While it may not be strawberry picking season here in Upstate New York yet, down in California, Florida, and North Carolina, they are right in season! You can’t walk through the Walmart Produce section right now without seeing big gorgeous containers of strawberries–at their low in season prices!
Walmart asked me again this year to share a recipe that really lets their fresh berries shine. In the past I’ve made my Tipsy Strawberry Preserves and Strawberry Syrup (with Strawberry Soda!). What to make? I looked for inspiration on the Walmart Food & Inspiration page–they had tons of delicious ideas like a patriotic cookie pizza and all American berry clouds. . . but eventually I decided to go with an old favorite that is perfect for all those summer BBQ’s, potlucks and “dish to pass” events that fill up our lovely summer days: Strawberry Pretzel Salad.
Now I’m not sure where the convention of calling almost any dish made with gelatin a “salad” came from. It may even just be a northeastern thing. . .do you southerners do the same? Regardless, this “salad” is really more of a dessert and it’s not all lose but served in squares.
This strawberry specialty is made with a base of crushed pretzels, a creamy middle layer of cream cheese and whipped topping, and a topping of fruit and jello. Many recipes I’ve seen out there use frozen strawberries in syrup for the top–but I prefer both the look and taste of fresh berries.
Start out by picking up box of strawberries at Walmart. Don’t be afraid to open up a package and take a whiff–if the strawberries smell fragrant they are going to taste good! Strawberries don’t ripen any more after they have been picked–so you want to choose a package where the berries all look nice and ripe. Put them in the fridge when you get home and use them within a few days for best flavor. Don’t rinse them until right before you use them (or they could mold).
What else will you need for this recipe besides strawberries? Pretzels, whipped topping, cream cheese, strawberry gelatin, butter and sugar (not shown–I forgot!). Now I’m not into fat free or sugar free, but if you have dietary restrictions you could choose sugar free, low fat or fat free versions of the ingredients. I think it tastes best with full on sugared & fatted ingredients myself 🙂
To crush the pretzels I like to use a rolling pin and a plastic baggie–that way you get nice big chunks and contain all the mess. You could just break them up by hand or whirr them in a food processor (although then you’d lose that nice contrast of texture–it would be more like a graham cracker crumb crust).You mix the pretzels in with butter and a bit of sugar, then bake and cool the crust in a 9X13 pan. The cream cheese, whipped topping and some sugar are whipped together, spread over the cooled crust and chilled. Finally you layer on cut strawberries and gently spoon over the strawberry gelatin that has started to cool but hasn’t yet set. The whole thing is returned to the refrigerator for 4-6 hours and then served cut into squares.
It’s a delicious combination of sweet and a bit of salty, smooth gelatin, creamy cheese mixture and the salty crust. Try it for your next gathering and see what people think!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 C Crushed Pretzels
- 3/4 C Butter
- 2 C Whipped Topping
- 1 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese
- 1 C Sugar
- 3 TBS Sugar
- 2 3 oz pkg Strawberry Jello
- 2 C Boiling Water
- 1 LBS Strawberries
Preheat oven to 350.
Crush pretzels by placing in a gallon zippered baggie and rolling with a rolling pin.
Melt butter & combine with crushed pretzels and 3 TBS of sugar.
Press pretzel mixture into an ungreased 9X13 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.
While the crust cools, beat together whipped topping, softened cream cheese and 1C sugar.
Spread cream cheese mixture over the cooled pretzel base and refrigerate until chilled.
Slice strawberries and layer over the cream cheese mixture, return to fridge.
Mix jello in 2 C boiling water until completely dissolved--about 2 minutes.
Chill jello for 30 minutes (cold and just starting to set) and carefully spoon over the strawberries.
Chill entire thing for 4-6 hours.
Serve cut into squares.
For more great berry recipes check out what my fellow Walmart Moms did!
Mommy’s Kitchen made strawberry syrup and Italian sodas.
Presley’s Pantry created a berry pan dulce cake.
Cutie Booty Cakes sweet treat strawberry Greek yogurt popsicles.
Lille Punkin’ blended the perfect homemade berry cream cheese spread.
Looking for good burger recipes? The Walmart Moms have that too!
De Su Mama did a twist on a classic and created Cuban burgers.
Lynnae McCoy spiced things up with a pepper jack guacamole burger.
Modern Mami moved away from beef and switched it up with pork burgers and plantain crisps.
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.