Mandarin Orange Pretzel Salad Recipe

Mandarin Orange Pretzel Salad makes an appearance at most family parties. It could easily double as a dessert, but we consider it a Jello side dish. Either way, it's a family favorite and don't plan on any leftovers.

We love making this delicious orange pretzel salad during the hot summer months, but it also shows up at family parties in the winter as well. It’s so easy to make and feeds a crowd.

When summer is in full swing . . . we have the hot temperatures going on, swimming lessons, fireworks, and many family BBQ’s. We love every minute of it! I would much rather have a hot summer than a freezing cold winter!

We had a fun get-together for the 4th of July and I was planning on making my mom’s Raspberry Pretzel Salad, but I completely forgot to buy raspberries at the store. I started looking for something that I could use in place of it and I saw some cans of mandarin oranges in my pantry . . . the rest is history! It turned out awesome!

It’s so easy to swap out the jello and fruit for another flavor. So we have this salad in raspberry and orange flavor.

can you make this salad ahead of time?

We have often made this Mandarin Orange Pretzel Salad a day early. Or even the night before.

Just be sure to cover it well and keep it in the fridge. We have eaten the leftovers for an extra day and it’s still delicious.

After a few days the pretzel crust can start to get a little soggy. But it actually holds up well for about 2 days. And if you have any leftovers you are very fortunate. This salad gets devoured fast.

how to make Mandarin orange pretzel salad

This salad uses everyday ingredients you may have on hand in your fridge and pantry. The ingredients for this salad are fairly inexpensive.

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • Combine the pretzel pieces, melted butter, and sugar. Stir together until well blended.
  • Press into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely.
  • For the 2nd layer, combine the sugar and cream cheese and beat until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip until well blended.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture over the pretzel layer. Be sure to seal the cream cheese layer snug against the pan on all 4 sides so the jello layer doesn’t leak through.

  • Then mix orange Jell-o and boiling water together. Stir until completely dissolved.
  • Add drained mandarin oranges and let cool until slightly set. Place it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to speed up this step.
  • Gently spoon the Jell-o mixture over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate until firm.
  • Slice and serve.

helpful items used in this recipe:

  1. 9 x 13 Glass Baking Dish – We love this baking dish and it comes with an airtight cover.
  2.  4 Cup Glass Measuring Cup – We use this to boil our water and so many other uses. 
  3. Hand Mixer – A favorite hand mixer for so many recipes. 

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This cookbook includes copycat recipes from Wingers, Texas Roadhouse, Starbucks, Panera, Cheesecake Factory, Kneaders, and so much more. We have you covered from drinks, to dessert and everything in-between.



here are more Jell-o recipes:

  1. Raspberry Cream Cheese Jell-o Salad
  2. Caramel Apple Jell-o Salad 
  3. Frozen Creamy Lime Jell-o
  4. Strawberry Jell-o Fluff Salad
  5. Homemade Jell-o Fruit Snacks

Serves: 20

Mandarin Orange Pretzel Salad Recipe

1 hr, 30 Prep Time

7 minCook Time

1 hr, 37 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 cups pretzels sticks (broken into fourths)
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Cool-Whip (non-dairy whipped topping)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (6 ounce) box orange Jell-o
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges (drained)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the first layer, combine broken pretzels, melted butter and sugar. Stir together until well blended. Press in  9 x 13 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.  Cool completely.
  3. For the second layer, beat sugar and cream cheese together until smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip. 
  4. Spread cream mixture over pretzel layer (be sure to seal the cream cheese layer against the sides of the pan so that the jello mixture will not be able to leak through when added).
  5. For the Jell-o layer, mix orange Jell-o and boiling water together until Jello is completely dissolved.  Add mandarin oranges and let cool until slightly set. 
  6. Pour Jell-o over cream cheese layer and refrigerate until firm.
  7. Cut into squares and serve.


lacto vegetarian
egg free
soy free
seafood free
treenut free
sesame free
mustard free

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12 Responses to “Mandarin Orange Pretzel Salad Recipe”

  1. i was so exicited to make this! followed the directions sealed the cream cheese and then when i went to pour the jello on top it seperated and one little section bubbled and it soaked to the bottom now:( i put it in the fridge hoping it will still be ediable ? will it??
    • It should still be edible. Not sure what went wrong. We let the jello cool slightly before pouring it over the cream cheese layer. Sometimes it cools to the point that it starts to thicken just slightly. Hope this helps for a future attempt. :)
  2. Marsha Milton
    I make a Blueberry dessert that is very similar but uses powdered sugar instead of regular sugar. for me it makes it a little creamier! I love these kinds of recipes because there is no end to the choice of fruits and jello combinations you can use! (-:
  3. Hi! I've had this since I was a little kid. Unfortunately my son and I both have health concerns. Both of us don't eat gluten and I don't eat lactose. I'm taking a big risk because I miss this desert so much. I changed the cream cheese to 8ozs. of goat cheese and whipped topping to coconut cream topping and I used Quntino gluten free pretzels. So far both of those steps/layers has set up beautifully! Yay! When I got to the last step and it didn't say 'Add.. 2 cups cold water' does this mean it will be a firmer set, like jigglers? I'm so excited to see if my risk has paid off. Altering foods is challenging but better than being sick. Thanks for sharing the recipe.?

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