This Strawberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad is probably the best “salad” you’ll ever eat.
Whoever managed to call this stuff a salad sure got away with some stuff. I bet that person could talk themselves out of pretty much anything.
Broken vase? Oh no, it’s “abstract art!”..for the floor.
Pushing someone down? No, I was just “helping them with their exercise plan”.
It’s not shoplifting, it’s “making room for new merchandise”.
I didn’t scratch that guy’s car with my cart…I just “detailed it.”
It’s all in the way you frame it.
And if we can get away with framing this dessert as a “salad,” let’s go for it.
Because that means it counts as a meal…or appetizer. Right? Right?
This dessert is one of the Mr.’s all time favorites. He always had it at family gatherings and cookouts growing up. It’s a three layer wonder with a pretzel crust, sweet cream cheese filling, and strawberry jello on top. It’s sweet and salty, which in my life means it’s totally addictive and needs to be removed from my presence before I have to buy all new jeans.
There are about as many recipes for this online as there are annoying pop up ads. I tried one of them awhile back and wasn’t very impressed with the results, so I tweaked the recipe and came up with a version that I think is truly stellar.
My secret? An extra block of cream cheese in the filling. Because well, more cream cheese is never a bad decision.
Like the other cookout desserts from this week, this recipe can be made gluten free by substituting gluten free pretzels for regular gluten-full ones.
If you like cheesecake and strawberries, you’re going to love this dessert. It’s simple to throw together, and other than toasting the pretzel crust for a bit, is completely no bake. The only difficult part is remembering to give yourself enough time to let the jello set. After all, nobody likes liquid jello. Just, no.
This dessert went straight to a work gathering, and there were no leftovers, so I didn’t get any pics of the insides of this “salad.” You’re just going to have trust me on this one. Take my word, this is probably the best salad you’ll ever eat.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad
For the crust
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
For the filling
- 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
For the jello
- 1 qt. strawberries, sliced
- 1 6 oz. package strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl mix together crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Remove and let cool.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar together using an electric mixer or handheld electric beaters. Beat on high until smooth and creamy. Fold in cool whip. Spread mixture over the cooled crust. Lay sliced strawberries on top of the cream cheese in whatever pattern you would like. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the jello, stir boiling water into the gelatin mix for about 2 minutes, or until powder is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate until firm--at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve within 1 day.