A strawberry-pretzel 'salad' likely hails from the 1960s-era Joys of Jell-O Cookbook

Southern Kitchen
This festive 'salad' incorporates pretzels, Cool Whip and Jell-O.

About the recipe

Whether Jell-O and whipped cream-based desserts can be considered "salads" is worthy of debate. Still, these sorts of dishes continue to be a mainstay of holiday meals, barbecues, showers and potlucks. 

With its many different variations, the strawberry pretzel salad seems to be amongst the most popular of the Jell-O corporations' decades worth of recipes. This one is believed to have originated in the 1960s when the Joys of Jell-O cookbook was published. 

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours and 0 minutes


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.