This fluffy Strawberry Jello Salad recipe is perfect for every occasion from summer barbeques and holiday dinners! It is a dessert salad that everyone loves.
I was asked by a friend to bring a Strawberry Jello Salad to her house last Saturday night. She gave me the recipe (which I wrote on the back of some random piece of paper in my purse, outside the post office) over the phone and I promptly lost it!
So, at the grocery store, I called and got the ingredients from her again, thinking I had just left the recipe at home. So, this is what I came up with and I think it was pretty close to what I was supposed to make.
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Where is the easy Strawberry Jello Salad Recipe? In this post, I will share step-by-step instructions with photos for how to make jello salad, as well as answering FAQs about making jello salad, giving suggestions for more salad recipes and showing a video of the recipe. But you can go directly to the recipe by scrolling down to the bottom of the post.
What is Jello Salad?
Let’s start off by talking about what jello salad is. One of the definitions of the word salad is a usually incongruous mixture: hodgepodge. So basically a jello salad is a mixture containing jello and is served as a sweet side dish or dessert.
A jello salad can be translucent with pieces of fruit suspended in it. It can be spread out in a 9×13 pan or shaped into a mold. Or it can be a fluffy jello salad like the one in this recipe.
Jello salads contain everything from cream cheese and cottage cheese to diced fruit and vegetables to chopped pretzels and nuts.
How To Make Strawberry Jello Salad
Step One: Strawberries
Cut up a 16 oz package of fresh (or use frozen strawberries thawed enough to slice) and set them aside.
Step Two: Jello and Pudding
For the jello, you’ll need the larger sized package (6 oz) of strawberry jello. And for the pudding, find the cook and serve vanilla pudding (not instant).
Pour both in a saucepan and whisk to combine.
Step Three: Water
Whisk in the water. At this point, the mixture is opaque (you can’t see through it).
Step Four: Boil
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and boil for 2-3 minutes until mixture becomes more translucent (you can see through it).
Step Five: Ice
Adding ice to the hot jello mixture not only makes up the rest of the water needed but it also cools the jello down quicker.
Step Six: Cool
Pour into a heatproof bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until cool and slightly thickened.
Don’t leave it in the fridge too long or the jello will set completely and you won’t be able to incorporate the strawberries and cool whip.
Step Seven: Strawberries and Cool Whip
Once it has cooled and thickened slightly, add the cut up strawberries and cool whip.
Step Eight: Refrigerate
Put the strawberry jello salad into the fridge to chill and thicken.
Step Nine: Garnish
Garnish the strawberry jello salad with cool whip and strawberries before serving.
Strawberry Jello Salad FAQs
1. Can I use instant vanilla pudding instead of the cook and serve vanilla pudding? In this jello salad recipe, the strawberry jello and the pudding are cooked in a saucepan on the stovetop. I’ve never tried using the instant pudding but some of my readers have and they reported back that it does work.
2. Would this strawberry jello salad work in a mold? It does get quite firm so it should work in a mold.
3. How can make a lighter/lower calorie jello salad? Use light cool whip. Also, several readers have reported using sugar-free jello and vanilla pudding with great results.
4. Can jello salad be frozen? Yes. Spread it in a 9×13 pan (or 8×8 if using leftovers). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Store in the freezer for up to two months. Uncover and thaw enough to cut into slices. Enjoy while still frozen like a slice of ice cream cake.
5. What other flavors of jello salad could I make? Try raspberry, mandarin orange, cranberry, pineapple or banana cream. Or leave the fruit out and make pistachio, lemon or lime jello salad.
Want More Sweet Salad Recipes? Try These Next:
Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Salad is one of the MOST POPULAR recipes. It’s cool and creamy with caramelized brown sugar pretzels and diced strawberries. There won’t be any leftovers of this dessert salad!
This Tropical Fruit Pretzel Salad is cool and creamy with crunchy brown sugar pretzels and tropical fruit. It’s definitely more of a dessert salad than a healthy green salad and the combination is irresistible!
Apple Snicker Salad from Lil Luna is kind of like a big caramel apple covered in nuts and cream!
This Cranberry Pecan Pretzel Salad recipe with cranberry sauce, sugared pecans and pretzels is perfect for holiday dinners from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Photo from original recipe shared in August 2011!