Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a classic family dessert recipe for holiday celebrations with strawberry Jell-O, a creamy whipped filling, fresh strawberries and a salty pretzel crust.
Why Are You Calling It Salad?
That’s what Mom and Grandma always called it. But, no, there’s not a trace of lettuce in this recipe. The only “healthy” ingredient is fresh strawberries. Otherwise, this holiday dessert fits the bill for any special celebration. There’s always room for Jell-O.
Sweet & Salty
This recipe has been rockin’ the sweet and salty combo since way before salted chocolate chip cookies. It’s an old school recipe and if you didn’t grow up with it, your midwestern friends certainly did. And they’ll call it a salad, too.
I personally use the pretzel twists for this recipe, but the sticks would work fine, too.
One note about the pretzels is how finely you smash them. I personally don’t completely pulverize them. I like some variety of texture for the crust. But, if you like a finer texture on them, you can pop them in the food processor and create something more comparable to a graham cracker crust.
The Right Pan
Per the pictures in this recipe, I used a 12 x 12 pan, purely for aesthetic presentation reasons. Blame the food photographer. But, otherwise, a 9 x 13 pan is the perfect size for this recipe and Mom always used her glass Pyrex.Print
A classic family dessert recipe for holiday celebrations with strawberry Jell-O, a creamy whipped filling and a salty pretzel crust.
- 2 1/2 cups salted twist pretzels
- 3 Tbs granulated sugar
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
- 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
- 6 oz strawberry Jell-O
- 2 cups boiling water
- Start by smashing up the pretzels into bits. Up to you how fine you want them smashed, but I like some fairly good chunks for texture. You can put them in a sturdy freezer bag and smash them with a rolling pin or pulse them a few times in the food processor.
- In a bowl, combine the pretzels, melted butter and sugar. Press into an ungreased 13×9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Make sure it’s cool before the next step or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
- Next make the whipped filling. Beat whipped topping, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled pretzel crust. Make sure filling is spread all the way to the edge so that when the final layer is added it doesn’t run to the crust. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before adding the final layer so that this cream layer has time to set.
- Next, dissolve gelatin in boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in strawberries chill until partially set. Then, pour the strawberry Jello mix over the cream filling in the pan and smooth to the edges. Chill in the refrigerator at least four hours.
- Cut into squares; serve with additional whipped topping and pretzels.
Don’t follow Jello package directions for preparation of Jello, follow this recipe.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: dessert
- Method: refrigeration
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: dessert, strawberry, Jello, holidays, whipped cream, cool whip, pretzels