More of a cheesecake than a salad, this Jello Pretzel Salad balances a creamy no-bake cheesecake filling on top of a crunchy pretzel crust for flavor and contrast. It’s topped with fluffy Cool Whip, strawberry Jello, and fresh strawberries!

square serving of jello pretzel salad sitting on a white round plate

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I couldn’t tell you why this is called a salad—there’s no lettuce in sight!—but this classic dessert is a super easy, make-ahead treat that’s perfect for summer potlucks. It feels a little bit retro and a lot delicious.

I think you’ll love it as much as I do—especially if you love strawberry desserts like No-Bake Strawberry Jello Pie and Strawberry Pretzel Dessert.

close up image of a square slice sitting on a wood spatula

Old-Fashioned Jello Pretzel Salad Recipe

Hello no-bake cheesecake filling! I love you! This dessert is almost totally no-bake—you’ll need just 10 minutes to bake the pretzel crust to crisp, buttery perfection. The cheesecake filling is a simple blend of cream cheese and sugar that’s whipped until fluffy. I love that it tastes just as good as a cheesecake that has baked for an hour in the oven.

Top the cheesecake layer with pre-made whipped topping to add extra sweetness and texture. Then spread on strawberry Jello to make this dessert pretty as well as tasty. Don’t forget lots of sliced fresh strawberries for the finishing touch!

I love to bring this to backyard BBQ gatherings—it’s always a unique, stand-out dessert that always goes fast. People can’t seem to resist the combo of salty pretzels and sweet cheesecake!

ingredients to make strawberry jello pretzel salad

Ingredients for Jello Pretzel Salad

  • Strawberry Jello
  • Water – We’ll use boiling water to make the jello.
  • Pretzels – Small, salted pretzel twists work the best in this recipe.
  • Sugar
  • Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Cream cheese
  • Cool Whip
  • Strawberries – Sliced, fresh strawberries for the best flavor!

Variations

  • Make it with raspberry Jello. Substitute the strawberry Jello for raspberry Jello and add fresh raspberries instead of sliced strawberries.
  • Use banana pudding. I love using instant banana pudding in desserts, and you could definitely try making this pretzel salad using banana pudding! Make the pudding according to the package directions and add it instead of the strawberry Jello. Then top with sliced bananas.
  • Skip the Jello. Yes, the Jello is a big component of this recipe! But if you are out of Jello or just don’t wish to use it, you can simply top the “cheesecake” filling layer with sliced strawberries or other fresh fruit for a delicious dessert.

How to Make Jello Pretzel Salad

  1. Preheat the oven: First, preheat your oven to 350℉.
  2. Make the Jello: Pour the two packets of strawberry jello into a large mixing bowl then add the boiling water. Whisk until the jello powder has dissolved. Set aside. 
  3. Crush the pretzels: Place the pretzels in a large food processor and pulse until the pretzels are large crumbs.
  4. Make the pretzel crust: Pour the pretzel crumbs into a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the sugar and the melted butter. Stir everything together until all the pretzel crumbs are wet, then pour the mix into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, pressing it into the bottom of the dish in an even layer.
  5. Bake the crust: Bake the pretzel crust in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crust cool. 
  6. Prepare the filling: Add the cream cheese and remaining ½ cup of sugar to a large bowl and beat them together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Fold in the Cool Whip, then spread the mix over the cooled pretzel crust.
  7. Chill the filling: Place the pan in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. 
  8. Add the strawberries to the Jello: Stir the sliced strawberries into the room-temperature strawberry jello mix and then slowly pour this into the pan on top of the chilled Cool Whip.
  9. Chill the salad: Place the pan into the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours. Then slice and serve! 
close up image of jello pretzel salad served on a white round plate

Quick Tip

Use room temperature cream cheese when you make the filling for this dish to avoid any lumps that can form when the ingredients are too cold.

How to Store Jello Pretzel Salad

Jello pretzel salad can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serve cold from the fridge.

FAQs

What is pretzel salad made of?

Pretzel “salad” is a layered dessert with a pretzel crust, a no-bake cheesecake filling, and a topping of fresh fruit and Jello.

Where is strawberry pretzel salad from?

The recipe for strawberry pretzel salad is believed to have originated in the 1960s when the “Joys of Jell-O” cookbook was published.

How much sugar is in strawberry pretzel salad?

There are about 22 grams of sugar per serving in pretzel salad.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Jello Pretzel Salad

More of a cheesecake than a salad, this Jello Pretzel Salad balances a creamy no-bake cheesecake filling on top of a crunchy pretzel crust for flavor and contrast. It's topped with fluffy Cool Whip, strawberry Jello, and fresh strawberries!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 3 ounce boxes strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups small, salted pretzel twists
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 3 cups (about 1 pound) sliced strawberries

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  • Pour the two packets of strawberry jello into a large mixing bowl then add the boiling water. Whisk until the jello powder has dissolved. Set aside.
  • Add the pretzels to a large food processor and pulse until the pretzels are large crumbs. I like to leave a few larger pieces to give the salad a little bit of a crunch.
  • Pour the pretzel crumbs into a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the sugar and the melted butter. Stir everything together until all the pretzel crumbs are wet then pour the mix into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Press the crust into the bottom of the dish, making an even, compact layer.
  • Bake the pretzel crust in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crust cool.
  • Add the cream cheese and remaining ½ cup of sugar to a large bowl and beat them together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Fold in the cool whip then spread the mix over the cooled pretzel crust.
  • Place the pan in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Stir the sliced strawberries into the room-temperature strawberry jello mix and then slowly pour this into the pan, on top of the chilled Cool Whip later.
  • Place the pan into the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours. Then slice and serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 527IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

Comments

  1. Ms. Benny says:

    5 stars
    This sounds so yummy, easy to make to.

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