Delicious creamy classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad. It is not really a salad but more of a nostalgic dessert that is sweet, tart, salty all with fresh strawberries on top. How to make this family favorite dessert with no waiting to set the Jell-O.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad is like Watergate Salad, while they are called salads they are a smooth creamy dessert. A classic dish for a pot luck church dinner or a family picnic. June and the start of summer just would not be the same if you did not make this dessert with you have all your freshly picked strawberries.
When I served this dessert at our monthly card party everyone started telling stories of their childhood and when they were first married and Strawberry Pretzel Salad was served at every family function.
June is Strawberry Month
As the end of May comes to a close and June starts my best friend and I call each other 2 or 3 times a week to see if we have heard of the U-Pick farms are allowing you to start picking.
From when I was very little I remember my mom and then my friend’s mom taking us out into the beautiful green fields, with straw-lined walkways. We learned very young to not walk on the plant but to move the leave gently aside hunting for the biggest and redist strawberries.
We were allowed to eat a few but must make sure that we were filling our baskets first and only a few to keep our desire up for more picking. While eating in the field is allowed we were taught taking more than just 3 or 4 was steeling as we had not paid for your berries. In the car on the way home, you could eat all you wanted.
While June is the month for strawberry pie, strawberry shortcake, and strawberry jam, make sure to make this recipe once or twice. It tastes the best when the strawberries are fresh-picked from a local farm.
How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Strawberry pretzel salad dessert is made in three simple steps.
- The first part of the dessert is to make the pretzel crust. This crust gives the dessert the salty part of the salty/sweet sensation is makes this dessert so popular. Combine crushed pretzels with 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 and 1/2 sticks of melted butter. After you combine spread at the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes at 375° F.
- Let the crust cool completely. This answers the question: Can you make the Strawberry Pretzel Salad the night before? The answer is yes and your should. You want each step to be set before you move on to the next.
- The second step is to make the cream cheese filling. Have your 8 oz of cream cheese at room temperature. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer mix the cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix well.
- Next, with a large spoon or spatula fold in a whole 8 oz container of cool whip. Spread the cream cheese filling over the cooled pretzel crust. Smooth out making sure it fills in all the way to the edge of the pan. Put in the fridge for 1 hour.
- While the cream cheese filling is in the fridge make the strawberry Jell-O topping.
- In a medium to a large bowl, cut fresh strawberries into thin slices after you move the green top. You want to have 4 cups of sliced strawberries.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cup boiling water with 2 packages of strawberry jello (regular or sugar-free). Mix for 2 minutes to make sure the Jell-O is dissolved. Add the dissolved Jell-O to the strawberries and mix to coat all the berries.
- Take a larger bowl and fill it with ice. Set the Jell-O Strawbery topping bowl inside this larger bowl to cool the Jell-O enough to start to thicken. Keep string for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take the crust and cream cheese filling out of the fridge. The Cream cheese should be nice and firm.
- Gently layer the strawberries on top of the cream cheese making sure to spread to the edge.
- cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Can I Make the Salad a Head of Time?
The answer is you should make it the day before at least to make sure the Jell-0 topping is set. The salad will last for up to 3 days but is best served the next day. This way you will have nice slices when you serve.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission which helps keep my blog up and running but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
To Make the Crust
- 3 cups of crushed pretzels
- 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 1 and 1/2 stick of butter (3/4 cup) Melted
For the Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 oz of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 8 oz of thawed Cool Whip
For the Strawberry Jell-O Topping
- 2 – 3 oz packages of Strawberry Jell-0 (regular or sugar-free)
- 1 – 1/2 cup of boiling water
- 4 cups of washed, cleaned thinly sliced strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Crush the pretzels in a zip lock plastic bag with a rolling pin.
- Mix together the pretzels, powdered sugar, and melted butter
- Line a 13×9 pan with the pretzel mixture, press down, and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F. Cool completely.
- While the crust is cooking mix together the softened cream cheese, and powdered sugar, in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. When smooth fold in the Cool Whip. Spread over the cooled crust to the edge of the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Wash remove the top from the strawberries and slice thinly until you have 4 cups of sliced strawberries.
- Boil 1 and 1/2 cup of water, add the Jell-O, and mix for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.
- Add the jello to a bowl of the strawberries and mix to coat well. Using a larger bowl filled with ice mix the Jell-O and strawberry for about 5 minutes to cool down the mixture.
- Spread the strawberry topping over the cooled cream cheese filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for 3 to 4 hours.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert
Keywords: How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad