This vintage Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe is a potluck favorite. It features layers of fresh strawberries encased in strawberry jello poured over a cheesecake-like layer with a buttery pretzel pecan crust. It's most often served as a side dish, but could easily pass as a sweet and salty dessert!
Easy Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a sweet layered dessert that features a salty and buttery pretzel crust, one sweet cream cheese layer that's topped with strawberry jello filled with fresh strawberries. I like to top it with a dollop of whipped cream that makes it more dessert-like but whether you serve it as a side dish or a salad, its addictive!
How to Make the Best Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Strawberry Pretzel Salad: Crushed pretzels, chopped pecans, granulated sugar, melted butter, plain cream cheese, half and half, powdered sugar, whipped topping (i.e. Cool whip or similar), strawberry Jell-O and frozen strawberries.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A 13 x 9 inch baking dish, measuring cups and spoons, a large bowl, a medium bowl, a stand mixer or a hand mixer, rubber spatula.
- The strawberries in this recipe are frozen. When choosing fresh strawberries for garnishing choose firm red strawberries with bright green stems. Soft or mushy strawberries will continue to break down once served and will shorten the shelf life of the pretzel salad.
- The pretzel pecan crust for this salad isn't solid and some may break apart when you cut it into squares for serving. It doesn't mean that anything is wrong, it's just the nature of this recipe.
- If you prefer, you can frost the entire top of the pretzel salad with the reserved whipped topping, the choice is completely yours.
- When pouring the jello layer over the cream cheese layer, do so gently to avoid disturbing it. Using the tip of a knife, gently move the strawberry slices in the jello so they're evenly distributed throughout.
- You can use frozen whipped topping such as Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream for this recipe. For the cream cheese layer, you'll need two cups of sweetened fresh whipped cream.
- How to make Sweetened Fresh Whipped Cream: Chill the beaters and a medium size mixing bowl in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Once chilled, use an electric mixer to whip together 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Gradually add ¼ cup granulated sugar beating just until stiff peaks form. Don't overbeat. Chill until assembling. This will yield 4 cups of sweetened whipped cream.
- Store Strawberry Pretzel Salad chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream
To make homemade whipped cream this is what you do:
- Place a large bowl and beaters into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill.
- Once chilled, add one pint (or two cups) of heavy cream and 1-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract to the bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat on medium high speed gradually adding ¼-1/3 cup of granulated sugar. You can adapt the sweetness to your taste.
- Beat until stiff peaks form being careful not to overbeat.
- Chill until serving. Fresh whipped cream is best made and served the same day.
More Strawberry Recipes to Make
- This Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle is dressed to impress.
- Scratch made Strawberry Pound Cake is drizzled with a vanilla glaze.
- Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake is sandwiched together with a creamy filling and fresh strawberries.
- Candy Coated Strawberry Carrots can be used as a topping for cakes, cupcakes and more.
- Black Bottomed Strawberry Cheesecake Pie is a decadent make ahead dessert option.
- No churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.
- Strawberry Salsa from The Rachel Ray Show.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 ½ cups finely crushed pretzels
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted
- Cream Cheese Layer:
- 1 8 oz block plain cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup half and half or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 16 oz frozen whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip) thawed, divided use
- Strawberry Jell-O Layer:
- 2 3 oz packages strawberry Jell-O mix
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 10 oz packages frozen strawberries in light syrup partially thawed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium size mixing bowl toss together pretzels, ¼ cup pecans and sugar with melted butter. Mix until fully moistened. Press firmly onto bottom of dish. Bake for 12 minutes or just until set. Cool completely.
- In a medium size mixing bowl using an electric mixer, whip together cream cheese and powered sugar until combined. Add half and half and vanilla, whipping until smooth. Fold in ½ (8 ounces) whipped topping by hand. Spread over cooled crust. Chill while making Jell-O topping.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together Jell-O mix and boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved. Add frozen strawberries. Stir until combined then chill just until barely warm.
- Pour strawberry Jell-O topping evenly over cream cheese. Use a spoon to gently arrange berries evenly on top before it sets. Chill for 8 hours or overnight.
- Serve a dollop of whipped cream on each piece using the remaining whipped topping and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
- Store leftovers chilled for up to 4 days.
I tried it and I loved it so did my family,
Thanks so much!