Strawberry pretzel salad is a sweet and salty dessert with layers of crunchy pretzels, creamy cream cheese, and juicy strawberries. It's a tasty treats that's sure to be a must at family gatherings.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad, a beloved American dessert, has been around for generations with its unique combination of sweet and salty flavors.
This scrumptious treat, which has its roots in the Southern and Midwestern United States, is more of a layered dessert than a traditional salad.
With its colorful layers, Strawberry Pretzel Salad has become a go-to dish for festive occasions, summer gatherings, and potluck events.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
Strawberry pretzel salad is also called strawberry Jello pretzel salad, due to the Jello inside it.
Here are some reasons we think you'll love this recipe as much as we do:
- Sweet and salty combination: Strawberry Pretzel Salad brings together the best of both worlds with its sweet strawberries and salty pretzels, creating contrast in flavors.
- Easy to make: With just a few simple ingredients and steps, anyone can whip up this delicious dessert, making it perfect for kids and adults alike to prepare.
- Perfect for gatherings: Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a crowd-pleaser and a great addition to potlucks, picnics, or family get-togethers.
- Customizable: You can easily personalize this dessert by swapping out the fruit or gelatin flavor, using different types of pretzels, or adding creative toppings to suit your preferences or the occasion.
- Visually appealing: The colorful layers of Strawberry Pretzel Salad make it a beautiful layered strawberry dessert that's sure to impress your guests and brighten up any dessert table.
- Can be made ahead of time: This dessert can be prepared in advance, allowing you to save time and reduce stress when hosting an event or preparing for a busy day.
- Satisfies cravings: Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the perfect solution when you can't decide between a sweet or salty snack, as it offers both in one delicious package.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Ingredients
Strawberry Jello: This is the base for the strawberry layer of the salad. it provides the strawberry flavor and the gelling agent needed to hold the strawberries in place on top of the cream cheese layer.
Boiling Water: Used to dissolve the strawberry Jello.
Salted Pretzels: These form the crust of the salad. The saltiness of the pretzels balance out the sweetness of the other layers. It's important to measure before crushing to make sure you have the correct amount.
Sugar: This is used in both the crust and the cream cheese layer.
Butter, unsalted: you'll want to melt this so it evenly combines with the pretzels and sugar.
Cream cheese: make sure this is at room temperature so it becomes really smooth without any chunks.
Cool whip: this is folded into the cream cheese mixture to create a light, fluffy texture.
Fresh Strawberries: these are added to the top layer and suspended in the strawberry Jello.
How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Make Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Roughly crush the pretzels in a food processor or use a ziplock baggie with a rolling pin. Make sure not to crush the pretzels too much. While this recipe still works (I've made it with pretzel crumbs before), it's better when the pretzels still have some shape in them.
Add the melted butter and sugar to the pretzel crumbs. Mix until completely combined. Press pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 dish.
Bake for 10 minutes. Set it aside to cool to room temperature.
Make Strawberry Jello: Combine the boiling water with the Jello mix. Mix well until Jello mix is completely dissolved. Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.
Make Cream Cheese Mix: In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer and cream the cream cheese until totally smooth. Add in the sugar and mix together until light and fluffy.
Use a rubber spatula and fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture. gently fold until the Cool Whip is thoroughly dispersed.
Assemble: Spread cream cheese mixture onto the cooled crust. Make sure the layer is even and spread all the way to the edges. Place into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Spread cut strawberries over the cream cheese mixture. Then, using a measuring cup, gently spoon the cooled Jello mixture on top.
Refrigerate: Place assembled Strawberry Pretzel Salad into the fridge one last time for 2-4 hours or until it's fully set.
Tips for Making
- Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature
- You can sub out the fresh strawberries for frozen
- While I am normally all about using homemade whipped cream sometimes, this is one recipe that you'll want to use store-bought. Homemade whipped cream won't hold up if you end up with any leftovers or don't eat this right away.
- Make sure each layer has a chance to cool before adding the next layer. This helps prevent cracking
- The cream cheese layer helps keep your pretzels from getting soggy. So make sure you spread it all the way to the edge to protect them.
If you end up with leftovers, make sure to keep it in the fridge with the baking dish covered in plastic wrap. You can also transfer these to an air tight container.
Your strawberry pretzel salad will stay good in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
After this time, the pretzels in the crust might start to get a bit soggy. However, it will still taste delicious.
It's not a good idea to freeze this salad because the cream cheese and whipped topping layers might not freeze well and could become grainy when thawed.
Old Fashioned Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Microwave safe bowl
- 9x13 baking dish
- Medium saucepan or kettle
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- 2 ½ cups salted pretzels measure before crushing
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces cool whip
- 6 ounces strawberry jello
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 pound fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Crush the pretzels in a food processor or in a large ziplock bag and using a rolling pin to crush the pretzels.
- Add the melted butter and ¼ cup sugar to the pretzel crumbs and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Press into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then allow it to come to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, combine the jello and boiling water. Mix well until the jello has dissolved. Set aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the cream cheese and ½ cup sugar until the mixture until it's smooth, light and fluffy.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture. Gently fold the mixture until the cool whip is thoroughly dispersed.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled down crust, in an even layer. Be sure to spread the mixture all the way to the edge of the pan to avoid any gaps in the mixture. Place the pan in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Spread cut strawberries over the cream cheese mixture.
- Using a measuring cup, gently spoon cooled Jello mixture on top of strawberries.
- Refrigerate the pan for 2-4 hours to fully set.
* This should keep for 2-3 days, The pretzels will start to get soggy after that, but it will still taste great. * When crushing the pretzels, make sure you don't crush them too fine.