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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (about 8 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
  • Optional: Additional whipped topping and pretzels


  • In a bowl, combine the pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For filling, in a small bowl, beat whipped topping, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread over pretzel crust. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • For topping, dissolve gelatin in boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in sweetened strawberries; chill until partially set. Carefully spoon over filling. Chill until firm, 4-6 hours. Cut into squares; if desired, serve with additional whipped topping and pretzels.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Punch up the flavor by adding chopped toasted nuts to the crust.
  • Want a crisp crust and fluffy filling? Cool baked crust completely.
  • Nobody likes gelatin that wanders.Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread cream cheese all the way to the crust's edges so the gelatin stays put.
  • Instead of whipped topping, try fresh whipped cream.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 295 calories, 15g fat (10g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 305mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Debbie
      Jan 31, 2021

      We dont like the pretzels so we use Graham cracker crust. Its awesome

    • Debra
      Jan 26, 2021

      We did not like the pretzel crust way too salty for a desert

    • Nia
      Nov 25, 2020

      No comment left

    • Renee
      Oct 26, 2020

      This recipe is a family-loved classic that never goes out of style! Don't skip adding sliced sweetened strawberries - it gives this recipe a wonderful fresh flavor and texture. Personally I prefer making homemade whipped cream using heavy whipping cream. I have always made this recipe using strawberries and strawberry Jello, but I think I might try experimenting with different fruits and Jello flavors. This is definitely a 5 star winner!!

    • Stephanie
      Aug 17, 2020

      This dessert is a long-time favorite for potlucks in western PA, and this is my favorite recipe for it! I substitute real heavy whipping cream for a more natural taste, and it holds up nicely. I also use other fruits sometimes (black cherries with black cherry jello; blueberries with blueberry jello). This is a dessert best eaten as fresh as possible, as the pretzels will start to get soft after the first day. I typically bake my crust the day before, but wait until about 4 hours before serving to assemble. Be sure to completely cool/chill each layer before adding the next. Let the pretzel crust cool to room temp first! Chill after adding the cream cheese mix. And most importantly, let your jello mix cool before adding it to the top, otherwise it will disturb the cream cheese mix and you'll have very unattractive chunks of white in your red jello. Also be sure that the pretzel crust is sealed off from the jello, or it will get soggy.

    • Catlynn
      Aug 2, 2020

      I absolutely LOVE this!!! I don't normally like pretzels but this dessert is phenomenal!! For the most part, I followed the receipe but I changed a couple things. I made it in a 9"X13" glass dish. I used fresh strawberries instead of frozen. I did NOT add any extra sugar. I really like the filling so I doubled the cream cheese. Basically, I make the crust than I mix the jello topping and while it's in the fridge, I make the filling. I folded in the whip cream instead of mixing it all together. That takes about 20 minutes or so. Then, I poured the jello topping on top and put back in the fridge and it turned out perfect. IF you follow the directions, everything should fit nicely. However, since I added the extra cream cheese, the topping was overflowing. I just poured in what fit and it was perfect!!! Ive read that people using fresh strawberries add extra sugar to them but I didn't and it doesn't need any...but that's up to you. As for the extra jello that wouldn't fit, I just put it in a seperate bowl, and after it was set up, added some whipped cream and had that as an extra dessert!!! Everyone loves this dessert...I will make it for everything!!

    • anchortown68
      Jul 17, 2020

      Huge success in my house of 3 kids and a husband.

    • tsuop
      Jul 14, 2020

      Love........ Love this!! No other words need. Wonderful as written.

    • Katarina
      Jun 29, 2020

      In regards to happycamperd comment about it being really sweet, I used fresh strawberries (that I froze) and sugar free jello and it tastes just as good!

    • happycamperd
      Jun 27, 2020

      I want to be fair with this one as some people may like it so here goes..I made this in a glass pyrex 9 x 13 dish. I bought all of the ingredients as written, but did end up with 2 1/2 cups of coarsely crushed pretzels as I did not want to toss them. It still worked fine and amply covered the bottom of the dish. The crème cheese layer worked best by beating the crème cheese and sugar and then folding in the whip topping, as another reviewer recommended. I was skeptical about the jello layer but followed instructions exactly and it worked fine. I put in fridge after first layer for about 30 minutes. Second layer a bit longer and def spread to edges, as another reviewer wisely recommended. Jello layer chilled for a few hours. Sliced beautifully. Looked pretty on a plate. Did not top with additional whip cream, and honestly it did not need any extra sugar, so that would have mainly been for plating. This is where I have to say, it was way too sweet. no way around it either but I may remove the syrup filled strawberries with fresh. The other steps could perhaps be reduced in sugar, but not eliminated as the sugar serves more than one purpose. SO, aside from being overly sweet, this would be a very nice desert. I would never name this a salad or serve WITH a meal though.