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Pretzel Salad with Strawberries

Jello recipes are ideal for potluck desserts because they have a long shelf life and are simple to prepare. That’s why the Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a hit during the holidays.

Our Jello Cake and Classic Raspberry Pretzel Jello are also beloved by readers this time of year.

Why is it Called “Pretzel Salad”?

The name “Pretzel Salad” has sparked a lively debate on Facebook, with passionate arguments on whether it can be considered a “salad.” While I cannot explain the name’s origin, this debate has been entertaining. Ultimately, whether it is classified as a salad or a dessert is a matter of personal interpretation.

Can I Substitute Cool Whip?

While Cool Whip is recommended for optimal results, you can substitute it with a more natural alternative like “True Whip.” However, please note that using whipped cream as a substitute (by beating 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until stiff and fluffy) will result in a softer pretzel crust, which may be less crisp. If you use whipped cream, add 2/3 cup of sugar to the cheese to achieve the desired sweetness. Additionally, refrigerating the cream portion for 45 minutes will help it set better.

What Kind of Pretzels is Best for Pretzel Jello?

Use small, salted pretzels such as sticks or traditional pretzel twists for the best results. The salted hard pretzels add a delightful salty element that may be a pleasant surprise. Additionally, more miniature pretzels are easier to crush and measure for the recipe.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Ingredients

Here are the ingredients necessary to prepare the highly-rated Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

Pretzels: Crushed pretzels provide the base for the crust. You can easily crush them by placing them in a zip-top bag and using a rolling pin.

Butter: Melted butter adds moisture and helps bind the crushed pretzels together, creating a delicious crust.

Sugar: White sugar is used for the pretzel crust and the fluffy cream cheese topping.

Cream cheese and whipped topping: Beat cream cheese, sugar, and topping together to create a decadent topping.

Jell-O and frozen strawberries: Dissolve two packages of strawberry-flavored Jell-O in two cups of boiling water, then combine with frozen strawberries.

How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad

You’ll find the complete, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make strawberry pretzel salad at home:

  1. Prepare the pretzel crust by pressing it into the bottom of a baking dish and baking it.
  2. Create the cream cheese-whipped topping layer and spread it over the crust.
  3. Make the Jell-O and mix in the frozen berries. Spread this mixture over the cream cheese layer.
  4. Refrigerate the strawberry pretzel salad until it sets.

Here are the ingredients and directions for making Strawberry Pretzel Salad:


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


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Stir crushed pretzels, melted butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar together until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Allow it to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Spread this mixture onto the cooled crust.
  5. Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still-frozen strawberries and allow them to set briefly. Pour and spread this mixture over the cream cheese layer.
  6. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

Tips for Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

Follow the recipe instructions to dissolve the Jello rather than relying on the instructions provided on the package. Ensure the cream cheese is softened, and the Cool Whip is thawed in the refrigerator. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of whole pretzels. The cream portion is spread to the edges to create a tight seal before adding the Jello. Pour the Jello gently over the top at room temperature to prevent cracks in the cream layer.

Can You Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make Strawberry Pretzel Salad ahead of time. Preparing this dish a day in advance is recommended since it needs a few hours to set in the refrigerator.

How Long Does Strawberry Pretzel Salad Last In the Fridge?

Strawberry Pretzel Salad can last up to three days When tightly covered with aluminum foil in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

It is not advisable to freeze Strawberry Pretzel Salad as the dairy-rich cream cheese layer may separate upon thawing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Calories: 424

% Daily Value *

  • Total Fat: 23g (30%)
  • Saturated Fat: 16g (78%)
  • Cholesterol: 51mg (17%)
  • Sodium: 442mg (19%)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 52g (19%)
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g (5%)
  • Total Sugars: 38g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Vitamin C: 19mg (96%)
  • Calcium: 33mg (3%)
  • Iron: 1mg (7%)
  • Potassium: 119mg (3%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. The amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information currently needs to be made available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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