Some things just belong together…like raspberries and summertime or raspberry pretzel jello salad and your next BBQ! Three layers of jello salad joy.

Now I don’t know if this is a salad or a dessert, but it is so delicious that it doesn’t matter! It has a sweet and salty pretzel crust layer, a sweet cream cheese filling layer and a fruity tart jello layer on top.

I’m realizing people have a bigger opinion on berries than I ever knew. Are you a lover of raspberries and hater of blueberries? 

If you had to pick would you go strawberry or raspberry?

A serving of raspberry pretzel jello salad. You can see the pretzel layer on the bottom, with a white creamy layer on top of the pretzels and the red raspberry jello layer on top. There is another serving in the background and a spoon is near the plate.

Our strawberry pretzel jello salad brought up so many requests for one vs the other and since I happen to love both, I tend to pull for team strawberry, but I really had no choice but to create a raspberry pretzel jello version. I mean, it’s all in the name of research, am I right? 😉

Plus it tastes like cheesecake but you serve it as a side dish. Who in the world is the genius that brought this first to Thanksgiving dinner?

Ingredients Needed for Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Here is your grocery list for each of the three layers of this salad:

Pretzel Layer

  • Pretzels: any brand or shape of pretzel will work great since they crushed into small pieces
  • Butter: helps bind the crust together and adds rich yummy flavor
  • Brown Sugar: adds flavor and sweetness
  • Sugar: adds more sweetness

Cream Layer

  • Sugar: adds sweetness to the creamy layer
  • Cream Cheese: make sure it is softened to room temperature so it doesn’t get lumpy
  • Cool Whip: adds sweetness, structure and creaminess to the cream layer

Jello Layer

  • Raspberry Jello: you will follow the instructions on the Jello box to make this layer
  • Water: used to make the Jello
  • Raspberries: fresh or frozen can be used and will work great

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

A serving of raspberry pretzel jello salad on a white salad plate. There are other servings of the salad in the background. The salad has three layers, pretzels on the bottom, a creamy layer next, and jello with fresh raspberries on top.

How to Make Raspberry Pretzel Salad

The steps for making this recipe are simple. Here they are broken down by layer:

Pretzel Layer

  • Preheat oven.
  • Combine all the ingredients well.
  • Press into baking dish.
  • Bake and let cool completely.

Cream Layer

  • Beat the sugar and cream cheese together.
  • Fold in Cool Whip.
  • Spread over cooled pretzel layer.

Jello Layer

  • Mix the jello powder and boiling water until the powder is dissolved.
  • Stir in the raspberries.
  • Put in fridge and let it cool.
  • Pour over the cream layer.
  • Refrigerate until firm (3-4 hours)

All the details for making this salad can be found in the recipe card below this post. Check the next section for all our tips and tricks for making this salad.

Where Does Pretzel Salad Come From?

From my research, it appears that pretzel Jello salad comes from the South. In 1963, Jello published a cookbook that contained a recipe for pretzel Jello salad so many people believe that is where it started. I’ve also seen Midwesterner claiming it as their own. I suppose it doesn’t matter when all is said and done! It just needs to be made and eaten!

A raspberry pretzel jello salad in a white casserole dish. You can see the red jello layer filled with fresh raspberries.

Tips for Making Raspberry Pretzel Salad

There are a few tips that make this salad turn out perfectly every time. Don’t miss these!

  • Measure the 2 cups of pretzels whole before chopping them up.
  • Chop the pretzels on a cutting board with a sharp knife.
    • PRO TIP: You could also use a blender or food processor but you want crushed pretzels not powder pretzels. Another option would be to put all the pretzels in a ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the sides of the pan so it seals the crust and protects it from the jello layer.
  • Dissolve the jello as the directions state for this recipe. Don’t follow the directions on the box of jello.
  • Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. That will help the cream layer be smooth.
  • Cooling the Jello in the fridge will bring the temperature down. Putting hot liquid on the cream layer will crack that layer and ruin the salad. It is critical to chill the dish in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Ideally, I prefer to chill it overnight.

Are Raspberries Good For You?

Raspberries are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Can I Use Frozen Raspberries?

Yes, but I would always recommend fresh! If you can’t get fresh or they are just too darn expensive, grab a bag of frozen and let them thaw in the fridge. Drain them thoroughly. You don’t want to introduce extra liquid to the jello layer.

A serving of raspberry pretzel jello salad on a white salad plate. There are three layers to the salad. Pretzels on the bottom, a white creamy layer on top of the pretzels and red raspberry jello with fresh raspberries on top. A spoon is next to the plate and a bowl of fresh raspberries and another serving of the dessert are in the background.

Can I Substitute the Cool Whip?

I know a lot of people have issues with Cool Whip, so you can definitely substitute whipped cream for the Cool Whip if you want. You will want to whip a cup of heavy cream and add about 1/2 cup of sugar to it to match the sweetness of the Cool Whip. It will taste fabulous! I have found that using whipped cream makes the pretzel crust get soggy more quickly than with Cool Whip.

How Long Will Jello Salad Keep?

Jello salad will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Cover well before storing Jello salad.

Can You Make Jello Salad Ahead?

Jello Salad can be made 2-3 days in advance.  Cover the salad and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

A serving of raspberry pretzel salad on a white salad plate. You can see the three layers in the salad. Pretzel layer on bottom, creamy filling next, and raspberry jello with fresh raspberries on top.

What to Eat with Jello Salad?

For some reason, I always think of jello salad as being a side for a summer BBQ potlucks, but it can totally be made all year round. Here are few ideas for main dishes (BBQ and non BBQ):

It goes great with just about any main dish!

Team raspberry? Team strawberry? It actually doesn’t matter at all! They are all so dang good, and fresh berries means summer which I’m totally craving! This also makes the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Make raspberry jello pretzel salad as a side dish for your next shindig!!

More Jello Recipes You’ll Love:

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

5 from 2 votes
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Refrigerate: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes

Description

Some things just belong together…like raspberries and summertime or raspberry pretzel jello salad and your next BBQ! Three layers of jello salad joy.

Ingredients 

Pretzel Layer

  • 2 Cups Pretzels, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar

Cream Layer

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip

Jello Layer

  • 1 Box Raspberry Jello, 6 oz.
  • 2 Cups Water, boiling
  • 4 Cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions

Pretzel Layer

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine pretzels, melted butter, brown sugar and sugar, stirring well until combined. 
    2 Cups Pretzels, 1/2 Cup Butter, 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • Press into a 9×13” baking dish
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes and then cool completely.

Cream Layer

  • Beat the 1 cup sugar with the cream cheese until smooth. Fold in the cool whip. 
    1 Cup Sugar, 8 oz. Cream Cheese, 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • Gently spread over the the pretzels, pressing the cream cheese totally against the sides of the pan to seal the crust so the Jello won’t leak. 

Jello Layer

  • Mix Jello and boiling water until all sugar is dissolved. Stir in the berries. 
    1 Box Raspberry Jello, 2 Cups Water, 4 Cups Raspberries
  • Place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes. 
  • Pour over the cream cheese and refrigerate until firm, about 3-4 hours. 

Notes

Cover left overs and store in refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1CupCalories: 643kcalCarbohydrates: 110gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 322mgPotassium: 1138mgFiber: 9gSugar: 81gVitamin A: 620IUVitamin C: 964mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 18mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 + Salad Recipes to Obsess Over
Cuisine: American

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A serving of raspberry pretzel jello salad on a white salad plate. There are other servings of the salad in the background. The salad has three layers, pretzels on the bottom, a creamy layer next, and jello with fresh raspberries on top.