Strawberry pretzel is a unique strawberry dish that is excellent for potlucks and family gatherings. Somehow the term salad got into its name. Neither is anything but a salad, nor does it look like one even remotely. Its best classified as a dessert dish which is a layered dessert.
This dish has a no-bake cheesecake layer. Ideally, you can top it with fruits or any berries of your choice, whipped cream, and Jello. Salad is a complete no! It’s a delicious sweet treat among the several others you can make with strawberries. However, this one takes quite a bit of time compared to other strawberry-based dessert recipes. But with a bit of practice and expert guidance from us, you will be making bakery-level Strawberry Pretzel salads in no time. Everyone in the family enjoys a strawberry pie. However, when it’s time to feed an army, the strawberry pretzel salad is our go-to dessert on our list!
How to Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 15 minutes
- Chill time: 6 hours
- Total time: 6 hours 35 minutes
- Servings: Serves 12
- Course: Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
- Cuisine: American
Pretzel Crust: The crust has to be robust, nutty and should taste like an actual crust. Crunchy and sweet. So these are the ingredients for the base, which is the crust of the dessert.
- Pretzels – 2 cups, crushed
- Butter – ¾th cup melted
- Sugar – 3 tablespoons
- Cool Whip – 8 ounces defrosted
- cream cheese – 8 ounces softened
- sugar – ¾th cup
- fresh strawberries – 4 cups sliced
- Strawberry flavor Jell-O – 6 ounces
- Boiling water – 2 cups
- Set the oven to preheat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Collect 2 cups of pretzels. Ensure they are scorched. Then insert them into a sturdy plastic ziplock bag and use a large rolling pin to crush them. Ensure they are just coarsely ground. Do not pulverize them.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Mix that and then pour in the crushed pretzels. Please give it a nice mix so that the contents combine well together.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 pan. Press the mixture to the bottom of the pan to ensure they are laid out flat. Send this to the oven to bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Once zou bake it, take it out and let it cool to room temperature. The base crust layer is now ready.
- Now we prepare the creamy and irresistible center. Take a large enough bowl, and in that, you can combine the ingredients for the creamy filling we listed above. This is the cream cheese and sugar. Beat them together at medium-high speed using a mixer. The final result must look fluffy and white. Add in all the Cool Whip and blend the mixture well until it’s thoroughly combined. Once it’s done and well combined without any streaks of cream cheese, you are ready to put it over the cooled pretzel crust.
- Add the mixture over the cooled crust. You can use an ice cream scoop to spread it evenly as well. When you spread, make sure you go all the way to the edges of the pan to create a seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, ideally at least 1 hour.
- Now we move on to the strawberries. Rinse them 3 – 4 times in a bowl under running water to get rid of any dirt or dust. Pat them dry with a paper napkin or cloth towel. Then hull them carefully, removing the green leaves along with the white stem. Slice all the strawberries.
- Take a large bowl. Pour all the Jell-O and pour water. Let this boil over medium-high heat until the Jell-O is completely dissolved. Let the boiled mixture cool down completely to room temperature.
- Then put all the strawberry slices in the room temperature Jell-O. The topping is ready. Pour this mixture on top of the creamy layer we made in the pan. Again ensure there are no air gaps and the Jell-O does not leak into the base layer of pretzels.
- Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 – 4 hours or till the Jell-O is entirely and firmly set. You can also leave it overnight.
More strawberry recipes for you:
Tips for Making Perfect Strawberry Pretzel Salad
There are a few essential tips that you must know when you make strawberry pretzel salad. Please note them and follow them every time.
- Unlike other desserts, the strawberry pretzel salad is made in different steps starting with the crust first. As a result, you must also cool them one by one before adding any layers. Like when the crust is ready, send it to the fridge to chill before you can add any more layer to it. This will ensure it does not become soggy and there are no unevenly cooled areas in the dish.
- The crust is by far the most gentle and delicate part of the dish, and it also helps hold the contents together. So you have to be careful with the crust. When you spread the cream cheese layer on the crust, ensure that you do it to the edges. This will also prevent the crust from absorbing more moisture and becoming soggy.
- While using Jell-O with any recipe, you have to ensure that it is completely cooled down. Leave it on the kitchen counter to cool down by itself to room temperature. Only once it is completely cooled down can you pour it onto the dessert and the strawberries. Else it will wilt them.
- Any topping that you add to this dish should be able to hold its own. In other words, it has a firm and stable structure and will not drip. While using a whipped cream can ‘drip,’ causing a mess and spoiling the dish altogether.
That’s it. It’s a straightforward recipe, and I hope you will enjoy this recipe: cheers and happy cooking.