Teen Chef With Autism Shares the Festive Pretzel Salad Recipe We All Need Right Now

image: Jessica Nicosia Nadler

If this election season has you looking for comfort anywhere you can find it, one young chef is suggesting a sweet pick-me-up. Chase Bailey, a teen with autism, is sharing his recipe for a red, white, and blue celebration in a bowl: Festival Pretzel Salad, a delightful combination of sweet and salty. 


Like many people with autism, Bailey struggled with food aversions from a young age. Fortunately, his love for cooking shows helped him discover not only new foods and flavors, but also his true passion. 

The 15-year-old began hosting his successful YouTube cooking show, Chase 'N Yur Face, more than two years ago. Special guests who've cooked alongside the California teen include Roy Choi and Mario Batali, who endorses the teen's first cookbook, The Official Chase 'N Yur Face Cookbook.

The colorful cookbook contains the recipe Chase says people on both sides of the political aisle can enjoy. The book hits stores today and benefits his charity, Chase Yur Dreams, which provides resources and opportunities for those on the autism spectrum striving toward independent living.

image: Jessica Nicosia Nadler

If you're in the mood for comfort food, you can't go wrong with this easy-to-make, kid-friendly, berry-packed snack! 

Festive Pretzel Salad


1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels

1 cup honey almond granola

3/4 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

1 (8 oz) container whipped topping

½ cup sugar

1 banana

1 (6 oz) package raspberry gelatin

½ cup fresh blue berries

½ cup black berries cut in ½

1 cup fresh strawberries sliced


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together crushed pretzels, granola, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

Spread pretzel mixture evenly into bottom of 9x13 pan.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool. 

Follow instructions on raspberry gelatin package, adding the fresh fruit to the liquid gelatin and then pouring the raspberry liquid into a mixing bowl.  

Put liquid gelatin in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours or until the liquid has become slightly gelled. (Should look the consistency of scrambled eggs.)

In a mixing bowl, use mixer to blend cream cheese, whipped cream, sugar, and banana until smooth.

Spread the cream cheese and whip mixture evenly on top of the crushed pretzel and granola mixture, making sure to seal all corners of the pan.  

Pour gelatin on top of cream cheese and whip layer. 

Refrigerate until set approximately 2 hours.

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