Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad Recipe, a delicious triple layer dessert salad with sweet and salty pretzels, cream cheese center, and delicious jello with strawberries on top.
This is a total southern dessert delicacy with rich taste through every bite of this recipe. Keep in mind, because Jell-O Salad requires some time to set, that this dessert side dish is not a “make and serve immediately” recipe.
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Why this recipe works
This strawberry pretzel salad is delicious and beautiful, but does take a little time to assemble and then chill to firm. Because of that, I recommend that you make this dish the night before serving or early in the morning for an afternoon serve.
Before you get started on this dessert salad recipe, you will need the following ingredients. Then scroll down for Full Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Salad Recipe measurements and instructions on creating this recipe – including a full recipe card that you can print for free that helps you shop and create easily in your kitchen.
This recipe needs patience as it has 3 layers that need to set.
- frozen sliced strawberries, thawed (do not drain)
- strawberry Jell-O
- boiling water
- cream cheese
- whipped topping
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How to make Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Before getting started on Strawberry Jell-O Salad, preheat oven to 350 and make room in the fridge for a 9 x 13 size baking dish.
Making the Strawberry Layer
Start with this layer so the strawberries and Jell-O have time to naturally set in the fridge a little bit for this layer. To make your strawberry layer, you will want to use FROZEN sliced strawberries that have been thawed (naturally in the fridge is fine). Do NOT drain juice. If you cannot find sliced strawberries, just buy frozen whole ones and slice them.
- Add boiling water and a 6 oz. box of Strawberry Jell-O to a mixing bowl and mix well until dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in sliced strawberries from bag and combine.
- Refrigerate the strawberry mixture in the fridge until it starts to set (I have heard it described as the consistency of egg whites or “partially” set)
Making the Pretzel Layer
After strawberries are in the fridge, get started on the crust. To get started on the pretzel layer, crush down your pretzels into bite sized pieces. I put them in a gallon sized bag and use a rolling pin. A bottom of a glass cup works great for crushing pretzels too.
- Mix crushed pretzels, 1/4 cup sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl and press into a 9×13 baking dish, taking care to cover as much of the bottom of the pan as possible.
- Bake pretzel crust for 10 minutes (on 350) and let crust cool completely.
Making the Cream Cheese Layer
- In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and milk and beat or whisk well.
- Fold in whipped topping and beat until combined well.
Layered Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Salad
AFTER CRUST IS COOLED.
- Spread cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled pretzel crust layer.
- It is important to spread your cream cheese mixture edge to edge so your jello doesn’t drip into your crust.
- Place baking dish into fridge for 10 minutes to set the cream cheese.
- Gently spoon strawberries on top of cream cheese layer and return to refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.
- Slice into squares and serve.
How long does Strawberry Pretzel Salad Keep in the Fridge?
This recipe is best served and eaten within 1-2 days or your pretzels will soften over time in the fridge. Its still good, but you lose the crunch of the bottom layer.
Can you make Strawberry Pretzel Salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can! Make the night before and chill overnight. Just keep in mind that the longer its in the fridge, the more that the pretzel layer gets soft.
Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
- 1 package - 16 oz. frozen sliced strawberries, thawed (do not drain) OR 1 pound sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 large box - 6 oz. strawberry Jell-O
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/4 th cup sugar
Cream Cheese Layer
- 1 brick - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 th cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 small tub - 8 oz. whipped topping, thawed
- Before Getting Started
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Get out 9 x 13 baking Dish.
- Make room in your fridge for 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Thaw, but do not drain, strawberries. This is easily done by leaving in fridge the night prior to making this recipe. If your strawberries are whole, slice.
- Make Strawberry LayerStart with the strawberry layer as the Jell-O and Strawberries need some cold time to partially set in the fridge for the last layer.
- Add 2 cups boiling water and boxed strawberry Jell-O to a mixing bowl and mix well until dissolved, which takes about about 3 minutes hand mixing.
- Stir in sliced and thawed strawberries (along with any juice) and combine.
- Refrigerate Jell-O and strawberries until partially set but not all the way set. It should be "goopy" and be like egg whites before using with last layer.
- Make Pretzel Layer
- For the crust, start by crushing pretzels – a rolling pin with pretzels in a gallon sized bag (or the bottom of a cup) works great. Make sure pretzels are bite sized pieces (see images in blog post for demonstration on size).
- Mix crushed pretzels, 1/4 cup sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl until combined and press pretzel crust into a 9 x 13 baking dish, taking care to cover the bottom dish in a thin layer as much as possible.
- Bake pretzel layer for 10 minutes on 350 and let cool completely.
- It is best to place this in fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Make Cream Cheese LayerIt is important to note that the pan and crust should be 100% cooled before moving on, otherwise the cream cheese layer will MELT causing holes for the Jell-O to go through, which will still taste fine but look like a mess.
- In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and milk and beat all ingredients well.
- Fold whipped topping into cream cheese mixture and combine.
- Assemble Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Spread cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled pretzel crust layer. The back of a spoon works well.
- It is important to spread cream cheese mixture edge to edge so jello doesn’t find holes to drip between cream cheese layer and crust.
- Place casserole dish into fridge to set cream cheese corners for 10 minutes.
- Gently spoon strawberry Jell-O mixture on top of cream cheese layer and return to refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely set and firm.
- Slice into squares and serve.
- Cream Cheese Layer: It is fine to double the cream cheese layer, which provides a really thick center. Just make sure you have a deep pan and spread middle layer evenly.
- Can other Fruits be used? Absolutely! Instead of strawberries, try Raspberry or mixed fruit!
- If you do not like pretzels, try crushed up graham crackers instead!