Raspberry Pretzel Salad is a simple jello salad recipe with layers of salty pretzels crushed and baked to make a delicious crust. The pretzel crust is topped with a whipped cream cheese and cream layer followed by raspberry jello and frozen raspberries. This raspberry jello salad is perfect for a simple side dish or take along to the next pot luck!
While this technically is not the normal ‘salad’ you would refer to when talking about salad, it is what it has been named, so let’s roll with it. Let me just warn you first that this combination may sound a little crazy at first, but I am here to reassure you that after one bite of this raspberry jello pretzel salad, you will be hooked. You might even find yourself sneaking into the fridge to take one more forkful well after dinner….I may or may not know this from experience.
Ingredients for Raspberry Pretzel Salad
For the Crust:
- Pretzels: make sure they are the hard, salty pretzels. The small twist pretzels work the best
For the Cream Layer:
- Cream Cheese: low fat cream cheese can be substituted
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Powdered Sugar
For the Jello Layer:
- Raspberry Jello
- Frozen Raspberries- fresh raspberries can be used as well
- Boiling Water
Steps to make Raspberry Jello Salad
The first step to make this pretzel jello salad is to make the pretzel crust.
- Place the pretzels in a food processor, blender or even a zip top bag, crush the pretzels until there are no longer whole pieces. To do this in a zip top bag, use a rolling pin and roll back and forth over the pretzels until they are all crushed.
- Pour the pretzels into a mixing bowl and add the melted butter and sugar to the pretzels and mix until well combined.
- Next, pour the pretzel crust mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spread out until it is even across the bottom.
- Using the back of a measuring spoon or even the bottom of a drinking glass, or just the back of a spoon press the crust into the bottom of the baking dish. Make sure the crust goes right up to the edges of the pan. This will prevent the jello from leaking through to the bottom of the pan.
- Place your evenly pressed crust into a 400ºF oven and bake for about 8 minutes, until it is golden brown.
- Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely before adding the next layer.
Cream Cheese Layer on Jello Salad
Next step is to put together the whipped cream cheese layer for this pretzel jello salad. This is like adding a layer of cheesecake!! And no pre-made whipped topping!!
- To make this whipped cream cheese layer, start with room temperature (softened) cream cheese. Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with vanilla and powdered sugar.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth and well combined. Scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
- Add in the heavy whipping cream and cream cheese mixture until soft peaks form in the mixture, about 2 minutes. Do not over mix!!
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the cooled pretzel crust. Using a spatula or spoon, evenly spread the whipped mixture evenly across the crust and all the way to the edges, again to make sure the jello won’t spill through.
Note: pre-made whipped topping (Cool Whip) can be used for this layer if you prefer. Just mix the whipped topping with the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla before adding to the pretzel crust.
How to make Raspberry Jello Layer
The final layer to this easy raspberry pretzel salad is the raspberries and jello!
- First, in a mixing bowl combine one 6 ounce package of raspberry jello and boiling water. Whisk together until the jello is dissolved.
- Next, add in the frozen raspberries and stir for 1 minute. Using frozen raspberries helps the jello cool and set quicker.
- Slowly pour the jello mixture over the cream layer. Pour out the jello as much as possible, then use a spoon to place the remaining raspberries and jello in the top layer.
- Place the raspberry pretzel salad in the refrigerator, uncovered for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the jello to set.
Raspberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
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Raspberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
- 2 cups pretzels, crushed
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
Whipped Cream Cheese Layer
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Raspberry Jello Layer
- 6 oz Raspberry Jello
- 2 cups boiling water
- 4 cups frozen raspberries
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking dish by spraying with cooking spray.
- In a food processor or blender crush pretzels until they measure 2 cups crushed. Add in melted butter and sugar and pulse until combined. Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- With the back of a measuring spoon or drinking glass, press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the crust in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Using a hand or stand mixer whip to combine. Scrape down the edges of the bowl and add in the cream. Whip the cream and cream cheese mixture until smooth and soft peaks form.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top of the pretzel mixture. Spread out evenly to the edge of the pan
- In another mixing bowl combine the jello and boiling water and stir until the jello is completely dissolved. Add in the frozen raspberries and stir for 1 minute to cool the jello.
- Carefully pour the jello mixture over the cream cheese layer. Spoon the raspberries evenly throughout the jello. Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to allow the jello to set.
- Pre-made whipped topping can be substituted for the whipped cream in the cream cheese layer.
Raspberry Pretzel Salad is a simple jello salad recipe with layers of salty pretzels crushed and baked to make a delicious crust. The pretzel crust is topped with a whipped cream cheese and cream layer followed by raspberry jello and frozen raspberries.
Can I make this Jello Salad Ahead?
This pretzel salad can be made ahead if needed. I would not make this more than a day in advance of when you are going to serve it. The pretzel crust does begin to soften if it is stored too long.
How to Store Raspberry Jello Salad
If you have leftovers, or you just made this ahead and won’t be serving it for a few hours. Once the Jello has set, place a piece of plastic wrap or a lid over the top of the salad to prevent the jello from drying out. Keep the jello salad covered until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
What to serve with Raspberry Pretzel Salad
Here are a few serving suggestions to go along with this jello salad recipe:
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
- London Broil Sheet Pan
- Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken
- Twice Smoked Ham
- Chicken Breasts