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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead layered salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min. + chilling YIELD: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
  • Additional whipped topping and pretzels, optional


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. For filling, in a small bowl, beat whipped topping, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread over pretzel crust. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • 3. For topping, dissolve gelatin in boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in strawberries with syrup; chill until partially set. Carefully spoon over filling. Chill for 4-6 hours or until firm. Cut into squares; serve with whipped topping if desired. Yield: 16 servings.

Recipe Note

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 edges so the gelatin stays put.
  • Instead of whipped topping, try fresh whipped cream.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 piece: 295 calories, 15g fat (10g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 305mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

    Reviews for Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

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    Sarah User ID: 9232257 271394
    Reviewed Aug. 5, 2017

    "it turned out really good!! i drained the strawberries and used the juice in place of the water, it didnt quite reach 2 cups so i topped it off with water an it set in no time"

    Virginia User ID: 1791765 270170
    Reviewed Jul. 31, 2017

    "I can't find frozen strawberries that are sweetened anymore. How much sugar needs to be added to the unsweetened strawberries & should they set awhile to bring out the juice?"

    mjlouk User ID: 1712085 267451
    Reviewed May. 29, 2017

    "My kids and I loved this! Husband doesn't eat sweets so more for us! Winner. I saw some of the comments about the jello being too runny- I used fresh strawberries macerated in sugar. I poured them into the jello and let the jello strawberry mixture set for over an hour in the fridge - I then poured it over the cream cheese mixture. It was still pretty runny but set up really nice in the fridge."

    coolazkids User ID: 4941909 267368
    Reviewed May. 27, 2017

    "I remembered making a similar recipe years ago that was delicious, but this wasn't it! The gelatin layer wouldn't set, it was just too watery. Probably because of the syrup on the frozen, sweetened strawberries. The pretzel crust was not crunchy and was total mush on day 2. I was careful not to make any deviation from the recipe, and even made it a second time, which did not turn out any better. I made this to take to a ladies tea at church, and was quite disappointed."

    Kerry User ID: 9052729 265503
    Reviewed May. 4, 2017

    "I made this, and while it was very tasty, I didn't care for the pretzel crust. I will make this again, but will use a graham cracker crust."

    Jen User ID: 9141796 264655
    Reviewed Apr. 14, 2017

    "i'm pretty disappointed with this recipe. i've made this in the past and it always turned out great. this recipe changed things up a bit from what i'm used to and i figured it would be interesting to try something new. the strawberries in syrup was a bad choice. mixing them with the jello just made it way too watery. i was supposed to bring it to work today for a potluck, but instead it's still sitting in my fridge because the jello layer is still soup. next time, either do regular frozen berries or fresh. skip the syrup. also, i agree with some reviewers that the cream cheese layer is too thin. definitely browse around to find other variations of this recipe before moving forward. this one is way closer to how this recipe should be made:"

    Linda User ID: 6034500 264516
    Reviewed Apr. 10, 2017

    "I make this sugar free and you cant tell....Its amazing, been doing this for YEARS. Its always requested and never gets tiring!"

    bleubrd User ID: 8765745 264440
    Reviewed Apr. 7, 2017

    "I have made this recipe for over 30 years and has always been a family and friend favorite. Years ago I changed to 1/2 strawberry and 1/2 raspberry gelatin and fruit and I got even better raves"

    sday6041 User ID: 8484198 261822
    Reviewed Feb. 26, 2017

    "this is so good, I made it as sugar free as was possible and it turned better than I ever thought. My family is starting to think I went back to school to learn how to cook."

    peachynonni User ID: 4215913 260737
    Reviewed Feb. 3, 2017

    "I made this dessert for my husband and he wasn't that fond of it and called it , "Just okay." Too much trouble for just an okay dessert."

    peachynonni User ID: 4215913 260736
    Reviewed Feb. 3, 2017

    "I made this for my husband. He liked it but didn't think that much of it. He said it was just okay. Too much trouble for an okay dessert"

    Amy User ID: 9048947 260652
    Reviewed Feb. 1, 2017

    "I have made this for over 20 yrs. it's a gotta have at every holiday. I use 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, that I mix the sugar into with an electric mixer. I then fold in with a spatula 1-1/2 containers of cool whip. Spread all the way to edges. I refrigerate while I make the jello layer. I only use 1 16 oz bag of unsweetened strawberries, no juice. I stir in cutting them into halves or quarters until jello thickens. I then pour over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate. A family favorite that with these tips, I hope you enjoy a more consistent result."

    Nancy5252 User ID: 7193424 256929
    Reviewed Nov. 18, 2016 Edited Dec. 1, 2016

    "Been making this for years! Everyone loves it. A friend at work made it with raspberry jello and used the frozen mixed berries. That is my new favorite!"

    hughesbambi User ID: 2603719 254799
    Reviewed Sep. 29, 2016

    "This is a really good recipe. I made it exactly as given with the addition of one teaspoon of vanilla to the cream cheese layer. I might use two teaspoons next time. I used an 11" x 8.5" pan because my 9 x 13 inch pan had something in it. Everything fit but the gelatin layer, had enough extra for four ramekins of strawberry Jell-O. Changes I would make next time: add a full cup of butter to the pretzels, add a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin to the Jell-O to make it firmer (I was worried it might melt in transit), it didn't. The ladies at church told me I could bring this again, anytime!"

    dunnk46 User ID: 4718129 253448
    Reviewed Aug. 31, 2016

    "Great dessert"

    ladyraine User ID: 2109005 253322
    Reviewed Aug. 29, 2016

    "We use this for a senior party we have each month. They love it!"

    LindaS_WI User ID: 7202558 252763
    Reviewed Aug. 16, 2016

    "I've been making this for about 10 years now and it's always been a winner. I think the people that are saying the cream layer is too thin are beating the mixture too much. I just fold my ingredients together and it stays nice and fluffy and is plenty to cover a 13x9 pan. I've also had an issue with the jello mixture leaking through to the pretzel layer but I know each time it happened, I didn't make sure the cream layer went all the way to the edges. That is important. But if it does leak through, it's still pretty darn tasty."

    TARHEEL304 User ID: 5108462 250068
    Reviewed Jul. 4, 2016

    "This is a delicious dessert! Made recipe as is and the jello strawberry layer did not set and was soupy. It was suggested next time, to layer fresh sliced strawberries on top of cool whip layer and then once the jello mix has sighty set to carefully pour over strawberries. If you make the recipe "as is" I would suggest using a packet or two of the Knox gelatin or draining some of the syrup from the strawberries. No one complained about the taste or it being soupy so it was a win regardless. Next time I'll read the other reviews before jumping in"

    sweetpeamrsc User ID: 8774979 248941
    Reviewed Jun. 1, 2016

    "This is definitely a make again! My family and I loved it. Made exactly as directed and turned out perfect. Everyone was disappointed when it was gone."

    mjvig3 User ID: 8870734 248732
    Reviewed May. 28, 2016

    "I've enjoyed this dessert before, and wanted to try to make it myself. I think the numbers here are a bit off. As recommended in the comments, I used a larger dish. There is a problem with the amount of pretzels used. The cream cheese layer is delicious and super sweet and very, very thin (and would be just very thin in the smaller pan.) It would also make a good dip for fresh berries. Speaking of berries, 32 ounces of frozen strawberries??? I think that might be a mistake too. I'm not pleased with this outcome, and hope I have time to shop and redo it before the picnic tomorrow."

    rivera1544 User ID: 2381359 248688
    Reviewed May. 27, 2016

    "Favorite in our household

    I use the 11x7"

    Toboggan User ID: 8813540 248667
    Reviewed May. 26, 2016

    "I have made this recipe for over 25 years. I make it upside down. I was tired of soggy pretzels on the bottom if the Cool Whip layer was not sealed precisely. I also liked to take this to school pot lucks in a disposable pan (the sides of the aluminum pan are never smooth) .I put the jello/strawberry combo in the bottom of the pan and let that set up firm. Then I spread the Cool Whip layer. I put the pretzels on right before serving to ensure they stay crunchy. If you want, you can leave the pretzels on the side in case someone does not like pretzels."

    Janadele User ID: 7087902 248544
    Reviewed May. 23, 2016


    MaryXmas15 User ID: 8619392 247880
    Reviewed May. 5, 2016

    "This is a family favorite. I find the saltiest pretzels to use because the sweet/salty is such a great combination."

    cooks a lot User ID: 4196230 246169
    Reviewed Mar. 28, 2016

    "One of my favorite dishes that I feel is always good. I took the suggestions of using a smaller dish and put it in 11 x 9 dish (one reason, was because I used my bigger dishes for other things). It was full! I ended up spilling the jello on the way to the fridge (partly because I don't think it was set enough before hand). I used fresh strawberries instead of frozen. I suggest making sure you leave ample time between steps so layers have time to set."

    homemaker27 User ID: 6063773 245299
    Reviewed Mar. 12, 2016

    "I make this recipe out of a local recipe book that uses raspberries instead of strawberries. I'm hungry for strawberries so gonna use them instead (making this for our family lunch tomorrow). I always double the pretzels because that's the best part. But I don't double the butter. This recipe is AWESOME!"

    angela32 User ID: 3084463 243692
    Reviewed Feb. 12, 2016


    sara_bear User ID: 2516658 242217
    Reviewed Jan. 21, 2016

    "Best desert ever! I used fresh strawberries and it tasted amazing. Ever time I make it it's gone in minutes. It's always a request for any gathering I go to."

    PageRD User ID: 5881442 240844
    Reviewed Jan. 2, 2016

    "This dish is a tradition for every one of our family gatherings. It is one of the most requested dishes. We don't wait for dessert; we serve it as a part of the meal! The combination of sweet and salty is perfect."

    lbsfromNC User ID: 103121 240639
    Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

    "Made this for Christmas dinner. So good after a heavy meal!"

    Karen Mackley User ID: 5517406 239959
    Reviewed Dec. 22, 2015

    "I would use an 11 x 7 dish for this recipe - and I cut the Pretzels to about 1 1/2 cups -- otherwise it's too much crunch."

    best of home cooks User ID: 5361390 239878
    Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

    "Great recipe and taste great. Love the salty and sweet. The only reason why I gave 3 stars was trying to cut through the sliced strawberries was a problem. Maybe next time I'll cut the berries in slivers. Will try again."

    bunnlady User ID: 8632907 237929
    Reviewed Nov. 23, 2015

    "If you do not thaw the berries, it helps the gelatin set up better and it won't be runny. My family prefers this made with raspberries. I add some fresh berries along with the frozen and also use unsweetened berries. Doing it this way, we never have a runny gelatin problem or have the dessert separate."

    MaryJeanNielsen User ID: 3804843 237912
    Reviewed Nov. 22, 2015

    "I love this recipe. I have been making it for years. The only thing I do different is I add a can of drained crushed pineapple to the cream cheese layer. So yummy!!!!!"

    dskier User ID: 8505177 232503
    Reviewed Sep. 8, 2015

    "This recipe was very delicious except....the jello ran down the sides of the filling and sogitized (made soggy) the pretzel crust. I think next time, I'll skip the gelatin and use a cooked concoction of berries and cornstarch. And yes, the 9x13 dish is too large in my opinion."

    David12846 User ID: 3290236 232361
    Reviewed Sep. 5, 2015

    "I make this several times a year and love it. I always make this when I go to pot-luck dinners. Unfortunately for me I take home an empty pan; no left overs.

    I have one problem with it. Whenever I make it, and I follow the directions exactly, the jello always slides off the filling on people's plates. What can I do so it stays together on someone's plate? It doesn't bother me but it has bothered those around me."

    cookiebaker92 User ID: 7637138 232140
    Reviewed Sep. 1, 2015

    "We have made this for years. Love it with raspberry gelatin and tangy raspberries as well."

    Not_Spacy User ID: 6034953 230649
    Reviewed Aug. 3, 2015

    "Love the salty and sweet together."

    justlikebrianwilsondid User ID: 8461220 230190
    Reviewed Jul. 26, 2015

    "The recipe list would probably be better suited for a 9x9 pan. With the ingredients on this list, I got a very thin filling layer that took work to spread without pulling up the pretzels after they were baked."

    joanvenet User ID: 8182460 229461
    Reviewed Jul. 12, 2015

    "The whole house loved it. Two even picked it for next birthday cake"

    pixierose2015 User ID: 8403965 227532
    Reviewed Jun. 6, 2015

    "my husband just loves this.... i even tried it with blueberries and raspberries... yummy"

    AdrianneKathleen User ID: 7810435 226469
    Reviewed May. 17, 2015

    "My husband raved about this dessert! easy and delicious; going to make it again very soon!"

    Ulifleur User ID: 7720441 225892
    Reviewed May. 4, 2015

    "love it, been looking for this one for a long time. Tasted it several years ago at a gathering, but didn't know what it was called. Thanks for posting it!"

    rllewis7 User ID: 7124309 223403
    Reviewed Mar. 23, 2015

    "The sweetness of the cream cheese mixture and strawberries is a nice contrast to the saltiness and crunch of the pretzels. I've made this recipe as a side dish, snack, and dessert!"

    bargeronmt User ID: 612562 222751
    Reviewed Mar. 14, 2015

    "This is a great recipe, been making it for years. I switch off by using raspberries in place of the strawberries. Equally as good either way. Of course change the jello to raspberry as well."

    Marykauhi User ID: 6011692 41785
    Reviewed Nov. 22, 2014

    "Really love the taste! I used sugar free jello, Stevia as sugar substitute, fresh sliced strawberries, and low fat dairy. My only complaint was that the pretzel crust was so crumbly. I did put pretzels in the blender. Any suggestions how to get a more compact crust that sticks together?"

    Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 12626
    Reviewed Nov. 15, 2014

    "Great recipe. I have been making it for years. You can make it with Splenda in place of sugar and use sugar free jello. This recipe is a must for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners."

    DebKSnider User ID: 7710677 42527
    Reviewed Nov. 12, 2014

    "Really good!"

    crystal24 User ID: 2396269 37911
    Reviewed Jul. 9, 2014

    "Summertime at its best! My elderly neighbor I grew up beside gave me this recipe years ago. The only thing I do differently is use fresh strawberries. YUM!"

    buttermilk maid User ID: 2350303 42526
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2014

    "A family favorite. Made it for Christmas and hoped for left overs.......there were none!! Good any time of year for any occasion."

    amberjcarothers User ID: 4822390 12625
    Reviewed Jun. 22, 2013

    "Very Good :o)

    Perfect combo of sweet & salty
    I would reccomend putting the pretzels in a blender or food processor and "pulsing" them a few times it is quicker and easier than putting them in a bag and pounding them ! Also I used fresh strawberries ... YUM"

    amberjcarothers User ID: 4822390 41783
    Reviewed Jun. 22, 2013

    "Perfect combo of sweet & salty ...

    so good :o)
    I used fresh strawberries instead of frozen."

    cookinama User ID: 5947968 17269
    Reviewed Apr. 16, 2013

    "This is one of our favorite recipes. I always make it for Easter and this year my 6 year granddaughter went crazy for it! Love it everyone should try it !"

    pulleys User ID: 7061186 18273
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2013

    "It was soooo good!! The differant flavors hitting my taste buds, was awesome. Love it!!"

    Karen.Buske User ID: 6777614 40607
    Reviewed Aug. 18, 2012

    "My grandmother gave me this recipe about 35 years ago, only she named it "Pretzel salad", why? I don't know. I like the name of this recipe. The only difference in recipes is I use powder sugar where your's calls out sugar. I love, love, love this recipe. It's usually at the holidays that I make it. But you can make it every week if you want, it's that good."

    stayceleigh User ID: 3366111 37910
    Reviewed Jul. 16, 2011

    "I use dole frozen sliced strawberries, without the syrup..still tastes amazing! I make this for EVERYTHING!"

    ajkoch User ID: 6001834 41774
    Reviewed Jun. 17, 2011

    "Sooo good! Perfect blend of flavors! Everyone loves it! Make sure to crush pretzels very well."

    swagner User ID: 2202984 42523
    Reviewed Apr. 20, 2011

    "This is a family favorite!"

    aguanella User ID: 3647095 14258
    Reviewed Apr. 16, 2010 Edited May. 31, 2016

    "Great recipe, it was a hit at our Easter party."

    sgates20 User ID: 3414587 35719
    Reviewed Dec. 27, 2009

    "So good and very easy to make!"

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