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Raspberry Pretzel Salad

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Raspberry pretzel salad is a retro-inspired dessert that layers a salty crushed pretzel crust with a sweet, creamy filling and raspberry Jello on top. It’s always a crowd-pleaser!

Overhead view of raspberry pretzel salad on plates

Strawberry pretzel salad (sometimes also known as strawberry pretzel dessert) is one of those vintage American recipes you see all the time at barbecues and potlucks. The combination of sweet and salty flavors is hard to beat, and the fact that it’s a chilled dessert makes it perfect for hot summer days. But if you want to switch things up a little bit, you can swap out the strawberries and make raspberry pretzel salad instead!

It’s the same style of pretzel Jello salad we all know and love, with a pretzel crumb crust, cream cheese filling, and Jello topping, but slightly tweaked with a different flavor. Strawberry desserts are a dime a dozen, but raspberries are a little bit unexpected, right? 

Wait! Why Is This Called a Salad?

No one really knows! Obviously, this is not a salad like Caesar Salad or Chopped Salad, but the best guess is that it gets its name from those retro-style Jello molds that have bits of fruit (and yes, sometimes vegetables) in them and were referred to as “Jello salad.”

I would definitely serve this raspberry pretzel salad as a dessert, though!

Raspberry pretzel salad in dish, with row of slices removed to show layers

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to pick up to make raspberry pretzel salad for your next get-together!

For the crust:

  • Pretzels – Any kind you like or have on hand will work!
  • Salted butter 
  • Brown sugar – Granulated sugar can be used instead if you prefer.

For the filling:

  • Cream cheese – Use the full-fat variety that comes in a bar, not in a tub.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whipped topping – Frozen whipped topping has added ingredients that stabilize it, so you can’t substitute whipped cream.

For the topping:

  • Raspberries – I prefer fresh, but frozen will also work.
  • Raspberry Jello
  • Boiling water

How Do You Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

If you’d like to make the more traditional strawberry pretzel salad, simply swap the raspberry Jello for strawberry and the raspberries for sliced strawberries. Easy!

Raspberry pretzel salad in dish with two slices on plates

How to Make Raspberry Pretzel Salad

You’ll need some time to let each layer set, but other than that, this pretzel Jello salad is quick and easy!

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Make the crust. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Press the pretzel crumb mixture into the bottom of a 13×9-inch pan.

Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Let the crust cool completely before moving onto the next step.

Make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer, then fold in the whipped topping.

Top the crust and chill. Pour the filling over the crust and use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the Jello. Empty the packet of Jello into a mixing boil and stir in the boiling water until the Jello has dissolved. Let the Jello cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Add the topping. Take the pan out of the fridge and scatter raspberries over the creamy filling. Spoon the cooled Jello on top.

Chill to set. Return the raspberry pretzel salad to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes, or until the topping has set. Slice and serve.

Square of raspberry pretzel salad on plate with spoon

Tips for Success

This raspberry pretzel salad recipe is pretty straight-forward, but here are a few hints and tips to help make it perfect.

  • Crushing the pretzels. You can crush the pretzels in a food processor or by placing them in a zip-top bag and hitting it with a rolling pin. Just make sure you have a combination of finely-ground crumbs and larger pieces for the best texture.
  • Be patient with the topping. If you add it while it’s still hot, it will melt into the creamy layer. 
  • Spoon the Jello instead of pouring it. If you pour it, it will create holes and indentations in the layer of filling.
Raspberry pretzel salad on spoon, with plate in background

How to Store

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

No, raspberry pretzel salad can’t be frozen and thawed, as this changes the texture of Jello. If you’re looking for a freezer-friendly dessert featuring berries, try my Mini Strawberry Heart Hand Pies or Triple Berry Cheesecake Bars.

Square of raspberry pretzel salad on plate with spoon

Raspberry Pretzel Salad

A fun, retro-inspired dessert that's always a hit at summer parties, potlucks, and barbecues!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill time:: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

Crust:

  • 2 ½ cups crushed pretzels
  • ¾ cup salted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

Filling:

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounce container whipped topping, thawed

Topping:

  • 10 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 6 ounce box raspberry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

For the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F
  • Combine all the crust ingredients and stir well.
  • Press into the bottom of a 13×9-inch pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely before adding the filling.

For the filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer till well combined.
  • Fold in the whipped topping using a spatula. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the topping:

  • Place the jello in a large mixing bowl and add the boiling water. Stir until combined.
  • Let cool completely. Stir occasionally.
  • Sprinkle the raspberries over the filling.
  • Spoon jello over the raspberries.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until completely set.

Recipe Notes

How to store: Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 430 kcal | Carbohydrates: 59 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 21 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 55 mg | Sodium: 461 mg | Potassium: 135 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 41 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gelatin dessert, pretzel jello salad, pretzel salad
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