Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert (also known as Strawberry Pretzel Salad) is a recipe we eat often in our family. It's my mom's favorite dish to bring to potlucks and family gatherings and we all love it!  I've put my own spin on her classic strawberry pretzel salad recipe with a lightened up version of the original. This strawberry pretzel jello dessert is made with fresh strawberries. Not only do I use fresh strawberries but I also use sugar free jello and reduced fat cream cheese. They all make for a yummy no bake strawberry pretzel dessert the whole family will love and you won't feel guilty about eating!

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

This post is sponsored by Florida Strawberry in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

Whether you call it Strawberry Pretzel Dessert or Strawberry Pretzel Salad, everyone can agree it's a delicious treat! The sweet strawberries, the creamy layer, and the salty pretzel crust is an irresistible combination.  I happen to think this is the best Strawberry Pretzel Salad ever! 

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert (Salad) with fresh strawberries is a family favorite

My mom makes this dish for most holidays and family events. Everyone loves it. However, her strawberry pretzel dessert recipe has one drawback. It contains quite a bit of added sugar and is loaded with calories. Since I've hopped back onto the Weight Watchers bandwagon I've, once again, been on a quest to make some of my favorite dishes more program friendly. By swapping the sweetened, frozen strawberries in her recipe with naturally sweet Florida strawberries, I've kept all the strawberry goodness, but without adding any extra sugar to the strawberry layer. This year's Florida strawberry crop is super sweet and delicious. I'm so glad several grocers in north east Ohio carry them so they're readily available to me in the winter months. I love to eat strawberries in the winter because they are a great source of vitamin C! If you can't find strawberries from Florida in your market, make sure you request them! Florida strawberries are in season NOW (December through April). 

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

This Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert is a no bake dessert. However, if you want a crispier crust, you can put the crust into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 min. then allow to cool completely before adding the layers. I've written the recipe so that this oven step is omitted, making it a true no bake recipe. But, the choice is yours. Bake or no bake...still delicious.
Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

How to make Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

  • This recipe makes 12 servings in an 8" x 8" pan.  For 24 servings, use a 9" x 13" pan and double all the ingredients. 
  • For a crispier crust, bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 min. and allow to cool completely before adding the layers.
  • For quicker preparation, freeze the cut strawberries until firm and add the frozen strawberries to the jello mixture immediately after adding the cold water. It will take less time for the jello to firm up. 
  • Do wait for the jello to firm up before adding it to the cream layer. Otherwise, the liquid jello mixture will seep down under the cream layer and into the crust.

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Renee Paj
Fresh Strawberr Pretzel Dessert
Sweet, plump and fresh Florida strawberries are used in this classic no-bake dessert layered with a creamy sweet cream cheese mixture on a salty pretzel crust.


  • 1 pound fresh Florida strawberries
  • 1 small box sugar free strawberry jello
  • 1 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 oz. mini pretzels, crushed into crumbs (should make about a cup of crumbs)
  • 2 TBS granulated sugar
  • 5 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese (or 1/3 less fat cream cheese), at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS milk
  • 1 cup Cool Whip® light


  1. Hull strawberries and cut into 1" pieces. Place in refrigerator until needed.
  2. In medium sized bowl, combine the strawberry jello mix with 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve gelatin. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water and place in refrigerator.
  3. While jello mixture is forming, crush mini pretzels into crumbs. (I use my food processor to make this process easy.) Add 2 TBS granulated sugar to the crumbs and drizzle in melted butter. Stir or pulse to combine.
  4. Press pretzel mixture firmly into the bottom of an 8" x 8" square pan*. Set in refrigerator while you make the cheese layer.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 TBS milk with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the 1 cup of Cool Whip® light.
  6. Spread mixture evenly over the crust layer.
  7. Check the jello mixture. It it's beginning to gel, stir in the strawberries. If it's still liquidy, put the pan with the crust and the cheese layer in the fridge until the jello begins to for a gel. Once the jello is beginning to form, fold in the berries and spread the jello layer onto the cheese layer. Cover and place in fridge until firm. (about 2 - 3 hours) Cut into squares to serve.
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Cook time: 05 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 5 hrs. 20 mins.

Printable Recipe

*NOTE: For a crisper crust, bake in 350 degree oven for 10 min and allow to cool completely before assembling dessert layers

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Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert | by Renee's Kitchen Adventures - easy, no bake recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Dessert (aka Strawberry Pretzel Salad) lightened up  by using fresh strawberries, sugar free jello, and light cream cheese. This classic recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Dessert is always a hit at parties, pot luck, and family gatherings. Easy to make. Fresh strawberries make a difference in this dessert recipe. @Flastrawberries #SundaySupper #FlStrawberry #Strawberries #strawberrydessert #nobakerecipe #nobake #ad

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  1. I have never made this dessert, but you've convinced me that it's a must make! Thanks for lightening it up, too!

  2. Your photos are lovely! This dessert has always been a favorite of mine!


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