Jello Pretzel Salad

This Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a family favorite for bbqs and potlucks. A buttery pretzel crust topped with a cream cheese and jello layer. 
Strawberry Pretzel Salad - a family favorite for bbqs and potlucks. A buttery pretzel crust topped with a cream cheese and jello layer.

Confession #1: John usually makes this. I have only made it myself a handful of times. For some reason simple things like making Jello are a challenge for me.
Confession #2: John and I finished half of this by ourselves last night.

Thanks to my old roomie Lisa for another winner. It sounds weird but the combination of the salty pretzels with the sweet Jello and cream cheese is so good!

5 from 1 vote
Strawberry Pretzel Salad - a family favorite for bbqs and potlucks. A buttery pretzel crust topped with a cream cheese and jello layer.
Jello Pretzel Salad
  • 2 cups pretzels (crushed fine)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter , melted
  • 1 (6 oz) pkg strawberry jello
  • 1 10 oz . pkg. frozen strawberries or small container (16 oz) sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 ( 8 oz ) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cool whip , thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Combine pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter and press into prepared pan for 10 minutes.
  3. Prepare jello according to directions and add the strawberries right before chilling. Refrigerate until partially set. *If it is not set enough it will leak through your cream cheese layer and make your pretzels soggy.
  4. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Spread over cooled crust make sure you spread completely to the edges to create a seal so your jello doesn't leak through. Pour jello over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate.
Recipe Notes
Source: Lisa Poulsen

Speak Your Mind



  1. I have to say this sounds very strange but the picture looks delicious!! I will try it. Also, do you have the recipe for that buffalo chicken dip? I seriously loved it when John made it for the super bowl.

  2. i’m guilty of really liking jello! this looks delicious

  3. What a classic! Haven’t had this in ages. Pretty sure we used Cool Whip for the middle layer instead of cream cheese, though.

  4. My family makes this every year at Thanksgiving and I think its my favorite dish. It is sooo good. We usually make it with the frozen strawberries and a can of crushed pineapple. It is the best combination ever. The sickly sweet jello and the salty buttery pretzels! I love it!

  5. This is one of my favorite desserts. The salty with the cream cheese is awesome.

  6. I used to have this in college all the time but since I didn’t have a name for it haven’t been able to find a recipe. Thanks so much for posting this! I look forward to making it and reliving some good memories. 🙂

  7. This is the best dessert in the world. When i was younger i used to ask my mom to make it for every holiday! LOVE IT!!

  8. I made this last weekend and my family was in AWE! The pretzel layer needed to be crushed a little more I think ’cause it didn’t hold together real well, but we made it work. Next time we’re trying it with cherries! Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful recipes.

  9. This is my favorite summer dessert! The recipe I’ve always used has 3T sugar in the crust instead of the brown sugar..I’ll have to try it your way now too! Also, I don’t prepare the jello according to the box directions, I just add the 2 cups boiling water (not the extra 2 C cold). Thanks for sharing such a yummy treat!

  10. This is definitely a family favorite. It’s requested as birthday treats every year.

    We use frozen fruit in the jello layer and count that as the cold water. If you push the cream cheese layer all the way to the edges to make a seal and then refrigerate to let that set and then pour the jello on, it won’t leak. I did that once and it was quite a disaster…but still edible.

  11. @Sarah,
    I definitely need to add the sealing part to the notes. It’s a must if you don’t want a soggy layer on the bottom.

  12. I haven’t had this in years! I’m so excited to try to make it myself. (But, I’m more excited to eat it!!)

  13. I’m not much of a jello person-but the salty/sweet combination sucked me in! After reading the comments I used frozen strawberries and then opted not to add the cold water to the jello (as per jello instructions) and it worked out fabulously! This was a huge hit and I will definitely make it again. The sealing thing is a big must too. Also Christy-when I hit the “printable version” of this recipe it left off the sugar and cool whip from the ingredient list. Not sure if it was just me! Anyway-I figured it out and was able to jot it down. Point of story=deliciosness.

  14. What a fantastic recipe! I just wanted to let you know that I loved your post and I shared a link to your blog on my Notepad feature that will be posted tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Looks great, but how is this a salad?

  17. @Elise, you are right. No clue why this is called a salad but it’s had that name for over ten years so that is how we know it.

  18. My family started making this with strawberry pie glaze mixed with fresh strawberries as the top layer instead of the jello because my mother and I are not jello fans, and it is everyone’s absolute favorite dessert!

  19. Can this be made with raspberries and raspberry jello? My husband is allergic to strawberries. Thanks!

  20. @Gynnej,
    You can absolutely use raspberry for both. It tastes fantastic!

  21. We recently featured this recipe in our weekly food trend post. You can check it out here –

  22. If I might make a suggestion, I would recommend using confectioner’s sugar, or rather specify it. Despite having made a millions batches of buttercream icing and the like, I didn’t even think and used regular granulated sugar. While the salad was WONDERFUL, the consistency of the white layer was a little gritty. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Not strange at all. I live in PA and around here the salty sweet combo is a must. It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thing 🙂

  24. This looked amazing and I was really excited to make it! Got all the stuff and mine did not turn out like the picture! I think you need a smaller pan or mor jello! :0(

  25. Наш сайт по недвижимости предлагает свои услуги по продаже квартир. С нашей помощью Вы сможете подобрать дом и для аренды на длительный срок, и для посуточной аренды. У нас: дома любых ценовых категорий. Здесь Вы найдете и квартиры эконом класса, и дорогостоящие апартаменты. Также Вы можете выбрать подходящую Вам квартиру для почасовой аренды.Если Вы нуждаетесь в аренде квартиры посуточно, то наш сайт всегда готов прийти к Вам на помощь. Быстро, комфортно и надёжно – у нас. Заходите на сайт ves.Lviv.Ua.
    апартаменти в Празі

  26. Have made this for years and LOVE it. A real treat and different from other jello “creations”. Not a salad, not really a dessert but it disappears very quickly at any function I ever take it to. Thanks for sharing this with us so that others can enjoy it too.

  27. I just was checking out your recipe to see if it was different than mine. You use brown sugar instead of white and only 1 pkg of cream cheese. I’ll have to try it this way sometime. I make this alot and not only use strawberries I’ve used cherries, blueberries, peaches, apricot. You just change the jello to go with the fruit. This can be used as a dessert too. Great anyway you eat it.

  28. I make this all the time. My original recipe calls for letting the jello get to the soft set stage before spreading it over the cream cheese layer , therefore you won’t have the problem of soggy pretzel layer.

  29. What is “instant” jello?

  30. In response to the “refrigerate ]jello] until partially set,” the easiest way to prevent the jello from leaking down into the pretzel layer is to simply make sure the cream cheese layer is spread all the way out to the edges of the pan, creating a water-tight seal. This way, you don’t need to refrigerate the jello. Just pour it on and pop that baby in the fridge. With this, I have never had any trouble with the jello leaking through.

  31. This dessert has been a family favorite for many years! It tastes like strawberry cheesecake on a pecan crust – seriously, you can’t get much better than this!!!

  32. I love this recipe, but it is toooooo much for one person. I would love for someone to cut the recipe to fit a 8×8 pan. I think I could handle that.

  33. Adrienne Sheppard says:

    my family has been fighting over this dessert for over 20 years since my aunt first made it. OMG its delicious and we still can’t get enough of it. Just a few tips, use unsalted pretzels and regular sugar for the crust and make sure that the cream cheese and cool whip are mixed very smoothly other wise it can get lumpy, which has happened to my cousin before.

  34. I bet if you added som choppe pecans into the crushed pretzel mixture it would be even a little bit better!

  35. Scott Northup says:

    I sub a can of crushed pineapple for the jello and strawberries, it’s good that way too.

  36. I’m preparing to make this delicious looking creation but I have one I need 2 1/2 cups of crushed or uncrushed pretzels? TIA!

  37. I have loved this salad since I was a small girl and one of my aunt’s brought it to a family gathering. I make it now and again and thought I’d just tell the world my variations…
    I don’t like to use cool-whip (not trying to be a snob, just prefer REAL whipped cream), so I whip up from a cup of whipping cream then fold that into the cream cheese. It’s an extra step so if you like quicker and easier…just skip that.
    I also LOVE blueberries, so instead of strawberries, I have made it with frozen blueberries. I DON’T love blueberry Jell-O, which is really hard to find anyway. However, black cherry flavored Jell-O is amazing and it’s really good with the blueberries… so if you want to change things up… it’s really good.

  38. This is the same recipe I have used a million times….but I sprayed the pan this time (never have before) per this recipe and it ruined the dessert!! The cream layer didn’t seal to the sides and it allowed the jello to seep below the pretzel layer! I have literally made it dozens upon dozens of times and this is the only step I changed!! I advise you to NOT spray the pan!

  39. This strawberry pretzel salad is absolutely delish. I did double the cream cheese and the cool whip. This made is more delish than ever.

  40. I’ve been experimenting with variations of this recipe ~ my son loves it made with orange jello, mandarin oranges and pineapple. I want to add coconut to the cream cheese layer of that one next time. Just recently I made this with lemon jello, to which I added pineapple and some shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix ~ reminded me of that retro sunshine salad. Bright and delish 🙂 It is always hard to get out of the pan, I think because the sugar crystallizes?, but so worth the effort!

  41. Note sure what partially set meant, time wise? The box of Jello said chill for 4 hours till firm. So I did 2 hours and it worked. This may help some folks that may have had the same question?
    Tallahassee, Fl.