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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Posted by Denise on April 29, 2012

strawberry pretzel salad on plate

Strawberry Pretzel Salad looks almost too pretty to eat, but one bite and you won't be able to stop.


Strawberry Pretzel Salad is beautiful and tastes as good as it looks. With a bright red strawberry-filled top layer, creamy white sweetened cream cheese middle, and glossy brown pretzel crust, the salad makes an impressive presentation. And the flavors…oh my, super tasty! Slightly salty, sweet, crunchy, and creamy.

We’ve made Strawberry Pretzel Salad many times over the years, mostly for special occasions or events, like potlucks or dinner parties with friends. The salad is always a hit and never fails to have someone ask for the recipe.

I originally got the recipe many years ago from a magazine. Unfortunately, I don’t remember which one, but I have seen it in other places over the years. I recently came across the recipe in my collection and just had to make it again.

The pretzels are crushed up and mixed with melted butter and some sugar, pressed into a baking pan, and baked for a few minutes to make the crust for the bottom layer of the salad. The recipe works best if the pretzels are broken into really small pieces. If the pieces are too large, the crust will taste great, but will not hold together well when you cut the salad into servings. The pretzels don’t have to be dust, just really small. I put the pretzels into a plastic bag to break them up for the crust. Use a heavy object to crush them up. The bag keeps everything together and keeps your kitchen clean.

It helps to mix your cream cheese with the sugar really well to dissolve the sugar as it mixes. Otherwise the cream cheese layer can be slightly grainy.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad lasts for up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator. It may be good a little longer, but we’ve never had it last that long. I would think the crust would get soggy if left too long.



Strawberry Pretzel Salad 


Serves 8-12 depending on size of serving 



 strawberry pretzel salad ingredients






cups pretzels, crushed into small pieces


stick butter, melted

1 ½

cups sugar, divided


8 ounce package of cream cheese


12 ounce container whipped topping


6 ounce package strawberry Jell-O

1 ½

cups boiling water


20 ounce package of frozen strawberries





1.     Preheat the oven to 4000 F. Mix the crushed pretzels with the melted butter and  ½ cup of the sugar. Pour into an ungreased 9” x 13’ baking pan and press it down into a crust. Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Cool.



 crushed pretzels

                                  pretzels with butter and sugar




2.    While the crust is cooling, mix the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Mix it well to make a little fluffy and to mostly dissolve the sugar, then fold in the whipped topping. Once the pretzel crust is cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust.


cream cheese and sugar in mixing bowl


cream cheese mixture spread on pretzel crust


3.    In a different bowl, combine the strawberry Jell-O with the boiling water (Check the amount of water needed on the Jell-O package. Use the instructions for mixing with ingredients with liquid added.). Mix the strawberries into the Jell-O. Let the mixture cool until it starts to get thick, but not congealed. Pour over the cream cheese layer in the pan.

 strawberries and jello mixture

strawberry pretzel salad in pan


4.    Cover the pan and refrigerate until the Jell-O layer sets up, which takes an hour or two. When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to gently cut through the layers and use a spatula to lift each piece out of the pan, getting under the crust to keep the piece together.






strawberry pretzel salad


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