Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a refreshing, chilled dessert with a buttery pretzel crumb base, cream cheese filling, and strawberry Jello topping!
During the summer it’s great to find refreshing Dessert Recipes made with fresh fruit to enjoy the season’s best flavors. This summer dessert is made with fresh strawberries and chilled so it’s wonderfully cooling. Try Peach Cobbler and Key Lime Pie for more summer fruit recipes.
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
This Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe is the perfect simple treat for sharing with a crowd. The layers of pretzel, cream cheese, and strawberry are easy to assemble, then it’s just a simple matter of giving it enough time to set in the fridge. Once it is done, the crunchy base, creamy center, and sweet, Jell-O strawberry layer are sure to make this an instant family favorite!
For an extra sweet and creamy addition to the recipe, serve it with a whipped topping. You can buy whipped cream from the store or make your own whipped topping with our recipe for Whipped Cream. Wait for the dish to set in the fridge before slicing it into squares and adding a dollop of whipped cream to each one. You can also add slices of fresh strawberries for garnish.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is an incredible combination of flavor and texture. The simple pretzel base is made with just butter, sugar, and pretzel crumbs. It gives the dessert a nice solid base and the pretzels bring some delicious saltiness to the recipe. On top of that, the cream cheese adds a little sour flavor and a rich, creamy texture. Then it’s all topped off with the fresh sweetness of strawberries for the perfect summer treat!
The bright red color and multiple layers also make Strawberry Pretzel Salad a beautiful dessert. It is fun to take to BBQs or potlucks because it is easy to make, but it always looks like a showstopper.
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TIPS FOR MAKING STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
- Prep time: To start the recipe, preheat the oven and spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray or coat it in a thin layer of butter. You should also take your package of cream cheese out of the fridge so that it has time to soften.
- Pretzel crust: For the pretzel layer, you’ll need to start by crushing the pretzels. Put the pretzels in your food processor and pulse until you have pretzel crumbs. Pour the crushed pretzels into a medium bowl with the melted butter and sugar. Stir the pretzel mixture together and then pour it into your 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread it out evenly over the base of the pan. Put the casserole dish in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. Let the crust cool while you prepare the other layers.
- Cream cheese layer: combine the softened cream cheese with sugar. Then stir in the Cool Whip. You can use store bought cool whip or make your own. Once it’s blended, spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust. Use an offset spatula to spread the mixture smoothly and make sure there aren’t any gaps. As long as there are no gaps, the cream cheese will stop the Strawberry Jello from seeping through to the crust. Cover the dish and freeze it for a full hour.
- Strawberry topping: Add the strawberry gelatin mix to boiling water and continue boiling until it dissolves. Turn off the heat, add 4 cups fresh strawberries, and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Finish: Pour the strawberry mixture over the frozen casserole dish. Cover the dish again, and put it in the refrigerator. Leave it for 4 hours to chill until firm before slicing and serving the Strawberry Pretzel Salad.
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VARIATIONS ON STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
- Crust: Instead of a pretzel crust you could use graham crackers, vanilla Oreos, or vanilla wafers to make the crumb crust.
- Nuts: For some crunch try adding pecans, walnuts, or almonds over the strawberry layer. Sprinkle the nuts over the Jello before putting it in the fridge to set.
- Berries: You could also add some more flavor and color with different frozen berries. Add frozen blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries to the jello mixture before you pour it into the casserole dish.
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HOW TO STORE STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
- Serve: Let Strawberry Pretzel Salad set in the fridge for a full 4 hours before serving it. The Jello and cream cheese topping will be at their best while chilled, so don’t leave them at room temperature for more than an hour or so.
- Store: If you have any leftovers, cover the dish in tin foil and put it back in the fridge. Strawberry Pretzel Salad will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: You can also cover and freeze the dish for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before serving chilled.
- 2 cups pretzels , crushed
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
Strawberry Jello Layer:
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- 6 ounces Strawberry Flavored Jello
- 2 cups boiling water
- 4 cups strawberries , sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray.
- Mix the pretzels, butter, and sugar and spread evenly in the baking dish.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes then cool.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together cream cheese and sugar.
- Stir in Cool Whip until well blended.
- Spread cream cheese mixture over the pretzels (make sure you don't leave ANY gaps on the side of the baking pan or jello will seep into the crust and ruin it).
- Cover and freeze for 1 hour.
- Whisk jello into boiling water until completely dissolved.
- Add strawberries to jello mixture and let sit for 10 minutes to cool.
- Pour over the cooled baking dish.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely set before slicing.