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Feeling Nostalgic About Vintage Jell-O Mold Recipes

Updated on April 14, 2021
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I have an enthusiasm for vintage things, including vintage and heirloom recipes. I especially enjoy finding recipes in period newspapers.

Selecting a Jell-O recipe
Selecting a Jell-O recipe

What is Jell-O?

Jell-O is one of those foods that nearly everyone remembers from childhood. Its history goes back more than 100 years, but when refrigeration became common in 1930s, Jell-O recipes grew in popularity. Once refrigerators began replacing ice boxes in American kitchens, recipes using the new technology were featured in women's magazines. Thus, the Jello salad recipe was born.

Jello "salads" have been a traditional go-to recipe for tropical summer treats since 1897. It comes in a variety of fruit flavours like strawberry, lemon, and lime with bright colours sure to entice the fussiest child into eating.

If you enjoy cooking vintage recipes, try one of these simple and fun easy Jello recipes for your next luau or other summer gathering. There is always room for Jell-O!

Warning: If you are adding fruit to Jello salads, do not use pineapple, kiwi, papaya, or melon unless the recipe specifically calls for it. Due to a particular enzyme in these fruits (bromelain), the Jell-O won't set.

Is this even edible?
Is this even edible?

Traditional Jello salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces package jello (your choice of flavour)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale (cold)
  • cubed fruit or vegetables (optional)

Instructions

  1. Grease a bundt mold.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve your Jell-O into 2 cups of boiling water. Add the ginger ale and stir until just mixed. Chill the Jell-O until thickened (about 1 1/2 hours).
  3. Stir in cubed fruit or vegetables at this time.
  4. Pour the Jell-O into the mold. Chill until fully set.
  5. To serve, place the mold in a warm water bath for 15 minutes.
  6. Spread a teaspoon of water over your serving platter, then place the platter over the top of the mold. Invert the mold to flip the Jell-O out. The Jell-O should easily come out and can be carefully centered on the plate because of the water.
  7. Tip: This should be made in a pretty shaped mold. A bundt pan is traditional, but you can use any similar-sized pan.

Layered Jello salad recipes

Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O Salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 packages (3 oz each) Jello, any five different flavours
  • 6 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 5 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve one package of Jello in 1 1/4 cups of the boiling water, then add 1 teaspoon of vinegar.

Pour 3/4 cup of the mixture into a 9-inch square pan. Chill until set but not firm, about 15 minutes.

Chill the remaining Jello in the large mixing bowl.

Once chilled, mix in 3 tablespoons of the mayonnaise and spoon over Jello in the pan.

Chill until set but not firm, about 15 minutes.

Repeat with each remaining flavor of Jello.

Chill at least 2 hours or until fully set.

Cut in rectangles and serve with salad greens and relishes, if desired.

Patriotic Jello salad

Ingredients

  • 2 (3 oz) packages blue Jello
  • 2 (3 oz) packages strawberry Jello
  • 4 cups boiling water, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups cold water, divided
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox brand will work)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Grease a 10 inch bundt pan.

In four separate bowls, dissolve each package of Jello in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water to each and mix until dissolved.

Pour the bowl of blue Jello into the bundt pan. Chill about 30 minutes.

Set the other three bowls of Jello aside at room temperature.

Soften the unflavoured gelatin in remaining cold water and let stand 5 minutes.

Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Stir in softened unflavoured gelatin and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed.

When blue gelatin in pan in almost set, carefully spoon 1 1/2 cups of the sour cream mixture over it. Chill until almost set, about 30 minutes.

Carefully spoon one bowl of strawberry gelatin over cream layer. Chill until almost set.

Carefully spoon 1-1/2 cups cream mixture over the strawberry layer. Chill until almost set.

Repeat, adding the layers of blue Jello, cream mixture and strawberry Jello, and chilling in between each layer.

Chill several hours or overnight until fully set.

Fancy Jell-O mold recipes

Sea Foam Jello salad

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of pear halves in syrup
  • 1 (3 oz) package lime Jello
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip

Instructions

Drain the syrup from the can of pear halves into a small bowl. Heat one cup of syrup to boiling.

Pour the boiling syrup over the lime Jello and stir until dissolved. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese with the milk until smooth.

Blend in the Jello mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until partially set, about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, purée pears until smooth.

Fold the puréed pears and Cool Whip into the Jello mixture. Pour into a mold. Chill until fully set, about 2 to 3 hours.

Dip the mold in warm water for approximately 5 seconds to loosen the Jello. Invert onto a serving plate

Ambrosia Jello salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can (8 oz) pineapple in juice, crushed and undrained
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 packaged (6 oz) orange Jello
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

Instructions

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, pour boiling water to the Jello. Stir until dissolved.

Add enough cold water to the reserved pineapple juice to measure 1 cup. Stir into Jello and chill until partially set.

Add the Cool Whip and whisk until blended. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to mound.

Stir in the pineapple, oranges, marshmallows, and coconut until just mixed.

Spoon into the bundt mold. Chill 3 hours or until set.

Dip the mold in warm water for approximately 5 seconds to loosen the Jello. Invert onto a serving plate.

Lemon Jello Salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 packages lemon Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 (20 oz) can of pineapple, crushed
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 3 large bananas, peeled and sliced

Instructions

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, pour boiling water to the Jello. Stir until dissolved.

Add enough cold water to the reserved pineapple juice to measure 1 cup total. Stir into Jello and chill until partially set.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Jello mixture with the pineapple, marshmallows, and banana slices.

Transfer the mixture to a 13 x 9 glass baking dish. Chill until fully set.

Carrot Slaw Jello Salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 packages orange Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 (20 oz) can of pineapple, crushed
  • 3 carrots, large and grated

Instructions

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, pour boiling water to the Jello. Stir until dissolved.

Add enough cold water to the reserved pineapple juice to measure 1 cup. Stir into Jello and chill until partially set.

Mix in the pineapple and carrots. Transfer the mixture to a bundt mold. Chill until fully set.

Dip the mold in warm water for approximately 5 seconds to loosen the Jello. Invert onto a serving plate.

Green Apple Jello Salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package lime Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 large Gala apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups green cabbage, grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, diced fine

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Jello with the boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Chill until partially set.

Mix in the apples, cabbage, nuts, and celery until just combined. Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8 square glass baking dish. Chill until fully set.

There's always room for Jell-O!

© 2021 M Bonnardel

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I grew up eating jello salads, and several of them became family favorites. Thanks for sharing these recipes with us.

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