This raspberry pretzel salad is the PERFECT sweet and salty combo! Plus it’s EASY to make gluten-free with gluten-free pretzels!

Made with a crispy pretzel crust, whipped cream cheese, and raspberry Jell-O, it’s the best upgrade to a retro Jell-O dessert! It’s a crowd-pleaser!

A serving of raspberry pretzel salad on a plate


 

If you’ve never tried raspberry pretzel salad, you are missing out! At first glance, you may be a little skeptical. But after one bite you will see why raspberry Jello pretzel salad is a crowd favorite!

This unique dessert is made with a salty pretzel crust, sweet cream cheese filling, and a layer of raspberry jello that’s filled with frozen or fresh raspberries.

It’s bursting with flavor and texture, which makes it hard to stop eating! The layers of salty-sweet deliciousmess are always a hit, and it makes the MOST delicious dessert or side dish for family gatherings or holidays.

Unlike your typical retro jello salad recipe, this raspberry pretzel dessert is free of vegetables or other weird mix-ins. The fresh berries, cream cheese mixture, and pretzel layer are similar to a cheesecake and make the best combination!

I like making this recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner, or any time we have a large family dinner. Even though it has three layers, it really is a simple recipe that comes together quickly. It doesn’t require any baking, so it’s a great recipe for summertime, too!

We especially love making it for a gluten-free thanksgiving side dish that everyone will love! You also might like this full collection of gluten-free thanksgiving recipes.

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy recipe
  • Crowd favorite
  • Sweet and salty combo
  • Perfect for a crowd
  • Great a gluten-free Thanksgiving side dish

For more gluten-free sides, try this gluten-free stuffing, easy roasted sweet potatoes, gluten-free sweet potato casserole, gluten-free corn casserole, gluten-free green bean casserole, gluten-free crescent rolls.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Pretzel Crust

Pretzel crust ingredients on a countertop
  • Gluten-free pretzels: Remember to use gluten-free pretzels if you want this recipe to be gluten-free! Synder makes the best gluten-free pretzels, in my opinion!
  • Brown sugar: Any light brown sugar will work for this recipe. When combined with the melted butter and salty pretzels, this makes the pretzel mixture even more delicious!
  • Butter: I like to use salted butter for this salty-sweet pretzel crust, since it has more depth of flavor than unsalted butter.

You also might like this thanksgiving fruit salad. If you love raspberry you also might like this raspberry compote or raspberry coulis.

For the Cream Cheese Filling

Cream cheese filling ingredients on a countertop
  • Heavy cream: Be sure to use real heavy cream, not half and half and certainly not Cool Whip. Real heavy cream contains a milk fat percentage of 35% (or higher). Many brands of heavy whipping cream only have 30-35% milk fat, whereas heavy cream has 35% or higher. This mousse needs the extra milk fat to be sure it turns out thick and creamy. I prefer Darigold heavy cream (40% milk fat). Not all brands or cartons label the milk fat percentage, so to be safe, look for a brand that has 35% (or higher) written on the carton.
  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese to give this whipped cream cheese layer a more rich flavor and thick texture.
  • Vanilla: Real vanilla extract is always best, since it has a more vibrant vanilla flavor.
  • Powdered sugar: You can use any brand of powdered sugar for the sweet cream cheese layer.

You also might like this gluten-free cheesecake!

For the Raspberry Layer

Raspberry jello filling ingredients on a countertop
  • Water: Boiling hot water is required to help the top jello layer firm up. Be sure the water is boiling, or you’ll end up with watery jello.
  • Frozen raspberries: You can use fresh raspberries for this raspberry pretzel salad recipe, but I find that frozen raspberries work just as well. (And they’re cheaper!)
  • Raspberry Jell-O: Raspberry jello mix is essential for getting that delicious raspberry flavor this recipe is known for. You could also make this with strawberry jello and fresh strawberries. I’m sure strawberry pretzel jello salad is equally delicious! You also might like this cranberry jello salad.

How to Make Gluten-Free Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Pretzel crust in a bowl and pretzel crust pressed into a baking dish

Make the Pretzel Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed pretzels, brown sugar, and butter until evenly combined.
  • Press the mixture into an even layer in the bottom of a 9X13-inch pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely.

Make the Cream Layer:

Whipped cream filling in a bowl, and whipped cream filling spread over the pretzel crust
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or a medium bowl with an electric mixer) mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bottom and side of the bowls. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream followed by the vanilla. Mix until thick and creamy until 2-3 minutes. 
  • Spread the cream layer evenly over the cooled pretzel crust all the way to the edges. Refrigerate until the raspberry layer is ready. 

Make the Raspberry Layer:

Raspberry filling in a bowl, and raspberry filling over a cream cheese filling in the baking dish
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the jello and boiling water until the jello is fully dissolved. Stir in the frozen raspberries. 
  • Let the mixture sit for just a few minutes to set up a bit (don’t let it sit too long though or it will be hard to spread).
  • Pour the raspberry jello mixture over the top and gently spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm and set up, 6-8 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Storage Instructions

To store, cover raspberry pretzel salad with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to five days.

You also might like this thanksgiving green salad or arugula pear goat cheese salad.

raspberry pretzel salad in a baking dish

FAQs

What is raspberry jello made of?

Raspberry Jell-O is made from sugar, gelatin, and artifical flavors. Here is the full ingredient list from the label:

Sugar, Gelatin, Adipic Acid (For Tartness), Contains less than 2% of Artificial Flavor, Disodium Phosphate and Sodium Citrate (Control Acidity), Fumaric Acid (For Tartness), Red 40.

Why did they put vegetables in Jello?

When Jell-O was first introduced in the early 1930’s, home cooks added vegetables and fruits to make the dish more hearty and filling. Since this was during the period of the Great Depression, food was scarce and families needed to stretch their meals as much as possible.

Why are jello salads a thing?

Jell-O salads first gained popularity during the Great Depression, when families were looking for cheap, affordable ways to feed themselves and stretch their ingredients. By adding fruits and vegetables, the Jell-O became more hearty and filling.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • A note on heavy cream: Be sure to use real heavy cream, not half and half and certainly not Cool Whip. Real heavy cream contains a milk fat percentage of 35% (or higher). Many brands of heavy whipping cream only have 30-35% milk fat, whereas heavy cream has 35% or higher. This mousse needs the extra milk fat to be sure it turns out thick and creamy. I prefer Darigold heavy cream (40% milk fat). Not all brands or cartons label the milk fat percentage, so to be safe, look for a brand that has 35% (or higher) written on the carton.
  • Remember to use gluten-free pretzels if you want this recipe to be gluten-free! Synder makes the best gluten-free pretzels, in my opinion!
  • You could adapt this recipe by using fresh or frozen strawberries and strawberry Jell-O, if you prefer.
A serving of raspberry pretzel salad on a plate

MORE GLUTEN-FREE HOLIDAY SIDES

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try this raspberry pretzel salad, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you! 

A serving of raspberry pretzel salad on a plate
5 from 3 votes

Gluten-Free Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Prep Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 15
Gluten-Free raspberry pretzel salad is the PERFECT sweet and salty combo! Made with a crispy pretzel crust, whipped cream cheese, and raspberry Jell-O, it's the best upgrade to a retro Jell-O dessert!

Ingredients

Pretzel Crust:

  • 1 ¾ cups coarsely crushed gluten-free pretzels (see note) 140-150 g
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar 40 g
  • ½ cup butter, melted 40 g

Cream Layer:

  • 8- ounce package 227 g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar 143 g
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Raspberry Jello:

  • 6- ounce package raspberry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 12- ounce package frozen raspberries don’t thaw

Instructions 

Make the Pretzel Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzels, brown sugar, and butter until evenly combined.
  • Press the mixture into an even layer in the bottom of a 9X13-inch pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely.

Make the Cream Layer:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or a medium bowl with an electric mixer) mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bottom and side of the bowls. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream followed by the vanilla. Mix until thick and creamy until 2-3 minutes.
  • Spread the cream layer evenly over the cooled pretzel crust all the way to the edges. Refrigerate until the raspberry layer is ready.

Make the Raspberry Layer:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the jello and boiling water until the jello is fully dissolved. Stir in the frozen raspberries.
  • Let the mixture sit for just a few minutes to set up a bit (don’t let it sit too long though or it will be hard to spread).
  • Pour the raspberry jello mixture over the top and gently spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm and set up, 6-8 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Notes

  • My favorite brand of gluten-free pretzels is Synder. 
  • Heavy Cream: Be sure to use “heavy cream” because it contains a milk fat percentage of 35% (or higher). Many brands of heavy whipping cream only have 30-35% milk fat, whereas heavy cream has 35% or higher. This mousse needs the extra milk fat to be sure it turns out thick and creamy. I prefer Darigold heavy cream (40% milk fat). Not all brands or cartons label the milk fat percentage, so to be safe, look for a brand that has 35% (or higher) written on the carton.

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Nailed the sweet-salty balance! With a gluten-free pretzel crust, creamy cream cheese, and raspberry Jell-O, it’s a modern twist on a retro favorite. Everybody loved it!

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