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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


1 2/3 cup finely crushed pretzels
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, plus more for serving
1 (15-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 (3-ounce) package strawberry Jell-O


Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a second medium bowl, stir together the pretzels and butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

While the crust bakes and cools, stir together the sliced strawberries and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until the strawberries have given off their juices, about 45 minutes.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and remaining cup of sugar until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip. Spread across the cooled crust.

Drain the pineapple and the strawberries, reserving all of the juices. Pour the juices into a 2-cup measuring cup and add enough water to reach 2 cups. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the strawberry Jell-O. Let cool until almost set. Stir in the pineapple and strawberries and pour over the cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate until set. 

Serve topped with a dollop of Cool Whip. 

About the recipe

In 2018, surrounded by full plates of lettuce, it is hard for us to image that congealed sugar and flavoring could ever be considered as a salad. However, these dishes continue to be a mainstay of holiday meals, barbecues, showers and potlucks alike. We have the Jell-O corporation to personally thank for decades of congealed and molded fruits and sometimes vegetables. 

With its many different variations, the strawberry pretzel salad seems to be amongst the most popular. The recipe is believed to have originated in the 1960s when the Joys of Jell-O cookbook was published.