Strawberry Pretzel Salad has a sweet and salty pretzel crust, cream cheese middle, and a jello strawberry layer on top. Perfection! Everyone loves this salad!
When I did my BBQ round-up idea and found this recipe, I knew I had to make it. I have seen it everywhere and it looks so amazing and perfect for summer! I was curious to know how a pretzel crust would taste and the result was fantastic!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
I especially loved the layers in this dessert. The crunchy saltiness from the pretzel crust covered with a smooth and tangy cream cheese middle, and finished off perfectly with a fresh, sweet strawberry jello layer on top! This was everyone’s new favorite and it didn’t last long at all! I am so glad I finally gave this recipe a try because it is a keeper!
When I am in the mood for something sweet but not too rich, this is my first choice. There is just something about how perfectly balanced all the flavors and textures are that keeps me coming back for more! Adding big chunks of fresh strawberries to the jello is part of what makes this pretzel salad so special. That hint of freshness is just right! I also like to finish it off with a big swirl of whipped cream on top! Altogether, it is like heaven on my fork! This strawberry pretzel salad should be at the top of your list of new dessert recipes to try this week! Your friends and family will thank you!
Pretzel Salad Ingredients:
- Pretzels:Use small, salted pretzels (either sticks or twists are fine) so they will be easier to crush.
- Brown sugar: Gives a rich sweetness to the pretzel crust.
- Butter:The melted butter helps bind the pretzel crust together.
- Instant strawberry jello: You can use sugar free here if you would like without changing the flavors too much.
- Fresh strawberries: I love the fresh sweetness the strawberries add!
- Cream cheese: Room temperature so that it can beat together with sugar easily.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness to the creamy layer.
- Cool whip: Thaw in refrigerator and fold into cream cheese and sugar mixture.
How to make Strawberry Pretzel Salad:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ingredients for the pretzel layer: In a mixing bowl, combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter.
- Cook pretzel crust: Press into a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool completely.
- Make the jello: Follow package directions to make jello. Once cool, mix in the fresh strawberries. Let refrigerate for an hour or so to let it partially set.
- Make creamy center: Beat the cream cheese and sugar together with a hand mixer until creamy. Fold in the cool whip with a spatula.
- Build finished layers: Spread the creamy mixture over the top of the pretzel crust completely to the edges so the jello won’t leak through. Then, pour the jello over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Can you make this ahead of time?
Strawberry pretzel salad is best when made at least half a day in advance. It needs at least four hours to set up, or preferably longer. It will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator. If you are making it ahead, be sure to use cool whip instead of whipped topping because it doesn’t soften the pretzels overnight.
- Mix up your fruits and try an Orange pretzel salad with orange jello, crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges, or any fruit and jello flavors/colors you like!
- If you decide to use whipped cream (by beating 1 cup heavy whipping cream until stiff and fluffy), I would add 2/3 cup sugar to the cream cheese to add back in some of the sweetness. Also, refrigerate the cream portion for 45 minutes to give it more time to firmly set.
Tips to Make the Best Pretzel Salad:
- Measure 2 ½ cups of whole pretzels
- Spread cream portion from edge to edge of the pretzel layer to keep the jello from seeping through to the pretzels and making your crust mushy.
- Gently pour room temperature jello over the cream layer to prevent cracks in the cream layer.
- Allow each layer to cool/chill completely before adding the next layer.
- The Jell-o needs to be room temperature before you pour in the fresh strawberries. Otherwise, the heat will cause them to wilt.
- You can use frozen strawberries instead of fresh.
More Fresh Strawberry Salads:
- Creamy Strawberry Broccoli Salad
- Mouthwatering Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Strawberry, Apple and Pear Spinach Salad with an Apple Cider Poppyseed Dressing
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- Avocado Strawberry Pasta Salad
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 1/2 cups pretzels crushed
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 1 6 ounce box instant strawberry jello
- 1 16 ounce container of fresh strawberries sliced, or 1 10 ounce package frozen strawberries
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 8 ounce container of cool whip
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine crushed pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter. Press into a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool completely.
- Make the jello according to package directions. Mix in the fresh strawberries. Let refrigerate for an hour or so to let it partially set.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar together with a hand mixer until creamy. Fold in the cool whip with a spatula. Spread the mixture over the top of the pretzel crust completely to the edges so the jello won't leak through.
- Pour the jello over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
In steps 1 and 3 it just says “sugar” not specifying brown sugar or white sugar. Is the brown sugar for step 1 or 3?
The brown sugar is for the crust, the granulated sugar is for the filling mixture. 🙂
If using frozen strawberries do I need to thaw them first? Or use straight from the freezer? Thanks
I would thaw them first and then drain any extra liquid! Let me know how it turns out!
Can you use heavy cream whipped instead of cool whip.
I haven’t tried this before. It might not hold up as well underneath the jello. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
Have you tried using sugar free jello and a sugar substitute?
I haven’t but I’m sure that would work just fine!