Gelatin Pretzel Salad Dressed Up for Thanksgiving

Enjoy this creamy pretzel salad with cranberry-flavored gelatin -- perfect for Thanksgiving side or dessert.


16 servings


2 1/2 cups pretzel sticks
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups boiling water
2 (4 serving size) packages cranberry-flavored gelatin
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups cold water
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained, juice reserved
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated (white) sugar
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Place pretzels in resealable food-storage plastic bag; smash with rolling pin or flat side of meat mallet until crushed. In medium bowl, mix crushed pretzels, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in butter. Press mixture onto bottom of baking dish.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool on wire cooling rack.

Meanwhile, in large heatproof bowl, pour boiling water on gelatin; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add enough cold water to reserved juice to equal 2 cups; stir into gelatin. Refrigerate until partially set, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture evenly over pretzel crust.

Finely chop mandarin orange segments; gently stir into partially set gelatin. Carefully pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Estimated Time

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 11 minutes
Total Chill Time: 9 hours 45 minutes

Additional Information

This salad can be served as a side dish or light dessert.

Since the salad needs to chill at least 8 hours, make it the day before you plan to serve it.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving (1 Serving): Calories 300 (Calories from Fat 140), Total Fat 15 g (Saturated Fat 10 g, Trans Fat 0 g), Cholesterol 35 mg; Sodium 230 mg; Total Carbohydrate 38 g (Dietary Fiber 0 g, Sugars 29 g), Protein 3 g; Exchanges: 2 Other Carbohydrate; 1/2 Low-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 2 1/2

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