This Raspberry Jello Pretzel Salad is one of our favorite jello salads ever. The combination of the raspberries and jello, the cream cheese layer and the salty pretzel crust is absolutely perfect!
I still remember the first time I had this Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad. It was about 30 years ago at an open house at my friend Chad’s home. It was either for his mission farewell or homecoming, that I can’t remember. I fell head over heals in love with it!
In all the times I’ve made this since I started this blog, I can’t believe I’ve never posted the recipe. I know it’s all over the web, but it definitely needs a home here at 5 Boys Baker.
The combination of the salty crust with the sweet cream cheese and Jello layers is so, so good. It’s perfect for summer BBQs, potluck dinners, holiday parties, or any weekday meal. It’s also sweet enough you could serve it as a dessert instead of a side dish.
Parker requests this all the time for his birthday dinner. He also loves to remind me that I don’t make it often enough. Honestly though, in his world, I could make it weekly and it still wouldn’t be often enough.
Most of the recipes I’ve seen for this use just one 8-oz package of cream cheese, but we love the cream cheese layer to be thicker so I use 1 1/2 pkgs. I promise you’ll love the thicker cream cheese layer.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT PRETZEL SALAD:
- I get the pretzel crust made first and in the oven.
- I use my food processor to crush the pretzels, but you could also put them in a Ziploc bag and pound them using a rolling pin. Don’t don’t crush them to a fine powder, you still want small pieces of pretzels.
- Make sure your cream cheese it at room temperature.
- When you spread the cream cheese layer, make sure you go all the way to the edges of the pan. This helps the jello from leaking down the sides and onto the crust (which would make the crust soggy — bleh!)
- I make the jello while the crust is baking and then put it in the fridge so it can start setting up. You want it syrupy and slightly thick. If it’s too runny it can seep through the cream cheese layer.
- If you get distracted and the Jello layer has set up to much before you pour it over the cream cheese layer don’t fret. Just put it on your stovetop on low and slightly warm it up until it’s syrupy/slightly thick again. (Yes, this has happened to me which is why I’m giving you this little tidbit.😊)
- You can use fresh raspberries if you’d like, but I like to use frozen because they help the jello start to set up quicker.
- I make this a lot of the time with sugar free Jello and it’s just as delicious.
CAN I USE OTHER FLAVORS OF JELLO?
Of course you can. I’ve seen lots of recipes for this using strawberry jello and strawberries. You could also make it with orange Jello and mandarin oranges. Raspberry is still our absolute flavor though.
- 2 cups pretzels, crushed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 box (6 oz) Jell-O™ raspberry-flavored gelatin
- 3 cups boiling water
- 10 oz frozen raspberries
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 pkgs.)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 8 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
Pre-heat oven to 375°. Crush pretzels in a food processor or blender and then stir in melted butter and sugar until combined. Press evenly in a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 8 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cool.
Bring the 3 cups water to a boil. Add Jello and stir until dissolved. Mix in frozen raspberries and put in fridge until it become syrupy and slightly thick.
In a medium size bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the cool whip.
Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled pretzel crust. (Make sure to spread all the way to the edges so that the jello won't leak through).
Once the Jello is syrupy and slightly thickened, pour it over the raspberries. Refrigerate until completely set (about 2 hours). Cut into pieces and serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.