There is something amazing about sweet and salty in the same mouthful.

While Jello no longer something you find at every summer BBQ like it was when I was a child in the 70s, it really pulls together this easy dessert. The sweetness of the strawberry jello and the Cool Whip cream cheese layer, combined with the buttered pretzel layer, makes a dessert that just can’t be topped on a hot day.

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Dessert | Future ExpatPhoto Credit – Lynn (aka diner524)

Every review on where I originally posted this recipe is either 4 or 5 stars. Here are a few of the comments:

I absolutely love jello & can happily eat it in almost any dish, & this one was, in my humble opinion, outstanding! The pretzels weren’t crushed fine, in any sense of the word, & that worked great! Loved the salt & sweet combo & the strawberries & look forward to making this again & again over the summer when strawberries (as well as other kinds of berries) are in season locally! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!
Review by Sydney Mike

Wow, did this jello salad go over well at our Easter gathering! Everyone loved it and wanted more. It really could be a dessert but it worked really well with our ham dinner, too. Only one problem, I guess I didn’t wait long enough when letting the jello set until slightly thickened (there was no time given for this in the directions so I waited about 20 minutes) – and when I poured it over the top, it ended up seeping down into the coolwhip and pretzel layers. This left me with a veryyyyy thin layer on top. Luckily I had another small box of red jello and used that to increase the jello layer. I ended up using frozen (defrosted) strawberries, which worked fine, but next time I will use fresh. Thanks for a winning recipe!
Review by LifeIsGood

I chose this recipe because this is a favorite of my niece, and I’ve never made it before. I wasn’t really sure what consistency the pretzels should be, mine were fairly fine. I love anything with cream cheese, so just loved this. However, normally I hate anything with jello, but this was an exception. I loved the mix of saltiness and sweet. Unlike another reviewer, I didn’t have any problem mixing the sugar, cream cheese and cool whip……but I did let my cream cheese soften. Mine mixed up quickly and easily. Nice and colorful, and something I think I will serve again in the hot summer months….maybe for 4th of July!
Review by Breezermom

This is outstanding. Light and refreshing and it goes together well. Presentation is also beautiful. Loved the crunch of the pretzel crust. I bought the wrong size pretzel but threw them in my mini blender and pulsed them around until I got the consistency I wanted. Baked it about 15 minutes (my oven’s fault) Be sure to have the jello mixture slightly jelled. If it is too liquid, it will seep over the edge and end up at the bottom of the dish and causes the crust to become mushy. How do I know??? I did it. But it was well worth making again. Thanks for sharing Karen.
Review by ~Nimz~

See all of the reviews…

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Dessert


1 1/2 cups thin pretzels, crushed (crush them before you measure)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 ounces light cream cheese
12 ounces Cool Whip (light or fat free is fine)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
6 ounces strawberry Jell-O gelatin dessert
20 ounces strawberries, sliced (fresh or frozen, I used closer to 10 oz)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place pretzels in ziplock bag and crush into small pieces using rolling pin. Measure pretzels after crushing.
  3. Mix together pretzels, 3 tbsp sugar, and butter.
  4. Pat pretzel mixture into a 9 x 11 pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. When the crust is cool, mix cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and Cool Whip together and spread on crust.
  6. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and stir in strawberry Jello. Add cold water and mix well.
  7. Add strawberries.
  8. Let mixture set until slightly thickened, then pour over cream cheese mixture.
  9. Refrigerate until jello is firm.

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