Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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This classic treat is always a crowd pleaser with a pretzel crust, cream cheese layer and strawberry jello topping! Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad is the ultimate combination of sweet and salty. Make it for your next gathering, but don’t plan on having any leftovers!

I love layered desserts!! This pretzel salad is my most common go-to, but I also love lemon lasagna, cookie delight, and no bake strawberry shortcake. They layers are impressive to look at, but they taste just as good as they look. 😉

Pretzel Salad on a plate, topped with a dallop of whipped cream

Jello + Pretzel = Salad?

The recipe I’m sharing today is a CLASSIC. It’s especially popular during the summertime and holidays, but quite frankly, I think it sounds appetizing year round. It’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad! It has a salty pretzel crust, yummy cream cheese center, and a fruity jello layer on top.

The combination is delicious, and you may wonder how it is a salad, but really it’s a cool dessert! Whoever thought of adding these things together was a genius, because it really is great. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with a dessert that has cream cheese AND whipped cream.

This dessert can also be changed up based to your liking. The jello layer can be changed to your favorite fruity jello flavor, which is fun! The most common, and most favorite flavor (for our family at least) is strawberry.

Some other flavors that might be fun to try:

  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Orange (might taste like an orange dreamsicle!)

All the lovely layers

This recipe does require a little bit of planning and time (waiting for jello to refrigerate always seems like forever, right?!), but let me be the first to tell you that it’s SO worth it.

PRETZEL CRUST. Mix chopped pretzels, 1/4 cup sugar and butter together. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

CREAM LAYER. Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and milk together with a blender. Fold in Cool Whip and spread over the crust. Refrigerate until ready to use. (You can substitute the cool whip for homemade whipped cream if you like!)

JELLO LAYER. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and place in a large bowl. Add gelatin mix and stir for 2 minutes until dissolved. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours or until thickened. Stir strawberries in with your jello and spoon over your cream cheese layer.

REFRIGERATE. Refrigerate for another 3 hours. Keep refrigerated until serving. ENJOY!

overhead view of strawberry jello layer in a dish

Tips and FAQ

What Kind of Pretzels are Best for Pretzel Jello? Salted hard pretzels, either sticks or twisted. The Rold Gold brand give a more buttery flavor, but any brand works well.  

Pretzel jello Salad Tips:

  • Be sure to prepare the jello according to recipe instructions (not package instructions)
  • 2 ½ cups of whole pretzels will make 2 cup crushed pretzels
  • Spread cream mix all the way to the edges. You don’t want to leave any room for the jello portion to seep down and make the pretzels soggy. 
  • For a smaller salad: Half the ingredients and make in a 9×9 pan

Flavor Variations: There are so many variations that you can try. Pair up any flavor with its counterpart of fruit: cherry jello with cherries, Raspberry jello with raspberries. You can also mix favors such as lime jello with strawberries. You can change up the crusts flavor as well by adding a few chopped nuts.

Can I make this ahead of time? Yes! In fact due to the length of time it needs to set in the fridge it’s best made the day before serving. This salad can last for about a week in the fridge, however the pretzels might soften over time.

Pretzel Jello Salad on a plate

I’m drooling just thinking about this sweet/salty/creamy/fruity dessert!! I’m thinking it might be about time to whip up some Pretzel Salad!

For more fruity desserts, check out:

more layered desserts

Jello Pretzel Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
This classic treat is always a crowd pleaser with a pretzel crust, cream cheese layer and strawberry jello topping! Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad is the ultimate combination of sweet and salty!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 slices
Calories 213 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 2 cup pretzels crushed
  • 1/2 cup sugar divided
  • 2/3 cup margarine melted
  • 12 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup cool whip
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 oz Strawberry JELL-O mix
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 4 cups strawberries sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Mix chopped pretzels, ¼ cup sugar and butter together. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
  3. Beat cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and milk together with a blender. Fold in Cool Whip and spread over the crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Place boiling water in a large bowl. Add gelatin mix and stir for 2 minutes until dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours or until thickened.
  5. Stir strawberries in with your jello and spoon over your cream cheese layer.
  6. Refrigerate for another 3 hours. Keep refrigerated until serving. ENJOY!

Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

More by Kristyn

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Comments

    1. LOL – I know… definitely more a dessert than salad, but that’s what we always called it. I think Jello Pretzel CAKE may be better. 😉

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this salad quite a few times now & every time I do, it’s gone in minutes. My in-laws request this every year! my favorite is the crust!

  2. 5 stars
    Some people consider jello As a side dish. In our family jello was a dessert. You cant go wrong with this recipe no matter how you choose to eat it. the combination of sweet and salty make it a great dessert!