Amazing as a salad or dessert, this incredible Cherry Jello Pretzel Salad is the ultimate side dish for any cookout, potluck or backyard barbecue! Made with a salty-sweet pretzel crust, a delicious cream cheese filling, and topped with fresh cherries in jello, this salad is a must for any summer get-together. Even better than the strawberry version!
If you love salty-sweet foods, then you’re definitely in for a treat with this amazing side dish! Many call it a salad, as it is made with jell-o, but it is certainly sweet enough to be considered a dessert. The strawberry version of this side is fantastic, but if you love fresh cherries, then THIS version is definitely for you!
This fantastic summer side dish starts with a pretzel crust that is out-of-this-world! It’s as simple as crushing pretzels, adding melted butter and a few tablespoons of sugar, mixing to combine, and then patting in to the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. You’ll need to bake the crust for about 10 minutes to get it to set. This is a step you don’t want to skip, as this crust might be the most complimentary part of this salad!
Once the crust comes out of the oven and has cooled completely, you’ll top the crust with a creamy, delicious cream cheese filling. This filling is super-yummy, and is just three simple ingredients – cream cheese, granulated sugar, and thawed whipped topping. Simply use your hand or stand mixer to whip these together, and then spread over the top of your crust. Once you have this done, you’ll want to refrigerate this for about 30 minutes. This will help the creamy filling get set, and to also help act as a cool surface for the jell-o and cherries that will be added in the next step.
Your last step is to add the cherry jello to the top. While the crust/filling is in the fridge chilling, begin boiling your water for the jell-o. The recipe calls for 2-3 oz. packages of cherry jell-o, or you can use a large 6 oz. package if its available. Pour the boiling water together with the jell-o mix in a large bowl, and let cool at room temperature. While the jell-o is cooling, begin slicing the fresh cherries. I sliced mine in half, which makes it easy to remove the pit. If cherries are out of season or unavailable, pick up some frozen cherries in the frozen food section. The work as a nice substitute.
Add your cherries to the jell-o and stir. Then, pour the cherry/jell-o mixture on the top of the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until the jell-o is completely set.
Here’s the easy recipe for this fantastic summer side dish:
The recipe is fantastic to make ahead for pot-lucks, parties, summer cookouts and back-yard barbecues. Enjoy your summer! ~Erin