Strawberry-Pomegranate Pretzel Salad
Recipe Intro From lisathompson

I took this classic Southern summer dessert and flipped it on its head by topping the salty pretzel crust and creamy filling with a homemade pomegranate jello! This version of jello doesn't use any added sugar, artificial flavorings, or food coloring, so you're left to relish the floral vanilla bean, tangy pomegranate, and sweet strawberry flavors. 

Note: if you don't have vanilla sugar, use granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract where needed.


Prep time 1hr 30mins
Cook time 20mins
Serves or Makes: 12


For the Pretzel Crust

  • 5 cups mini salted pretzels (gluten-free if necessary), crushed
  • 1/ 3 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 1/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

For the Cream Filling

  • 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/ 3 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/ 3 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 (16-ounce) container frozen whipped topping (we use Truwhip), thawed
  • Pinch salt

For the Pomegranate Jello Topping

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 4 (1/4-ounce) envelopes plain gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 1/ 2 cups sliced strawberries

For Garnish

  • Frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Halved strawberries
  • Mini salted pretzels

Make the Pretzel Crust


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13" baking dish or baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Step 2

    Stir crushed pretzels with vanilla sugar and melted butter until well coated. Press into prepared baking dish in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool completely.

Make the Cream Filling


  • Step 1

    Make space in the refrigerator.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, stir softened cream cheese with vanilla sugar and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then stir in thawed whipped topping until just combined.

  • Step 3

    Spread cream filling over cooled pretzel crust in an even layer with an offset spatula. Arrange sliced strawberries overtop and refrigerate.

Make the Pomegranate Jello


  • Step 1

    Bloom gelatin in 1/2 cup pomegranate juice (you can do this right in the measuring cup) and stir until well combined. Set aside.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses in a medium pan over medium heat until whisps of steam appear, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in bloomed gelatin until completely melted. Let cool at room temperature until it feels just slightly warmer than body temperature, about 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Pour cooled pomegranate jello over strawberries and cream filling, smoothing out if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  • Step 4

    Slice into 12 squares, then garnish with whipped topping, strawberry halves, and pretzels and serve.