Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad

Spring is here and summertime is on its way! One of my favorite things about this time of year is all the in-season fruit available!

Strawberries are at a super good price right now!  While you are buying some strawberries, don’t forget to make and stock up on one of my favorites, Freezer Strawberry Jam! Seriously… once you try this stuff, you will never by store bought jam again!

Today, I am sharing another great recipe using strawberries. It is the perfect dessert to take to your next BBQ or pot luck!  This recipe always gets rave reviews and is always one of the first items to go!  It is a crowd pleaser as it combines the perfect amounts of sweet and salty!

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad… this is ALWAYS one of the first things to go with a crowd! So yummy and so easy to make!

4.5 from 14 reviews
Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
This is one of the most requested recipes for potlucks and BBQs! Its sweet, salty and the perfect combo of textures!
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (I used the checker shaped ones but you can also use sticks)
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 oz. cool whip, thawed to room temperature
  • 1 (6 oz) box Strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  1. Combine melted butter and sugar. Stir in the crushed pretzels. Press evenly on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and cool whip. Beat until smooth. Spread over pretzel crust. Make sure to get the cream mixture tight against the edges of the pan to prevent the jello mixture from seeping through.
  3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from stove and add jello. Stir until Jello is dissolved. Add sliced strawberries. Pour over cream layer and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

recipe adapted from Favorite Family Recipes


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  1. Jacquie

    Though not quite as ‘fresh’ tasting…you can use frozen strawberries and it causes the jello to set up much faster.

  2. Theresa Weed-Murguia

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe!! My exes mother used to make this and it is hands down my favorite dessert!! The perfect combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy!! I highly recommend it!

    • amy

      I make the crust the night before and cover then add the top two layers in the morning and chill until the afternoon. This way the pretzle crust does not get soft.

  3. I LOVE the recipes you post. Every one I’ve tried has been so good! And I’m so glad you posted this. I knew someone who made this years and years ago and often crave it, but didn’t know how to make it. I’m so excited to have the recipe now!

    • Connie T.

      I personally would NOT call this a salad! To me, this is a dessert! But whatever, call it anything you like. Just make it and enjoy! I JUST finished making one for tonight! Yummmmm….

  4. Andrea

    Thank for posting! I’ve been looking for a different strawberry dessert to bring for a work potluck! Could you please clarify which amount of the sugar goes with the pretzal mix and which amount goes into the cream cheese spread? Thank-you!

    • Paige

      Add ingredients in the order that they are listed. Use smaller amount with the bottom layer. This is a great recipe! My family requests it every year for any major holidays.

    • Connie T.

      The 3 Tablespoons sugar goes into the pretzel/butter mix. The 1-Cup sugar goes into the cream cheese/cool whip mixture.

  5. Charmaine

    Love this! It’s been ages since I’ve made it…but now that summer is getting near…lots of bbq’s…I think I need to make it again. I usually use frozen strawberries though as it helps to set the jello…at least that’s the recipe I was given years ago.

  6. Cheryl

    I have made this recipe for years. It is a family favorite. I always struggled with the crust, getting it all pressed down into the pan. I finally figured out to just put the pretzel mix in the pan, smoosh it down a bit. Cook it for the 8 minutes. Then take your pancake turner and flatten it all out! It works spectacularly!! :)

  7. Sandy Jackson

    My Mom used to make this, and I had forgotten about it, until now…THANKS! It is wonderful on a hot summer day.

  8. One of my absolute favorites! I haven’t had it in a couple of years, but every time I see the strawberries at the store I think, “I’m going to make it this time!!”, but haven’t yet. Your picture has inspired me.

  9. I have heard a lot of people talking about how good this pretzel salad is! I definitely will have to try it…sounds perfect for the hot summer days!!

  10. Annie

    This looks awesome! However, I’m a diabetic, and am wondering if Splenda would work well as a substitution for the sugar. I’d be interested to know your thoughts!!! Thank you!

    • Chef in Training

      that’s what I initially thought too! Just pour it right on… No worries!.. As long as you make sure the cream cheese mixture is smeared up agains the edges of the pan (no holes or spots leaking down to the bottom, it tuns out fantastic!

  11. Kim

    I followed this recipe exactly as shown.. WAY too much fillingfor a 9×13 pan.. the cream cheese, whip topping and sugar needs to be cut in half..

    • Dar

      I just made this from another recipe that calls for only 8 oz. cream cheese same amt. of sugar and 8 oz. cool whip, and it was perfect. Check it out on Food dot com

  12. Shirley Kline

    I make a recipe very similar to this, only I add frozen strawberries to the hot water used in the jello recipe. It makes it set up a lot quicker. We love it in our family.

  13. kristie

    My grandma makes this every year for either Easter or thanksgiving. I love it. It’s got sweet and salty. She would never give up the recipe for it through. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Jeannie

    I’ve always wanted to try this recipe! I’m allergic to an ingredient in Cool Whip, though, so can’t eat it. Has anyone tried making this with homemade whipped cream?

    • sally

      I used something called truwhip. It’s all natural and I found it in the freezer section right next to cool whip. You might try looking for that.


  16. Ruth Elliott

    I have made this recipe often, especially at Christmas. What is not mentioned in the instructions is that it is critical that the jello be cooled, maybe even even congealed a little, before you pour it over the cream cheese/Cool Whip layer. The hot jello can melt that layer otherwise.

    • Lacey

      I wish I would have read your comment before I made this dish tonight! The hot jello liquid melted and blended with the cream cheese/cool whip layer:(. Oh well, I am sure it will still taste good

  17. lindi

    we use pineapple juice in place of the water. also, very important to get ur middle layer all the way up to the edges otherwise the jello mixture seeps through and doesn’t look so pretty.

  18. Lacey

    Hello! I tried this recipe tonight to take to Christmas dinner tomorrow. When I added the jello liquid to the cream/pretzel base, it melted the cream cheese/cool whip base and blended together. It does not look pretty, but I am sure it will taste great. What did I do wrong? Should I have allowed the jello to cool before adding it to the cream base?

  19. Beth

    This stuff is great! However, it is way too much to fit into a 13×9 pan. The cream cheese layer needs to be halved. I ended up throwing about half of my jello and strawberries away because it wouldn’t fit. Still tasty though!

  20. Katie

    Omg, don’t print this…I’ve gotten 15 pages and still no recipe! It’s still printing and still no recipe! Geeze…

    • Chef in Training

      Sorry about that. when I am still in the process of making all my recipes printable after I made the switch to wordpress. For now, if you come across a recipe that doesn’t have a print button, copy and paste it into a word doc and print it from there.

  21. Beverly

    I have made this a few times know i want to say this is really refreshing and amazing. thank you so much for sharing.
    for anyone thats curious i made the jello the night before then just spooned it on the cheamchesse when i was ready to assemble it.

  22. Kelley

    I’ve tried several times to make this and mine never turns out right. The pretzels usually taste soagy even when fresh out of the oven and even with the best intentions of dealing all the sides with the cream half the time my jello still manages to find a way to seep down to the pretzel and run what ever part wasn’t already soagy. Any suggestions?!?

    • Maria

      Not sure if your baking pretzles 1st by them selves at 3.75 or 400… Your making a crust
      Sometimes they get a bit soagy if jello mixture gets down under pretzles but you could do this in steps, bake pretzles, cool, put on cream cheese layer chill a about 2 hrs, then top with jello & fruit chill 2 more hrs

  23. Linda

    Hi, can fresh frozen strawberries be used in this recipe instead of just fresh ones? The ones I have are NOT in juice. Thanks in advance. This sounds very good and very easy.

  24. Teresa

    Before I start making the 3rd layer I refregirate the cream cheese layer – it helps not to create holes and lifts any cream cheese into the jello mixture. Also make sure you sealed the 2nd later good or your jello layer we go right to the bottom – but still taste good :) I make mine with raspberries – YUMMY

  25. Michelle

    I love the ideas behind your recipes but you might want to use better ingredients. Cool Whip is FULL of chemicals with nothing good! I am sure that there are better alternatives out there.
    I like to read the labels. Here is what I found on Walmart
    Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut & Palm Kernel Oils), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Skim Milk, Contains Less Than 2% of Light Cream, Sodium Caseinate, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan And Guar Gums, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Monostearate, Sodium Polyphosphate, Beta Carotene (Color). Contains: Milk.

  26. Amy

    This looked soooo good…..but why do recipes never work for me???!!! 2 cups of crushed pretzels did not even cover the bottom of a 9x 13 pan…….lots of open gaps. So what went wrong??

  27. I have made this for years and have always used frozen strawberrys because it cools the jello. I have also done a combo when fresh local strawberries are in season. I have also made a sugar free version.

  28. Sharon

    This sounds amazing as I am diabetic I always look for recipes that can be made sugar free and this one can be.I cannot wait to try this.
    hank you so much for sharing.

  29. Trina

    Which qty of sugar do you put in which? Does the 1.5 cups go in the crust or the cool whip/cream cheese mix?

  30. Sharla G

    Perfect for those of us who crave sweet ‘n’ salty together! And, it can be decorated to look like an American Flag if one uses blueberries & makes this in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Perfect for Independence Day celebrations!
    One little question that plagues my OCD mind: Why on Earth is this referred to as a SALAD?!?!

  31. Melissa

    I would like to know the nutritional value of your recipes. My mom is a diabetic and has to count her carbs. This looks like it could be low in carbs and be a good dessert for her.

  32. Belinda

    Sounds delicious but says 3 Tbs sugar, then says combine butter and sugar, then combine sugar and cream cheese. Could you clarify please. Thank You, Belinda

  33. Shirley Elwood

    I just finished making the Strawberry Pretzel Jello Dessert!! I haven’t tasted it yet but I had to tell you how wonderful it looks! It is almost too pretty to eat!! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!! I’ll let you know how my Red Hat Craft Club likes it tomorrow night!!

  34. CJ Cash

    I tried this. I just do not like the pretzel crust. It’s just not my taste. I changed to a graham cracker crust and we love it. Just me.


    have been trying to find this recipe since i tried it at a church social 5 or 6 years ago,,thanks so much

  36. Kathy Mailander

    I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I am gluten free and my husband is hypoglycemic. Perfect for using GF pretzels and stevia. We so rarely get dessert.

    • TrudyHillCary

      Kathy Mailander, can you post your success using GF pretzels and Stevia? Would love to know if that worked out!! Thanks.

  37. Helen Hoverud

    I have made this strawberry dessert for years but I have one problem as does everyone else. How do you keep the strawberry
    topping from sliding off the cream cheese filling? It does it every time for me. Slides off!!!

  38. Marilyn Doshak

    why in the recipe does it call for, 1 1/2cps sugar, plus 3 Tbls of sugar…. why 3 Tbls?

    where do yu put that extra sugar??


  39. angie robbins

    The recipe does not tell you to let jello sit. I poured my mixture over cream cheese layer and it bubbled and ran together. I have nevet made this so I did not know and ruined it.

  40. Julie G

    Love this dessert and fresh frozen strawberries would be even better. I spray my pan with a non-stick spray prior to adding the crust.

  41. Bridget

    This combination of sweet and salty is amazing! On my first attempt had to toss out some of the jello because my 9 x 13 pan was overflowing. Still tasted great! For my second try I used a foil pan, and the depth allowed all the ingredients to fit. My family absolutely loves it!

  42. Beverly

    This is an excellent recipe! Something about the salty/sweet combination that is irresistible! My Mother has made this recipe so often that it has become her signature dish! We enjoy it for holidays, birthdays and on any special occasion! Thank you for sharing it with us today!

  43. Jackie

    I’ve made this for years (with frozen strawberries ) and after you put the cream cheese mixture on I put in the fridge. Then after you mix up the jello, put this in the fridge or freezer until starts to set up a little, stir, then put on top of the cream cheese. It sets up quicker and doesn’t seep.

    • Trish

      Thanks Jackie, that’s what I was having problems with it seeping through. You answered my question I just posted.

  44. Trish

    My Aunt use to make this but when I tried it the cream cheese cool whip mixture flowed to the top when I poured the hello on top. Can you tell me why this happened? I really like this and want to know how to make it right. Thank you.

    • Keri

      Mine did the same thing….the jello was too hot! I allowed by jello to cool and it worked much better. So the recipe leaves that part out.

  45. CookieNC

    I used fresh strawberries and they molded quickly…my recipe called for frozen in juice…but possibly could use fresh if boiled for a minute in sugar water….
    We love it

  46. Keri

    Make sure you let your jello cool before putting on top of dessert! Mine never set up and I followed this recipe to the T!

  47. Marcia Bunnell

    I have made this salad for years and the only complaint I have is how do you keep the pretzel crust from falling apart when serving

  48. Pamela Hadi

    I like to sprinkle mini chocolate chips on the crust when it comes out of the oven! A little chocolate makes it extra yummy!!

  49. Peg Clendenin

    If you can find them, the original recipe called for butter pretzels. Makes an outstanding crust!!!

  50. michelle

    Thanks for the recipe. This is an all-time favorite of mine, though I never make it myself. Last year, someone brought this to our family reunion, but had used blackberries instead. It was just as yummy as the strawberry version.

  51. Jenny Peterson

    The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar but then directs sugar in the crust and again in the cream cheese, cool whip mix but neither step denotes an amount. How much in each step? Thanks!

  52. Leah

    I’m disappointed with this recipe as I have had this dessert before however this was my first time making it. I should have looked at the other recipe versions and compared. Most other recipes tell you to set the jello or at least let it cool. This version makes it seem like you can add the jello right away. When I did so, the cream cheese mixed up into the jello. I’m waiting for it to set but don’t think it’s going to turn out right…

  53. Karen

    Just curious if you could use stale pretzels for this? I have some that are a bit stale but still crunchy and I don’t want them to go to waste.

  54. Cathy McDowell

    I used sugar free jello and sugar free whipped topping. Then I used coconut sugar instead of cane sugar.

  55. Margaret Machnikowski

    Obviously, you didn’t mention that jello and strawberries have to set a while before pouring over cream cheese/cool whip/sugar topping. Now I know why you are “chef in training”

  56. Candi

    Love this recioe. If you want a “”Twist” on this add a teaspoon of Almong Extract to the Cream Cheese/Cool Whip ..YUMMO