I’m letting you in on my party secret, my tried and true strawberry pretzel salad recipe! This make-ahead dessert is the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and when you follow my easy steps below you’ll have an irresistible buttery pretzel crust.

a clear glass baking dish of strawberry pretzel salad surrounded by fresh strawberries, pretzels, and a pink and white striped kitchen towel

This recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Salad is so tasty! 

For me, strawberry pretzel salad is a nostalgic recipe because I grew up eating it. Over the years of becoming a dessert expert myself, I have perfected my own version of this classic recipe and now I’m excited to share it with you!

You might think of strawberry pretzel salad (sometimes known as strawberry delight) as an old-fashioned treat, but trust me when I tell you this recipe is a huge hit at family gatherings, parties, and holiday dinners. 

My mouth waters just thinking about the salty-sweet pretzel crust, topped with a rich cream cheese layer, and then finished off with a sweet strawberry Jell-O topping made with fresh strawberries. Follow my easy recipe below and you’ll understand what the hype is all about!

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a slice of strawberry pretzel salad being lifted with a spatula out of a baking dish full of strawberry pretzel salad

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe Ingredients

This delicious dessert is made with simple ingredients, layered together to create flavor and texture perfection. Get the full measurements and ingredients in the recipe card below.

Crust

  • Pretzels
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar

Filling

  • Cream cheese: Don’t forget to leave time to soften the cream cheese.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Frozen whipped topping: Be sure to leave time to thaw the whipped topping.

Topping

  • Strawberry Jell-O
  • Boiling water
  • Fresh strawberries: For best results, use fresh strawberries. You could also use frozen strawberries if you need to.
two small white plates with slices of strawberry pretzels salad on them, topped with whipped topping, fresh strawberry slices and a pretzel, surrounded by pretzels, fresh strawberries and a pink and white striped kitchen towel and a bowl of pretzels in the background

How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This no-bake dessert salad has three distinct layers that come together to create the perfect dessert. Get the full recipe in the printable recipe card below.

Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Measure 4 cups of pretzels, then place inside a ziploc bag. Crush the pretzels into coarse crumbs with a rolling pin.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar. 
  3. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press this mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely, keeping it in the bottom of the baking dish.

Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Gently fold in the cool whip, using a spatula until well combined. 
  3. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled pretzel crust, ensuring that it reaches the edges of the pan to prevent the strawberry topping from seeping into the crust. Cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator for one hour.

Topping

  1. Slice fresh strawberries and measure out 4 cups. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the jello and boiling water until the jello completely dissolves.
  3. Add the sliced strawberries to the mixture and combine. Spoon the jello mixture directly onto the filling and spread it evenly to create a smooth layer. Pour the remaining jello liquid over the strawberries. 
  4. Cover the pan again and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours. To serve, cut into slices.
a slice of strawberry pretzel salad on a white plate, with a baking dish full of salad in the background, surrounded by fresh strawberries, pretzels and a pink and white striped kitchen towel

Tips for Making Strawberry Pretzel Salad

  • Cool each layer separately. ​It’s important to cool each layer before adding the next layer so you keep those perfectly distinct layers intact.
  • Prevent a soggy crust. To keep the salty pretzel crust from becoming soggy, be sure it is fully covered by the cream cheese mixture. This will keep it away from direct contact with the strawberry jello layer and keep it from getting soggy.
  • Use salted pretzels. The amazing part of this recipe is the salty, sweet, smooth, and crunchy balance. Using salted pretzel for the crunchy pretzel crust is key to adding in the salty element.

How to Serve Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

This is one of my favorite desserts to serve to large crowds. Bonus: it can also pass as a side dish!

Once the salad has chilled for at least 6 hours, it’s ready to be served. Remove it from the refrigerator and garnish the top with fresh sliced strawberries, if desired. You can also add a dollop of whipped cream on each serving for added indulgence. Use a sharp knife to cut the salad into individual portions. Carefully lift each portion and transfer it to a plate or a dessert dish.

Strawberry Jello pretzel salad is best served chilled and consumed within a day or two of preparation for optimal freshness.

a slice of strawberry pretzel salad on a white plate with one bite missing, a fork laying on the plate, surrounded by fresh strawberries and pretzels with a bowl of pretzels in the background

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad Storage

Store strawberry pretzel salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The pretzel layer may start to lose its crunchy texture after a few days, but the flavor will remain the same.

Can you make Strawberry Pretzel Salad ahead of time?

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is actually best when made ahead of time because it needs to chill for at least 6 hours.

How long does strawberry pretzel salad last in the fridge?

Strawberry Pretzel Salad lasts up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator but may start to lose its texture after the first few days.

Old Fashioned Strawberry Pretzel Salad FAQs

What is the origin of strawberry pretzel salad?

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is said to have originated in the 1960s, possibly in a book called The Joys of Jello. The dish gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly through community cookbooks and potluck gatherings.

How many calories are in strawberry pretzel salad?

There are about 260 calories in a slice of Strawberry Pretzel Salad when cut into 20 servings.

More Strawberry Recipes

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Yield: 20
I'm letting you in on my party secret, my tried and true strawberry pretzel salad recipe! This make-ahead dessert is the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and when you follow my easy steps below you'll have an irresistible buttery pretzel crust.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 4 cups pretzels, measured before crushing
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Filling

  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz cool whip, thawed

Topping

  • 6 oz strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Measure 4 cups of pretzels, then place inside a ziploc bag. Crush the pretzels into coarse crumbs with a rolling pin.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar.
  • Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press this mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Filling

  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Gently fold in the cool whip, using a spatula until well combined.
  • Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled crust, ensuring that it reaches the edges of the pan to prevent the strawberry topping from seeping into the crust. Cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator for one hour.

Topping

  • Slice fresh strawberries and measure out 4 cups.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the jello and boiling water until the jello completely dissolves.
  • Add the sliced strawberries to the mixture and combine. Spoon the jello mixture directly onto the filling and spread it evenly to create a smooth layer. Pour the remaining jello liquid over the strawberries.
  • Cover the pan again and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • To serve, cut into slices.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Beth
Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 284mg, Potassium: 110mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 388IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg
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