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Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the perfect combination of sweet and salty with a buttery pretzel crust, cream cheese layer, and a sweet strawberry layer on top. It’s a simple layer dessert that’s great for any gathering or holiday dessert!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
The other afternoon the kids were begging for dessert, and we had some strawberries in the fridge that needed to be eaten so we decided to make this strawberry pretzel salad. It was a huge hit, to say the least, and the kids are already begging for me to make it again! It’s such an easy dessert and after you try it, you will definitely see why it’s also one of our favorite desserts!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy recipe it is to make with simple ingredients that I usually have on hand, is all it takes to make this crowd-favorite dessert.
- The sweet combo of the salty pretzel crust with decadent cream cheese filling, and beautiful strawberry jell-o topping makes this the perfect dessert. There are three distinct layers that taste amazing together!
- This layered strawberry pretzel dessert doubles as a salad or a dessert. I served this as a dessert for my kids when we first made it, but I am fully prepared to serve it at dinner this coming week, I know the kids are going to love it!
Strawberry Jell-O Salad Ingredients
Pretzels – Since you are crushing the pretzels I would stick with the small stick pretzels. This will allow the pieces to break easily while crushing them.
Confectioners sugar – When grabbing your sugar at the store, be sure to get confectioners sugar for this strawberry pretzel recipe. This will give the dessert a creamy texture rather than a gritty texture you would get with regular granulated white sugar.
Butter – Butter will help hold the crushed pretzels together making for a delicious crust for your strawberry pretzel salad. Be sure to use the recommended amount of butter, if you try to use less you will notice that your crust is not sticking together as it should.
Cream cheese – Cream cheese makes up a lot of this strawberry pretzel dessert. Go for the full-fat block of cream cheese. I think this works best and helps with the flavor and texture of the strawberry pretzel salad.
Whipped topping – Grab a cool whip type of whipped topping in the freezer section of the grocery store. This will add “fluff” to your strawberry pretzel recipe that you will love.
Strawberry gelatin mix – Sweet strawberry jell o flavored mix gives this dessert the strawberry flavor that you love.
Sliced strawberries – In this strawberry pretzel recipe, you will get delicious chunks of fresh berries, which is one of my favorite parts with the fluffiness of all the other desserts. The riper the strawberry the more flavor it will add to the dessert.
How to Make the Best Pretzel Jello Salad
Step One: Prepare the Pretzel Base:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- In a food processor, crush the hard pretzels into small pieces (or place them in a zip top bag and crush with a rolling pin.)
- Combine in a large bowl the crushed pretzels, 3 tablespoons confectioners (powdered) sugar, and melted butter.
- Mix well and press mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan or casserole dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes and place it to the side and allow it to cool.
Step Two: Make the Cream Layer:
- Mix in a mixing bowl the cream cheese and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Stir in the whipped topping.
- Spread mixture on top of the cooled pretzel crust and refrigerate.
Step Three: Make the Strawberry Jell-o Layer:
- Boil 1 ½ cups of water (to make your jello) in a separate microwavable safe bowl.
- Combine boiling water, gelatin. Let this cool for a minute or two.
- Add strawberries once the gelatin has cooled. Failure to do this will result in some wilted strawberries.
- Let sit while the jello mixture thickens slightly.
- Pour over the crust and creamy layers to create a jello layer.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
Store in an airtight container or covered baking dish in the refrigerator for several days.
Tips for Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pretzel Salad:
- Be sure to allow each layer to cool in between adding the other layer on to the existing one. Failure to do so can result in a very soggy dessert.
- The secret to a non-soggy pretzel crust is to make sure that you completely cover it with the cream cheese mixture to make sure the strawberry mixture does not seep down to the crust.
- To prevent wilting of the strawberries you want to make sure your jello cools down prior to adding them to the gelatin layer.
- Get creative with this strawberry pretzel salad. If you don’t have strawberries on hand or strawberry jello, you can easily make this a delicious raspberry pretzel salad. Find other great combinations that your kids love!
Classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad FAQs
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries?
Yes, if you don’t have fresh strawberries on hand then you can use frozen ones. You want to make sure that you completely defrost them and then drain them off to make sure no extra liquid goes into the strawberry pretzel dessert. If you forget to drain them then the dessert will not set up correctly.
Can You Make this Strawberry Pretzel Salad ahead of time?
Yes, you will actually need to make your strawberry pretzel salad ahead of time because it does take at least 4 hours to set up in the fridge. Making it in the morning is best if you want to enjoy your strawberry pretzel salad that night.
How Long Does Strawberry Pretzel Salad Last in the Fridge?
When properly stored, this strawberry pretzel dessert will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How Do You Store Strawberry Pretzel Salad?
You will want to store your strawberry pretzel salad in the 13x 9 pan covered with plastic wrap. This will help it stay fresh.
What Can I Serve with Strawberry Pretzel Salad?
Strawberry jello pretzel salad is a classic recipe is perfect for a summertime family gathering and all of your holiday dinners. Because you can use frozen strawberries, this delicious dessert can be enjoyed any time of year and is a popular dessert for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Looking for More Strawberry Dessert Recipes?
- Strawberry Poke Cake
- Strawberry Pie
- Whipped Strawberry Milk
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Strawberry Lemon Lasagna
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2-1/2 cups crushed pretzels
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 8 oz. frozen whipped topping thawed
- 6 oz. strawberry flavored gelatin
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 4 cups strawberries sliced or 16-oz package frozen strawberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl combine crushed pretzels, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and melted butter. Mix well to coat the pretzels and press into dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes and set on counter to cool.
- Make filling:
- Combine cream cheese and 1 cup powdered sugar. Use electric mixer and mix together until smooth and creamy. Fold in whipped topping and spread mixture on top of the cooled pretzel crust. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Jello layer:
- Prepare strawberries by cutting off the tops and slicing them to thin layers. Set aside.
- Boil the water and pour into medium mixing bowl. Pour in gelatin mix and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Let come to room temperature.
- Add sliced strawberries to the gelatin mixture. Then pour on top of the chilled cream cheese filling. Spread to cover the chilled cheese layer.
- Refrigerate for several hours (at least 3-4 hours) or overnight until strawberry gelatin layer is completely set.
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