Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, nostalgic recipe. A creamy, fruity recipe made with strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzels. It is always a favorite.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe - Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, nostalgic recipe. A creamy, fruity recipe made with strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzels. It is always a favorite. //

One of my favorite desserts throughout the spring and summer growing up was always this Strawberry Pretzel Salad. It was always a family favorite addition to so many special occasion meals and you’ll always find a large casserole dish with it’s sparkling red, strawberry filled top on the buffet for Easter, Southern reunions, and all throughout the summer. It is loved by so many and is always one of the first things to disappear.

Sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy, it has so much going for it that it is always a definite hit!


Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe - Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, nostalgic recipe. A creamy, fruity recipe made with strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzels. It is always a favorite. //

There are so many versions of Strawberry Pretzel Salad served here in the south that I have no idea who invented the first version, but oh my goodness am I ever so thankful! It’s one of those dishes that goes with so many meals and works easily on the side – because, you know, it does have “salad” in its name – or as a dessert.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe - Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, nostalgic recipe. A creamy, fruity recipe made with strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzels. It is always a favorite. //

But no matter if you serve it right alongside your chicken salad as a side dish or as part of the dessert buffet offerings, I can just about bet you that it will be well loved by everyone that tries it. And you know, if they are from this neck of the woods, they most likely have been expecting it. 🙂

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe - Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, nostalgic recipe. A creamy, fruity recipe made with strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzels. It is always a favorite. //

Here’s how I make my family’s version of Strawberry Pretzel Salad. I hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, Southern dish. Cool, creamy and delicious, this strawberry pretzel salad is perfect anytime.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 2 cups pretzels crushed
  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese
  • 1 8-ounce package frozen whipped topping
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries


  • Preheat oven to 400˚.
  • Mix crushed pretzels with melted butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press pretzel mixture into the bottom of 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and bake until set, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Mix together cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, and whipped topping in a large bowl until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust, making sure to spread completely to the edges.
  • Dissolve the Jell-O in boiling water and mix in frozen strawberries. Allow to set until the jello and strawberry mixture has slightly thickened and set and then pour over the cream cheese mixture. Chill until firm and serve.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 7.1% | Vitamin C: 0.1% | Calcium: 0.6% | Iron: 3.9%
Tried this recipe?Share a photo on Instagram and tag me with @addapinch and #addapinch!

Robyn xo

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe - Strawberry Pretzel Salad makes a classic, nostalgic recipe. A creamy, fruity recipe made with strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzels. It is always a favorite. //

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2010.

75 comments on “Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe”

  1. A unique recipe for sure! 😉

  2. This is one of my favorite summer salads! A local tea room serves it too and it’s always something I order!

  3. I’ve always secretly wished I had been born a Southerner. This recipe is an example of why. LOVE these kind of old~fashioned favorites. I’m adding this to a Sunday Supper menu soon.

    • Thanks, Kim! This is definitely one of those old-fashioned favorites my family has been making as long as I can remember. It was how my Grandmother would get me to eat the green beans at Easter. 🙂

  4. I love the use of pretzels!

  5. I love seeing your food and picturing old-fashioned gatherings. You stay true to your Southern roots, and I love that about you and your blog. Have a great week!

  6. I can almost taste this right now! YUM!

  7. This reminds me of my mom. Except she always uses orange jello. I much prefer the strawberry, it looks amazing!

  8. It’s not just a southern thing, Y’all! It’s everywhere up north, too! We prefer strawberry, but have made orange jell-o w/ well drained mandarins; pineapple jell-o w/ well drained pineapple in syrup (DON’T use fresh or frozen, it won’t jell!); peach jell-o with well drained peaches in syrup (Same note as pineapple). Wish I could figure a good way to try it with lime jell-o, I love lime!
    Look in your local stores for strawberry cool whip, last summer I had 1 tub regular & 1 tub strawberry, didn’t know what I was gonna do with the strawberry one. So I made the salad the regular way & then “frosted” the top with the strawberry cool whip, well you woulda thought it was the second comming or something, the way everyone clammered after me – what IS this on top, why didn’t you make it like that every time, gimme THIS recipe! For crying out loud it was the same salad I’d made them for the last 30+ years, just a little extra cool whip! I can’t seem to find the strawberry here locally now, maybe it’s just a summer thing for cool whip.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely recipes with us!

    • Thanks so much for sharing all of your different ways of making this recipe, Are. The strawberry cool whip on top does sound delicious!

  9. Hi Robyn! This is one of our favorites, and for some reason haven’t made it in a while. Love the info about your Grandmother and green beans – will have to try that with my granddaughter!!!! lol!! Thanks for (once again) reminding me to fix a certain recipe! Have a great week!

    • Oh yes, it’s a definite way to get the green beans eaten. It even works with my son now. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know how it works with your granddaughter!

  10. I grew up in MN and the women there, my mother included, can make about anything from Jello and CoolWhip! This looks like something she’d love to whip up!

  11. I think the instructions on step 2 might be wrong. It says to “add sugar and 3 teaspoons of melted butter”. There is no mention in the rest of the instructions for the rest of the melted butter so I am thinking it should be add butter and the 3 teaspoons of sugar. I am making this salad this weekend for my father-in-law’s 90th birthday. I think he will love it!

    • Thanks so much, Diane! Happy 90th birthday to your father-in-law! I know y’all will have a wonderful celebration. You are absolutely right! I’ve updated the recipe with that correction now. I hope everyone loves it for your father-in-law’s birthday.

  12. This recipe is a family FAVE! GOOD GOOD GOOD stuff!!!

  13. If all salad looked like this, I’d eat it for every meal!!

  14. Hello,
    I haven’t heard of pretzel salad before but this one really looks great. It seems that preparation is not to demanding, so I really like it. Thanks.

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  16. WAY up in Wisconsin my family makes this all the time for birthday parties with raspberries and raspberry jello. I love it!

  17. We used to have this at family gatherings all the time when I was young, I had forgotten it existed! Making it this weekend for the family reunion, so excited!

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  19. One question–are the pretzels supposed to make like a crust? When I tried to spread the cream cheese on the pretzels, they were all crumbly & stuck to the cream cheese which made it difficult to spread. Also when I cut it, the pretzels fell apart everywhere. Did I do something wrong?

    • Hi Renee, the pretzels are supposed to make a crust on the bottom, but it will have a little bit of a crumbly texture to it. Maybe next time, try popping the cooled pretzels into the freezer for a bit before adding the cream cheese layer on top. That should help with being able to spread more easily. I have a feeling that maybe the pretzels could have been crushed a bit finer so that they made more of a crumb as well. That will hold together more easily than larger pieces of the pretzel when cutting. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  20. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. My pretzel crust is not sticking to each other. Any ideas or tips?

    • You may want to check to make sure that your pretzels are crushed just a bit finer. If the crumb of the pretzel is a bit to large, it can cause the pretzel crust not to stick together as well. Just be sure not to get them too fine, you want to make sure that you still get the idea of the pretzel. Let me know how that works for you.

    • Can you use sliced strawberries with sugar

  21. Can I use fresh strawberries and if so how many baskets?

  22. Made this in the summer, no sugar in cool whip, didn’t need! Added pecans to crust. It was FABulous. As matter of fact, my 27 year old son and a friend ate the remaining as part of their breakfast!!!! Lol

  23. I recently had this for my very first time at a quilt guild potluck, I absolutely loved it, and couldn’t find the recipe anywhere. So happy you shared this I have it saved and will be making it for my family soon! Thanks so much!!! 🙂

  24. I absolutely love this salad!! Pinned it!!

  25. I NEVER bake my crust. Wondering what baking does for the crust. There aren’t any ingredients that would require baking

  26. Well I know what’s going on my Memorial Day menu, Robyn – this salad is all kinds of cheery!! Happy long first weekend of summer, my friend. 🙂

  27. I didn’t have strawberry pretzel salad growing up and I remember seeing it as an adult and thinking it was odd. Once I tried it though it became one of my favorites. Several years ago a chef I worked with put a touch of pepper jelly on the plate when he served it and I still talk about it to this day. It was one of the best flavor combos I’ve ever tasted. Anyway, I’ve never actually made strawberry pretzel salad but I may need to give it a try. The local strawberries have been amazing this year.

  28. Goodness Robyn! I’ve never had this and I’m originally a Southern girl. You would have to be out of your mind not to love this! Sweet, crunchy, salty and comforting cream cheese to boot. My husband Russ asked me to make this one!

    Happy holiday and hugs,


  29. Just made this….had to sneak a taste before it was all set and….it is heavenly!!!!

  30. This was a holiday favorite in my family! So yummy.

  31. Not a fan of jello, would a glaze work or pie filling?

  32. This is a no fail recipe. Use gluten free pretzels for your gluten intolerante guests. Also can substitute raspberry jello if using raspberries. Yum

  33. Should the frozen strawberries be sweetened or unsweetened?

  34. At Christmas, I use raspberry jello and use frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Sometime I am going to add a little bit cranberries. It really makes it festive.
    On 4th of July I do strawberries and add blueberries.
    I also noticed that no one mentions slicing the frozen strawberries. It makes it much easier to mix, serve and eat.
    I even will cut up the strawberries the day prior and refreeze them because they need that to help thicken the mixture.
    Lastly, the people that have crumbly pretzel layer, might not be using enough butter. I have noticed that different types of pretzels require more or less butter. Like Snyder’s pretzel rods use a bit more.
    Play with it a little. You’ll find your happy place with this incredible desert.

  35. I have made up my own recipe very similar to this but I let the Jello start setting up a little then whip it into the cream cheese and then add the strawberries and pour into crust. Makes like a mousse really light and refreshing. I also use it with graham cracker crust crumbs layered into parfait glasses.  With more fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. 

  36. PS. .  I also fold on the Cool Whip into the mixture of Jello and cream cheese sugar mixture. 

  37. The strawberry matches with pretzel perfectly <3 <3
    My saliva almost dripped out xD

  38. This is insanely delicious! I have made it with both strawberries and raspberries – great either way. Something about the sweet and salty that makes this indescribably good. I started making a version of this back in the early 1980’s — everybody loved it then and still loves it now 🙂

  39. Could I make this on Friday afternoon and serve for Sunday lunch? I don’t want it to be too soggy.

  40. This is a wonderful version of pretzel salad! I had the recipe in the past but had lost it. I was thrilled to see this posted as it appeared to be made the way I remembered and it tastes the same, also. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe.

  41. I made this recipe as written. Delicious. I cook for 2 and am ashamed to admit how much I ate myself.

  42. Absolutely love it..
    One quick tip though,
    When mixing the cream cheese , sugar an whip cream.. Mix the cream cheese an sugar first them add the whip cream to that mix.. Also using Powder sugar works better!! Mixes quicker … Happy eating!!

  43. Can this salad be frozen?

  44. have made it many times… Love it!

  45. this is awesome. when we have a team function at work, a coworker makes this and wow!

  46. I first made this salad/dessert for my little boy who has a peanut allergy.  The crust tasted so good to him.  20 years later, he still loves this salad.  I first got the recipe from my MIL who had gotten it from a Belk’s Department Store where they had a little cafe in the store.  It’s been something that my son looks forward to since there are so many desserts made with nuts.  

  47. Good Evening
    I made the recipe but I ran into a problem with the strawberry jello and frozen strawberries. I mix the jello with the water and added the frozen strawberries, but it did not gel together. I even brought another pkg of jello and mixed it in and it still did not gel together. Do you want could have happened or is there something that I did wrong?
    Please let me know when you get a chance.

    • Hi Teresa,
      I’m sorry your Jello didn’t gel, or thicken. I’ve not had this happen before. Did you use boiling water and allow the Jello mixture the time it needed to thicken? It takes a bit of time for this to happen. Step 4 of the recipe instructions where you allow the mixture to thicken should help. I hope this helps and you enjoy it if you make it again. Thanks!

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