Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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Strawberry. Pretzel. Salad. It’s not a salad and it sure isn’t my mama’s typical Sunday dinner jello either.

I first tasted this bit of heaven at my Aunt Judy’s house several years ago. It really was quite the experience. The pretzel crust adds a salty-sweet layer to this dessert that balances it so very nicely.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I remember my cousin Lisa saying something along the lines of “you just have to taste it” and “I’ll choose this over dessert every time.” And sure enough, she was right.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad has become one of my favorite holiday dishes every single year.

Can you make this recipe year-round? Of course! But, it’s become a family favorite for us and it is ALWAYS on our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.

With everything going on, and so much of our time spent at home, I’ve been making a lot of our favorite foods over the past few months.

A few years ago, I decided to make a Strawberry Pretzel Salad completely from scratch. Let’s just say, that in the end all of that extra effort wasn’t worth it to me. Sure, you can make strawberry jello without the box and homemade stabilized whipped cream.

Was it delicious made from scratch? Sure thing. But was the original honestly the same or even better? Yes. In the end, I won’t be doing that again for this super easy treat. Half the beauty of this dish is how easy it is to make!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad - who knew a salad could be my favorite dessert?

With a tagline here on the website of “cooking from scratch as simply as possible,” I’ve been hesitant to share a 100% from-scratch version of this recipe here because let me tell you, it wasn’t anywhere near as simple as the original.

And after a whole lot of parenting years and life, my “strict” adherence to only scratch recipes has learned to chill out on occasion. Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the ultimate excuse for me to relax and enjoy the store-bought ease of this recipe.

And if ever there was a prime time to chill out with making every single dish from scratch? Month two of staying at home is the time. We’ve had more frozen pizza and easy freezer meals over the past few weeks than we’ve probably ever had in our lives.

And I am 1000% okay with it. I don’t know anyone that isn’t tired of cooking these days. So, when I’m in the kitchen, I am usually making something that we love.

Strawberry Pretzel "Salad?" Yes, please!

Three Ways To Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad

FROZEN BERRIES IN SYRUP – Aunt Judy’s recipe called for frozen strawberries in syrup. However, they have become increasingly difficult to find in stores. If you’re lucky enough to find them, this is my first choice for this recipe. You’ll want to use a 16-20 ounce container and include the syrup with the recipe.

FROZEN BERRIES – If berries in syrup aren’t available, you can add 16 ounces of frozen berries to the hot jello mixture. Use a potato masher to break the berries into smaller pieces as they soften.

FRESH BERRIES – Fresh berries make for the prettiest version. However, this version does not keep as nicely for more than a day or two. The berries on top of the dish won’t hold as nicely as the frozen ones in the jello layer. Pour the jello over the cream cheese layer and then gently scatter the berries across the jello.

Use a cookie scoop or a couple of spoons to easily spread the cream cheese layer across the crust.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

  1. Pour boiling water into a mixing bowl and add the jello powder. Stir to dissolve. Add the still-frozen strawberries to the hot jello mixture and stir to combine. Set aside until the mixture reaches the consistency of egg whites.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Crush the pretzels in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Combine the crushed pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium-size bowl. Stir to mix well.
  3. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter and press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake 10 minutes until set. Cool completely.
  4. Combine the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Stir well to combine. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the completely cooled pretzel crust, taking care to spread it well to the edges to seal the crust.
  5. Use a potato masher to break the berries into smaller pieces as they soften. Pour the jello mixture over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the strawberry dessert that you never knew you always needed.

More Strawberry Dessert Recipes

Have you tried a fruit crunch? There’s an extra layer of topping that makes this Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch just a little more special than a fruit crisp. Fresh fruits tossed together with citrus and cinnamon sugar, then baked in between layers of a brown sugar and oat crust.

If you’re a fan of classic strawberry shortcake, this Strawberry Cobbler is going to thrill you. The cobbler is loaded with strawberries and then topped with a generous cinnamon sugar crust that is both buttery and flaky while never becoming soggy, even after a day or two in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Crisp Ice Cream is amazing as soft serve straight out of the machine with the chunks of crisp added to it, but after a few hours in the freezer? This ice cream really shines with its blend of creamy ice cream and bite-size chunks of strawberry crisp.

Strawberry Coconut Crisp is a simple fruit dessert with layers of fresh strawberries, crisp buttery brown sugar covered oats, and chewy sweet coconut.

Strawberry Shortcake Pie has layers of strawberries, cream, and pound cake in a really fun dessert for a crowd.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is a tangy, sweet ice cream that tastes just like cheesecake. With the addition of a quick strawberry puree made from fresh or frozen berries, this is a treat that can easily be enjoyed year-round.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Pie actually tastes like you are eating an ice cream cone. The crust stays a bit crunchy, just like the cones do when they are filled with ice cream, and that sugar cone flavor comes through in every bite.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad - who knew a salad could be my favorite dessert?

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

5 from 2 votes
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the most irresistible strawberry dessert you may ever try!
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Chill Time: 6 hrs
Total Time: 6 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels, about 6 cups worth of mini pretzels
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 8 ounce Cool Whip topping
  • 6 ounce package strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 16 ounces frozen strawberries in syrup, frozen berries, or fresh (see notes for alternate methods)

Instructions

  • Pour boiling water into a mixing bowl and add the jello powder. Stir to dissolve. Add the still-frozen strawberries to the hot jello mixture and stir to combine. Set aside until the mixture reaches the consistency of egg whites.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Crush the pretzels in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Combine the crushed pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium-size bowl. Stir to mix well.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter and press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake 10 minutes until set. Cool completely.
  • Combine the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Stir well to combine. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the completely cooled pretzel crust, taking care to spread it well to the edges to seal the crust.
  • Pour the jello mixture over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.

Notes

FROZEN BERRIES IN SYRUP – Aunt Judy’s recipe called for frozen strawberries in syrup. However, they have become increasingly difficult to find in stores. If you’re lucky enough to find them, this is my first choice for this recipe. You’ll want to use a 16-20 ounce container and include the syrup with the recipe.
FROZEN BERRIES – If berries in syrup aren’t available, you can add 16 ounces of frozen berries to the hot jello mixture. Use a potato masher to break the berries into smaller pieces as they soften.
FRESH BERRIES – Fresh berries make for the prettiest version. However, this version does not keep as nicely for more than a day or two. The berries on top of the dish won’t hold as nicely as the frozen ones in the jello layer. Pour the jello over the cream cheese layer and then gently scatter the berries across the jello.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal · Carbohydrates: 52g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 19g · Saturated Fat: 12g · Cholesterol: 54mg · Sodium: 413mg · Potassium: 126mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 38g · Vitamin A: 646IU · Vitamin C: 22mg · Calcium: 52mg · Iron: 1mg
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the strawberry dessert of my dreams.

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Liza says

    Which sugar goes with which part of the recipe? Sugar is listed twice with different measurements and not specified which part goes with what. Sort of confusing! Thanks

  2. Bonnie Edney says

    I make this Pretzel Salad Recipe.
    Where this calls for strawberries…I use 2 cans of Mandarin oranges, drained. And orange jello.
    Its wonderful.5 stars