Need a dessert to feed a crowd? We’ve got a retro-cool classic treat that combines sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy, tart and tasty flavors into one easy-to-make and make-ahead dessert that’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.
The layers of buttery pretzel crust, smooth cream-cheese-and-Cool-Whip mixture, and strawberry Jell-O stuffed with fresh stuffed strawberries go together so well. They’re basic ingredients, but put together, they’re absolutely delectable.
How do we get away with calling this one a salad? Well, if you want to get technical about it, the straight-from-the-dictionary definition of salad is “small pieces of food […] usually mixed with a dressing [. . .] or set in gelatin,” so technically this mix of crushed pretzels, cream-cheese-and-Cool-Whip layer, and sliced strawberries set in gelatin could qualify. In reality, we’re in favor of calling dishes anything that might make you feel better about eating it!
Make sure, after baking the pretzel layer, that you give both the cream cheese layer and the gelatin layer plenty of time to cool and firm up. You don’t want them to melt together into a soggy mess!
And speaking of that cream cheese layer— make sure to spread it all the way to the edges of the baking dish. That way, you prevent the Jell-O layer from seeping down and making the pretzel crust soggy.
You can also use this recipe as the basis for some other delightful and easy dessert “salads”. We’ve seen raspberry versions, and even one that mixed in some crushed pineapple with the sliced strawberries to give the dish a more tropical twist. Experiment with your favorite sweet-and-tart summer fruits.
Enjoy each slice exactly as is, or add some extra flourishes by topping with an extra dollop of whipped cream, some more slices of strawberries, or a whole bite-sized pretzel or two!
Be sure to check out our other favorite strawberry and dessert “salad” recipes:
- Piña Colada Fluff
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad Dip
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing
- Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
- Strawberry Panna Cotta
- 3-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream
- Strawberry Rhubarb Dumplings
- Strawberry Breakfast Rolls
- Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Brownies