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.
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.
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.
- Crust: Combine the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a baking dish (per the recipe below).
- Creamy Filling: Whip cream cheese and sugar, and fold in whipped topping. Spread over the pretzel layer and refrigerate until firm.
- Strawberry Topping: Combine strawberry jello and water with strawberries and pour over the creamy layer.
- 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.
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.
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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
- 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
- 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.
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
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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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