Strawberry Pretzel Salad is an easy, delicious dessert with a buttery pretzel crust, a cheesecake-like layer, and a sweet strawberry topping. It is an old-fashioned recipe that is great for holidays and potlucks.

It’s the perfect combination of creamy, crunchy, sweet, and salty and a Southern dessert favorite!

White plate and fork with serving of Strawberry Pretzel Salad showing pretzel crust, creamy layer and strawberry topping.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is such a loved recipe, especially throughout the warmer months. It’s cool and delicious, simple to make, and even better made a bit ahead of time.

We enjoy this delicious pretzel salad for Easter, family reunions, Fourth of July celebrations, and any gathering throughout the spring and summer. It can be enjoyed as a side dish, but most love it as a creamy, sweet, salty fruit dessert. You’ll love how easy it is to make — just a few simple steps!

White baking dish with handles with strawberry jello topping.

How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is easy to make. Here’s an overview of the dish’s preparation, but follow the recipe instructions for more details.

Make the Pretzel Crust

Mix the ingredients for the pretzel crust, then press into the bottom of the dish. Bake until it has set. Then allow it to cool completely.

Create the Strawberry Topping

While the pretzel crust is cooling, dissolve the Jello in boiling water, then mix in the frozen strawberries. Allow the mixture to thicken slightly.

Make the Cream Cheese Layer

Mix together the ingredients for the cream cheese layer until smooth. Spread this mixture over the cooled pretzel crust, making sure to spread it completely to the edges of the crust to form a seal before adding the strawberry layer.

Add the Strawberry Layer

Then pour the cool to room-temperature strawberry Jello mixture over the cream cheese layer and spread evenly. Refrigerate until firm.

Slice, Serve and Garnish

After the recipe is set in the refrigerator, slice it with a sharp knife. Serve and enjoy! If you wish, garnish with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Top layer of Strawberry Pretzel Salad in white baking dish.

Tips for the Best Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

  • Use small salted pretzels and don’t crush them into dust – just small pieces.
  • Whipped topping will not soften the pretzel layer as much as whipped cream could. And it will hold up to storage overnight in the fridge.
  • Use frozen strawberries in the Jello mixture. They work better.

Storage Tips

To store: Wrap the dish well or cover it with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing is not recommended.

How to Serve Strawberry Pretzel Salad

You can certainly serve this dish however you wish. It can be served during the meal or later as a dessert. And it is great for making ahead.

Whether you serve it alongside your chicken salad or hamburgers as a side dish or as part of the dessert buffet for a holiday or family gathering, it is always a hit. I think you are going to love it!

And to address the name “salad,” for so many years here in the South, some version of this recipe has been served at gatherings – and was named “salad” sometime far in the past. So serve it when and however you wish – you can’t go wrong with this Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

White plate with a bite cut with a fork. Bite shows pretzel crust, cheesecake like layer and strawberry layer.

More Favorite Sweet Salads and Fruit Desserts

Peach Cobbler Recipe

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

Grape Salad

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Key Lime Pie

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

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

5 from 22 votes
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is an easy, delicious dessert with a buttery pretzel crust, a cheesecake-like layer, and a sweet strawberry topping. It is the perfect combination of creamy, crunchy, sweet, and salty! A great dessert or side dish!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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 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. (Spreading to the edges of the crust makes a seal before the strawberry layer is added.)
  • 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.

Notes

Tips on Ingredients
    • Pretzel Crust – I like to use small whole, salted pretzels and crush them with a rolling pin or in a zip-lock storage bag. Don’t pulverize them; crush them into small pieces.
    • Cream Cheese Layer – This cheesecake-like layer is made with softened cream cheese and whipped topping. The whipped topping works best in this recipe because it doesn’t make the pretzel crust soft, and it keeps better overnight.
    • Strawberry Topping: Frozen strawberries are stirred into Jello for this topping. You can also substitute raspberries, blackberries, and peaches. I find the frozen berries work best with the Jello. When ready to serve, I sometimes garnish it with fresh strawberries.
Storage Instructions
To store: Wrap the dish well or cover it with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing is not recommended.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




88 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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!!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe as written. Delicious. I cook for 2 and am ashamed to admit how much I ate myself.

  3. 5 stars
    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.

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

  5. 5 stars
    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 🙂

  6. 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. 

  7. 5 stars
    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.