While this is, admittedly, pretty far from a traditional version of a salad, raspberry pretzel salad is a Midwestern staple that wows guests every time.
With a salty pretzel crust, a sweet cream cheese filling, and a fruit-filled jello top layer, this raspberry jello salad is more like a pie than it is a salad. But it has fruit, so who needs to question it, right?
You can switch up the fruit flavors from the gelatin to the actual fruit, but this is the traditional recipe. Make it yours with your own unique twists!
The next time you want to impress guests with something a little outside of the typical dinner party dessert, try this easy recipe.
Common Questions about Raspberry Pretzel Salad
Which pretzels are best to use?
The best pretzels for this dish are the thin salted variety. They crush easily and add a bit of saltiness to all of the sweet flavor.
What type of pan should I use?
I like to use a glass baking dish but if you want ease of cleanup, or to take it to a party, you can use an aluminum foil pan.
Why should I use frozen raspberries?
Since the raspberries are being added to warm water, the frozen variety will hold up better than fresh.
Making Raspberry Pretzel Salad Ahead of Time
It’s actually imperative to make this dessert ahead of time. Leave at least 8 hours for it to set.
The most important storage tip for Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad is to keep it chilled. There are a few options.
Refrigerator: Keep this dish in the fridge for up to four days in its original baking dish or an individual airtight container for each slice.
Freezing: Because of the gelatin, this dish may not freeze especially well. But if you choose to freeze it, place individual slices on a baking sheet in the freezer to harden first, then seal each in a ziploc bag or wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Tips For The Best Raspberry Pretzel Salad
- Make sure to soften ingredients like cream cheese and whipped topping so that they are easy to mix.
- Use frozen raspberries, or pop fresh raspberries in the freezer for a few minutes to make sure that they do not become mushy when added to the boiling water and gelatin mixture.
- Avoid thick pretzels since they’ll be far more challenging to crush.
- Allow plenty of time for the crust and layers to set before adding the next layer.
- Crushed Pretzels
- Unsalted butter (melted)
- Granulated sugar
Cream Cheese Layer
- Cream cheese (softened)
- Granulated sugar
- Whipped topping – like Cool Whip (thawed)
- Gelatin Layer
- Raspberry gelatin
- Boiling water
- Frozen raspberries
- Whipped topping (thawed)
- Fresh or frozen raspberries
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
- Baking dish (13 x 9)
- Large bowl
- Medium bowl
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment or electric mixer
- Food processor or rolling pin
- Rubber spatula or large spoon
How to Make Raspberry Pretzel Salad
- Crush the pretzels using a food processor. Alternatively, you can seal the pretzels in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
- Add the crushed pretzels to a large bowl.
- Sprinkle sugar over the pretzel crumbs.
- Add the melted butter to the pretzel mixture.
- Use a rubber spatula or large spoon to mix pretzels and sugar with the butter. Ensure that all ingredients are completely incorporated.
- Pour the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish to create one even pretzel layer.
- Bake the crust until the top of the crust is golden brown.
- After removing the crust from the oven, let the crust cool — avoid adding any other ingredients until the crust has reached room temperature.
Cream Cheese Layer
- Add the cream cheese and sugar to a medium mixing bowl.
- Beat the mixture on high speed until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- Once combined, spread the cream cheese and whipped topping mixture over the top of the cooled pretzel crust.
- Place the dish in the refrigerator to allow it to set.
- In a large bowl, combine the raspberry gelatin and boiling water. Stir constantly to dissolve jello — for best results, use a whisk (though a spoon will work as well).
- Add the frozen raspberries to the gelatin and continue to stir until the raspberries are evenly dispersed.
- Chill the jello mixture briefly in the refrigerator.
- Once the mixture is partially set, pour it over the cream layer.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the gelatin so that it evenly covers the cream cheese.
- Return the dish to the refrigerator to completely set. The gelatin should be firm.
- When ready to serve, garnish with whipped topping, raspberries, pretzels or any toppings you prefer.
What to Serve With Raspberry Pretzel Salad
- Coffee – Every good dessert goes well with coffee! Try it with regular coffee or a spiked version for an adult dessert.
- Tea – Try a regular black tea or fruity herbal tea to pair with this pretzel salad.
- Ice Cream – Serve a sliver of this as a side dish alongside vanilla, or your favorite flavor, ice cream.
- Cocktails – Shake up a cosmo or another fruity cocktail for a perfect pairing.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- Easy – While there are a few steps to make this recipe, each of them is simple and quick.
- Delicious – This dessert combines a few simple ingredients but packs a flavor punch.
- Portable – It’s easy to make this to serve at home but it’s equally easy to pack it up and take to a party, potluck, or bake sale.
Variations and Add-ins
- Chips – Try mixing mini chocolate chips (or other flavors like peanut butter or butterscotch) into the cream cheese filling.
- Marshmallow fluff – Fold in a little bit of fluff to the cream cheese and whipped topping for some sweetness and light texture.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – Add just a bit of heavy whipping cream to the cream cheese mixture to add more silkiness to that layer.
- Extracts – Add extra flavor with an extract you like from something fruity to a nutty variety like almond.
- Chocolate – Chocolate makes everything better! Drizzle some melted chocolate over top for ann even more decadent version of this dessert.
- Fruit – Try changing it up with other fresh fruit (or frozen). Fresh berries of any kind (chilled quickly in the freezer) make a delightful addition to this delicious dessert.
If you love this easy Raspberry Pretzel Salad recipe, you’re going to love these other treats too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Fruity Dessert Dishes
Don’t miss these other fun recipes made with Jello for all ages
- Jello Jigglers
- Valentine Layered Jello Recipe
- Blue Raspberry Jello Cups for Kids
- Strawberry Jello Salad
- Jello Poke Cake
- Jello Cookies
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Raspberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 cups pretzels crushed – about 4 cups whole
- ¾ cup butter unsalted – melted – add 2 tablespoons more if the mixture seems too dry
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Cream Cheese Layer
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened (from 1-1/2 blocks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 oz whipped topping thawed
- 6 ounces raspberry gelatin two 3-ounce boxes
- 2 cups boiling water
- 12 ounces frozen raspberries
Whipped topping, thawed
Fresh or frozen raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the pretzels to the food processor and finely crush or use a resealable bag and rolling pin to crush.
- Pour the crushed pretzels into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with sugar.
- Melt the butter and mix it in with the pretzels and sugar until well combined.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press firmly into an even layer to create the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Remove and cool completely.
Cream Cheese Layer
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Fold in the whipped topping until completely combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the baked and cooled crust.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until set.
- In a large bowl, dissolve the raspberry gelatin with the boiling water.
- Stir in the frozen raspberries until well combined.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until it is partially set.
- Pour the mixture over the cream cheese layer and spread it out to cover the cream cheese.
- Chill in the refrigerator until firm or for at least 3 hours or until set.
- Serve with the toppings of your choice.
- Store the leftovers in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.