Sunday, June 13, 2021

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad

Cheesecake salad puts a creamy twist on the classic strawberry pretzel salad that is divine. Whip up a batch for an easy dessert in just 20 minutes!

Fresh berries and candied pretzel pieces are combined with a rich and fluffy concoction made with pudding and jello mixes.

The flavors dance over your tongue, creating an incredible dessert that you’ll want to make again and again.

If you’re a long time reader, you know that this strawberry pretzel salad is not the first of its kind. 

I’ve got nearly a dozen different cheesecake salad recipes ranging from tropical to patriotic and everything in between!

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad - Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Soften the cream cheese. If you try to use it straight out of the refrigerator, you’ll end up with a lumpy mess. Pull it out and let it sit on the counter while you work on the pretzels and it should be ready to go when you need it.
  • Use more fruit. Since this is very rich as written, you can increase the amount of berries if you would like. I used about 2 pounds total, so I would suggest using about 3 pounds of strawberries to mellow it out.
  • Too thick? You can use a combination of 1 cup heavy cream and ½ cup milk instead of all heavy cream for a thinner, silkier consistency. If it’s already mixed, add a splash of milk to loosen it up.
  • Add the pretzels last. While they will stay crunchy for a while, they can start to discolor the surrounding cheesecake mixture. If you won’t be enjoying this right away, stir in the pretzels just before serving.

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad ingredients

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I make strawberry cheesecake salad ahead of time?

If you will be preparing this in advance, make the cream cheese mixture but leave out the jello. Store the mixture in a sealed container in the refrigerator, then chop up the berries and place those in a separate container.

You can also candy the pretzels and keep those in a ziploc bag so they don’t get stale.

When you’re ready to serve, beat the jello mix into the creamy mixture until light and fluffy. Then, drain any excess juice off the berries and fold them in along with the pretzels.

candied pretzels on a baking pan

How long does this last in the refrigerator?

When kept covered in plastic or in an airtight container, it should keep for up to 3 days. 

Keep in mind that the crunchy bits will start to soften over time, so you may want to leave those out and stir in a few each time you dish it up.

What’s a good serving size for this strawberry pretzel salad?

Because it’s extra rich and creamy, you don’t need much to satisfy your sweet tooth! 

I would recommend about ½ cup per serving to start. You can always go back for seconds if you want.

Enjoy!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad in a bowl



Yield: 5 cups
Author: Donna Elick
Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad

Cheesecake salad puts a creamy twist on chopped fresh fruit that is simply divine. Whip up a batch for an easy dessert in just 20 minutes!
Prep time: 20 MinTotal time: 20 Min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly crushed pretzels
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3.4 ounce package of instant cheesecake pudding mix (unprepared)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jello mix (unprepared)
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into bite-sized pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add brown sugar and butter, cut into pieces. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until mixture is bubbling and sugar is dissolved into the butter. (this took 1 minute total in my microwave)
  3. Stir in vanilla extract. Add the pretzel pieces and stir until fully coated.
  4. Transfer the pretzel mixture to the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  5. Bake for 10 -12 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.
  6. Remove candied pretzels from the oven and stir to recoat pretzels with any of the sugar mixture that has spread onto the baking sheet. Allow pretzels to cool completely.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy.
  8. Add the cheesecake pudding mixture and beat until fully combined (mixture will be chunky).
  9. With the mixer (or hand beater) running on low speed, slowly drizzle heavy cream into the cream cheese mixture. Beat well between the addition of small amounts (add only 1 tablespoon at a time).
  10. Add powdered sugar and strawberry jello and continue beating until fully combined. 11. Add fresh strawberries and candied pretzels to the mixture and stir to combine. 12. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
DONNA'S NOTES
  1. Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.



Originally published June 2021

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