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!

NOTE: I have updated the amounts and order in which the ingredients are assembled due to some people having troubles. This should fix any issues before :)

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 17 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!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 (6 oz) box Strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (I used the checker shaped ones but you can also use sticks)
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 8 oz. cool whip, thawed to room temperature
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from stove and add jello. Stir until Jello is dissolved. Allow jello to cool to room temperature.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Arrange sliced strawberries over the top of cream mixture.
  5. Pour cooled jello over cream layer and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

recipe slightly adapted from Favorite Family Recipes

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #chefintraining and/or #chefintrainingblog. I would love to see how these recipes take shape in your kitchens.

Filed under: dessert

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Comments

  1. Jacquie

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

    1. Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs

      Or you can take your fresh strawberries and freeze them on a cookie sheet ahead of time, then use in the recipe as notes. You can eat your dessert in as little as 30 minutes (tried and true from experience!)

    2. Christy

      Can you put this in the freezer to make it set faster??

  2. Steph

    I've always wanted to know how to make this but couldn't ever find the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  3. sally @ sallys baking addiction

    Nikki, this is definitely a go-to recipe for bbqs! And guess what? I've NEVER tried it before.. ever! Crazy becaus eI love salty pretzels in desserts. Maybe sometime soon. Looks great!

  4. 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!

  5. Renee

    Can you make this the night before a cookout dinner. or does it get watery?

    1. Lindsay

      I always make mine the night before. It helps to make sure the jello layer is set up.

    2. 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.

  6. val

    This salad has been a weakness of mine since childhood. So good. :Love your pics.

  7. aniC

    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!

  8. aniC

    And by the way, I don't understand why people call this a dessert. It is clear in the title that it is a SALAD!! :)

    1. Connie T.

      5

      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....

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

    2. Connie T.

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

  10. Christine @ Park House Love

    My fiance's cousin makes this for parties and it's always a huge hit. I've never made it myself, but will have to try now that I have a recipe..thanks for sharing!

  11. Rita

    Absolutely wonderful! Great for a BBQ or just anytime. Beware it is extremely hard to stop eating A++.

  12. Ashton

    This is my family's very favorite recipe!! And, I mean, of them ALLLLLLL. We NEVER have leftovers.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!! :)

  15. Hayley

    This is my most favorite. salad. ever! So yummy! I think I'll make it this week....thanks for sharing!

  16. 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.

  17. Melissa

    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.

  18. Claudine

    Yummy treats anytime!

  19. Christy

    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!!

  20. Shasta Farrar

    That crust looks amazing. Yum!. I'd love it if you would consider sharing it with our Summer Recipes linky party. We're two blogs sharing one combined linky party for double exposure.

    Shasta
    http://intheoldroad.blogspot.com/2012/05/summer-recipes-and-all-stars-linky.html

  21. 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!

    1. Candace

      I am also diabetic but instead of using splenda, I use stevia, splenda will still raise my blood sugars, just like sugar does. But Stevia does not increase my blood sugars.

    2. Karen Bitzer

      How much Stevia do you use ?

  22. Sherri

    I was wondering when I put the strwberries/and hot jello mixtuere over the cream cheese mixture, won't it melt?

    1. 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!

  23. Kim

    I followed this recipe exactly as shown.. WAY too much fillingfor a 9x13 pan.. the cream cheese, whip topping and sugar needs to be cut in half..

    1. 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

  24. Trisha

    My mom used to make almost this exact salad and I LOVED it. Might have to whip this up sometime soon. :)

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. Bethany Dugan

      I made it from a different but very close recipe to this and used homemade whipped cream and it was great! Heavy cream whipped together with a bit of sugar and vanilla-recipe for this(homemade whip) in better homes cookbook. Heard it comes out a little richer tasting than with cool whip but we loved it ! I do not use cool whip cause of the hydrogenated oils and transfats.

  28. amy

    My mother in law makes this but with pineapple...we love it!!! You get the sweet and salty all in one bite.

  29. BARBARA WEINER

    WE'VE BEEN MAKING THIS RECIPE OUT OF OUR OLD CHURCH COOKBOOK FOR YEARS, IT'S SO GOOD WITH HAM AS A SIDE DISH FOR EASTER DINNER!! WE ALWAYS USE THE FROZEN STRAWBERRIES~~ AS IT HELP SET UP THE JELLO AND IS ACTUALLY PART OF THE RECIPE PROCESS. NO ONE EVER "DOESN'T LIKE IT" !!! MOST PEOPLE GET SECONDS AND THIRD HELPINGS !!!

  30. 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.

    1. 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

  31. Sandy

    This looks soooooooooooooo amazing! Thanks

  32. 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.

  33. Julie

    This recipe is also great with lemon pudding. That gives you salty, sweet, creamy and tart!

  34. 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?

  35. Patricia Sattison

    I have made this and it is amazing you will be asked to bring it to every party

  36. Robyn Rymel

    Your recipe says to mix butter sugar and pretzels but you have to different amounts of sugar listed so which amount is correct?

  37. Beth

    This stuff is great! However, it is way too much to fit into a 13x9 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!

  38. Katie

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

    1. 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.

  39. balinda barks

    I love this stuff have been looking for the recipe THANKS!

  40. Donna Waller

    Love your recipes! Always looking for a new way to make various things and your site has that and more.

  41. rebecca heath

    I tried this and my crust ended up very soggy.....what did I do wrong?? Thanks!

  42. savanna l

    Can I use Spendla for the sugar or will that not work?

    1. Ivonne

      I have used Splenda, low fat cream cheese and low sugar Cool Whip and it tastes great.

  43. 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.

  44. 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?!?

    1. 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

  45. Linda

    5

    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.

  46. Linda

    Well, if I had looked before I posted I would have found my answer!!!! Thanks for the recipe...

  47. 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

  48. Michelle

    Nikki,
    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.

  49. Jenny Parr

    Looks more like a dessert than a salad.

  50. 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??

    1. Bizyfew

      Did you measure before or after you crushed the pretzels? It should be crushed pretzels, 2 cups.

    2. Chef in Training

      after

  51. Linda T.

    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.

  52. Sharon

    5

    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.

  53. Irene Tomlinson

    going to try and make this sugarfree and fatfree.

  54. 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?

    1. Chef in Training

      The larger amount (1.5 cups) goes with the cool/whip cream cheese mixture :)

  55. Dana

    5

    My granny made this every year for summer get togethers. Love this stuff!

  56. Chris - Stayin' Afloat

    Man this looks delicious. I love this dessert. There is nothing like this dessert, the sugar and salt from the pretzel, and the cream the strawberries --- yummy!

    I featured this on my blog's one month birthday dessert list that I want to try!

    http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/sweets-and-treats-to-try.html

  57. 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 9x13 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?!?!

  58. Carolyn Holt

    This is the greatest salad ever and can be prepared with sugar substitute. Love it

  59. 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.
    Thanks,
    Melissa

  60. 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

  61. 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!!

  62. CJ Cash

    2

    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.

  63. Alice Wilcox

    The sugar you mix with the cream cheese is it powder sugar?

    1. Chef in Training

      no its granulated

  64. JANET KOONCE

    5

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

  65. 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.

    1. TrudyHillCary

      5

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

  66. Helen Hoverud

    5

    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!!!

  67. 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??

    Thnks!

  68. S Brown

    Can I use heavy whipped cream instead of cool whip?

    1. Chef in Training

      yes you definitely can!

  69. angie robbins

    1

    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.

  70. Rachael Marie

    No cold water like jello typically calls for along with the boiling water?

  71. Julie G

    5

    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.

  72. Bridget

    5

    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!

  73. abby

    Can you freeze this ? Couple days

  74. 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!

  75. 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.

    1. Trish

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

  76. Arlene Valle

    Is there possibly an error in the ingredients?
    Should that be 8oz cream cheese ?

  77. 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.

    1. 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.

  78. 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

  79. 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!

  80. 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

  81. 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!!

  82. Peg Clendenin

    5

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

  83. 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.

  84. 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!

  85. Sue

    5

    I can't wait to try this fabulous dessert!! Sure hope my sweet sister will make it...

  86. 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...

  87. 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.

  88. Gina

    5

    Not enough pretzel crust. I added another cup crushed pretzels with another T sugar and 6 T butter.

  89. Darryl C

    Liked the recipe till I read 'coolwhip'... PLASTIC oil... Would Coconut milk instead>>>

  90. Cathy McDowell

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

  91. Doreen

    Can you substitute real whipped cream for the cool whip? Thank you!

  92. Amber Hammonds

    Do you use powdered sugar or regular sugar for the cream cheese filling part?

  93. 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"

  94. Candi

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

  95. Mary Ann Schleyhahn

    i use strawberry banana jello and add strawberries and bananas to the jello. Turns out great.

  96. courtney

    3

    Do you wait for the jello to cool? I added the last layer and it seemed to curtel and then it soaked down to all layers. I followed the directions to a T. But it didn't say to let the jello cool a little bit or not. Maybe it's common sense but I have no idea how I failed to follow a simple recipe. I hope it still tastes good.

  97. Karen

    I make this recipe also. Can we freeze it?

  98. Melliekaye

    I have now learned that other recipes say after cream cheese mixture is spread on pretzels, let it sit in fridge for 30 min. Then to let the strawberry mixture sit in fridge to cool off before pouring on. Then pour on top. My dessert was sitting there with strawberries on top of it all and jello down in cool whip cream cheese. Sorry but you did not give enough directions for this! The strawberries tasted bad too.

  99. Peggy

    This may be a reach but has anybody tried this with another fruit n jello flavor as I am allergic to strawberries just wondering after reading such great reviews ???

    1. Patricia P

      Oranges are great! Taste like a cream sickle I used mandarin out of can just drain very well and press gently between paper towels! Orange jello, and raspberries work great too!

  100. Patricia P

    I make this sugar free for my husband who is diabetic, just use sugar free cool whip and jello I substitute the sugar for trivia and use half as much . He loves it!

  101. Linda Vallaro

    5

    I switch out the strawberries and use frozen raspberries.

  102. Pam Love

    I have been making this for years and it is always a hit. Some eat it as a side dish and some save it for dessert. The only difference in my recipe and this one is that mine calls for 8 ounces of cream cheese and Cool whip. I don't think the larger sizes would fit in the 9 X 13 baking dish. Just something to think about.

  103. Alicia Mason

    5

    Just made this. Next time I think I'll double the cream cheese filling.