Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad


The nostalgic recipe your picnic deserves.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 35 mins

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 Jello 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. If you haven't before, it's time to give this potluck favorite a whirl.

Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox


  • 2 cups crushed pretzels

  • 11 Tbsp. + 1/4 cup sugar, divided

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted

  • Vegetable cooking spray

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed (1 container)

  • 6 oz. strawberry gelatin (1 packet)

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 10 oz. frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed (1 package)

  • 16 oz. sour cream (1 container)

  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Combine 2 cups crushed pretzels, 6 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 cup melted butter. Press mixture on bottom of a 13- x 9-inch pan coated with cooking spray. (Mixture will be crumbly.)

  2. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes; cool completely.

  3. Beat softened cream cheese, 5 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla at low speed with an electric mixer until sugar dissolves. Fold in whipped topping; spread over pretzel layer.

  4. Stir together gelatin and 2 cups boiling water until dissolved; add strawberries. Chill 1 hour or until partially set. Spread gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer; chill 8 hours or until set.

  5. Stir together sour cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar; spread over top of strawberry layer; sprinkle with pecans.

    Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad
    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Chef's Notes

Note: Reduce sodium by substituting low-sodium pretzels for regular.

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