Tropical Jello Pretzel Salad is a sensational combination of juicy pineapple, toasty coconut flavor, yummy orange Jello with the added bonus of delicious mandarin oranges. It is so easy to make this mandarin orange Jello dessert, combining the simple yet delightful ingredients to create this amazing salad could not be easier.
This Jello pretzel salad recipe has a wonderful texture and loaded with enticing tropical flavors. The pretzels in this layered Jello recipe taste similar to chopped pecans and provides a lovely balance of texture with the crunchy base.
Jello Pretzel Salad
Jello dates back to the late 1800’s but Jello salads really didn’t become popular until the 1960’s, that is when things really took off. Jello recipes with cool whip often find their way to holiday or event tables with the main and side dishes as opposed to the dessert table. The Tropical Jello Pretzel Salad is so delicious and beautiful that it would be perfect for your next family get together, backyard BBQ or any other celebration too. With how fast it is to make this tropical orange Jello salad, you do not have to spend hours in the kitchen making this simple recipe. It comes together quick and will be a hit with your family and friends.
Tropical Jello Pretzel Salad Ingredients
For the Pretzel Crust you will need:
-Pretzels: You need 2 cups of crushed pretzels for the base of the crust.
-Butter: Using 3/4 cup melted butter will help to bind the pretzel crust together and give a nice rich flavor too.
-Sugar: You will need 3 TBSP granulated sugar for a bit of added sweetness for this crust.
For the fluffy Jello salad filling you will need:
-Pineapple: For this recipe you need 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, make note to NOT drain the can. We want all the delicious juice.
-Pudding mix: Using 1 3-oz box Coconut Cream pudding mix will give us that amazing tropical flavor for this salad.
-Whipped topping: You will need 1 8-oz tub whipped topping to make this Jello salad extra creamy and delightful.
For the topping you will need:
-Jello mix: Using 1 3-oz box orange Jello will be a perfect pairing with the rest of the lush flavors.
-Water: To dissolve your Jello mix you will need 1 cup boiling water.
-Mandarin oranges: You will need 3 11-oz cans of mandarin oranges (drained), to add some texture to this salad.
How to make Tropical Jello Pretzel Salad
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Then, spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
Making the crust
Start by putting your pretzels in a ziplocked bag, using a rolling pin crush them into small pieces. You want them in small pieces but not so small that it is a sand like mixture, you want some whole pieces left.
Then, combine the crushed pretzels, sugar and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Gently stir everything to combine and melt the butter completely.
Next, spread the pretzel mixture out evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Proceed to bake the pretzel crust for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Jello Salad filling
In a medium size bowl, pour in the entire can of crushed pineapple (with juice!).
Then, sprinkle the dry coconut pudding mix on top of that and then stir until completely incorporated.
After that, fold in the whipped topping and stir until well combined.
Proceed to spread the mixture over the pretzel crust in the 9×13 pan, making sure that the mixture reaches all of the edges. Set the pan in the fridge to keep it cool while you make the Jello.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of boiling water with the box of orange Jello mix. Stir it until the Jello is completely dissolved. Then, let it sit for 10-15 minutes until the Jello cools off slightly.
Next, pour the Jello mixture on top of the pineapple-whipped topping making sure to cover it completely.
Then, arrange the mandarin orange slices so that they cover the entire surface of the salad. These will settle into the Jello once it cools completely.
Cool and serve
Lastly, cover the salad and refrigerate it for at least 3-4 hours, until the salad is completely cooled and set. Cut it into squares to serve. Enjoy!
TROPICAL JELLO PRETZEL SALAD
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- ¾ cup melted butter
- 3 TBSP sugar
Jello salad filling
- 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple NOT drained!
- 1 3 ounce box Coconut Cream pudding mix
- 1 8 ounce tub whipped topping
- 1 3 ounce box orange Jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 11 ounce cans mandarin oranges drained
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Then, spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
Making the crust
- Start by putting your pretzels in a ziplocked bag, using a rolling pin crush them into small pieces. You want them in small pieces but not so small that it is a sand like mixture, you want some whole pieces left.
- Then, combine the crushed pretzels, sugar and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Gently stir everything to combine and melt the butter completely.
- Next, spread the pretzel mixture out evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Proceed to bake the pretzel crust for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Jello Salad filling
- In a medium size bowl, pour in the entire can of crushed pineapple (with juice!).
- Then, sprinkle the dry coconut pudding mix on top of that and then stir until completely incorporated.
- After that, fold in the whipped topping and stir until well combined.
- Proceed to spread the mixture over the pretzel crust in the 9x13 pan, making sure that the mixture reaches all of the edges. Set the pan in the fridge to keep it cool while you make the Jello.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of boiling water with the box of orange Jello mix. Stir it until the Jello is completely dissolved. Then, let it sit for 10-15minutes until the Jello cools off slightly.
- Next, pour the Jello mixture on top of the pineapple-whipped topping making sure to cover it completely.
- Then, arrange the mandarin orange slices so that they cover the entire surface of the salad. These will settle into the Jello once it cools completely.
Cool and serve
- Lastly, cover the salad and refrigerate it for at least 3-4 hours, until the salad is completely cooled and set. Cut it into squares to serve. Enjoy!
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Can You Freeze Jello Salad?
While you could freeze this Jello salad recipe, it may not give you the desired results that you are looking for. If you freeze it before the jello sets, then the jello will never set correctly and as the dessert salad thaws, the dish will all be a different texture than what is intended.
How long does it take for Jello Salad to set?
This Tropical Jello Salad should take about 3 to 4 hours to fully set, but allowing the dish to set overnight in the fridge is a great way to make sure that it is completely perfect before serving. It also gives the flavors longer to develop.
Can I switch up the fruit and Jello flavors in this salad?
You bet you can, experimenting with this salad can be a lot of fun. To keep the tropical flavor theme you can switch up the Jello flavor for mango, melon fusion, or even the tropical fusion blend would be fantastic! For the fruit on top you can swap out the mandarin oranges for kiwi, fresh mangos, or even simple bananas would taste amazing. Whatever your favorite Jello flavor is and your preferred fruit, really you can’t go wrong with this versatile recipe.
Like jello recipes? So do we! Check out our full collection of jello salads and jello desserts here:
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Be sure to check out our updated collection of Best Memorial Day BBQ Recipes!
If you like Jello salad with pineapple , you are going to love this Tropical Jello Pretzel Salad Recipe. It is a flavorful explosion of coconut, pineapple, and mandarin oranges with a delightful crunch.
Help!! Ready to make, but did you use pineapple in syrup or it’s own juice???
Usually make the strawberry version, anxious to try this version!! Thanks!!
You use the pineapple juice already in the can- not pineapple syrup. Just pour the whole can in! 😉 Enjoy! It’s one of my favorites!
Lauren S says
I don’t think this recipe is complete. There needs to be 2 packages of gelatin and 2 cups of water. One cup of water is not nearly enough to completely cover the top of this dish
Nope! Just 1 package of jello. Did you try it? It works, I assure you! The oranges on top take up a lot of surface space and the jello fills in around it.
Deanna J Mullenbach says
My husband hates pineapple but loves coconut cream any suggestions for substitute for the pineapple?
You could use mandarin oranges, pears or diced peaches in place of the pineapple!
Chuck Hess says
Great dish. Everywhere I take it, everyone wants the recipe. Wish I could print out your recipe. I can’t find anywhere to click on “Print Recipe”.
At the top of the page below the recipe title and social media buttons there is a button that says print recipe, click that and it should pull right up for you to send to your printer!
This is so good, refreshing, and comforting. It’s like being on a tropical island!
norma L salas says
I don’t like coconut pudding , what can use instead. Please answer me by website. I can not remember my password on my email. Thank you Norma
You can use vanilla or banana pudding instead! I hope you enjoy it!
Is it pudding or jello
I use both in this recipe!
THe coconut pudding should be cooked first according Tto the directions on the box. P
No, please don’t cook the pudding, lol! It’s for a salad!
Making it to take to a dinner this weekend camping, instant or regular pudding mix??
I dissolved the jello but the package calls for 2 cups of water (one boiled and one cold) Was this left out. I used 2 cups, hopes it turns out okay.
My recipe states in 3 different places that you use 1 cup of boiling water for the jello layer. : )
carol hawley says
could I use graham wafer crumbs instead of the pretzels? could you please e-mail me with your answer? thanking you so much
I think graham cracker crumbs would work wonderfully in this recipe!
Instant pudding mix or cook and serve?
JENNIFER BURKETT says
I made this for a wedding and a Christmas party. Everyone loved it and is asking for the recipe.
I’m happy to hear this was a hit for you, your friends and family Jennifer!
Made this for the super bowl and everyone loved it! Delicious!
I followed the recipe exactly as written but, after adding one box of orange jello, I felt like it wasn’t enough (super thin layer) and I combined another box with another 1 cup boiling water and that was the perfect amount per square! So, I think from now on I will make with two boxes of jello for the top layer. Otherwise, this was SO good! Thanks for sharing!
Natalie, I’m so glad you could enjoy this for the game! And thanks for sharing what you changed!
Chari Pilcher says
Your recipes look good!
Thank you Chari! Hope you try some!
Jennie Gomez says
I will be making this , need to know if I can use instant coconut cream pudding? Please advise.
Yes, that’s perfect!
Bona Miller says
It tasted good; however, it would have been nice to know if the pudding should have been the instant type. I purchased the regular and it did not set at all. When I poured the Jello on top it mixed in with the pudding/pineapple/cool whip mixture. Also it did not say whether the jello was supposed to be sugar free or not. Little details make a big difference in how a recipe turns out.
sorry to hear your first attempt didn’t turn out quite right, but at least it tasted good 🙂