Real Girl's Kitchen: Mom's Strawberry Pretzel "Salad"

I am very honest about my horendous baking skills. It’s bad! They are so bad that even though this is clearly a dessert, I’m still going to continue to call it a “salad” in an attempt to entice you to try it. I can’t even make the cookies that are straight out of the freezer without burning them. I blame it on the exact measurements and having to follow directions, neither of which are really my strong suit. That being said, this “salad” requires very little baking and no exact measurements!

As a kid in Texas, I only knew this dish as “church salad” because it was always present at church functions.  It’s easy, doesn’t require any fancy care afterwards and everyone loves it! I’m not even joking when I say everyone. If you don’t like this your not normal, and definitely not a Texan. It’s salty, sweet and jello! Who doesn’t like Jello?!

It should also be noted, this is my mother’s famous recipe. I would love to take the credit but it’s all Mama Duff’s.

Attn: Vegans, you can substitute! Don’t worry girls, you’re not left out of this one…

What you need:

2-3 cups of crushed pretzels (depending on how much your making)

3/4 cup of butter (melted in a small bowl)

Sugar (or Stevia, but it might taste different)

1  8oz cream cheese

1  8oz container Cool Whip

2 boxes of sugar-free jello (I used 1 strawberry and 1 cherry…it’s what I had!)

Fresh strawberries

1  8oz can crushed pineapple


How to:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Combine crushed pretzels, butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Pat the mixture in to a greased baking dish.

Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

In a second bowl, combine cream cheese, cool whip, 1/3 cup of sugar. When pretzels are cool, spread a layer evenly across them. Place in refrigerator till cool or “set”


In a third bowl, combine 2 boxes of jello and 1   3/4 cups of boiling water. Stir to dissolve jello. Once completely cool, mix in pineapples and strawberries. Pour on top of the cream cheese filling.

Place back in fridge.  Now leave it alone! It will take a few hours for it to firm up.


I also made a homemade vanilla & lime whipped cream for a topping. You can find the recipe here!


xo HD

**RGK diet tip: The thinner you make the filling layer, the less fattening this dessert is…I didn’t do a great job of cutting calories with my example, but your jello should be the biggest portion!**


  • Kristin Dennis

    This sounds yum, and oh so easy! The hard part will be finding a store that sells cool whip in Oz.

  • Kelly Chapman

    My mom makes this all the time! It is amazingly delish and makes me look forward to our large family functions so we can chow down. :)

  • Allison Gramling Bishop

    This stuff is sooooo good! the salty sweet combo is great!

  • Lazaro Cooks

    Elegantly presented. Love the lime zest final flourish.

  • Allison Maxwell

    looks yummy but not veggie friendly : (

    • Anonymous

      I know tofutti has a vegan cream cheese…not quite sure what the substitute for the cool whip would be…

    • Jennifer Tippetts

      the veg substitute to cool whip would be… cool whip. All it is, is whipped vegetable oil

  • Hali Bligh

    Kristin – you can use real whipped cream (from the dairy case), just cream the cream cheese first (then add whipped cream and sugar), then mix until thick.

    • Kristin Dennis

      Thanks Hali. With that info in hand, I am making this pronto!

  • Ashley Elizabeth Otto

    Oh I love this! My aunt makes this at family get togethers and I’m always going back for seconds.

  • Marissa A. Ross


    • Anonymous

      thanks marissa!

  • Kimberly Hawkins

    My aunt makes this all the time! The first time she mentioned it I was like “Ewww…salad with pretzels?” then I saw it , lol!

  • Jennifer Tippetts

    My family has been making this for a while, but we always do cranberry jello with raspberries. Never tried it with strawberry…

  • Hannah Rose Usher

    Do i use the .60 oz boxes of jello or the 6 oz boxes?

  • Emily Porter

    This looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Melissa Mosckowik

    This looks really good and I can’t wait to try it, but I have to ask you learn the difference between your and you’re if you’re going to continue blogging. I don’t say that to be rude, it’s really easy to learn and knowing the difference helps you get respect from other bloggers.

    • Caille Turcotte

      Her sister doesn’t know the difference between steel and steal… random fact 😛

  • Adriene Bartley

    I LOVE this! my mom used to make it all the time, I didn’t know anyone else had experienced it. favourite.

  • Caroline Grace Sutherland

    I got this recipe from Paula Deen! Yummy!

  • Klaire Kranker

    Crazy, my mum calls it pretzel salad to0! We use the butter flavored pretzels to give it the an extra buttery taste!

  • Mr Kate

    heck yes!!!

  • Emily Ralph

    “Who doesn’t like Jello?” I sure don’t, since it is made from the boiled bones, tissues, and intestines of animals. There is absolutely no reason to use Jello, since you can get gelatin made from seaweed and other substances.

  • MaKenzie Maxwell

    To those who have come here to leave a criticism–why? Of course she knows the difference between using “your” and “you’re”, but honest mistakes happen. When she publishes her first hardback book and you find mistakes there, then gripe because you paid for a book that’s @”flawed”. Here the recipes/tips are free and you show your gratitude with a complaint? What nerve. Haylie, you have a standing offer from me to help edit your first hardback–for free. Why? Because I am one of your grateful followers: @makelena Besides, your recipes are delish!

  • Toni Torres

    My aunt used to make that for every family function and stopped a few years ago. I remind her that she “forgot” every time I see her.

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