Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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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 square with a dollup of whip and a pretzel on top.

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:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine ingredients for the pretzel layer: In a mixing bowl, combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter.
  3. Cook pretzel crust: Press into a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool completely.
  4. 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.
  5. Make creamy center: Beat the cream cheese and sugar together with a hand mixer until creamy. Fold in the cool whip with a spatula.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve and Enjoy!
Steps to making strawberry pretzel salad.

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.

Fruity Variations:

  • 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.
Close up on the side of a slice of strawberry pretzel salad that shows the layers.

More Fresh Strawberry Salads:

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

4.86 from 7 votes
Delicious sweet and salty pretzel crust with a cream cheese and strawberry layer. This is perfect for summer!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 16 people


  • 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.



Updated on May 9, 2020
Originally Posted on July 19, 2013


Serves: 16

Calories316kcal (16%)Carbohydrates43g (14%)Protein4g (8%)Fat15g (23%)Saturated Fat9g (45%)Cholesterol43mg (14%)Sodium356mg (15%)Potassium108mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar30g (33%)Vitamin A512IU (10%)Vitamin C18mg (22%)Calcium44mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

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.

Course Dessert, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword pretzel salad, strawberry pretzel salad, strawberry salad
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I love your recipes Alyssa but l wonder when l print them the print is so small it is hard to read. Am l doing something wrong?

  2. 4 stars
    Delicious recipe, I love the pretzel crust. My son suggested using strawberry glaze instead of jello next time. Will give that a try next time. But was still easy to make and delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous, The sweet and crunchy pretzel layer, combined with the creamy cream cheese & whip cream layer topped with the coolness of the fruit & jello. Makes your taste buds happy.

  4. My mom made something similar. Her top layer was cool whip and lemon pudding over the 2 layers. She called it pretzel torte. It was my favorite part of summer when she made that. Thanks for the memory!

  5. The instructions told tell you how much sugar and what kind of sugar to mix into the crust or the cream. I mixed the 3 tbsp of brown sugar AND 1 cup of white sugar into the crust and it is backing. Now I get down to the whipped cream and cream cheese and it says to mix sugar in to that. How much? I think I may have ruined the crust :/

  6. I’ve had a variation of this where I work, but I do have one question? Can I use dream whip instead of cool whip? Dream whip is a powder that you add to milk and beat until consistency of whip cream I don’t really care for cool whip, it’s ok but prefer real whipped or dream whip.

  7. I make this recipe with a pecan crust instead of the pretzels and use pie filling for the strawberries. It’s always a big hit!

  8. You need to fix the instructions! It says “combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter.”, so that’s exactly what I did… The WHOLE TWO CUPS! Reading down I realized I was supposed to mix the 3 tbl of BROWN sugar…

    1. No where does it say 2 cups of sugar anywhere. And good rule of thumb is to probably read a recipe before starting it. I think it’s fairly common sense to add the ingredients in the order they r listed. Obviously the instructions aren’t the problem when others r executing this fabulous dish without any issues. Just gotta read through things first, it’s not someone else’s fault because you misread the instructions. Just saying

  9. I’m looking forward to preparing this recipe, What brand of pretzel did you use for the bottom crust? There are so many brands and shapes.

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