Pineapple Pretzel Salad

Pineapple Pretzel Salad is a tropical spin on the typical pretzel jello salad. With the flavors of pineapple and coconut, this pina colada inspired dish can be served as a side or a dessert.

Pineapple Pretzel Salad slice on a plate near a pool

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad is one of my family’s favorite summertime treats. The balance of the salty pretzels with the sweet fruit, filling and jello is so delicious. My mom found a recipe for this pineapple version in a magazine several years ago, and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. Pina Coladas are my favorite frozen drink, and I love how the flavors of pineapple and coconut combine in desserts, such as these Mini Pina Colada Cheesecakes.

overhead shot of a piece of Pineapple pretzel salad with a dollop of cool whip on top and a maraschino cherry

We really liked this tropical spin on pretzel jello salad! The coconut is mixed into the cream cheese layer, and the crushed pineapple is mixed into the jello layer. You get the authentic pina colada flavors from the fruits but also the contrast of textures from the firm pretzels and soft jello. If you’re looking to shake things up at your next outdoor gathering, this Pineapple Pretzel Salad is just the dish for you!

Recipe Details

Preparing the Pretzel Layer

ingredients for pretzel layer

To make the pretzel layer, combine crushed pretzels with sugar and melted butter.

pretzel layer ingredients mixed in a bowl

Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish and bake. Allow to cool before adding the cream cheese layer.

pretzel layer pressed into square baking dish

Preparing the Cream Cheese Layer

cream cheese layer ingredients

To prepare the cream cheese mixture, beat together the softened cream cheese and sweetened coconut, then stir in the cool whip until completely combined.

cream cheese layer mixed up in a bowl

Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled pretzels. This may take some care when spreading so as not to disrupt the pretzel crumbs. I did this by dropping spoonfuls of the mixture around the crust and using a small offset icing spatula to carefully spread the cream cheese layer, never touching the spatula to the pretzels.

cream cheese layer spread on top of pretzel layer in baking dish

The dish should be chilled until you’re ready to add the jello layer.

Preparing the Pineapple Jello Layer

pineapple jello layer ingredients

To prepare the jello layer, add boiling water to the gelatin mix in a large bowl. Whisk or stir until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the cold water and crushed pineapple (including juice) and stir to mix well. Allow jello mixture to sit for 10 minutes to cool off. Carefully pour or spoon jello mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill for at least 3 hours or until jello is set.

pineapple jello layer on top of other two layers in square baking dish

Serving the Pineapple Pretzel Jello Salad

You can certainly just slice and serve the salad as is. I decided to pipe little dollops of whipped topping onto each slice and top each mound of topping with a stemmed, drained maraschino cherry. This gives each slice the look of a real pina colada drink and allows each person to have a cherry, which seemed to be of utmost importance to my kids!

Gluten Free Pineapple Pretzel Salad

Use any brand of gluten free pretzels, such as Glutino, for the pretzel layer for an entirely gluten free dish.

Pineapple Pretzel Salad Pin

Looking for more summer sides and desserts?

Check out these other recipes perfect for a summer BBQ:
Panzanella Tomato Bread Salad
Parmesan Potatoes
Potatoes and Onions
Summer Vegetable Pasta
Roasted Vegetable Lemon Orzo Salad
Pasta Primavera Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Banana Split Cake {No Bake}
Mini Pina Colada Cheesecakes
Graham Cracker S’mores Cookies
Seven Layer Bars
S’mores Cheesecake Bars
Key Lime Pie Bars
Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
Samoa Bars
Blueberry Crumb Bars

Pineapple pretzel salad recipe photo

Pineapple Pretzel Salad

Pineapple Pretzel Salad is a tropical spin on the typical pretzel jello salad. With the flavors of pineapple and coconut, this pina colada inspired dish can be served as a side or a dessert.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 9-inch square baking dish


For the crust:

  • 1 cup finely crushed pretzels (approx. 3 ounces tiny twist pretzels)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cup butter (melted)

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • ½ cup thawed whipped topping

For the topping:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 ounces pineapple gelatin (1 package)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 16 ounces canned crushed pineapple in juice (undrained)

Optional finishes:

  • whipped topping
  • maraschino cherries with stems


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the pretzel crumbs, sugar and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes then cool.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and coconut until well blended. Stir in cool whip until fully incorporated. Spread mixture evenly over cooled crust and refrigerate until ready to add the gelatin layer.
  • Add gelatin mix to a large bowl. Pour boiling water over mix and whisk for 2 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the cold water and pineapple and mix well. Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Spoon or pour gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer to make the final layer of the salad.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours or until gelatin is firm.
  • Cut into pieces and top each with a dollop of whipped topping and a drained maraschino cherry, if desired.


You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword coconut, dessert, gluten free, jello, pineapple, side dish

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