Pretzel Salad (aka southern food is weird)

I was first introduced to a dish dubbed "Pretzel Salad" at a potluck back in San Francisco. The theme was southern, and the menu included such classic dishes at pulled pork, mac & cheese, and greens. For dessert, the only person who had ever actually lived in the south brought pretzel salad. It went against all our better sensibilities, but I thought it was tasty.

Two years later, we went to a potluck and my boyfriend had a recipe dubbed "pretzel salad" in his collection. Since he grew up in the Washington DC area, I knew it had to be the same basic recipe.

It's a weird dish and I'm ashamed to admit that I liked it. It sounded really gross from the ingredient list (like fried pickles...) but turned out to be a fantastic, bad for you, delicious souther treat (like fried pickles...) Perhaps I should try making fried pickles in the future too...

Pretzel Salad

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 oz cool whip
  • 16-20 oz frozen strawberries or raspberries
  • 2 3 oz boxes strawberry or cherry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water.


  1. Crush pretzels and mix with butter and 3 Tbsp sugar. Spread on the bottom of a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until crisp and set.
  2. Remove crust and let cool completely.
  3. While crust is cooling, cream together sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in frozen whipped topping.
  4. Pour whipped topping onto crust and let set in refrigerator.
  5. Boil water and pour over strawberry jello to dissolve. After dissolved, add chopped strawberries. Pour evenly over cream cheese layer. Let set completely before serving.