Strawberry Pretzel Salad

We’re taking a classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad and changing things up a bit. You’ll agree that it tastes even better this way.

We're taking a classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad and changing things up a bit. You'll agree that it tastes even better this way.

Thinking of making a salad for your next gathering? Change things up by ditching the greens and make this Strawberry Pretzel Salad. They say no good love story ever started with a salad…however, I bet they never had a Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

This classic dessert can be made just about any time of year and the sweet and salty combination is a flavor people simply can’t resist. Serve it alongside the classic Strawberry Shortcake or, dare we say, in place of it.

As a dietitian, I’m always finding ways to add nutrition to recipes – even desserts. For this recipe, I added walnuts into the pretzel crust for a boost of omega-3s and a boost of protein. They also add a nice nutty flavor.

Speaking of protein, I also included collagen peptides into the Cool Whip layer. The collagen is tasteless, but still provides additional protein as you enjoy a classic dessert. If you’re wondering what collagen peptides are, they are bioactive peptides, which are made by breaking down strands of collagen, which is said to be good for hair, skin and tendons, and you can find them here or in many natural food stores. If you don’t have them though, you can totally leave them out.

So what’s with the name? We wondered why the heck it’s even called a Strawberry Pretzel Salad instead of simply Strawberry Pretzel Dessert and did a bit of research. The recipe is said to have originated in a 1960s cookbook called The Joys of Jell-O.

From there, it took off and became an iconic Southern tradition. I’ve seen this recipe made with brown sugar added into the crust, and even with raspberry gelatin instead of strawberry. Get creative with it and have fun. I hope you enjoy the healthy twists on this classic family favorite dessert.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 3-4 hours

We're taking a classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad and changing things up a bit. You'll agree that it tastes even better this way.

Ingredients:

Pretzel Crust
  • 3 cups pretzels
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
Cool Whip Layer
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 scoop collagen (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip, divided
Jell-O Layer:
  • 6 oz. strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cold filtered water
  • 1 and 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh strawberries

Directions:

  1. Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the pretzel crust by placing the pretzels and walnuts in a food processor. Mix on high until crumbly. Then add in melted butter and sugar. Mix until combined. Press this mixture firmly into either individual oven-safe glass dishes, or a 9x13 in pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  3. In a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, collagen and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in 4 ounces of the Cool Whip. With a pastry bag, layer this on top of the pretzels. Place in fridge while you prepare jello.
  4. Empty gelatin into a large bowl. Add in boiling water and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until it has dissolved. Then add in filtered water and strawberries. Stir. Place in fridge for 30 minutes. Remove and spoon this mixture on top of the cool whip layer. Put back in fridge for 2-4 hours, or until jello has set up. Enjoy with remaining 4 ounces of Cool Whip on top and additional crushed pretzels.

We're taking a classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad and changing things up a bit. You'll agree that it tastes even better this way. We're taking a classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad and changing things up a bit. You'll agree that it tastes even better this way.

Tawnie Kroll

Tawnie Kroll is a California based food blogger and healthy recipe developer. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a lover of cooking and baking! Follow her blog for recipes, healthy living tips and practical scientific evidenced-based advice to help you improve your health and well being.