The classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a much loved sweet and fruity dish with a salty crust, that is a must have at every get together!
The perfect combination of sweet and salty, Strawberry Pretzel Salad is easy to make a dessert that is a necessity at every potluck! Fruity jello with fresh strawberry slices layered over a luscious whipped cream and cream cheese filling with a salty pretzel crust is a dish that has everyone at the table raving about how amazing it is!
Who doesn’t love to see Strawberry Pretzel Salad at the potluck? This classic dish is full of tangy, sweet and salty flavors and that crunchy pretzel crust makes me go back for thirds every time I make it. I always enjoy the debate about whether this salad is a side dish or a dessert and since it is so light, I make sure to grab some as a side and then go back and enjoy it for dessert! Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the ideal summer dish and is so easy to make for every occasion.
Other Recipes to Serve with Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- If you’re hosting the get-together then you know you might end up with a lot of desserts and not enough delicious sides, which is not a problem when you can whip up this beautiful and easy 7 Layer Salad!
- After you’ve enjoyed this salad you might get on a sweet and salty kick, it’s hard not to with this delicious salad, so dive into these Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark– they’re a sweet and salty chocolate treat!
Pantry Items: You will need either small pretzel sticks or the small pretzel twists- they are easier to break up to make the crust. You will also need powdered sugar and strawberry gelatin.
Refrigerated Items: Melted unsalted butter, cool whip and cream cheese are all you need. fresh vs canned, substitution options, etc.
Fresh Produce: Pick up fresh strawberries and lemon. The lemon is optional but I think you’ll find it brings a wonderful brightness to the creamy filling.
How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Place the pretzels in a ziplock bag and lightly crush them. You don’t want teeny tiny crumbs, but you do want smaller pieces. Using a 9×13 inch glass cake pan, add the pretzels, the melted butter and half of the powdered sugar. Mix well and press firmly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and allow it to cool.
STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese, the rest of the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest, until well mixed and fluffy. Fold in the whipped cream.
STEP THREE: Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust, making sure to cover every edge so that the top layer does not leak through. Place the cake pan in the fridge to cool and firm up.
STEP FOUR: Using the directions on the box of jello, prepare the strawberry jello and let it cool. Slice the strawberries and then fold them into the jello. Spread the strawberries and jello evenly over the cream cheese layer, cover, and let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour and a half.
STEP FIVE: Remove from the fridge and cut into slices. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, half a strawberry, and a pretzel for garnish.
Tips for Success
- Don’t finely crush the pretzels, instead, break them up into smaller pieces so that they make a great crust layer for your salad.
- For a lighter version, you can swap an equal amount of unflavored Greek yogurt for the cool whip.
- Do you love chocolate and strawberries together? Try melting chocolate and pouring it over the pretzel crust and then allowing this layer to cool before adding the next layers. The chocolate will help keep the pretzels crunchy and is also just so yummy with strawberries!
- The lemon in this recipe is totally optional, so if you don’t have it, it’s no big deal. The sweet tartness of the lemon is rather amazing in this creamy filling so while I wouldn’t skip it, you can.
Can I use frozen strawberries?
You most certainly can use frozen strawberries in this Strawberry Pretzel Salad! After your jello has come to a boil and you take it off of the burner, add the frozen strawberries (no need to thaw) to the jello. Once the jello has just begun to set, spread it over the cream cheese/whipped cream layer, and then place the salad in the fridge. The frozen strawberries will help the jello to set a little faster and they are just as delicious as fresh strawberries.
How long is Strawberry Pretzel Salad good for?
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is delicious, with its crunchy pretzel crust for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. After that, the pretzels become pretty soft. I’ve never had this salad last more than two days max though so I haven’t had to worry about it!
Is it a side? Is it dessert? Let’s have more of both!
- Preheat your oven to 360 degrees F and set aside a 9×13 glass dish.
- Crush the pretzels in a zip lock bag and add them into the pan. (Don´t crush them too finely. You want some very small pieces in there to help keep everything together later.) Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the melted butter to the pretzels and stir together.
- Press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of the dish to form an even crust. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
- In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until creamy and fluffy. Gently fold in the Cool Whip.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust, making sure to seal the edges. Pop the dish into the fridge while you make the next layer.
- Prepare the jello according to the package directions and let it cool down a bit. Then fold in the strawberry slices and spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer.
- Cover the dish and chill in the fridge for at least 1 1/2 hours until set. Cut into 12 slices and serve. I like to top each slice with some whipped cream, half a strawberry, and a pretzel.
- To make the pretzel layer even crunchier, melt some chocolate or white chocolate and pour it over it the cooled crust. Let the chocolate firm up and continue on with the recipe as directed. Chocolate and strawberries are also great together!
- You can leave out the lemon juice and zest, but I think it adds a nice fresh factor and supports the other flavors nicely.