Nashville Farmer’s Market is overflowing with strawberries this time of year. Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer and this season is filled with picnics, barbecues and pool parties. Instead of spending hours in a hot kitchen, try this strawberry pretzel salad as a quick, easy dessert for your summer party.
Strawberry pretzel salad is a staple at picnics in my hometown.
Layers of pretzels and cream and strawberry jello… YUM! I am always the first to volunteer to bring dessert to a party and while I love to take my time in the kitchen, I also live in a city where summer days average 90 degrees. It isn’t ideal to have my oven on all day. Strawberry pretzel salad only needs 10 minutes in the oven!
I haven’t made strawberry pretzel salad since I moved to the South almost two years ago. When I made a tray to take into work, I was surprised to find out many southerners have never heard of this delicious dessert. The entire tray was gone in minutes! It may seem like a strange combination, at first, but the combination of salt from the pretzels and sweetness of the strawberries creates a flavor everyone will love.
Strawberry pretzel salad is the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
I’ve been slowly stocking my kitchen with all the tools I need and a 9×13 baking dish was next on my list. You can use a traditional cake pan, but a glass dish works best for chilling and display. For the pretzel crust, I suggest using tiny twists or sticks. You can pulse them in a food processor or put them in a large Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
When I create recipes or tweak them to be my own, I want everything to be made from scratch. I was tempted to substitute homemade whipped cream for the cool whip, but after some research, I came to the conclusion that would not work. Homemade whipped cream would created a thinner consistency, allowing jello to run through.
Nothing is worse than runny strawberry pretzel salad.
When you cut and serve a piece, it should be pretty easy and hold together. My mistake: not enough pretzels. The recipes I use are from the internet or a cookbook. After one attempt, I adjust the recipes to fit what I’m looking for in a final product. You can also switch it up by using different fruit and jello flavors, but strawberry is my favorite!
- 3 cups crushed pretzels
- 1 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 8-ounce container Cool Whip
- 2 3-ounce packages strawberry flavored gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 20 ounces strawberries, sliced
- Preheat over to 400 degrees F
- In a large bowl, stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons white sugar. Once fully mixed, press into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Bake 8-10 minutes until set and remove from oven to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar. Remove from mixer and fold in whipped topping.
- Dissolve both packets of gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water. Stir in strawberries and allow to set until the mixture is the consistency of egg whites.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust until all crust is covered. Slowly pour the jello mixture over the layer.
- Refrigerate until set and enjoy!