I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I love how, in the South, we give ourselves permission to call all kinds of things salads. This Strawberry Pretzel Salad is obviously not a salad, but as long as I have known about this dessert, it’s always been called a salad. It’s kind of like my Pineapple Walnut Salad. Again, not a salad. But I’m totally fine calling it one. I’m happy to add this salad to my menu any day.
This is a generations-old recipe that is perfect if you love that sweet and salty flavor combo. The salty pretzel crust, creamy filling and tangy sweet strawberry topping make it one of our favorite desserts. In fact, this might be Heather’s all-time favorite. She’s a huge strawberry fan.
There are probably a hundred ways to make this recipe. In fact, it is traditionally made with frozen strawberries, and I’ve included those directions in the recipe. However, I saw one of my blogger friends post a recipe that used fresh strawberries and knew I had to try it that way. I immediately loved that version even more. I’m not a huge fan of the texture of the frozen strawberries. They’re softer and make cutting it much easier, but I just really like the flavor and texture of fresh strawberries better. It’s good either way and it’s great to have the option of using the frozen berries when fresh ones aren’t in season. Regardless, y’all are going to love this. It might seem a little weird to some, but just try it. Y’all enjoy!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- 2 cups crushed pretzels (not too fine)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 (6-ounce) package strawberry instant gelatin mix
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Or 2 (16-ounce) containers frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, granulated sugar and butter.
- Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and press it evenly to form a crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Fold in the thawed whipped topping.
- Once the crust has cooled completely, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over it.
- Chill in the refrigerator.
- In a large bowl, whisk the gelatin mix with the boiling water until dissolved.
- Add the strawberries. (If using frozen berries, there’s no need to thaw them.)
- Chill the mixture until it thickens to the consistence of egg whites, then pour over the cream cheese layer.
- Chill until set. Slice and serve.