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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This old-fashioned Strawberry Pretzel Salad consists of a salty pretzel crust topped with a creamy and sweet cream cheese layer and a strawberry jello topping filled with fresh strawberries.

Slice of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate.

Easy Dessert Recipe

It’s the perfect dessert to satisfy your salty-sweet cravings and take advantage of in-season strawberries.

This is far from your typical salad. In fact it’s not a salad at all. Strawberry Pretzel Salad is along the lines of Watergate Salad. A dessert that’s called a salad. It tastes similar to a no-bake cheesecake.

Slice of Strawberry Pretzel Salad with fresh strawberries around it.

Tips For Making Strawberry Pretzel Salad

You can use frozen strawberries instead of fresh.

Be sure to spread the cream cheese layer all the way to the edges so that the jello layer doesn’t seep down and make the pretzels soggy.

If you like a little saltiness in your sweets, you will find this layer dessert to be positively addictive. Each of the 3 layers is delicious on its own, but put them all together and you have amazing flavor and texture contrasts.

Different versions of this recipe can easily be made. Try a Pineapple Pretzel Salad or using peaches or raspberries.

How To Serve

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a classic summer dessert that makes a wonderful make-ahead dish for a potluck or picnic.

If it’s not strawberry season, you can use frozen strawberries. Be sure to thaw them and drain them well.


Will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

Try These Other Strawberry Desserts

Watch the short video below to see how easy this dessert is.

Slice of Strawberry Pretzel Salad on a plate.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This old-fashioned Strawberry Pretzel Salad consists of a salty pretzel crust topped with a creamy and sweet cream cheese layer and a strawberry jello topping filled with fresh strawberries.
PREP: 45 minutes
COOK: 8 minutes
TOTAL: 53 minutes


  • 2 cups crushed thin salted pretzels
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (6-ounce) package strawberry Jello-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh strawberries


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together crushed pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Press into a lightly greased 9X13-inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes and cool completely.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping using a rubber spatula. Spread over cooled pretzel crust being sure cream cheese mixture completely covers and seals the crust. This will help keep the jello layer from seeping down.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (can be refrigerated overnight at this point).
  • In a bowl, whisk together jello and boiling water until jello is completely dissolved. Add the strawberries. Refrigerate for 5 minutes and then pour on top of cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until firm.


Calories: 347kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: 4th of July, layer dessert

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Originally published May 5, 2014

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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73 thoughts on “Strawberry Pretzel Salad”

  1. This is a great dessert for people who are allergic to nuts but crave them. The carmelized pretzels do taste and have the texture of nuts. So yummy!!!!

  2. Cathy Serrato

    Hi. I just made this Pretzel Salad. Love it, but the pretzel crust was soft. Shouldn’t it be crunchy? I spread the cheese mixture to the sides, so it wasn’t from tht. Maybe I crushed the pretzels to much?

    1. Alexis Rousseau

      I the crust is soggy, it’s usually because the jello seeped under the cream cheese./Cool Whip layer and into the pretzel crust. You want to be sure to create a seal over the pretzel crust by spreading the cream cheese/ Cool whip mixture until it touches the edges of the baking dish all the way around the perimeter.

      This happened to me once, but it didn’t happen again after I was careful to create the seal.

  3. Tracy Robinson

    I lost the recipe to this so I found yours!
    Only I like to use raspberry jello and frozen raspberries. Have never had a complaint, always a hit!

  4. Have made this several times and lost my recipe! SO glad you have it! Thanks! This stuff is AWESOME!

  5. I put the oven on 400 cooked for 8 mins and burnt it and it smoked. I recommend a lower temp.

  6. Gloria Carroll

    I love this recipe
    So much you can do with the jello lemon jello and blueberries
    Orange and mandarine
    List goes on
    Have fun but keep the pretzels and cream cheese filling !!!!

    1. Mary Taylor

      Yes I have and my opinion it ‘s better. It’s more filling, richer and creamier doubling the recipe. It’s the only way I make it now!

  7. Virginia Hostetter

    I love this recipe but my kids font like Jell-O. So I make and just top with sliced strawberries blueberries and blackerries.

    1. I honestly have never liked Jello in my life. I would not eat it. I still don’t eat it.
      However, I have always been the kid who ate anything at events or other houses because I was polite. So I do get exposed to a lot of different things that I likely would never have eaten. I had this at a cookout, and I loved it.
      I’ve done the just topped with fruit, too.
      I do add a lot of fruit to the Jello to kind of “break it up” so to speak. (So you don’t get a huge bit of Jello)
      Another way for kids who don’t like it, make the jello and when it is solid, mix it up with another amount of whipped cream, it changes the taste, texture, and is a lot easier. Just whip the jello and cream and when it is completely combined, then spread that over the cream cheese mix.

  8. Carolyn Tuesca

    Delicious! To cut calories, I use sugar free jello and lite whipped topping.
    I also mix it up with different fruits and jello flavors. For example, I’ve used orange jello and chopped clementines, raspberries and raspberry jello. I want to try peaches too.

      1. for those saying no one notices the sugar-free jello…
        they might not right away but a person who suffers from migraines will soon enough

        1. I think any substitutions should be mentioned upfront, as different people might not usually be able to eat it and for those that usually can eat it, and should be warned up front to avoid anything.
          People often don’t even think twice about the “healthy” substitutions, that they can actually be unhealthy/not an option for some people.

      2. Nutrasweet is poison & destroys brain cells! Gives me horrible 3 day migraines! & causes me to sit and cry & cry & cry

    1. You can, but make sure you chill the Jello in the fridge for 5 minutes before pouring it onto the cream cheese mixture.

  9. I love this so much, however, at a potluck it melted due to sitting out & people didn’t try it.

  10. I love this dessert! However, each time I make it the crust stick to the bottom of the pan, or crumbles before getting onto plate. I follow instructions exactly as I dont like to alter any recipes. Any ideas?

    1. Sharon Blair

      try putting a layer of Parchment cooking paper in the pan before the pretzel mix… works great. 😉

  11. Darrell McCracken

    I’m curious if you could use lime jello and strawberries for a unique strawberry margarita flavor?

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