This Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe is a delicious fruit treat that’s the perfect combination of creamy, crunchy, sweet, and salty! A great dessert or side dish for holidays, parties, and more!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is such a loved recipe, especially throughout the warmer months. It’s cool and delicious, made with a sweet and salty pretzel crust, a creamy “cheesecake-like” filling, and topped with a strawberry-filled jello top layer. So simple to make and even better made a bit ahead of time, it is a favorite dish for holidays and celebrations. It is perfect 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 and salty, and fruity dessert treat. No matter how you categorize this favorite dish, it is always one of the first dishes to be devoured when it’s served!
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.
To make this Southern favorite dish, you’ll need the following ingredients for all the delicious layers:
- Pretzel Crust – the sweet and salty crust layer is made with crushed salted pretzels, melted butter, and sugar. I like to use small whole, salted pretzels and crush them with a rolling pin or in a zip 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. 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 with 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.
Make the Pretzel Crust
Mix the crushed pretzels with the melted butter and two tablespoons of sugar. Then, press this mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish and bake until it has set. Then, remove the casserole dish from the oven and 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 Jello and strawberry mixture to thicken slightly.
Make the Cream Cheese Layer
Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and whipped topping until smooth and creamy. Spread this mixture over the cooled pretzel crust, making sure to spread it completely to the edges of the crust. Spreading all the way to the edges of the crust makes a seal before the strawberry Jello layer is added.
Add the Strawberry Layer
Then pour the cool to room-temperature strawberry Jello mixture over the cream cheese layer and spread the layer evenly. Refrigerate until firm.
Slice and Serve
After allowing the recipe to set in the refrigerator, then slice with a sharp knife for serving. Be sure to use a sharp knife and cut through all of the pretzel crust for the prettiest serving. Serve and enjoy!
Garnish – Optional
If you wish, you can top each serving with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a fresh strawberry or some sliced fresh strawberries. It looks so appealing and only takes a few minutes to add!
When 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.
No matter if you serve it right alongside your chicken salad or hamburgers as a side dish or as part of the dessert buffet offerings, it will be enjoyed by everyone that tries it. I’ve had so many guests ask for the recipe and rave over it throughout the years. I think you are going to love it too!
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.
More Favorite Sweet Salads and Fruit Desserts
Here’s how I make my family’s version of Strawberry Pretzel Salad. I hope you enjoy it!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2010.