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Pineapple Pretzel Salad is filled with sweet and salty flavors and plenty of pretzel crunch crust!
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Pineapple Pretzel Salad recipe has a tasty tropical twist on the classic sweet and salty side dish, made with a buttery baked pretzel base, a cream cheese mixture in the middle, and a tangy pineapple top.

Pineapple Pretzel Salad hero image

Easy Pineapple Pretzel Salad Recipe

Our Pineapple Pretzel Salad is technically a side dish but it’s also sweet enough to double as a dessert; with a fruit-flavored swap from my Strawberry Pretzel Salad, it’s not so much a salad as it is a 3 tiered treat!

These pineapple pretzel squares start by baking the buttery crust, then it’s topped with a smooth, fluffy Cool Whip and cream cheese mixture, and finished with a fruity gelatin layer above.

Light on the top, creamy in the middle, with a satisfying crunch below, this dessert salad has the perfect combination of sweet, salty, tangy, and buttery in every delicious bite.

A pineapple pretzel dessert is a perfect ending to most main dishes but it also makes a great pretzel salad with pineapple to pass around at a potluck or a holiday party.

Why We Love This Pineapple Pretzel Salad Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Uses a handful of simple ingredients.
  • Pretzel pieces are baked with plenty of butter and sugar so you get buttery, salty, and sweet in every single slice.
  • Creamy, crunchy, fruity and tangy with a jiggly jello texture on top.
  • Perfect to pair with an Easter or Christmas meal.
Pineapple Pretzel Salad ingredients

Pineapple Pretzel Salad Ingredients

  • Pretzels
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salted sweet cream butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
  • Boiling water
  • Crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
  • Pineapple gelatin mix
  • Pineapple chunks (optional garnish)

Substitutions and Additions

  • Prepare Pina Colada Pretzel Salad: You can add coconut flakes and top with a maraschino cherry on each square to make a pina colada pretzel salad.
  • Fruit Flavors: Feel free to try this recipe with a different fruit, like raspberries, strawberries, or mandarin oranges, and then switch out the jello mix to match the fruit that you are using. Some other fun flavor ideas include:
    • Raspberry: Keep the recipe the same, but swap out the pineapple jello for raspberry flavored jello and use fresh raspberries instead of pineapple.
    • Strawberry: Use strawberry jello instead of the pineapple packets and use fresh strawberries (check out my Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe for this fruit swap).
    • Orange: Swap the pineapple jello for orange jello and use canned mandarin oranges.
eating Pineapple Pretzel Salad on a plate
  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Spatula

How to Make Pineapple Pretzel Salad

  1. Bake The Base: Combine the crushed pretzels and sugar and then add the melted butter. Stir to coat completely. Press into the bottom of the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Make The Cream Cheese Mixture: Beat the cream cheese until no lumps remain. Add in sugar and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Fold in the thawed whipped topping.
  3. Spread The Second Layer: Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust evenly.
    Pro Tip: Make sure to create a small ledge around the sides with the cream cheese mixture. This will help create a wall or barrier to prevent the jello from seeping down the sides into the pretzel base and making it soggy.
  4. Make The Gelatin Mixture: Sprinkle both packages of gelatin over boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add 1 can drained pineapple and 1 can with the juice to the dissolved gelatin. Chill for 15-20 minutes or until the gelatin is just starting to thicken but has not set.
  5. Add The Top Layer: Spoon the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese layer.
    Pro Tip: Be sure it does not go over the edges of the cream cheese.
  6. Set, Slice, And Serve: Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until set. Slice 3 slices x 4 slices before you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
Pineapple Pretzel Salad collage process

Tips For Making The Best Pineapple Pretzel Salad

  • Feel free to garnish each slice with a spoonful of whipped topping and a small piece of drained pineapple chunk
  • If you choose to top your dessert salad with a spoonful of whipped topping, you will need an additional amount than what’s called for in the recipe. You can buy 2 (8-ounce) whipped topping and use one full container and half of the other container for the recipe and the remaining half container for the topping)
  • You can crush the pretzels in the food processor or add them in batches to a gallon-size ziplock bag and use either a rolling pin or even the cans of crushed pineapple to crush the pretzels.
  • I chose to use the small pretzel twists, but you can also use the small pretzel sticks.
  • This pretzel salad must be made at least 4 hours ahead of time to allow time for the jello layer to fully set up.

How to Store Pineapple Pretzel Salad

  • To Store: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
a square piece of Pineapple Pretzel Salad

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned pineapple in this recipe?

I do not recommend using fresh pineapple. The enzymes in the fresh pineapple will keep the gelatin from thickening.

Is this pineapple pretzel salad gluten-free?

No, this salad prepared with regular pretzels is not gluten-free. However, it can easily be made gluten-free by substituting for gluten-free pretzels!

pineapple pretzel salad on a plate

Other Easy Pineapple Recipes

5 from 1 vote
pineapple pretzel salad featured image

Pineapple Pretzel Salad

Serves — 12
Pineapple Pretzel Salad is filled with sweet and salty flavors and plenty of pretzel crunch crust!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • cups crushed pretzels (5 cups of whole pretzels)
  • cups granulated sugar (divided into ½ cup and ¾ cup)
  • ¾ cup salted sweet cream butter melted
  • 12 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces whipped topping thawed (if choosing to top with a spoonful of whipped topping you will need an additional amount of whipped topping, you can buy 2 (8-ounce) whipped topping and use one full container and half of the other container for the recipe and the remaining half container for the topping)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 40 ounces (2 20-ounce) cans of crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
  • 6 ounces (2 3-ounce) box pineapple gelatin mix

Optional:

  • 20 ounce can pineapple chunks (the chunks can be used as optional garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
  • Add the crushed pretzels and ½ cup granulated sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the melted butter to the pretzel mixture. Stir to coat completely. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake the pretzel base for 10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely.
  • Using a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese for 1-1½ minutes until no lumps remain.
  • Add the remaining ¾ cup granulated sugar and vanilla extract for another 1-1½ minutes until completely incorporated.
  • Fold in the thawed whipped topping.
  • Use an offset spatula or silicone spatula to spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust evenly. When smoothing the cream cheese mixture, make sure to create a small ledge around the sides with the cream cheese mixture. This will help create a wall or barrier to prevent the jello from seeping down the sides into the pretzel base and making it soggy.
  • Drain the juice of 1 can of crushed pineapple, but do not drain the second can.
  • Add the boiling water to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle both packages of gelatin over the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the gelatin completely.
  • Add both cans of crushed pineapple, 1 can drained, and 1 can with the juice to the dissolved gelatin. Chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until the gelatin is just starting to thicken but has not set.
  • Carefully spoon the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese layer, be sure it does not go over the edges of the cream cheese. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until set. Slice 3 slices x 4 slices before you are ready to serve.
  • May garnish with a spoonful of whipped topping and a small piece of drained pineapple chunk.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Tips:
  • Feel free to garnish each slice with a spoonful of whipped topping and a small piece of drained pineapple chunk
  • If you choose to top your dessert salad with a spoonful of whipped topping, you will need an additional amount than what’s called for in the recipe. You can buy 2 (8-ounce) whipped topping and use one full container and half of the other container for the recipe and the remaining half container for the topping)
  • You can crush the pretzels in the food processor or add them in batches to a gallon-size ziplock bag and use either a rolling pin or even the cans of crushed pineapple to crush the pretzels.
  • I chose to use the small pretzel twists, but you can also use the small pretzel sticks.
  • This pretzel salad must be made at least 4 hours ahead of time to allow time for the jello layer to fully set up.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 521mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 1mg

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