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May 10 / Jane

Pretzel Salad

So, Pretzel Salad isn’t really anything like it sounds: it’s not a salad made with pretzels. It’s actually a dessert featuring gelatin and cream cheese. Yum! My co-worker, Diana, introduced me to this dessert recently and provided me with a copy of the recipe. This was something I knew my family would love! I was in Shop Rite a couple weeks later when everything I needed to make Pretzel Salad was coincidentally on sale, seriously, Cool Whip was 99cents, cream cheese 2/$3, fresh strawberries $1.99, gelatin 3/$2… So I quick Google’ed the recipe on my phone and made sure I had everything. I decided to make it for Easter dessert at my parents house, and although I tweaked the recipes a little (the one from Diana and Paula Dean’s I found online were a little different), and didn’t even follow directions at all at one point (not on purpose, oops!), my dessert got rave reviews. Hope you will have the same reaction. This seriously is an amazing dessert!

2 c crushed pretzels
3/4 c softened butter
3 T & 3/4 c sugar
8 oz (1 pkg) cream cheese
8 oz (1 pkg) whipped topping
6 oz (2 3 oz pkgs) strawberry gelatin
10 oz (1 pkg) fresh or frozen strawberries*
2 c boiling water
extra fresh strawberries and/or whipped topping for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the Pretzel Crust:
1. Mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar.
2. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7-10 minutes, until crisp.
3. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

For the “Salad:”
1. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar.
2. Fold in the whipped topping.
3. Spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
4. In another bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water. *If you’re using fresh strawberries, add about 10 ice cubes to the mixture. Then allow to cool slightly (10-15min in the fridge).
5. Add the strawberries, and let set for approx. 5min. Mixture should be cool but not set, chunky when mixed is okay.
6. Pour gelatin over the cream cheese mixture. (At this time I had extra slices of strawberries cut, so I covered the top with them for garnish.) Refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, cut slices and serve with whipped topping.

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