You only need 5 steps to make this strawberry pretzel salad recipe! Perfect for holidays or to make during Summer because it's easy and delicious.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Note from Laurie: My friend Cheree makes this AMAZING Strawberry Pretzel Salad, and I can't wait to try it myself! I'll be honest, I've never quite successfully made this one (I've had a few flops along the way . . . ), so I can't wait to try letting the gelatin cool completely before assembling.
This recipe is definitely a LOVE/HATE relationship. 🙂
I LOVE all it's deliciousness, but boy, it can sure test your patience and slide you right over to the HATE side!
However, I think I have discovered the key to making a perfect (well, almost perfect)… Strawberry Pretzel Salad. You need to let your gelatin cool before assembling. Just let it hang out on the counter while you're working.
That is the key to getting this Jello salad *just* right.
(but don't hold me to it if your Strawberry Pretzel Salad ends up like so many of mine have and slides right off the plate).
🍴Menu Note: You can find this recipe in week 11 of our Summer Menu Plan Set!
Here are a few questions you might have about the Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe.
Why is it called pretzel salad?
Apparently there is a big debate on whether this is a salad or dessert. If you can remember those Jello molds from the 1970's… weren't those called a salad? So maybe this really is a salad in disguise!
What do you think – salad or dessert??? 🥗 🍓
Ingredients for Pretzel Salad:
- Cream Cheese
- Whipped Topping
- Strawberry Gelatin
What kind of pretzels are best for Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad?
Small, salted pretzels work best. Pretzel sticks or small pretzel twists are great choices since they are easier to crush and to measure. The unusual sweet/salty combination of the pretzel crust is my favorite!
Can I substitute heavy whipping cream instead of cool whip?
Cool Whip gives the best results in this recipe. However, you can substitute with whipped cream (beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream until stiff and fluffy). Please note that if using whipping cream the pretzel layer will become softer.
Here's how to make Strawberry Pretzel Salad:
This recipe works best to do in stages.
First, mix all the ingredients for the crust (you'll need the few tablespoons of sugar, melted butter, and the crushed pretzels) and get it baked in a 9 x 13 baking dish. You will need to have a cooled crust before the next step.
The next thing I like to do is to get the jello layer ready. Mix the strawberry gelatin with 2 cups boiling water and let it hang out on the countertop while you slice the strawberries (you can use frozen too, but I prefer to use fresh strawberries).
After the gelatin has cooled a bit and has a partial set, go ahead and stir in the sliced strawberries (frozen strawberries work fine in this recipe as well). Let this hang out some more on your countertop as you start to build the cream cheese layer.
Whip the cream cheese and sugar (You'll need about 1 cup of sugar for this part) together until smooth and then fold in the whipped topping. Go ahead and spread the cream cheese mixture on the cooled pretzel crust (check to make sure it's completely cooled – that's so important!).
Be sure to cover edge to edge with the cream cheese for a tight seal. You can pop this in the refrigerator while waiting on that gelatin….
and once the Jello has cooled give it another stir and quickly pour onto the cream cheese filling.
Cover with some press ‘n seal (I love that stuff) and refrigerate until the gelatin sets up (at least 3 hours).
This strawberry pretzel salad will be worth it!
Can you make this the night before?
Yes! This is my favorite way to make it. I typically make mine at night and let it hang out in the fridge overnight.
Can you freeze strawberry pretzel salad?
It's generally not best to freeze this pretzel salad. Cream cheese can get really icky when frozen and really once you've gone to all this work it's not worth the risk to try in my opinion. But, if you've frozen it before and it works please let me know! 🙂
You will impress your friends and family with this Strawberry Pretzel Salad – I promise this one is always a favorite!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 1/2-3 cups crushed pretzels
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3 Tbsps plus 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
- 6 oz pkg strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 lb pkg fresh strawberries, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- For the crust, mix pretzels, 3 Tbsps sugar and butter together. Press into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix gelatin and boiling water together. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping until combined. Spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Add sliced strawberries to cooled gelatin and stir to combine. Pour over cream cheese mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until set. I usually make mine the night before I will be serving it.
- Cut into slices to serve.
My kids request Strawberry Pretzel Salad for every special occasion or holiday, so I'm happy to say…
I LOVE this recipe 🙂
You can find this recipe plus 59 other equally delicious recipes (plus 12 desserts) in our summer menu plan! This purchase also includes membership to our amazing private facebook group that is full of the most encouraging folks on the planet. 🙂
Looking for more strawberry recipes?
- Strawberry Cream Pie
- Berry Trifle
- Strawberry Cake
- Our Favorite Strawberry Pie
- Fresh Fruit Dessert Pizza
- Strawberry Salsa
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