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:

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

4.95 from 768 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
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

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 creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Julia Greenwood
    June 16, 2024

    The recipe is so well written and explained! It came out amazing and my husband loved it for his Father’s day dessert!

    Reply

  • azadeh sedghi
    June 14, 2024

    Hello, thank you for the great recipe , is it ok to make it a day before?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 14, 2024

      Yes. But I usually don’t make it more than one day ahead so that the strawberries stay fresh.

      Reply

  • Lisa bavaro-ludlam
    June 13, 2024

    Hi I would love to make this but we do not get cool whip here in England, so could I make regular whip cream from cream cheese and cream and powder sugar and use that instead please let me know

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 13, 2024

      Hi Lisa! You can make your own homemade whipped cream. See my note above in the blog for using homemade whipped cream made with heavy cream.

      Reply

  • Rosemary Sheehan
    June 11, 2024

    Love this recipe and have made it multiple times. Everyone loves it. However, my husband is now diabetic, not from the dessert but how can I substitute the sugar in the recipe to get the same great taste?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 11, 2024

      Hi Rosemary, Unfortunately I am not able to provide diabetic specific suggestions since I’m not a licensed nutritionist. I do recommend looking through the recipe comments for what other readers have tried to substitute. I wish I could be more helpful.

      Reply

  • Laura
    June 5, 2024

    I can’t think why I had never tried this recipe before. It was soooo good. I had found a similar recipe that used more sugar. This recipe had the perfect amount of sweetness, and with that slightly salty crust, it was a winner. It was gone in 2 days.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 5, 2024

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!

      Reply

  • Angie
    May 27, 2024

    Ok I made this today. I did something wrong because my pretzel layer is hard to get up. I even used a spatula. Cook it to long?? So im still giving it 5 stars bc it’s operator error 😉… it’s delish though..

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 27, 2024

      Hi Angie, I have not had that experience but here is what one of our readers wrote “The first time I made this the crust, it stuck to the bottom of the dish and I had a difficult time getting the pieces out. From then on I sprayed the bottom of the dish with Pam before I pressed the pretzel mixture into the dish. I cant find a recipe that tells you to do this, but I always do now.” I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • caron masucci
    May 25, 2024

    I just made this “salad” today. It is absolutely delicious! Creamy, sweet, crunchy, and salty! I went the homemade whipped cream route and it worked great. What I love is that it’s not overly sweet.

    Reply

  • Jamie
    May 19, 2024

    I made the Greek Pasta Salad this morning for a church luncheon. It was the biggest hitj

    Reply

  • J. Bowman
    May 17, 2024

    I made the recipe, because I had lost mine, needed the exact ingredients. It turned out fabulous, except I used 2 pkgs. cream cheese and powdered sugar in the cream cheese.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 17, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, J! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Whitney
    May 13, 2024

    I made this for the first time for Mother’s Day and it turned out perfect! I absolutely loved it, however my husband complains that he doesn’t like fruit in jello. I wonder if I just put fresh strawberries on top of the cream cheese layer next time if it would still be ok.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 13, 2024

      Hi Whitney, thank you for sharing! I haven’t tested that version to advise. If you happen to experiment, we’d love to know how it goes!

      Reply

    • Julia
      May 18, 2024

      I think if you put the strawberries on top of the filling then if you have the strawberry jel to pour on top that is used in strawberry pie that would be great..I have seen it in the produce depart.by the fresh strawberries in grocery store..

      Reply

  • LL
    May 11, 2024

    I just made this and it was actually really good. I first saw the New York Times version and quite frankly that version did not look appealing at all (the ingredients looked so so). Yours was pretty fantastic. Thank you!

    I did make a few slight changes

    -I crushed the pretzels down to a graham cracker crust consistency-I am not a fan of huge chunks of pretzels.
    -I cut down on the sugar drasticly (more than half (in the crust and in the whip)-I am not a oversugary dessert person). The berries and the jello gave iti plenty of sweetness 🙂
    -I used sugar free Jello
    -I used Truwhip- there is something about Cool Whip that has this weird chemical taste for me.
    -I laid down the strawberries first then poured the jello in because it allowed the tops of the berries.

    I will have to refrigerate the whip part then pour the jello in- good tip.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2024

      Thank you for sharing your great review and suggestions. I love that there are good options available to substitute the Cool Whip.

      Reply

  • Debbie
    May 5, 2024

    Just a little FYI…If you want to use heavy whipping cream instead of Cool Whip for this recipe you can add about a 1/4 of a teaspoon of cream of tarter to the cream cheese filling. It acts as a stabilizer and keeps the strawberry layer from weeping into the crust and making the pretzels soggy.

    Reply

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