This popular Southern dessert is served at all the cookouts, parties, and graduations during the summer. This three layer strawberry dessert boasts a homemade “pretzel” crust, keto cool whip center, and homemade sugar free strawberry jello on top. This keto strawberry pretzel salad dessert is clean, light, sweet, and perfect for all of your summer soirees.
What is Strawberry Pretzel Salad?
Strawberry pretzel salad is a traditional Southern dessert that is served cold, typically in the warmer months. It is a layered dessert with a crust, a filling, and a jello like top. It’s light, sweet, and refreshing on a hot summer day. It also carries well to cookouts and can serve a crowd.
Is This Strawberry Pretzel Salad Keto?
This strawberry pretzel salad recipe is keto friendly! Traditionally, pretzels, cool whip, and a box of jello are used to make this dessert. To clean up the ingredients, the crust is made grain free (no real pretzels), the filling is made with clean ingredients, and the jello is homemade and completely free of refined sugars.
Are Pretzels Included this Keto Dessert Recipe?
No, there are not any real pretzels used in this keto strawberry pretzel salad dessert. Instead, the crust is adapted from my keto turtle cheesecake crust. Pecans, almond flour, plant based sweetener, and salt are made to mimic the taste and texture of crushed pretzels. If no one told you, you’d think you were eating the real thing!
Layer 1: Pecan “Pretzel” Crust
The crust for this low carb strawberry dessert is very simple to make. Much like my other cheesecake crusts, this crust is a mixture of crushed pecans, almond flour, plant based sweetener, and a heavy pinch of salt. The salt is what really makes this crust mimic a pretzel. The crust is pre-baked for about 10 minutes and then let to cool before adding the cold ingredients on top.
Layer 2: Keto Cool Whip Filling
The filling in this sugar free dessert is very similar to my keto cool whip recipe. Heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, and plant based sweetener are used for this layer. The heavy cream and cream cheese are beat independently until light and fluffy and then folded together to make a smooth and creamy filling. As it sets in the fridge, the filling will firm up just enough to be easily sliced.
Layer 3: Homemade Sugar Free Strawberry Jello
The top layer of this dessert is homemade strawberry jello. The jello is made with frozen strawberries, water, gelatin, and allulose (a plant based sweetener). There is a whole blog post here about making homemade sugar free jello. It’s incredibly easy and eliminates preservatives, artificial dyes, and artificial flavors from this otherwise clean low carb strawberry dessert!
Can Sugar Free Jello Mix Be Used Instead?
It is not recommended to use a box mix of sugar free jello. While it may be time saving and a popular choice with other blogs, it is not the cleanest or healthiest option. Boxed sugar free jello is full of artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring, artificial flavors. There is nothing natural or nutritious about it. Food can be both delicious and nutritious when we use the right ingredients! Making the jello homemade let’s you absorb the benefits of grass-fed collagen, antioxidants in fresh fruit, and vitamins! Plus, it tastes infinitely better!
Can Other Fruits Be Used?
Yes, you can use a variety of fruits for the jello layer. Read this post for more information and suggestions.
What Size Pan is Best for this Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe?
This recipe fits best in an 8×8 square baking dish or an 8×12 baking dish. A 9×13 baking dish is just a tad too big for the ingredients to layer thick enough not to fall apart. If you really need to use an 9×13 pan, it is recommended to at least make more crust.
How Long Does this Strawberry Dessert Need to Chill?
After assembling the dessert, it needs to chill in the refrigerator a minimum of 3 hours to allow the jello to set. At that point, it should be easily sliceable with a sharp knife. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and do not let it come to room temperature.
Keto Strawberry Pretzel Salad (Low Carb, Gluten Free)
For the Crust:
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup sweetener
- heavy pinch of salt about 1 teaspoon
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
For the Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sweetener
For the Jello:
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 3/4 cup allulose
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 ounce grass-fed gelatin + 1 cup water
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients until well mixed.
- Press the mixture into an 8x8 or 8x12 glass baking dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on counter for 10 minutes and then place into the freezer to chill while the other layers are prepared.
For the Filling:
- In a stand mixer, or large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the softened cream cheese and sweetener together until light and fluffy.
- Transfer the cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and beat until just combined, about 20 seconds.
- Remove the crust from the freezer. Spread the filling on top of the crust. Make sure to seal the edges of the pan with the filling. Use an offset spatula to level off the top.
- Place the dish back into the freezer while you prepare the jello.
For the Jello:
- Put the frozen strawberries into a blender and pulse until crushed into small pieces.
- Transfer to a sauce pan. Add the allulose and 1 cup of water.
- Over medium heat, stir the mixture until a boil begins. Remove from heat.
- Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the fruit mixture into a large measuring cup. You should yield 2 cups of fruity liquid. The remnants in the strainer will look like jam.
- In a seperate measuring cup, mix the gelatin and cold water. Stir until dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into the fruit liquid and stir well.
- Remove the baking dish from the freezer. Carefully pour the jello mixture on top of the filling.
- Carefully place the baking dish in the refrigerator and let chill a minium of 3 hours before serving.