How To Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad


How To Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad – This easy Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe is a great side dish for spring and summer.

Summer is fast approaching, and one of my favorite summertime dishes is Strawberry Pretzel Salad…but I never make it because it has a detailed, complicated recipe. So, recently I decided to figure out how to make this dish on my own.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

It is a dessert, but isn’t too sweet, nor too salty. It is really pretty when you put it in a clear ovenproof dish.



Strawberry Pretzel Salad


Read the full recipe after the video.

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Recipe Summary


35 mins


10 mins


45 mins




1 9×13 inch baking dish

a low angle view of two individual ramekins of strawberry pretzel salad, topped with whipped cream and a single pretzel


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Original recipe yields 12 servingsIngredient Checklist

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored Jell-O®
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries

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Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Step 2Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Step 3Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
  • Step 4In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
  • Step 5Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe (VIDEO)

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is always a hit at parties. It’s dangerously good! The combination of sweet, salty and tart make it irresistible. This layered strawberry pretzel dessert is loved by adults and kids.

Jello recipes are the perfect potluck dessert because they keep well and are easy to make which is why this Strawberry Pretzel salad is so popular during the holidays. Our jello cake and classic raspberry pretzel jello are also reader favorites this time of year.

Slice of strawberry pretzel salad served on a plate with layers of pretzels, cream and strawberry strawberry jello dessert

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Why is it Called “Pretzel Salad”?

There is a massive debate on Facebook as to why this is called a “salad” and it really is a passionate debate (very entertaining to read). can a pretzel jello salad be a salad? I just want to put it out there that I did NOT name this dish. So, what do you think: Salad? or Dessert?

Pretzel salad sliced in a casserole dish showing layers of the pretzel salad

Can I Substitute Cool Whip?

Cool Whip provides the best results because it doesn’t soften the pretzels and keeps better overnight. You may substitute with more natural version like “True Whip“.

If using whipped cream (by beating 1 cup heavy whipping cream until stiff and fluffy) and although this substitution tastes good, it softens the pretzel crust so the crust isn’t as crisp. If using whipped cream, add 2/3 cup sugar to the cream cheese to reach the same sweetness and refrigerate the cream portion for 45 minutes for it to set better.

Ingredients for strawberry pretzel salad with cool whip substitute

What Kind of Pretzels are Best for Pretzel Jello?

Use small, SALTED pretzels (either sticks or traditional pretzel twists). Salted hard pretzels add the salty element which is surprising but so good. Smaller pretzels are easier to crush and measure.

Tips for Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

  • Dissolve the jello according to recipe instructions (NOT package instructions)
  • Use softened cream cheese and thaw cool whip in the refrigerator
  • Measure 2 1/2 cups of whole pretzels
  • Spread cream portion all the way to the edges for a tight seal before adding jello
  • Pour room temperature jello gently over the top to prevent cracks in the cream layer

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

4.87 from 301 votes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Resting Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 30 minutes

This strawberry pretzel salad is always a hit at parties. It's a strawberry jello dessert that is dangerously good! It's sweet, salty, tart and irresistible!

This strawberry pretzel salad is easy to assemble and is always a hit at parties. The combination of sweet, salty and tart make it irresistible.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $9-$12

Keyword: Strawberry Pretzel Dessert, Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Cuisine: American

Course: Dessert

Calories: 338


  • 6 oz strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups salted pretzels, (measured before crushing)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz cool whip, thawed in the fridge
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Combine strawberry Jell-O with 2 cups boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Crush 2 1/2 cups pretzels in a sturdy ziploc bag, using a rolling pin.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, melt 8 Tbsp butter then add 1/4 cup sugar and stir. Mix in crushed pretzels. Transfer to a 13×9 glass casserole dish, pressing the pretzel mix evenly over the bottom of the dish and bake for 10 min at 350°F, then cool to room temp.
  4. When pretzels have cooled, use an electric hand mixer to beat 8 oz cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar on med/high speed until fluffy and white. Fold in 8 oz Cool Whip until no streaks of cream cheese remain. Spread mixture over cooled pretzels, spreading to the edges of the dish to create a tight seal. Refrigerate 30 min.
  5. Hull and slice 1 lb strawberries then stir into your room temperature jello. Pour and spread strawberry jello mixture evenly over your cooled cream cheese layer and refrigerate until jello is set (2-4 hours).

Strawberry-Pretzel Salad

Strawberry-Pretzel Salad
  • Prep20 Min
  • Total6 Hr 40 Min
  • Servings12
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This phenomenal berry dish may have the word salad in the name, but it’s okay if you call it a strawberry pretzel dessert instead. It’s a great option if you need a sweet treat, and your oven is already full of tasty dishes. With a little prep, you’ll be enjoying your S…



  • 2packages (4-serving size each) Jell-O® strawberry-flavored gelatin
  • 2cups boiling water
  • 2boxes (16 oz each) frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed


  • 2cups pretzels, crushed
  • 3/4cup butter, melted
  • 3tablespoons sugar


  • 1container (8 oz) Cool Whip frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1cup sugar


  • 1Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in strawberries; refrigerate until partially set, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 2Heat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, mix Crust ingredients. Press into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack.
  • 3In medium bowl, beat Filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Cover and refrigerate until cool and gelatin topping in bowl is partially set.
  • 4Carefully spoon gelatin topping over filling. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or until firm. To serve, cut into 4 rows by 3 rows.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1It helps to set up the gelatin and strawberry mixture by putting it in the freezer for a bit. You don’t want it to set completely, but just a little to make it easier to spread.
  • tip 2You can spoon additional whipped topping on top, if desired.
  • tip 3Is strawberry not your jam? Try Raspberry Pretzel Salad instead for a slight twist on Strawberry-Pretzel Salad.
  • tip 4Cool, fruity and no oven necessary make our recipe for Fluffy Strawberry Pie with Pretzel Crust irresistible. Keep the berry and pretzel flavors coming!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

the pioneer woman's strawberry pretzel salad recipe

Quick poll: is strawberry pretzel salad a dessert or a salad? It’s confusing, right? Folks around the internet love debating the name of this almost no-bake dessert (the crust bakes for a few minutes, so it’s fair to call this a barely bake dessert). But honestly, who cares what it’s called? Strawberry pretzel salad is scrumptious! Lovers of strawberry desserts will go bonkers for this make-ahead dish: the combination of the savory-sweet pretzel crust, cream cheese layer, and the sweet strawberry Jell-O topping makes this a hit with kids and adults alike. Hungry? Grab a 9-by-13-inch pan and let’s get started!

What’s the secret to making strawberry pretzel salad?

The secret to this strawberry pretzel salad recipe is freshness! Homemade whipped cream and sour cream, take the cream cheese filling to the next level, giving the dish richness and unparalleled flavor. Fresh, sliced strawberries are used in place of frozen, to mellow the sweetness of the Jell-O topping and give great texture in every bite.

How do you make the Jell-O for strawberry pretzel salad?

This “salad” is so easy to make, but it’s important to follow the directions in this recipe. Don’t follow the instructions on the Jell-O box: follow this recipe and use only 2 cups of water (not 4) to give the Jell-O layer an intense strawberry flavor and slice-able thickness.

Can you make strawberry pretzel salad ahead of time?

Yes! Make this dish up to 1 day in advance and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. The extra time that the Jell-O and filling have to set will help to yield the perfect slice!

YIELDS:12 – 16 servings

PREP TIME:0 hours 30 mins

TOTAL TIME:5 hours 15 mins



4 c. 

pretzel sticks

1/2 c. 

melted unsalted butter

1/3 c. 

packed light brown sugar 


1 1/2 c. 

heavy cream

8-oz. package cream cheese, softened

8-oz. container sour cream 

1 c. 

granulated sugar

2 tsp. 

vanilla extract


6-oz. box strawberry-flavored gelatin powder

2 c. 

boiling water

1 lb. 

fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced


  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. Crush the pretzels in a large resealable plastic bag with a rolling pin. Stir together the pretzel crumbs, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly crisp and browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  2. For the cream cheese filling: Beat the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in the same bowl used to beat the cream (no need to wipe clean) on medium-high until light, fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the whipped cream and fold to combine. Spread evenly over the pretzel crust. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. For the strawberry topping: Stir together the gelatin powder and boiling water in a large bowl until well dissolved. Stir in the strawberries. Chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, until partially set, about 1 hour. 
  5. Carefully spoon the strawberry mixture over the cream cheese layer. Chill until set, about 2 hours or overnight. 
  6. To serve, cut into squares. Serve chilled. 

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