Grandma’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad has a salty, crunchy pretzel crust with a homemade whipped cream and cream cheese layer and strawberry jello. It is so easy to make and oh so heavenly.
This is unlike any salad you’ve ever had. We struggle to even call it salad, but I guess we’re going with it. If we call it salad, that means it’s healthy, right? In our home, everything can be healthy and nothing is off limits! Even desserts that we pretend are a salad. This is great to bring to a party, or just a fun, after dinner dessert to surprise your family. It’s always a hit, because whipped cream, cream cheese, and jello are just a delightful combination. Add in that salty, pretzel crunch and we are in heaven. You’re going to love this dessert…er, we mean salad. Promise.
You can use either frozen or fresh strawberries in this recipe. In the middle of summer when they are in abundance, we love to use fresh strawberries. The rest of the year, we stick with frozen. If you opt for fresh, be sure to let your jello mixture cool before incorporating them.
Fruit Options in Grandma’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad:
You really don’t have to stick with strawberries in this recipe. Prefer raspberries? Go for it! Peaches would be equally amazing. Feel free to experiment with other substitutes, or even add more in addition to the strawberries.
Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Layer:
You absolutely need to make sure you have spread this layer thick across the entire crust, without any holes or missing gaps. Trust us, you do not want a soggy pretzel crust because jello fell through to the bottom.
Whipped Cream Substitute:
We love this dessert with a from-scratch whipped cream, however, we know you all love choices. If you like, you can substitute the cream, sugar, and vanilla with an 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip.
We think nothing is better than this pretzel crust, but if you prefer, you can substitute crushed pretzels with crushed graham crackers to make a graham cracker crust.
Make sure to pour that jello mixture gently over the creamy layer to avoid creating indents and holes in that creamy layer.
Make Ahead Instructions:
You can easily make this dish up to 24 hours ahead of time. It keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. Do not freeze.
Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious dessert recipes:
Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Grandmas Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 cups pretzels crushed
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided
- 2 cups water boiling
- 2 small packages instant strawberry jello
- 20 ounces frozen strawberries sliced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, finely chop up 2 cups of pretzels.
- In a bowl, combine chopped pretzels, melted butter, and sugar. Mix all together until well combined.
- Press into a 9×13 oven-safe dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes until it has become a touch more golden.
- Cool completely.
- Beat together whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, mix together softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Mix together half of the whipped cream mixture and all of the cream cheese mixture.
- Spread carefully across the cooled pretzel crust, ensuring that all of the edges are sealed and there are no voids or holes.
- In a saucepan, boil 2 cups of water. Remove from heat.
- Immediately add strawberry jello powder to boiling water. Stir until all is dissolved.
- Pour 20 ounces of sliced frozen strawberries into the gelatin mixture. Stir briefly.
- Carefully pour or spoon the strawberry jello mixture onto the cream layer, spreading it evenly across.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, top with the other half of the whipped cream topping.