Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

Easy Make-Ahead Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Prep: 30 Mins | Total: 1Hr 30 Mins
Serves: 24
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients
Crust
3 Cups Pretzel Sticks, crushed
3/4 Cup Butter
1 Tsp. Granulated Sugar
Filling
8 oz Cream Cheesse, room temperature
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
Strawberry Jello Layer
6 oz Strawberry Jell-O Mix
16 oz Fresh Strawberries, sliced
2 Cups Boiling Water
Directions
Preheat oven to 400F / 205C. In a large bowl, mix crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter together. Pour into a 9"x13" baking dish and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely while preparing the filling.
In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese and sugar togther until light and fluffy. Fold in the cool whip and mix until well blended. Pour the cream cheese filling over the cooled pretzel crust. Make sure the filling goes completely to the sides to prevent the jello from leaking onto the crust and making it soggy. Place in refrigerator.
In a large bowl mix jello mix with boiling water. Allow to cool slightly, then add the strawberries. Stir to mix. Gently spoon jello mixture over the cream cheese layer so as not to disturb the cream layer. Cover dish with plastic and refrigerate until set.
Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

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!

Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

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!

Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

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.

Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

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.

Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

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!

Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero

Be sure to check out our other favorite strawberry and dessert “salad” recipes:

Strawberry Pretzel SaladTipHero