Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

The beauty of Strawberry Pretzel Salad lies in its delightful layers. The base is a crunchy pretzel crust mixed with chopped pecans and a hint of sugar, providing a perfect salty counterpoint to the sweetness of the rest of the dish. Next comes a creamy layer made from whipped topping and cream cheese, light and fluffy, offering a melt-in-your-mouth texture that contrasts beautifully with the crunchy crust. Finally, fresh strawberries are arranged on top, their juicy sweetness enhanced by a layer of strawberry jello, which holds everything together and adds a delightful jiggle to each slice.

One of the things I love most about this recipe is its versatility. While the classic version with strawberries is always a hit, I’ve experimented with different fruits and jello flavors. Raspberries and raspberry jello create a tart twist, while peaches with peach jello offer a mellow, summery flavor. You can even mix in blueberries for a patriotic dessert perfect for Fourth of July celebrations!

Every time I make this dessert, it brings back fond memories and creates new ones. It’s more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of family, tradition, and the joy of sharing good food with loved ones. So, whether you’re making it for a potluck, a holiday gathering, or just because, this Strawberry Pretzel Salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Making the Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries (hulled and sliced thin)
  • 8 ounces whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
  • 2 cups crushed pretzel pieces (any shape)
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 6 ounces strawberry jello mix
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (+ 1 tb, divided)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set it aside. Dissolve the strawberry jello mix in 2 cups of boiling water, then let it cool to room temperature.

Crush the pretzels to measure 2 cups and chop the pecans. In the baking dish, mix the crushed pretzels, chopped pecans, and ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar. Pour the melted butter over the mixture, toss to coat, and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the remaining ½ cup of sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the whipped topping until smooth. Set this mixture aside.

Hull and slice the strawberries, setting aside one-third of the slices to finely dice. Mix all the strawberries together.

Once the pretzel crust has cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over it. Arrange the sliced and diced strawberries on top of the cream layer.

Pour the cooled jello mixture over the strawberry layer, using about three-quarters of the jello to coat the berries without causing them to float.

Refrigerate until the jello is set, usually 2-3 hours. Cut into slices and serve cold.

Making the Strawberry Pretzel Salad

FAQs:

What is the best way to crush pretzels for the Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

The best way to crush pretzels for this recipe is to place them in a resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces. This ensures an even texture, which helps create a firm crust. Alternatively, you can use a food processor, but be careful not to over-process and turn them into crumbs.

Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones in this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen strawberries if fresh ones are not available. However, make sure to thaw and drain them thoroughly before adding to the recipe. This will prevent excess moisture from affecting the texture and flavor of the salad.

How do I prevent the pretzel crust from becoming soggy?

To prevent the pretzel crust from becoming soggy, ensure that it is baked until golden and crispy, and allow it to cool completely before adding the cream cheese layer. Additionally, spreading the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust acts as a barrier to keep the jello and strawberries from soaking into the crust.

Is there a way to make this dessert in advance?

Yes, Strawberry Pretzel Salad can be made a day in advance. Prepare all the layers and refrigerate until the jello is set. This dessert actually benefits from sitting in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, as it allows the flavors to meld together.

Can I substitute the whipped topping with homemade whipped cream?

Yes, you can substitute the whipped topping with homemade whipped cream. To make it, whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Use this in place of the store-bought whipped topping for a fresher taste.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Discover the magic of Strawberry Pretzel Salad, a layered treat with pretzels, cream cheese, and fresh strawberries.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chill 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
...

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces whipped topping like Cool Whip
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries hulled and sliced thin
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar + 1 tb, divided
  • 6 ounces strawberry jello mix
  • 2 cups crushed pretzel pieces any shape
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup melted butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside. Dissolve the strawberry jello mix in 2 cups of boiling water, then let it cool to room temperature.
  • Crush the pretzels to fill 2 cups, and chop the pecans. In the baking dish, combine the crushed pretzels, chopped pecans, and ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar. Pour the melted butter over the mixture, toss to coat, and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • In a clean mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese with the remaining ½ cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the whipped topping until smooth. Set aside.
  • Hull and slice the strawberries, setting aside one-third of the slices to finely dice. Mix all the strawberries together.
  • Once the pretzel crust has cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over it. Arrange the sliced and diced strawberries on top of the cream layer.
  • Pour the cooled jello mixture over the strawberry layer, using about three-quarters of the jello to coat the berries without them floating.
  • Refrigerate until the jello is set, typically 2-3 hours. Cut into slices and serve cold.
Keyword Strawberry
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