Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a tradition at our house! Jason’s grandma Delores introduced me to this dish. She served it every Easter. I am not a huge fan of Jello ordinarily so I didn’t expect to like it all that well, but I loved it. In fact Grandma served it as part of the meal, but I liked it better than the desserts!
I make this dish often for our family and to share. It is always a crowd pleaser! From years of making this dish I’ve developed some simple secrets to making this a success every time. Here’s the recipe:
- 3 cups crushed pretzels (about 9 oz)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 9 oz whipped topping
- 6 oz package Strawberry Jello
- 1 cup water
- 32 oz frozen strawberries
You’ll want to begin early in the day to make Strawberry Pretzel Salad or up to a day before to have enough time for cooling and chilling. Prepare the first layer. Crushing the pretzels has always been an adventure. I’ve tried so many ways to beat those things up. Ha! In the end pouring them in a Ziplock bag and crushing them with a heavy rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy glass has been my favorite. Do it over parchment paper or cutting board as some of the pretzels will escape.
In a glass 9×13 pan melt the butter in the microwave. Mix in the pretzels and sugar and then press evenly into the pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely.
The second layer used to drive me nuts because it was impossible to get all the lumps out. It wasn’t until I began using my mixer to cream the cream cheese and sugar that this layer became a breeze.
After the cream cheese and sugar are mixed well, fold in the Cool Whip.
Then spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust. I keep the crust from coming up with the cream cheese dollop the cream cheese mixture completely over the crust.
And then spread it evenly over the pretzels making sure to seal completely over the crust. If it’s not sealed completely the Jello will run into the crust and make it soggy.
Next make the Jello layer. Dissolve Jello in 1 cup boiling water.
Add FROZEN strawberries and pour over the second layer. Never use fresh strawberries. It won’t work! I buy the small packages of gourmet strawberries because the contain small berries. When I have purchased a huge bag at a wholesale club, I ended up with mammoth strawberries floating here and there on my salad, still yummy, but not near as pretty! Refrigerate at least two hours before serving. When serving pretzel crust may be crumbly. That’s ok. It’s not a pie. 😉
Grandma passed away a few years ago. In her memory I serve her meal every Easter including her Strawberry Pretzel Salad dish. For a gift not too long after we were married my mother-in-law presented me with a small cookbook that included family recipes written in their own hand writing. It is something I cherish! Today I am sharing her recipe with you. It is one of my favorites.