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?
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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.
How to Make Raspberry Pretzel Salad
The steps for making this recipe are simple. Here they are broken down by layer:
- Preheat oven.
- Combine all the ingredients well.
- Press into baking dish.
- Bake and let cool completely.
- Beat the sugar and cream cheese together.
- Fold in Cool Whip.
- Spread over cooled pretzel 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!
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.
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.
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:
- Lemon Jello Cake
- Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
- Lemon Jello Peach Pie
- Strawberry Jello Cake
- Raspberry Jello Fluff
- Lemon Mandarin Orange Jello Salad
- Pineapple Crush Jello Cake
- Raspberry Jello Salad
Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad
- 2 Cups Pretzels, broken into pieces
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese
- 8 oz. Cool Whip
- 1 Box Raspberry Jello, 6 oz.
- 2 Cups Water, boiling
- 4 Cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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