If you're like us, this strawberry gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and pretzel creation brings back memories of church potlucks and family reunions. We think of summer days, camping out on a picnic table in a park, and scooping this gelatin salad off of a paper plate with a plastic fork while sitting in a lawn chair. We all know that one person who shows up with a Strawberry-Pretzel Salad in hand – and, it's usually their specialty (we're looking at you, Nana!). A gelatin salad often finds its place on the actual salad table next to the potato salad and macaroni salads, so we wouldn't blame you if you counted this as your daily fruit intake. Some folks even like to serve it up as a side for their holiday dinners.
This nostalgic recipe is a creamy, fruity, and crunchy Southern classic. Although the recipe technically calls for reduced fat ingredients, it holds together beautifully with full-fat sour cream, cream cheese, and whipped topping. Using the full-fat ingredients gives the dish a little more flavor and creaminess. Prepare the dish by first combining the crushed pretzels with butter and melted sugar. Bake this in your casserole dish to ensure that your crust holds together when you add on the cream cheese and whipped topping mixture. Then, add on your strawberry gelatin mixture, complete with thawed whole strawberries. Be sure to let the gelatin sit at least ten minutes, so that the layer has already started to solidify when you add it to the dish. The next layer is a mixture of sugar and sour cream, and the dish is finished with a garnish of pecans. Toasting your pecans in advance will give the topping a beautiful, smoky crunch. If you're not from the South, we know that Strawberry-Pretzel Salad sounds strange – but give this potluck favorite a whirl.