The Joy of Jell-O! Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Salad

Is it a salad or a dessert? Salty and sweet. The combination of Jell-O and pretzels is delicious.

by Lindsay Patross
May 25, 2022

Is it a salad? Is it a dessert? We sent filmmaker Boaz Frankel out to uncover the history of this Pittsburgh picnic staple. Check out our video here.

This is a somewhat controversial dessert. It is a dish that is loved by many and one that many love to hate. I get it. The idea of suspending stuff in Jell-O is weird. My hunch is that the haters have not actually tried Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Salad.

What is Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

The strawberry pretzel salad is a layered dish. The base is a pretzel crust. The filling is a whipped cream layer, often made with Cool Whip. The top layer is strawberry Jell-O with strawberries.

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad Recipes

Wanna make your own? Brown Eyed Baker, who lives in Pittsburgh, has a traditional recipe for strawberry pretzel salad.

I’ve been on the hunt for some old-school cookbooks with a recipe for this treat, so I reached out to the experts in The Wedding Cookie Table Community Facebook group.* Here are some of the recipes that were shared.

More recipes inspired by strawberry pretzel salad:

The “Joys of Jell-O” and the hunt for community cookbooks

Thanks to the Pittsburgh subreddit, I learned that the “Joys of Jell-O” cookbook from ‘50 (and it looks like there are several editions of this cookbook from the 60s) has the recipe for strawberry pretzel salad. The Wedding Cookie Table Community Facebook group also shared a number of community cookbooks that have the recipe.

Let us know if you have the recipe in one of your cookbooks!

Looking for some history on the Jell-O salad?

If you liked this video…

We’ve got lots more local videos for you to watch on Very Local! Download the Very Local app on your phone or streaming TV to watch some of our very Pittsburgh shows like Ed and Day in the ‘Burgh and Plate It, Pittsburgh! If you love sweets don’t miss the “Sweet Tooth” episode of What’s On The Menu Pittsburgh.

This video was made for Very Local by Boaz Frankel and you might enjoy some of his other Pittsburgh videos. We sent Boaz to the South Side to capture the history of The Pretzel Shop on Carson St. This local business has been making soft pretzels for decades. And check out Boaz’s tour of The Farmers’ Market Co-Op of East Liberty. This market has been open every Saturday since 1941.

If you are not yet familiar with the wedding cookie table tradition, you are in for a treat! Check out this explainer from The Incline and The New York Times has an extensive article on the tradition. “The Belt Cookie Table Cookbook” was published last year and is available on AbeBooks, Amazon &, eBay.

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

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