When I say Jello, you say Salad! :) Friends, we’re taking you back in time today…way back! We’re making Jello Salad! A simple, sweet treat and potluck classic. This recipe has been popular for many years; maybe because it’s a simple, inexpensive dessert that can feed a large group. Or maybe it’s because it’s so good that family and friends are always asking for it. Either way we couldn’t wait to share our version with you. Keep reading for all the deets!
What is Jello Salad
Jello Salad is a retro American dessert that was really popular in the 1960s. It’s usually made with flavored gelatin, fruit, and sometimes marshmallows, nuts, or even pretzels. Over the years this popular dish has transformed, to say the least, and now you can find several variations of jello salad.
I vividly remember my mother making a similar version of jello salad every Christmas. It was the perfect light & airy dessert to cap off a heavy holiday meal. Although this nostalgic dessert was super popular “back in the day” it’s still a big favorite today. Go ahead and make this jello salad for your next get-together, BBQ, potluck dinner, or holiday occasion!
Ingredients Needed For Jello Salad
We’re keeping this Jello Salad recipe simple, sweet, and delicious! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Strawberry Gelatin: Choose your favorite flavored gelatin powder. Since we are including fresh strawberries in our jello salad, a strawberry flavored gelatin is the perfect choice.
- Cottage Cheese: Yes, cottage cheese! It adds a wonderful creamy texture and a tangy flavor to help balance the sweetness of the dessert. And if you don’t like the texture of cottage cheese, don’t worry! We use a blender to whip the cottage cheese and gelatin together until they form a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Homemade Whipped Cream – Whipped cream is the foundation for this salad, but you can totally use cool whip instead. More details on the difference between the two is listed below.
- Strawberries and Crushed Pineapple – Finally add in your favorite fruit or other mix-ins. Fresh strawberries and canned crushed pineapple taste heavenly with this version. As a side note, you can’t use fresh pineapple with this recipe because it contains an enzyme that prevents the gelatin from setting.
Homemade Whipped Cream vs. Frozen Whipped Topping
We try to make things from scratch when we can, so we opted for homemade whipped cream in this jello salad. However, homemade whipped cream isn’t as stable as frozen whipped topping. If you plan to set this dessert outside at potlucks or parties, consider using cool whip or a store-bought whipped topping as these will hold their texture a bit longer. There are also ways to stabilize homemade whipped cream and make it last longer, usually by adding additional ingredients. Here’s a great article from Food52 about ways to stabilize whipped cream.
How to Store Jello Salad
We stored this Jello Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it was still delicious the next day. It will last a day or two in the refrigerator, any longer than that and the whipped cream starts to slowly deflate. So be sure to share this dreamy dessert with your family and friends or gobble it all up yourself within a day or so!
Let us know in the comments if you remember this classic, sweet dessert! ;)
- 3 oz strawberry flavored gelatin ($0.89)
- 2 cups cottage cheese, small curd ($1.86)
- 20 oz canned crushed pineapple in juice (drained & juice reserved)* ($1.49)
- 1/2 lb fresh strawberries ($1.49)
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream* ($1.37)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.72)
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar ($0.05)
- Wash, remove the stems, and quarter the strawberries. Feel free to cut any large pieces in half again. Set the strawberries to the side.
- With a strainer and a small bowl, drain the crushed pineapples really well and reserve the pineapple juice.
- In a blender*, add the strawberry gelatin, cottage cheese, and ⅓ cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Blend until smooth then add the mixture to a large bowl.
- Next make the whipped cream. In a separate metal or glass bowl, preferably a bowl that has been chilled in the refrigerator, add heavy cream, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Stop the mixer occasionally to test the stiffness of the peaks and to avoid over whipping.
- Now carefully fold the whipped cream into the strawberry gelatin mixture.
- Add the crushed pineapples and chopped strawberries to the bowl and carefully fold them into the whipped cream mixture until everything is evenly distributed.
- Refrigerate jello salad for at least 2 hours so the ingredients have a chance to set and chill before serving. Enjoy!
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Jello Salad – Step by Step Photos
Wash, remove the stems and quarter 1/2 pound of strawberries. Feel free to cut any large pieces in half again.
Drain a 20 oz can of crushed pineapples really well and reserve 1/3 cup of the pineapple juice.
In a blender, add a 3 oz package of strawberry flavored gelatin, 2 cups of small curd cottage cheese, and 1/3 cup of reserved pineapple juice.
Blend until smooth then add the mixture to a large bowl.
In a separate metal or glass bowl, add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 2 Tbsp granulated sugar. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Stop the mixer occasionally to test the stiffness of the peaks and to avoid over whipping.
Now carefully fold the whipped cream into the strawberry gelatin mixture.
Add the crushed pineapples and chopped strawberries to the bowl and carefully fold them into the whipped cream mixture until everything is evenly distributed.
Refrigerate the jello salad for at least 2 hours so the ingredients have a chance to set and chill before serving.
Enjoy by serving in a serving bowl or portion them into fun, individual sized mason jars. Either way this is sure to be a big hit at your next occasion! ;)