If you’re a fan of foods that are crunchy, salty and sweet, there’s no way you’re not going to love this mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad recipe. The irresistible dish makes many appearances at many Midwest potlucks, but it’s just as easy to make for a backyard weeknight dinner with family or neighbors.

Strawberry is the most common fruit used on this classic dish, but the cool, citrusy combination of mandarin and pineapple makes for a delicious update.

Notes: I probably make this dish about once a year — not because I don’t love it, but because I can’t be trusted. I will eat the whole pan by myself if left without supervision. It’s just THAT GOOD. In no way is this a healthy recipe, but I do what I can to cut out unnecessary calories if possible. That said, if you like a creamier salad, add a full three or four cups of whipped topping. I cut back to just under two because you can still have all the flavor, just slightly less fluff. I also don’t add any additional sugar to the cream layer — the Jell-O above adds all the sweetness you’ll need.

Mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad is refreshing and fun
Mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad

Mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad


  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups crushed salted pretzels
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages of orange Jell-O gelatin
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple
  • 2 cans (11 ounces each) mandarin orange slices, drained
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 cups whipped topping (like Cool Whip)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, mix crushed pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into bottom of ungreased 13×9 in. clear baking dish. Bake 10 minutes before removing and setting on a wire rack. Cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, add gelatin and boiling water and stir until dissolved (about 2 minutes). Add pineapple and orange slices to bowl and stir. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until partially set. (This will help the Jell-O from seeping through your cream layer.)
  3. While you wait for the gelatin to set, fold cream cheese and whipped topping together.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled pretzel layer — careful not to disturb the pretzels. Use a knife or spoon to make sure the mixture cover the pretzels entirely and that the edges are sealed off.
  5. Spoon gelatin mixture over top of cream layer. Refrigerate until firm — about 3 to 4 hours.
  6. To serve, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad is refreshing and fun

ALSO TRY, 10 Healthy Slow-cooker recipes.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.