Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Let me start off by saying that I rarely use recipes that come from Kraft Foods, mostly because it seems that almost all of them use the same bottled or prepackaged ingredients, and I really have come to respect and enjoy things that are truly homemade and from scratch. That being said, I LOVE THIS DESSERT. I started eating this sometime in high school when my aunt would bring it to any family gathering that occurred in the summer. I immediately fell in the love with the combination of salty and sweet and would have to restrain myself from eating the whole pan. In all the time that has passed, this is the first time that I have ever made this myself and having leftovers in the house = pure heaven!

The ingredients to this dessert are really simple and this doesn’t take much time to throw together, and can be made a day in advance and left to set in the refrigerator (I actually think it’s better this way). The crust consists of crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter. On top of that sits a combination of whipped cream cheese and sugar, with Cool Whip folded in. And on top of that, a layer of strawberry jello with fresh sliced strawberries floating throughout. The result is a dessert that tastes light and refreshing, and is also something that can be modified to suit individual tastes. Switch up the Jello flavor and berries, or the crumbs that are used as a base. Whatever you do, TRY THIS! It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite summertime desserts.

More fabulous summer desserts:
Strawberry Mirror Cake
Perfect Party Cake
Ambrosia Cupcakes (award-winning!)
Fresh Orange Cream Tart
Apple Hand Pies
Fresh Blueberry Pie
Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
½ cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1½ pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size) Strawberry Jell-O
1½ cups cold water
1 qt. (4 cups) strawberries, sliced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter. Press onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 min. Cool.

2. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Meanwhile, stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1½ hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Stir in strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

(Source: Kraft Foods)

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105 Responses to “Strawberry Pretzel Salad”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Erin on August 27, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    oh.my.gosh! I love this recipe! It reminds me of all the family gatherings back in the day! I miss it so much. I need to make this for sure!

    Reply

  2. Sarah on August 27, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    This is like salty sweet crack! My mom has been making this for years (she got the recipe from a Mennonite cookbook though) and I have been known to eat at least half a pan of it when she makes it and I’m around. I recently tried my hand at it for one of my book club gatherings, and everyone loved it. It’s so easy too!

    Reply

  3. Crafty Baker on August 27, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    This looks great. I’ve got some extra strawberries to use up. I might make this.

    Reply

  4. Ashley on August 27, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I read the title of this post and thought what?? I have to find out more. I used to think it was really strange to combine pretzels with sweet things but now I love it (like a chocolate and caramel covered pretzel mmm). So I can see how this would be delicious. And it looks really good!

    Reply

  5. Annie on August 27, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I’m totally with you on the Kraft recipes, but this one sounds too good not to try! Plus if you rave about it, I know it must be good :)

    Reply

  6. Kate on August 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I usually feel the same way about Kraft as you do – but I also love one of their strawberry desserts. Maybe because it’s hard to mess up strawberries?

    Reply

  7. Annie Jones on August 27, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I have made this with raspberries and raspberry Jell-O. It was amazing!

    Reply

  8. Lindsey on August 28, 2008 at 6:12 am

    I know what you mean about Kraft, but this does looks super light and refreshing for summer. I love the sweet/salty combination…I bet my husband would really enjoy this too!

    Reply

  9. Maria on August 28, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I haven’t had this in years! I love the sweet/salty combo!!

    I made your knock-off oreos!! They were SO good! I posted them on my blog today!! Thanks again! I love your blog!

    Reply

  10. Stephanie on August 28, 2008 at 10:54 am

    This reminds me of growing up! My mom and her friends would make this all the time, especially for summer parties and the fourth of july! It’s so good.

    Reply

  11. grace on August 28, 2008 at 11:15 am

    yeah, this is incredible. sometimes, every once in awhile, companies get recipes using their products right. :)

    Reply

  12. heather on August 28, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    that’s so cute! i would never have thought of it!! pretzels are so delicious!!

    Reply

  13. Tiffany on August 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    this looks beautiful! i saw your post on joythebaker and that you want to be a published author. that’s my dream job too–best of luck!

    Reply

  14. Amber on August 29, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I love these things too, my grandma has a recipe for them. I love the sweet and salty combination along with the creaminess and crunchiness too. Delicious!

    Reply

  15. jenny on August 29, 2008 at 10:08 am

    everyone in my family fights over strawberry pretzel salad on holidays. and i mean, pushing and shoving to get a second piece! we’ve gotten to the point where we need two trays of this (and my family isn’t that big!), so there isn’t any arguing! mmmmm, i might make this when i go home now…

    Reply

  16. Robin on August 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I haven’t used a kraft foods recipe in years, but I think you’ve found a great one. Pretzels and strawberries? How interesting!!

    Reply

  17. Bunny on August 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I’ve never had this dessert, I’ve seen recipes for it and always wanted to make it. I love the sweet and salty thing!! I dip chips in ice cream!! I love the picture, this is the first picture I’ve ever seen of it. This would be great to make for the holiday !

    Reply

  18. Chou on August 31, 2008 at 6:39 am

    You’ve made a recipe developer somewhere in Glenview very very happy.

    Reply

  19. Jaime on August 31, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    i can see how the sweet and salty would be great here! i am ok w/prepackaged food every now and then but I still have trouble eating cool whip, though…now that i know it’s all vegetable oil!

    Reply

  20. JacqueOH on August 31, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    It looks out of this world. mmmmm, very nice!

    Reply

  21. My Sweet & Saucy on September 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

    This does sound amazing! I love the pretzel crust!

    Reply

  22. Caitlin on September 4, 2008 at 5:45 am

    I love this dessert! I live in England and we can’t get Cool Whip here. Do you think it would work without it?

    Reply

    • Jamie on June 5th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      We use sour cream in place of the cool whip… Like the fact that it is less sweet.

      Reply

  23. Chelle on September 4, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Caitlin–

    I think you could absolutely use the same amount of freshly whipped cream. If you do so, I’d love to know how you liked it and how it worked for you!

    Reply

  24. Caitlin on September 5, 2008 at 3:38 am

    I am going to try this – I will definitely let you know. I hate that we don’t get Cool Whip here! Oh well – will have to make fattening fresh whipped cream :)

    Reply

  25. Erin on September 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I am the same way as you, and usually avoid recipes that are from sources like Kraft. Things with a can of soup are the worst example of this type of ‘cooking’. That being said, I’ve had this strawberry dessert before, and agree that it’s freaking delish! Perfect for summer cookouts especially. Yup, now I’m craving some :)

    Reply

  26. jen on September 13, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    This is a great recipe I’ve made it lots of times. It works really well if you buy frozen strawberries and add them to your hot gelatin mixture, they cool it down pretty quick, so you can get to the eating part faster.

    Reply

  27. Deborah Dowd on October 15, 2008 at 6:08 am

    I am old enough to remember the Kraft theater on TV and the commercials always included Kraft recipes. This sounds really delicious and something I could even enjoy on my diet!

    Reply

  28. Michael T. on November 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog and saw this recipe. I haven’t had this dessert since I was a kid and it brought back a lot of great memories. I never comment on blogs but I think I am going to come back to your recipes again and again. Thanks. : )

    Reply

  29. Brandie on February 12, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I just stumbled on this page and I have to say, I love this recipe. I have made it with pineapple juice instead of water and using frozen strawberries. It gives it a stronger strawberry taste and you can’t taste the pineapple at all!

    Reply

  30. Ish on June 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    This is one of my go-to dishes… I have been making this dish for over 10 years… I make it for any family function, party and it is highly requested by friends and family… I don’t dare show up without it!

    My only suggestion is that if bake the pretzel crust for more than requested (10 min), it sticks to the bottom of the pan and is very hard to serve.
    other than that…. yummy!! enjoy!!!

    Reply

  31. michelle on June 24, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I’m going to make this for the 4th of July! Swing by my blog when you get a chance, I left you an award!

    Reply

  32. Michelle on June 25, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Michelle – This is a great picnic dessert, I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think. And thank you for the award! :)

    Reply

  33. Jon on July 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    My Mom makes this stuff whenever I go back to Pittsburgh to visit. I could honestly eat the Strawberry Pretzel Dessert until I literally turned into it. Absolutely amazing.

    Reply

  34. Michelle on July 26, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Jon – May very well be a Pittsburgh thing, as that’s where I’m from!

    Reply

  35. Mathilde's Cuisine on July 28, 2009 at 6:56 am

    I think that just like you, I LOVE THIS DESSERT… I usually don’t bake a lot but I will try this one out soon!

    Reply

    • Jane on June 29th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      I don’t know why every recipe calls for regular sugar with the cream cheese and cool whip mixture. It is much better with confectioners sugar. 1 8oz cream cheese, 1 cup confectioners sugar and a large cool whip. Try this and you’ll see why.

      Reply

  36. Kara on July 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    This is a favorite dessert from my childhood, but I haven’t had it in ages! Time to make it again I’d say.

    Reply

  37. Erika on August 28, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I feel the same way about semi-homemade/prepackaged foods. But some are a guilty pleasure and I have always loved this dish, but haven’t had it in years. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply

  38. Mary on October 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Try this with raspberries, awesome.

    Reply

  39. Tanya on October 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    WOW! I am speechless. These look so good. I love pretzels and I love strawberries. Can’t wait to try these. I’ll have to try it with raspberries too because that does sound pretty good.

    Reply

  40. JT on December 12, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Yum. I’ve had this occasionally through the years. So good. I’m going to do it with blueberries!

    Reply

  41. ivoryhut on June 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I love the sweet-salty combination too, and with the current popularity of salted chocolate and caramels, I think this oldie definitely needs some promotion. Sounds delicious!

    Reply

  42. Jen @ How To: Simplify on June 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Oh. my. goodness. These look delicious! I’ll have to try this recipe!

    Reply

  43. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on June 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    These are so beautiful! And Summery! Love the salt/sweet combo. And your new blog design looks AMAZING!

    Reply

  44. Katie H on June 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    This is definitely an oldie but a goodie! I love this recipe, such a great combo. I may have to make it for 4th of July :) – thanks for the reminder! Love the oldie but goodie idea and love your site, EVERYTHING you make appeals to me. Although I am a first time poster I visit you daily and make your mini italian meatloaves weekly!

    Reply

  45. Michele on June 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I love this recipe..the combination of flavors is unique. There is no other combo like it!! I too have been making it for years. Whenever I take it to work, I always take a few copies of the recipe, because I know several people will ask for it.

    Reply

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  49. Tykisha Pulliam on September 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I just finished making this recipe for the 3rd time in a week. The first two attempts were unsuccessful. I just couldn’t get the crust right. One was too hard and I guess that I didn’t crush the pretzels up fine enough because the other crust wouldn’t come together. I decided to make this recipe again but this time I placed the ingredients into a store-bought shortbread crust. I began with a layer of the pretzel crust, followed by a cream cheese layer, then more pretzels, and finished with the strawberry jello. I think that I may have it this time around (fingers crossed, lol)!

    Reply

  50. Erin R on September 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Just had a fall dinner party last night and did a Chili Bar with all the fixins and to end things off I made this dessert and it was a hit … it was refreshing and wonderful !!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 13th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Erin, your dinner party sounds fabulous! Glad this was the perfect topper!

      Reply

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