Strawberry Pretzel Salad is always a hit at parties. It’s dangerously good! The combination of sweet, salty and tart make it irresistible. This layered strawberry pretzel dessert is loved by adults and kids.

Jello recipes are the perfect potluck dessert because they keep well and are easy to make which is why this Strawberry Pretzel salad is so popular during the holidays. Our jello cake and classic raspberry pretzel jello are also reader favorites this time of year.

Slice of strawberry pretzel salad served on a plate with layers of pretzels, cream and strawberry strawberry jello dessert

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Why is it Called “Pretzel Salad”?

There is a massive debate on Facebook as to why this is called a “salad” and it really is a passionate debate (very entertaining to read). can a pretzel jello salad be a salad? I just want to put it out there that I did NOT name this dish. So, what do you think: Salad? or Dessert?

Pretzel salad sliced in a casserole dish showing layers of the pretzel salad

Can I Substitute Cool Whip?

Cool Whip provides the best results because it doesn’t soften the pretzels and keeps better overnight. You may substitute with more natural version like “True Whip“.

If using whipped cream (by beating 1 cup heavy whipping cream until stiff and fluffy) and although this substitution tastes good, it softens the pretzel crust so the crust isn’t as crisp. If using whipped cream, add 2/3 cup sugar to the cream cheese to reach the same sweetness and refrigerate the cream portion for 45 minutes for it to set better.

Ingredients for strawberry pretzel salad with cool whip substitute

What Kind of Pretzels are Best for Pretzel Jello?

Use small, SALTED pretzels (either sticks or traditional pretzel twists). Salted hard pretzels add the salty element which is surprising but so good. Smaller pretzels are easier to crush and measure.

Tips for Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

  • Dissolve the jello according to recipe instructions (NOT package instructions)
  • Use softened cream cheese and thaw cool whip in the refrigerator
  • Measure 2 1/2 cups of whole pretzels
  • Spread cream portion all the way to the edges for a tight seal before adding jello
  • Pour room temperature jello gently over the top to prevent cracks in the cream layer

Watch How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the first video recipe that went viral on Facebook and now has been viewed over 50,000,000 MILLION TIMES! Thank you for watching and sharing our videos with your friends and family. I’m so thankful for you!

We really enjoy making video recipes for you all. Thank you for subscribing to our YouTube Cooking Channel. It’s so encouraging to see it growing so quickly!

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

4.95 from 740 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
This strawberry pretzel salad is always a hit at parties. It's a strawberry jello dessert that is dangerously good! It's sweet, salty, tart and irresistible!
This strawberry pretzel salad is easy to assemble and is always a hit at parties. The combination of sweet, salty and tart make it irresistible.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 slices
  • 6 oz strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups salted pretzels, (measured before crushing)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz cool whip, thawed in the fridge
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Combine strawberry Jell-O with 2 cups boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Crush 2 1/2 cups pretzels in a sturdy ziploc bag, using a rolling pin.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt 8 Tbsp butter then add 1/4 cup sugar and stir. Mix in crushed pretzels. Transfer to a 13x9 glass casserole dish, pressing the pretzel mix evenly over the bottom of the dish and bake for 10 min at 350°F, then cool to room temp.
  • When pretzels have cooled, use an electric hand mixer to beat 8 oz cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar on med/high speed until fluffy and white. Fold in 8 oz Cool Whip until no streaks of cream cheese remain. Spread mixture over cooled pretzels, spreading to the edges of the dish to create a tight seal. Refrigerate 30 min.
  • Hull and slice 1 lb strawberries then stir into your room temperature jello. Pour and spread strawberry jello mixture evenly over your cooled cream cheese layer and refrigerate until jello is set (2-4 hours).

Nutrition Per Serving

338kcal Calories47g Carbs4g Protein15g Fat9g Saturated Fat44mg Cholesterol354mg Sodium126mg Potassium1g Fiber30g Sugar530IU Vitamin A22.2mg Vitamin C52mg Calcium1.1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Amount per Serving
Calories
338
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Cholesterol
 
44
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
354
mg
15
%
Potassium
 
126
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
47
g
16
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
30
g
33
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
530
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
22.2
mg
27
%
Calcium
 
52
mg
5
%
Iron
 
1.1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Strawberry Pretzel Dessert, Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 338

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Tools We Used for this Strawberry Pretzel Jello (affiliate links):

2 Quart Ovenproof Glass Batter Bowl
Glass baking dish
Breville Stainless Steel Electric Kettle
Glass mixing bowl
Stainless Steel Saucepan
Le Creuset Silicone Spatula
Wusthof Classic Ikon 6-inch Utility Knife
OXO Good Grips Nylon Flexible Turner

I hope this pretzel ‘salad’ becomes a new favorite for you! If you have a suggestion for something you want to see on our blog, I’d love to hear about it in a comment below.

This strawberry pretzel salad is always a hit at parties. It's a strawberry jello dessert that is dangerously good! It's sweet, salty, tart and irresistible!

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • John Clark
    February 28, 2024

    Very good and easy to make. Even I did it and I never am in the kitchen.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 28, 2024

      That’s great to hear, John!

      Reply

  • Ginger
    February 25, 2024

    wondering if i can use strawberry pie filling with the jello instead of the fresh strawberries?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 25, 2024

      Hi Ginger, I have not tested that to advise. We love using fresh strawberries but feel free to experiment.

      Reply

  • Laura
    January 15, 2024

    I don’t like how overly unhealthy American sweet these recipes are. For those who want to cut down the “white death” sugar, I always omit the sugar in the sugar in the pretzels. The butter is the glue, the sugar isn’t necessary. Works just great without it. Also I cut down on sugar in the white cheesecake portion. However it was still very sweet so I want to try making it with heavy cream and use a melted jumbo marshmallow for the cream to help it set. I read to melt 1 jumbo marshmallow to 1 cup whipped cream.
    Anyways, we would love some healthier recipes like a liver cake and fish kotleti as well a layered liver salad. We women need more iron.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 15, 2024

      I’m so glad that worked out for you, Laura! Thank you for sharing your feedback with me!

      Reply

  • Anita Hurla
    December 31, 2023

    I was wondering if you can make this recipe with sugar free cool whip and sugar free jello?
    I have a special sugar that I use to make desserts when I take them to Bible study. A friend of mine cannot have processed sugar.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 31, 2023

      Hi Anita! I haven’t tested it myself, but I don’t see why not. Let us know how it turns out if you experiment.

      Reply

  • Cynthia Langguth
    December 23, 2023

    Thanks, Natasha! Made this today for the first time – followed your directions to a T. It was delicious, people were fighting over the last piece. Will make two next time!! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 23, 2023

      Hi Cynthia, I am so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review. This has been a party favorite in our circles for many years.

      Reply

  • Aseel
    December 23, 2023

    Love love looove this recipe! I tried a few tricks, and this is the latest: we don’t have coolwhip available so i swapped it with mascarpone 500 g, same 1/2 cup sugar. I also saved time by preparing the jello first then backing the pretzels then mixing the cheese mix and refrigerating it immediately while the jello and pretzels go down to room temperature, 1 hour wait. The only challenge was spreading the cheese mix as it was stif already, but after spreading the cheese mix, I immediately added the jello with strawberries and in the fridge. Saved 2 hours!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 23, 2023

      Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m glad it still worked out.

      Reply

  • Joan
    December 23, 2023

    I’ve been making this recipe for 4 years. Entire family loves it and say it is so much better than an older recipe that used box of frozen strawberries. I have a hunch Stephanie and Kim didn’t follow the recipe and used the wrong amount of water in the jello. Don’t blame the recipe ladies if you don’t follow the recipe as it is written. As for not enough pretzels how about improvising and crushing a few more pretzels if you feel not enough for the pan you used. Great recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 23, 2023

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback, Joan!

      Reply

  • Carlie
    November 23, 2023

    I still come back every Thanksgiving since I made this 4 years ago because this recipe sealed my assignment as pretzel jello salad girl at family thanksgiving. Can’t get enough of it!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 23, 2023

      Great to hear that this is always your go-to recipe!

      Reply

  • Stephanie
    November 22, 2023

    I am so disappointed! Please let this review serve as a warning to anyone hoping to make this. Please please do yourself a favor and find one of the many other recipes for the strawberry pretzel salad. First..not enough pretzels. Second..let the jello cool in the fridge until it has set a little bit before adding the strawberries and putting on top the cream cheese mixture. I would happily add a picture of the mess I ended up with by following this recipe before I threw it in the trash. Now I have two options..skip the jello salad for Thanksgiving or run the store for new ingredients.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 23, 2023

      Hi Stephanie, I’m sorry to hear it got messy. The biggest things with it staying neat is to let the cream portion set before adding the jello (don’t add the jello warm either) and also spreading the cream all the way to the edges of the pan so the jello doesn’t seap through to the bottom. Lastly, make sure to follow the instructions for jello in this recipe and not the box instructions. We add less water than the box calls for. I hope that helps to troubleshoot.

      Reply

    • Kim
      November 24, 2023

      I agree with you Stephanie, not enough pretzels and you need to cook the butter/sugar until the sugar is no longer crystallized. Agreed with allowing the Jello to setup in the refrigerator, the time allowed on the video/recipe isn’t enough time. There are more through recipes.

      Reply

  • Brenda Hudson
    November 22, 2023

    I am making this strawberry pretzel dessert for my Thanksgiving dinner. I am going to substitute one can of whole cranberry sauce instead of the strawberries. I think it should turn out well. What do you think?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 22, 2023

      Hi Brenda! I’m not quite sure. Let us know how it turns out. Sounds like it would be delicious with cranberry.

      Reply

  • Susan Smith
    November 9, 2023

    Keeping the 3parts separated and refrigerated- Can I pre bake pretzel crust and refrigerate 1-2 days; also prepare jello and strawberries in advance in fridge- also prepare cream cheese and Cool Whip together and refrigerate. Just thinking of all three parts were complete, and the day of I could put it together easily. Please let me know. Thanks! Love your recipes! Congrats on your book!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 9, 2023

      Hi Susan! I’ve never tested that to advise, my concern would be that they wouldn’t “hold together” when sliced and the 3 parts would separate. You might be able to get by with pre-making the crust and then finishing the other 2 parts later.

      Reply

  • Colette
    October 31, 2023

    I made this recipe excellent as usual. And after making it, I tried it with pineapple tidbits instead of strawberries, lime jello instead of strawberry jello. The rest of the ingredients the
    same. Very good!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 31, 2023

      That sounds amazing, Colette! Thank you for sharing your experiment with us.

      Reply

  • Kathleen Schock
    October 21, 2023

    Love this dish. Is it possible to double recipe for a large potluck?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 21, 2023

      Hi Kathleen, doubling this recipe in two 9x13s will work great!

      Reply

  • Luke Ruttmann
    October 6, 2023

    I love making this recipe
    Takes time, but so worth it ❣️
    We used raspberry jello today since we didn’t have strawberry in our pantry

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 6, 2023

      We love the raspberry version just as much! So good!

      Reply

  • Erum khan
    October 2, 2023

    Hi Natasha, thank you so much!!
    It was a hit. Everybody enjoyed it and this is now my son’s favorite dessert.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 2, 2023

      That’s wonderful to hear!

      Reply

  • Erum k
    September 29, 2023

    Hi, i will be making this recipe for the first time. Can i make it a day earlier.
    Please let me know. Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 29, 2023

      Hi Erum! Yes. I usually don’t make it more than one day ahead so that the strawberries are and stay fresh.

      Reply

      • Erum
        September 29, 2023

        Another quick question, u said to measure pretzels before crushing, but then it is not covering 9×13 dish completely

        Reply

        • Julie
          November 22, 2023

          I would just add more pretzels. It’s not an exact science, so don’t stress. Make it work for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

          Reply

  • Margaret
    September 29, 2023

    We used a dairy free substitute from Trader Joe’s and it worked just fine!

    Reply

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