parchment paper.
4.96 from 269 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
Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate with a title
Strawberry Pretzel Salad in a plate with writing
Strawberry Pretzel Salad in a casserole dish and a piece of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate with a title
piece of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate with text


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About the author

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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