I’ve got a tasty salad for you that combines the best of two of my favorite desserts – the fruity yumminess of strawberry shortcake and the creamy decadence of cheesecake. It’s like a super magical mashup that will have everyone asking you for the recipe. This amazing “salad” (because in the Midwest everything is a salad) features fresh strawberries, bananas, mini marshmallows, velvety whipping cream, tangy Greek yogurt, and a cheesecake instant pudding mix that takes it to Next Level deliciousness. Trust me, this recipe is a game-changer.
Bonus: it doesn’t matter your culinary skills…you CAN make this Strawberry Cheesecake Salad. And it WILL taste amazing. Just follow the instructions. I know you’ll be so thankful you tried it because I know you’ll be bringing this salad to all the places for all the things.
Key Ingredients for Strawberry Cheesecake Salad:
- Fresh strawberries: These juicy berries add a sweet and refreshing taste to the salad.
- Fresh bananas: Bananas bring a creamy and slightly tropical flavor to the mix.
- Mini Marshmallows: These small and soft candies add a fun and sweet element to the salad.
- Whipping Cream: Whipping cream, when beaten, creates a creamy and fluffy texture in the salad.
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt adds a tangy and smooth taste to the mix and lightens up the recipes.
- Cheesecake Instant Pudding Mix: This mix gives the salad a rich and creamy cheesecake flavor without the need for baking.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Strawberry Cheesecake Salad:
Alright, let’s break it down and make these instructions as clear as can be. I want you to breeze through this recipe without any trouble or confusion.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cheesecake pudding mix and Greek yogurt. Set this mixture aside for a moment.
- Grab another bowl and beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar together until they reach soft peaks…just like soft serve ice cream.
- Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the cheesecake mixture.
- Now, give it a good mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. We want all those flavors to blend in perfectly and create that smooth texture we’re wanting.
- Carefully stir in the fresh strawberries, bananas, and mini marshmallows. We don’t want to overdo it, so gently combine them just until they’re all blended together. No need to rush!
- Serve this immediately and prepare to bask in the compliments. If you’re not planning to serve it right away, remember this little trick: hold off on adding the strawberries until the last minute. Keep the salad chilling in the fridge, and just before serving, add those sliced strawberries to keep them from coloring the salad.
- Chocolate: The only thing that might make this Strawberry Cheesecake Salad better, in my opinion, is chocolate. Try chocolate chunks, shaved chocolate, or even a bit of chocolate syrup drizzled on top.
- Nuts: To add some texture and nuttiness to the salad, consider including chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans. You can either mix them directly into the salad or sprinkle them on top as a garnish.
- Citrus: Grate the zest of an orange or lemon into the cheesecake mixture before folding in the other ingredients. This will give the salad a refreshing citrusy kick similar to your favorite lemon cheesecake.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: For an additional touch of cheesecake-like flavor, sprinkle some graham cracker bits into the salad or on top when you serve it. It will provide a nice crunch and remind you of the crust of a classic cheesecake.
- Fresh herbs: A bit of chopped fresh mint or basil might help to cut the sweetness of this salad and change up the flavors, a bit.
- Honey or Agave Syrup: If you prefer your salad to be a bit sweeter, drizzle some honey or agave syrup over the finished salad.
Additional Tips and Explanations:
- When beating the whipping cream, aim for soft peaks. This means beating until the cream holds its shape but is still smooth and creamy. Be cautious not to overbeat, as it can lead to stiff peaks. Soft peaks, resembling soft serve ice cream, will give your salad the creamy texture you want.
- Folding the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture is important for getting that creamy consistency. Use a spatula or spoon to gently combine the two mixtures. This method keeps the airiness of the whipped cream intact and avoids deflating it.
- During the low-speed mixing step, go for approximately 2 minutes. This ensures thorough blending and a smooth final texture. Mixing on low prevents excessive air incorporation, resulting in a creamy and decadent salad.
- When adding the strawberries, bananas, and mini marshmallows, take care not to over-stir. Over-stirring can cause the strawberries to release their juices and color the salad. Gentle stirring is enough to combine all the ingredients without affecting the look or texture.
Make ahead/Store Strawberry Cheesecake Salad:
As I mentioned above, the strawberries are going to bleed out and color the salad if it is stored in the fridge for a while. It tastes perfectly fine. BUT…to avoid that add the strawberries to the salad right before serving. Make the salad ahead and store the salad (minus the strawberries) in the fridge overnight. Before serving, gently stir in the strawberries.
Store the Strawberry Cheesecake Salad, covered, in the fridge for upto 3 days. The longer it is stored the more the strawberries will color the salad. Again, perfectly safe to eat but…be aware.
This easy recipe is made with simple ingredients and takes no time at all to prepare. So give it a try and serve up a sweet and creamy strawberry cheesecake salad that will have everyone asking for more! Be warned…it will disappear from your fridge before you can bring it to the party, if you aren’t careful.
Heavenly Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 3.4 ounce Cheesecake Instant Pudding Mix
- 3 bananas, sliced
- 1 lb strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- In a medium size bowl, beat the 2 cups whipping cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (this will be the bowl everything ends up in) mix 2 cups Greek yogurt and 3.4 ounce Cheesecake Instant Pudding Mix together.
- Gently fold the whipping cream mixture into the yogurt mixture.
- Stir in the bananas, marshmallows, and strawberries. Be gentle so the strawberries don't release too much of their juice and color your salad.
- Serve immediately.