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Pineapple Pretzel Salad

This sweet, salty, creamy Pineapple Pretzel Salad is perfect for potlucks and gatherings. With some pantry staple ingredients, this layered dessert is always a hit!

A CREAMY CRUNCHY DESSERT

This Pineapple Pretzel Salad is a delicious and unique combination of sweet and salty flavors. It’s a refreshing and easy to serve dessert that’s perfect for summer barbecues, potlucks, or just because you want something sweet! The best part is that it requires minimal effort to make. With its tropical flavors and creamy, crunchy texture, this easy-to-make Pineapple Pretzel Salad will become your new go-to favorite.

A plate with a slice of pineapple pretzel salad.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Why is it called a salad when it clearly isn’t a salad?

Welcome to America – ha! Where we call lettuce in a bowl a salad, pasta in a bowl a salad, sweet ingredients mixed up in a bowl a salad and a layered dessert can also be a salad. I honestly do not know but that’s always just what it has been called.

Can I make this with other fruit?

Yes, you could. You may already be familiar with strawberry pretzel salad. I imagine you could use other crushed fruit, just keep in mind the liquid content of what other fruit you’re choosing. Crushed pineapple tends to have a decent amount of liquid, so you may need to adjust for other fruit choices by adding some water.

Do I have to let it chill that long?

Yes, I know it can be tempting to want to snag a slice of this pretzel salad, but letting the dessert chill for the full 4 hours will help everything set properly.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! This is the perfect dessert to make ahead of time. You already have to let it chill for 4 hours, so why not let it chill overnight and set overnight?! Make this dish the night before you plan on serving and save time later.

How to store leftovers?

Keep your leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

A square of Pineapple Pretzel Salad with a bite missing.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • crushed pretzels – the nice part about this dessert is the sweet and salty combination. If, however, you really don’t want any salty flavor, you could use unsalted pretzels.
  • unsalted butter – because the pretzels already have salt on them then unsalted butter is the best choice here. Salted might add a bit too much salt but if that is all you have then go for it.
  • cream cheese – it is super important this be fully at room temperature. It it isn’t, you will end up with a really lumpy filling.
  • whipped topping – also called Cool Whip. You purchase it in the frozen dessert section of your grocery store and you’ll need to put it into the refrigerator to thaw overnight. You want to get the larger (16 ounce) tub for this or you can purchase 2 (8 ounce tubs).
  • pineapple Jell-O mix – it’s actually called island pineapple. You can use a store brand instead of the name brand if you prefer. But this is a main ingredient and there isn’t a substitute unfortunately.
  • crushed pineapple – look for crushed pineapple in 100% juice (not heavy syrup) – do not drain any of the juices since we’ll need them.
Cool Whip, pineapple chunks, pretzels, butter, sugar, cream cheese, powdered sugar, Pineapple Jello and water.

HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE PRETZEL SALAD

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crush pretzels in a bag with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin, or place them in a food processor and process them into crumbs. Place the pretzels into a large bowl and mix well with the melted butter and sugar. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool completely.

collage of three photos: a bag of crushed pretzels, a mixing bowl with pretzels, butter, and sugar, a baking dish with a pretzel crust.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in 8 ounces (half the tub) of whipped topping until there are no white streaks left. Carefully smooth this over the pretzel crust then place into the fridge while you make the pineapple filling.

a collage of three process photos: cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl, cool whip added to cream cheese mixture in a bowl, cream cheese mixture spread on top of pretzel layer in baking dish.

In a large heatproof bowl, add the Jell-O mix. Add the boiling water and whisk until the jello is dissolved. Stir in the pineapple with juices. Allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes on the counter. Pour the Jell-O mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture. Place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.

a collage of three process photos: hot water being poured in Jell-o mix, crushed pineapple in jello, a pineapple mixture on top of the rest of the Pineapple Pretzel Salad in a dish.

Add the remaining 8 ounces whipped topping on top, chill an additional 2 hours. 

A Pineapple Pretzel salad in a baking dish with crushed pretzels on top.

Garnish with additional chopped pretzels and serve.

A serving utensil holding a slice of pineapple pretzel salad.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

A fork holding a bite of pineapple pretzel salad in front of the rest of the piece of dessert.

Pineapple Pretzel Salad

This sweet, salty, creamy Pineapple Pretzel Salad is perfect for potlucks and gatherings. With some pantry staple ingredients, this layered dessert is always a hit!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (measured after crushing)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened to room temerature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces (larger tub) whipped topping, divided use
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages pineapple Jell-O mix
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in 100% juice (do not drain)
  • cup broken up pretzels, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Crush pretzels in a bag with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin, or place them in a food processor and process them into crumbs.
  • Place the pretzels into a large bowl and mix well with the melted butter and sugar.
  • Press the crust into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Fold in 8 ounces (1/2 the tub) of whipped topping until there are no streaks left.
  • Carefully smooth this over the pretzel crust, place into the fridge while you make the pineapple filling.
  • In a large heatproof bowl, add the Jell-O mix. Add the boiling water and whisk until the Jell-O is dissolved.
  • Stir in the pineapple with juices. Allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes on the counter (you don't want the super hot pineapple mixture going directly on top of the cream cheese layer).
  • Pour the Jell-O mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture. Place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
  • Add the remaining 8 ounces whipped topping on top, chill an additional 2 hours.
  • Garnish with additional chopped and serve.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • Make this the night before to save time and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Course: Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 349mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow this was really good and was such a refreshing dessert and not heavy which everyone appreciated after the huge meal we ate LOL

  2. 5 stars
    My family absolutely loved this recipe. My daughter helped me make it and she thought it was so fun! The flavor is impeccable. Definitely adding this one to our kitchen again.