strawberry jello pretzel salad

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for me the super bowl is all about the food. honestly, i didn’t even know who was playing until the game started. i went over to my brother house to watch the game commercials (which were disappointing) and the halftime show (which was amazing). my brother asked me to make my strawberry jello pretzel salad.

i had some extra time, so i figured i’d take some pretty photos while i put everything together to share with all of you. if you haven’t made this dessert yet, it’s super simple to put together and a crowd pleaser!

if you have made this dessert and it turned out to be runny, mushy mess? well, you’ve come to the right place, i have some great tips to prevent this.

are you ready? let’s go!

here’s what you’ll need:

2     1/2 cup pretzels (crushed fine)

3     tbsp brown sugar

1     cup butter

1     pkg (6oz – this is the larger one) instant strawberry jello

1     16 oz container fresh strawberries, sliced

1     8 oz pkg cream cheese

1     cup sugar
1/2   tsp vanilla

1     cool whip (8 oz container)

*please note: for best results you must chill between steps. this is an easy dessert to make but it does take time due to chilling. Allow 6-8 hours to complete the entire recipe.

first step, crushed pretzels!


you can use any kind of pretzels, but make sure they have some salt on them. the salty sweet combination is part of what makes this dessert so amazing. begin by preheating your oven to 350. then crush your pretzels. i used a ziploc bag and rolling pin.


combine pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter and press into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.


bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  


remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 
Once it is slightly cool i throw my crust in the refrigerator to allow it to get really cold. (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour)


in the meantime, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  use a hand mixer for this. you don’t want lumps of cream cheese. 


blend in cool whip with a spatula. 


spread over cooled crust. 


make sure you spread this layer completely to the edges. you want to create a seal so your jello doesn’t leak through. again, this is key to keeping your layers seperate. once this is done, put your pan back in the fridge to chill.


next, make your jello according to the package directions minus 1 cup of water.  this is a personal preference, but i find using a little less water allows the jello to firm up better.


put your bowl of jello in the fridge to allow it to partially cool before putting it on top of your cream cheese layer. 


while the jello partially cools, sliced your strawberries. then, place them on top of your chilled layer of cream cheese and cool whip.


you can be as fancy as you wanted with this step. 


i like to place my strawberries in alternating rows across the top. feel free to scatter them randomly or any other fun pattern you decide.

once your jello chilled to about the constancy of of jam or pudding (about an hour or two in the fridge) you’re ready!


spoon and/or pour your jello over cream cheese layer. 


return the pan back to the fridge. cool until your jello is completely set (about an hour).

and that’s it! you’re done! as you can see, other than the cooling time, this dessert is really effortless to put together. you could even try it with different berries or fruits!


and now it’s time for the best part … eating! 


this dessert really combines the best of everything. you’ve got the salty and sweet thing going on with the crust and jello. then you have the rich and creamy layer. and there’s even fresh fruit so you can feel a little better about eating dessert. this totally counts as one serving of fruit and vegetables, right?


needless to say, i left my brother’s party with an empty pan. delish!

i hope the pictures and tips for creating this dessert were helpful!

Don’t forget, if you try this recipe (or any recipe from IBC), i want to see it! you can post your pictures in the IBC flickr group.

have a great week everyone!

And check out these awesome DIY Door mats. I’m going to need six asap! 

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  1. I saw that you were making this on your Twitter yesterday, and I’m so glad you posted the recipe because I definitely want to try it out. I’m going to a scrapbook party this weekend where I’m supposed to bring a snack to share, so I might have to whip this up. YUM!

  2. You are taking your posts to a whole new level… The Pioneer Woman Cooks is going to have some stiff competition! Lookit these photos! I don’t like to bake and you have me believing I can make that and win an award while I’m at it!

    You smoke at this.


  3. This is super yummy! I prefer to make mine in a 9×9 so it comes out thicker (like the photo), otherwise it can fall apart when you serve it.

  4. Awesome tutorial and BEAUTIFUL pictures!!!! I look forward to your blog everyday…You just keep on surprising us. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Cindy B.

  5. This post makes me think of summer and the 4th of July. It’s tradition for my mom to make something very simliar for the
    4th. Hot day, water ballon fights and jello salad ahhhhh makes me smile. Thanks

  6. Oooh Michael! I haven’t had this in years, but it will be perfect for Valentine’s next week for the kids (and the adults).

    (For the record, I didn’t see one second of the game, I stayed in the kitchen chatting and grazing. Wish I had had some of this.)

  7. I have made this out of our church cookbook for years but with white sugar and without the vanilla. I’d like to try your way next time and your pictures are amazing! Thanks for posting!

  8. Also try pineapple juice for the warm water and cold in the jello…. Then add frozen slices strawberries it will thicken quicker. Love this dessert!

  9. Also try pineapple juice for the warm water and cold in the jello…. Then add frozen slices strawberries it will thicken quicker. Love this dessert!

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  11. Thank you for your help with my pretzel crust. I can already tell your recipe and tutorial is going to be spot on! Your directions and pictures are wonderful!

  12. I’m making this for my physics class (snack Fridays!) and it looks so good! I’d never heard of it before but a friend showed me the recipe and I decided to try it. I’m waiting for the Jell-o to cool now and then I’ll be done! I’m kind of impatient, so it’s only taken me about two hours total. Plus it’s about 5ºF outside here so it takes less time to cool each layer since I’ve been putting it in the garage!

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  14. great recipe.. The only thing I don’t get is how did you get that much jello when u only put half the water… I put only 1 cup of water per your recommendation and it barely spread… Gotta go back to the store for more.. :/

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