This nostalgic recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a creamy, fruity, and crunchy Southern classic. What is Strawberry Pretzel Salad, you might ask? Well, it’s not a salad at all, it’s what we call an Iconic Southern Dessert that reminds folks of a Jello-like Cheesecake, with a sweet, yet salty crust, made with hard pretzels, sugar, unsalted butter, topped with juicy ripe sliced strawberries, strawberry Jello, and a big dollop of homemade whipped cream to serve.

For many Southern households, this fantastic dessert has been a tradition at potlucks, barbecues, bridal showers, church luncheons, and Southern holiday tables throughout the year. The first recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Salad is said to have originated in a 1960s cookbook, called “The Joys of Jell-O™” From there, Strawberry Pretzel Salad took off like a well-oiled machine and became an iconic southern tradition.


Strawberry Pretzel SaladI always chuckle to myself when I read blog posts concerning this Jello dessert, either you read that non-Southerners love it and were pleasantly surprised or they don’t. Plain and straightforward Y’all, straight to the point. I have read rave reviews, and then I have learned that they more or less thought it was a white trash dessert from below the depths of the earth. Bless their little hearts, and they know no better.

I usually also look at the recipe and sometimes and think, well damn, no wonder they were disappointed with the results. Cool Whip? Off Brand gelatin? Frozen strawberries? Margarine? Oh, no, Ma’me, that isn’t how we do things down here in the South. No wonder that their Strawberry Pretzel Salad came out looking and feeling so darn sad and depressing. I know some of you love your frozen Cool Whip topping, but just come to the dark side and try making homemade once, I swear it’s easy peasy to make.




Strawberry Pretzel SaladThis yummy Southern Concoction requires Southern love, juicy fresh organic sliced strawberries, brand name Strawberry Jello, quality cream cheese, homemade whipped-topping, unsalted butter, and only super salty, crunchy pretzels will do when making a proper batch of Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Trust me; these small changes will make all the difference in the world when making this timeless dessert.




Ingredients needed to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

  • Finely crushed pretzel sticks
  • Unsalted butter, melted
  • Light brown sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Strawberry Jello
  • Boiling water
  • Ice water
  • Fresh strawberries





Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Heidy McCallum
For many Southern households, this amazing dessert has been a tradition at potlucks, barbecues, bridal showers, church luncheons, and Southern holiday tables all throughout the year.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Servings 10 people
Calories 677 kcal


  • 2 cups Crushed pretzels
  • ¾ cup Unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Brown sugar
  • 12 ounces Cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Sugar + 1/4 cup reserved
  • 2 cups Heavy cream
  • 12 ounces Strawberry Jello gelatin
  • 2 cups Boiling water
  • 2 cups Ice water
  • 1 quart Fresh ripe strawberries, sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a glass bowl combine together the crushed pretzels, unsalted melted butter, and brown sugar. Press the pretzel mixture onto the bottom of a large glass baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a heat-resistant surface to cool completely.
  • Using a handheld electric mixer whip together softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, and 2/3 cup sugar. Reserve till needed in a glass bowl. 
  • Next using a handheld electric mixer whip together 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 cups heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold ONLY 1/2 of the homemade whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and spread on the cooled pretzel crust. Refrigerate for about 40 minutes. Store the other half of the homemade whipped topping for later use.
  • Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, then add 2 (6-ounce) packages of strawberry Jello, stirring continuously until fully dissolved. Allow the Jello mixture to cool for 5 minutes, then stir in cold ice water. 
  • Arrange the sliced fresh strawberries over the cream cheese mixture evenly.
  • At this time slowly pour the Strawberry Jello over the cold strawberries and cream cheese mixture. Place in the refrigerator for 2 plus hours or more to firmly set before serving.
  • Before serving, add a dollop of reserved homemade whipped topping to the top of each slice.


Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and how ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information.


Serving: 01Calories: 677kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 8gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 497mgPotassium: 262mgFiber: 2gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 1593IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Jello, Jello Salad, Strawberries
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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  1. 5 stars
    I love learning about these traditional desserts. I’ve never even heard of them since I am not from the south, but I would try it before knocking it! And my guess it I would probably like it since I like sweet and savory combos.

  2. 5 stars
    Love the gorge look of this salad. Plus the combination of sweet and salty sounds crazy delicious. Pinning to try later.

    1. Hello there, glad you love it as much as we do. How do you make yours? I noticed a recipe by I believe Paula Dean, that used pineapple in it too…I might have to try it ours next time. Have you seen that one?

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh THANK YOU for reminding me about this strawberry salad. I think my dad would like this for father’s day. It is amazing!

  4. 5 stars
    I love how you used homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries instead of that chemical shit storm topping. Definitely going to try it.

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