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Pretzel salad is the ultimate combination of sweet and salty. This classic treat is always a crowd pleaser!!
Jello + Pretzel = Salad
The recipe I’m sharing today is a CLASSIC dessert!
Pretzel salad is especially popular at summertime potlucks and holiday parties, but quite frankly, I think it sounds great all year round.
It has a salty pretzel crust, yummy cream cheese center, and a fruity Jell-O layer on top. The layers are impressive to look at, but they taste just as good as they look.
The combination is delicious, and you may wonder how it is a salad because really it’s a cool treat! This dessert can also be changed up based on 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, but however you make it, it’s sure to be a hit!
Just Layer and Set!
This strawberry pretzel salad does require a little bit of planning and time (to allow the jello to set), but let me be the first to tell you that it’s SO worth it.
PRETZEL CRUST. Mix chopped pretzels, ¼ cup sugar, and melted butter together. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
CREAM LAYER. Beat cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, and milk together with a blender. Fold in Cool Whip and pour/spread the mixture over the crust. Refrigerate the cream cheese mixture until ready to use.
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 1½ cups cold water. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours or until thickened. Stir fresh strawberries in with your jello and spoon over your cream cheese layer.
REFRIGERATE. Refrigerate for another 3 hours. Keep refrigerated until serving.
For a smaller salad. Half the ingredients and make in a 9×9 pan.
This strawberry pretzel salad recipe has three simple layers and it starts with a crunchy pretzel base!
Crushed pretzels. To crush pretzels place the pretzels in a sealed plastic bag or between two sheets of wax paper. Use a rolling pin or a heavy object like a meat mallet to gently crush the pretzels. Some people prefer larger chunks for added texture, while others prefer smaller crumbs for a smoother crust. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to pulse the pretzels until they reach the desired crumb consistency. Be careful not to over-process them into a fine powder.
2½ cups of whole pretzels will make 2 cups of crushed pretzels.
Jello. Be sure to prepare the Jello according to recipe instructions (not package instructions).
Jell-o is the name of the company that makes strawberry jello. You can also use store-brand strawberry gelatin.
Whipped topping. You can substitute the Cool Whip for Homemade Whipped Cream if you like.
Spread whipped cream mix all the way to the edges. You don’t want to leave any room for the strawberry jello layer to seep down and make the pretzels soggy.
There are so many variations for Jello pretzel salad that you can try. Pair up any flavor with its counterpart of fruit:
- cherry Jello with cherries
- raspberry Jello with raspberries
- orange Jello with mandarin oranges
- mix flavors such as lime Jello with strawberries
- change up the flavor of the crust as well by adding a few chopped nuts
- add in crushed pineapple, raspberry, or orange (might taste like an orange creamsicle)
Make ahead of time. Due to the length of time it needs to be set in the fridge, it’s best made the day before serving.
STORE. Keep strawberry jello salad covered for about a week in the fridge, however, the pretzels might soften over time.
You can use frozen strawberries in a pinch. If they are whole: slice them, allow them to thaw, drain the liquid, and add to the Jello.
Gelatin can be sensitive to changes in ingredients or ratios, so be sure to follow the written recipe and do not make the jello according to the box. You will also want to be sure to dissolve the jello compelled in the hot water and give it ample time to chill in the fridge.
Use salted hard pretzels, either sticks or twisted. The Rold Gold brand gives a more buttery flavor, but any brand works well. About 2½ cups of whole pretzels will make 2 cups of crushed pretzels.
For More Fruity Desserts, Check Out:
- Jello Poke Cake
- Lemon Bars Recipe
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Bars
- Cherry Dump Cake
- Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
- Cranberry Salad
Pretzel Salad Recipe
- 2 cup pretzels crushed
- ½ cup sugar divided
- ⅔ cup margarine melted
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup cool whip
- 2 cups boiling water
- 6 ounces Strawberry JELL-O mix
- 1½ cups cold water
- 4 cups strawberries sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix chopped pretzels, ¼ cup sugar, and butter together. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir sliced strawberries in with your jello and spoon over your cream cheese layer.
- Refrigerate for another 3 hours. Keep refrigerated until serving. ENJOY!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.