Raspberry Pretzel Jello Dessert is a delicious 3-layer dish that features a pretzel crust, cream cheese layer, and raspberry Jello topping. It’s perfect for both barbeques and holiday dinners!
I first had this scrumptious raspberry pretzel Jello dessert several years ago, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since!
Thank goodness my mother-in-law had the recipe for it, so now I can make it whenever I want. And you can too!
This recipe works because it’s:
- Jello elevated. Normal Jello is fine every now and then, but this dessert is so much better because it’s like a raspberry Jello cheesecake!
- Requires minimal baking. You’ll only need the oven on for 6 minutes, and there’s very little chance of messing up the crust.
- The right combination of flavors. The sweet cream cheese layer, the salty pretzel layer, and the tartness of the raspberries make this dessert delicious!
- Perfect any time of the year! Bring this to your next cookout or holiday dinner. It’s fancy enough for Christmas and casual enough for a weekend get-together.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Combine 2 cups of coarsely crushed pretzels, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 cup melted butter until mixture starts to stick together.
Press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes and then cool completely.
While the crust is cooling, beat 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar until fluffy.
Fold in 8 ounces of whipped topping and 20 ounces of drained crushed pineapple into the cream cheese mixture.
Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled pretzel crust all the way to the edges of the pan. Place in the refrigerator to keep cool.
Dissolve 6 ounces of raspberry Jello in 3 cups of boiling water. Stir until the dry Jello mixture is fully incorporated into the water. Mix in 10 ounces of frozen raspberries and refrigerate until the Jello is soft set (about 45 minutes-1 hour).
Pour the soft set Jello mixture over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate the dessert until the Jello is firm (another 2-3 hours).
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
To speed up the cooling process for the crust, you can place the pan in the freezer.
You can easily boil the water in the microwave if you don’t want to use the stovetop.
Most recipes don’t add the crushed pineapple to the cream cheese layer, but I like the extra flavor and texture it provides. Feel free to leave it out if you don’t like pineapple.
You can add 1/2 of chopped nuts to the pretzel crust before baking if you like nuts!
You’ll want the Jello to be semi-set before you pour it onto the cream cheese layer because if it’s too liquid-y, it can seep down into the crust.
Feel free to swap out the raspberry Jello and frozen raspberries for strawberry items if you like those better. But the raspberry flavors are especially delicious for Christmas!
Try these substitutions if you need a vegan/healthy alternative:
- Butter substitutions
- Cream cheese substitutions
- Sugar-free Jello
- Graham crackers instead of pretzels
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Yes! Feel free to make this dish up to 24 hours before serving. It will keep covered in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
If your pretzel crust is crumbly and not holding together, you can add 1 tablespoon of melted butter at a time until the pretzels start sticking together.
The high butter content in the crust and the fact that it’s crushed pretzels should keep it from sticking.
If you’re worried about it sticking, a few spritzes of non-stick cooking spray should do the trick.
If your Jello mixture seeps down into the crust two things could be happening:
1. You didn’t spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the edges of the pan.
2. You didn’t let the Jello cool enough. It should be syrupy and soft set when you pour it on the cream cheese layer.
I hope your family loves this raspberry pretzel Jello dessert! If you make it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!
And if you’d like to get a 4-week meal plan featuring my recipes, just enter your email in the form above and you’ll get it straight to your inbox!
Raspberry Pretzel Jello Dessert
- 2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
Cream Cheese Layer
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 ounces whipped topping, like Cool Whip
- 20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- 6 ounces raspberry Jello
- 3 cups boiling water
- 10 ounces frozen raspberries, about 2½ cups
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter until mixture starts to stick together.
- Press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes and then cool completely.
- While the crust is cooling, beat softened cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar until fluffy.
- Fold in whipped topping and drained crushed pineapple into the cream cheese mixture.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled pretzel crust all the way to the edges of the pan. Place in the refrigerator to keep cool.
- Dissolve raspberry Jello in boiling water. Stir until the dry Jello mixture is fully incorporated into the water. Mix in frozen raspberries and refrigerate until the Jello is soft set (about 45 minutes-1 hour).
- Pour the soft set Jello mixture over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate the dessert until the Jello is firm (another 2-3 hours).