Jello Salad Recipe: Michelle’s Pretzel Salad

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If you're looking for an amazing jello salad recipe then you have to try my friend Michelle Mandrino's pretzel salad. This recipe is a church favorite and she always has to make 2 batches because it's literally the first dessert to go at all of our church fellowships.

Have you heard of Jello Salad? It make an appearance usually at holiday meals or family gatherings. My friend Michelle always brings her amazing pretzel salad to all of our church functions. Also known as jello salad, it is so good she actually had to start making double batches! Everyone goes to the dessert table first because it literally gone in the first 15 minutes. Jello Salad recipes are great recipe to bring to parties since they are generally easy recipes. A big thank you to Michelle for sharing her pretzel salad recipe with us! Scroll to the end of this post to print your recipe.

Traditional Jello Salads

Can you believe that Jello salads are a thing? Apparently, they have been around for years and years and people still love them. We typically think of Jello-based desserts as an old family favorite, but probably something the younger generations wouldn't choose for a dessert.

They have a long history and date back to when convenience foods were the latest trend. With many hours spent by generations of mothers and grandmothers in the kitchens to make everything from scratch, the microwaveable and instant foods of the 1950's and 1960's were the perfect dish! Now, we think of these jello flavors and fluff salads as vintage recipes. No matter who you ask, if your family had traditional dinners long ago for special events — chances are you had some version of Jello Salad, Watergate Salad, or fruit salad on the menu!

Modern Jell-O Salad Recipes

If you're looking to make a delicious dessert for your next potluck or family get-together, you've come to the right place. Today, we're going to show you how to make two classic Jello salads that everyone will love.

What exactly IS a jello salad? This is a question that many people have, and the answer might surprise you. A jello salad is not just a bowl of gelatin with some fruit mixed in. There are actually many different ingredients that can be used in this type of salad. Every family's version will differ, honestly. Many have a cream cheese layer, while others are just served in a large bowl!

A jello salad is a dish that usually contains fruit, cool whip, and gelatin. The gelatin is what gives the salad its signature wobbly texture. While there are many different variations of jello salads, most recipes call for common ingredients like apples, grapes, mandarin oranges or cherries. While the ingredients and serving dish may be different, ultimately it's always served as a sweet salad has some kind of jello mixture.

Jello salad's You May Have Heard of

  • Raspberry fluff jello salad or raspberry jello salad
  • Easy 7up lime jello salad
  • Cranberry jello salad
  • Green jello salad also known as lime gelatin salad
  • Orange jello salad

Doesn't it sound great– depends on who you ask? But we can promise it's a must-try!

Hawaiian Jell-o Salad

Our first recipe is Hawaiian Jell-o Salad. If you want to bring a unique and island-inspired dish to your next potluck or BBQ, check out this recipe for Hawaiian Jello salad! This colorful dish is easy to make and packed with delicious tropical flavors. So give it a try today and bring the taste of Hawaii to your table! This particular jello salad recipe is made with lemon jello, crushed pineapple, banana, mini marshmallows, topped with whipped cream and cheddar cheese.

If you're not a fan of savory ingredients such as cheddar cheese, never fear. This recipe can be made entirely sweet without any of the “odd” flavors like cheddar cheese. We know some of you are going, “what?!” That's ok. Cheddar adds a bright yellow color and something to balance out the sweetness. However if you can't get around the idea of adding shredded cheese, some alternatives are pecans, maraschino cherries, and of course cottage cheese. Each of these will add different flavors to your Hawaiian Jell-o Salad.

Yield: 12

Hawaiian Jello Salad Classic Recipe

Hawaiian Jello Salad Classic Recipe

Hawaiian Jello Salad is a an old recipe you may remember from your childhood. This pineapple filled dessert is perfect for spring and summer!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 14-oz can crushed pineapple, drained (keep juice and set aside!)
  • 1 package lemon jello (it will say 4 1/2 cup servings)
  • 3 bananas, fresh (not brown)
  • 1 full 10 oz bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 tub of cool whip, thawed
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese


First, make your Jello according to package directions. Allow to chill in the refrigerator until almost fully set.

While the Jello is setting, slice three bananas into thin slices and add to a large mixing bowl.

Drain pineapple and add to the banana. Keep all the pineapple juice, since we will add it in a minute!

At the point your Jello is setting, remove from fridge and break it up, gently folding it into the banana/pineapple mixture.

You can also optionally add mandarin oranges or any other fruit to this mixture if you prefer.

Add your fruit and Jello mixture to the bottom of a 9x13 pan, smoothing it out into a thin layer.

In a separate bowl, combine the mini marshmallows, thawed cool whip, and the reserved pineapple juice. If the mixture is too thick, you can add up to 1/2 cup of additional fruit juice (pineapple or orange work best) or water.

Combine until smooth and gently spread with a spatula out over the bottom layer of the dessert.

Finally, shred one cup of cheddar cheese and add to the top of the cool whip layer.


We noted in the recipe, cheddar cheese may not seem tasty to some! If this is the case, you can optionally top with shredded coconut, pecans, or even additional pineapple or mandarin oranges lined up.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 163Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 9mgSodium 81mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 22gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

Michelle's Pretzel Salad

I am so excited to share Michelle's recipe. It gets rave reviews! Do you love the flavor and texture of pretzels? Do you also enjoy fruit salads? Do you love cheesecake? If so, you'll love this pretzel salad!

This dish is a mix of textures and flavors that are sure to please. Keep reading to learn which simple ingredients go into this unique dish.

Pretzel Sticks

This starts with a layer of crushed pretzels. You will mix this with butter and a small amount of sugar. To make the pretzel crust you can use a Ziploc bag or just toss them into a food processor. Roughly chopped is fine, since crust will soften. Bake in the oven and start your hot jello mixture. You can use whatever pretzels you have on hand, as long as they are unflavored. Lightly salted is OK.

Next, make your Jell-O. Use hot water or boiling water and dissolve your three Strawberry jello packets, blending until they are dissolved. To the hot mixture you will add your frozen strawberries.

Finally, Set your berry mixture aside to add your cream cheese layer to the pretzel crust. By this time the crust should be ready to go. Combine cream cheese along with Cool Whip and sugar to make a nice fluffy mixture. Do not substitute whipping cream for the Cool Whip, since we need the stabilization of the frozen whipped topping.

Spread the Cream cheese layer over the pretzels, being careful not to mess up the crust. The last step is to check your berry mixture and see if it's ready to pour over the cream cheese layer. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Do not add boiling hot liquid over the cream cheese layer. It will dissolve the cream cheese and both layers will mix! Wait until it's cooled off slightly.
  • Refrigerate the cream cheese layer while you wait on your jello mixture to cool.
  • Gently spoon the jellow mixture over the other layer to ensure the hot and cold temperatures do not suddenly mix.
Yield: 12

Jello Salad Recipe: Michelle's Pretzel Salad

Jello Salad Recipe: Michelle's Pretzel Salad

This is a favorite at all of our church gatherings! Michelle is known to bring two batches so everyone can have a slice of this amazing dessert!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (plain or lightly salted)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for crust
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 (8 ounce) pack cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • 3 3-ounce packs strawberry flavored Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries - do not drain


Preheat oven to 350

Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

In a Ziploc bag or with a food processor, crush your pretzels into a fine crumb texture. Mix with your 2 Tablespoons of sugar. If using a food processor, you can go ahead and add the melted butter and pulse 1-2 times to mix.

If using a Ziploc bag to crush the pretzels, pour it out into the pan and smooth into a layer. Then pour the melted butter over and with a fork, gently mix until the pretzel crust is uniform. Press down into a layer using the back of a measuring cup, spoon or just your fingers.

Bake 8-10 minutes and set aside. Do not overbake crust, since the pretzels will get a "nutty" or overdone flavor. Set crust aside and allow to cool.

In a separate bowl or with a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and the remaining cup of sugar. Add slowly and blend alternately or while adding to cream cheese. Spread evenly over the pretzel crust. You can set the pan aside in the fridge while you prepare the strawberry layer.

Finally, in a stovepan, boil water and dissolve your three jello packets. Once these are dissolved, add the frozen strawberries. Mix constantly as you add any frozen ingredients to water, to prevent the strawberries. Turn heat down to a simmer and allow the mixture to thicken to a heavy syrup stage. Continue stirring to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and spread evenly over the cream cheese mixture.

Refrigerate until cold and completely set, 1-2 hours. Slice and serve cold.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 232Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 33mgSodium 205mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 1gSugar 22gProtein 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

Well, there you have it! Our delicious jello salad recipe that includes Michelle’s pretzel salad. Be sure to check out our other jello recipes for more fun and tasty ideas. And as always, thanks for reading!

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