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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!

Strawberry pretzel salad is summer potluck perfection! If you love creamy and sweet fruit salads, here are a few other recipes you need to try out: creamy grape salad, red white and blue cheesecake salad, and pineapple fluff! Not only are they absolutely delicious and refreshing, but perfect for feeding a crowd!

A slice of strawberry pretzel salad on a stoneware plate.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

If you’re looking for the perfect summer dessert salad, this is it. Each layer of strawberry pretzel salad is so delicious! 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 fruit salad 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. It’s the perfect hint of juicy freshness. I also like to finish it off with a big swirl of whipped cream on top! Altogether, it’s 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! Trust me, your friends and family will thank you!

Pretzel Salad Ingredients

Strawberry pretzel salad uses a bunch of simple ingredients, which is just another reason why it’s the perfect fruity side dish! You can find exact measurements in the recipe card below.

  • 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: Both regular and sugar-free work!
  • Fresh Strawberries: I love the fresh sweetness the strawberries add!
  • Cream Cheese: Make sure it’s at room temperature so that it can beat together with the sugar easily.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to the creamy layer.
  • Cool Whip: Folded into the cream cheese layer for extra sweet, fluffy goodness.

How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This creamy, berry-filled dessert is so easy to make and only takes 10 minutes of prep! Just make sure you leave yourself enough time for it to chill in the fridge. This takes about 4 hours.

  • Preheat Oven, Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 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 Jello: While the crust is baking, make the jello according to the package directions. Let the jello sit at room temperature for an hour or until it cools. Allow each layer to cool/chill completely before adding the next layer.
  • Cream Cheese Layer: 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. Chill in the fridge. 
  • Jello Layer: Once the jello has cooled, layer the sliced strawberries over the chilled cream layer and top with the room-temperature jello.
  • Chill and Serve: Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Making strawberry pretzel salad, step by step.

Tasty Variations

Looking to switch things up? Here are a couple simple ways to make strawberry pretzel salad your own:

  • Use Different Fruit: 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!
  • Use Whipped Cream Instead of Whipped Topping: 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.
  • Frozen Strawberries: Feel free to use frozen strawberries instead of fresh! Just keep in mind that they will release a lot of liquid once they thaw, so your jello may need a little more time to set up.
A slice of the strawberry dessert being served.

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, covered with plastic wrap. If you are making it ahead, be sure to use cool whip instead of whipped topping because it doesn’t soften the pretzels overnight.

Closeup of strawberry pretzel salad.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

4.89 from 9 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 16 people

Ingredients 

  • 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, thawed

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 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.
  • While the crust is baking, make the jello according to the package directions. Let the jello sit at room temperature for an hour or until it cools.
  • 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. Chill in the fridge.
  • Once the jello has cooled, layer the sliced strawberries over the chilled cream layer and top with the room-temperature jello. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Video

Notes

Updated on June 21, 2023
Originally Posted on July 19, 2013

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 356mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 512IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
 
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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88 Comments

  1. This recipe is great but how can you keep the pretzels crisp? They get soggy so fast!! As soon as I fix it and refrigerate it a few hours the pretzels are soggy! I make sure that absolutely no jello seeps under the cream cheeese/cool whip layer. Help!!

    1. When you put the cream cheese layer over the pretzel layer, make sure that you seal the cream cheese layer to the edges of your container and make sure that all areas on the pretzel layer are covered with cream cheese completely. Been making this for years. Turns out great every time. Sometimes I add an extra pkg of cream cheese – simply because I love cream cheese.

  2. Since I am obviously recipe illiterate, it would have been nice to know to mix brown sugar with pretzels and butter, but now I now the recipe goes in order and I shouldn’t have had all ingredients out at once. But, it was great!

    1. Yes, of course! I have never tried it but I am sure it will taste great if properly stored correctly in the freezer. It may alter the taste and even the texture of the dessert.

    1. It is in the same section at the grocery store. Instant jell-o is made quicker than other jellos or puddings. Hope you are able to find the jello. XOXO

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I would just make one suggestion – specify which sugar you are using in steps 1 & 3. I didn’t catch the brown sugar that was listed in the ingredients and ended up using too much sugar in the crust. 🙂