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This Easy Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a delicious layered dessert, with a salty pretzel crust, a layer of creamy whipped topping and a layer of strawberry jello with fresh sliced strawberries.
Strawberry pretzel salad is the best dessert for potlucks and parties. It’s easier to make than a Strawberry Pie, it travels well and everyone loves it! It’s a throwback to vintage salads, like Green Jello Salad and Pistachio Salad.
Why We Love It
- It’s simple to make with common ingredients.
- It makes a large batch to feed a crowd.
- It travels well so it’s great to bring to a party or potluck.
The crust – The bottom layer is made with crushed up pretzels mixed with melted butter and sugar for a crunchy element.
The middle layer – This layer has softened cream cheese, whipped topping, sugar and a hint of vanilla for balance. It tastes like a soft and fluffy cream cheese filling.
The top layer – Topping of this special dessert is a layer of sliced strawberries in strawberry jello.
To Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Make the crust. While the oven is preheating, crush the pretzels into small pieces then mix with melted butter and sugar. Mix until all combined.
Bake the crust. Arrange the pretzels into a 9×13-inch baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Mix cheesecake layer. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy. add the whipped topping and beat until smooth and well combined. Stir in the vanilla.
Layer the cream cheese. Spread the cream cheese layer evenly over the pretzel crust. Refrigerate for an hour.
Prepare the jello and strawberry layer. Pour jello powder into a mixing bowl, whisk in 2 cups of hot water then 2 cups of cold water. Let cool for an hour.
Add sliced strawberries. Cover the creamy layer of the dessert with sliced strawberries. Once chilled, pour the cool jello over the strawberries. Refrigerate 4-5 hours or until jello is completely set.
Chill until ready to serve. Cut the salad into 12-15 bars and serve with a dollop of whipped cream
- If your package of jello says something different, follow the instructions in the recipe below.
- Make sure that each layer is fully cooled before adding the next.
- Spread the cheesecake layer edge to edge to protect the crust from the jello.
- The jello should be room temperature (not to hot) or it will crack the cream layer.
- You can use frozen strawberries instead of fresh. Defrost them and let them drain on some paper towels to reduce the liquid.
- Customize the flavors, adding peaches, raspberries or mandarin oranges to this salad instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
By definition, a salad is basically just a bunch of ingredients mixed together, usually fruits or vegetables. So, this sort of qualifies. This type of “salad” dish typically originates in the south. It is believed that this particular recipe was first introduced in a Jell-O cookbook in the 1960s.
This layered dessert actually gets better with time! It’s best to make it at least a day in advance or up to 2 days because it needs at least 4-5 hours to set properly.
More Sweet Fruit Dessert You’ll Love
- Sour Cream Salad – A Family Favorite
- No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Pie
- Strawberry Fluff Pie
- Creamy No-Bake Chocolate Lasagna
- Easy Cherry Cheesecake Dip
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 3 cups mini twist pretzels
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups whipped topping
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 pound fresh strawberries greens removed & sliced
- 2 3-ounce packets strawberry jello mix
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the pretzels in a large ziploc bag and seal the bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the pretzels – not to a fine crumb, you want there to be some bigger pieces too.
- Transfer the pretzels to a mixing bowl. Add sugar and butter. Mix until evenly combined.
- Pour the pretzels into a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Spread into an even layer covering the bottom of the dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Add the cream cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl. Beat together until combined and fluffy.
- Add the whipped topping and fold into the cream cheese until smooth and evenly combined.
- Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzels and spread into an even layer.
- Refrigerate 1 hour to set.
- While the cream layer sets, place the jello powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 cups hot water until the gelatin has melted.
- Whisk in 2 cups cold water. Let the jello cool for 1 hour.
- Remove the baking dish from the fridge. Top the cream layer with sliced strawberries, spreading them all over the top.
- Carefully pour the cooled jello over the strawberries.
- Transfer the dish back to the fridge and chill until set, 4-5 hours.
- Keep cool until ready to serve. Cut the salad into 12 or 15 bars. If desired, top with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh strawberries.