This easy Strawberry Jello Salad recipe is made with fresh strawberries and cool whip! You can serve strawberry fluff salad year round.
A friend asked me to bring a strawberry fluff salad to a party at her house. She gave me a recipe for strawberry jello salad over the phone, which I wrote on the back of some random piece of paper in my purse, then 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. Since I couldn’t find it, this is what I came up with, and it turned out so well that I wanted to share my recipe!
In This 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 jello fluff 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.
Ingredients Needed For Strawberry Fluff Salad
- Strawberries: Choose fresh strawberries when they are available. You can use frozen strawberries. Just be sure to thaw them first.
- Gelatin: This recipe uses one package of strawberry jello.
- Pudding: You’ll need a package of cook-and-serve vanilla pudding (NOT instant).
- Water: The water dissolves the powdered gelatin and pudding mixes.
- Ice: We added ice cubes to the hot jello mixture to make up the rest of the water and to cool it down faster.
- Whipped Topping: The cool whip makes the salad light and airy. I do not recommend using homemade whipped cream since it won’t hold up in this salad.
- Garnish: You can add a dollop of cool whip and several strawberries to the top of the salad for garnish.
How To Make Strawberry Jello Salad
Cut up a 16 oz package of fresh (or use frozen strawberries thawed enough to slice) and set them aside.
Pour the strawberry gelatin and vanilla pudding mix into a saucepan and whisk to combine.
Whisk in the water. At this point, the mixture is opaque (you can’t see through it).
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes more translucent (you can see through it).
Adding ice to the hot jello mixture makes up the rest of the water needed and cools the jello down more quickly.
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.
Once it has cooled and thickened slightly, add the cut-up strawberries and cool whip. Put the easy strawberry jello salad into the fridge to chill and thicken.
More Jello Salad Recipes
This strawberry salad with jello can easily be turned into other salads by using different flavors of jello and other fruits! Here are a few jello salad recipes to try:
Orange Jello Salad
You can easily turn this into an orange fluff salad by using orange jello instead of strawberry. It tastes like an orange dreamsicle!
- Substitute the package of strawberry gelatin with a 6-ounce package of orange gelatin.
- Use a 15-ounce can of well-drained mandarin oranges instead of the strawberries.
Raspberry Jello Salad
Raspberry jello salad is another delicious flavor you can make using this recipe! You can choose fresh raspberries in the summer and frozen ones in the winter.
- Use a 6-ounce package of raspberry gelatin instead of strawberry.
- Substitute the diced strawberries with three cups of raspberries.
Lime Jello Salad
For a lime jello salad, use crushed pineapple for the fruit since limes would be too tart!
- Substitute a 6-ounce package of lime jello for the strawberry flavor.
- Use a 20-ounce can of drained crushed pineapple instead of the diced strawberries.
- Popular additions to lime fluff are 3 cups of mini marshmallows and 1 cup of chopped pecans!
Garnish the strawberry jello fluff salad with a dollop cool whip and several whole strawberries before serving it.
Make Ahead and Storage
- Make Ahead: This salad needs time to chill and thicken before serving it, so it is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time. You can even make it the day before!
- Leftovers: Cover the bowl and store it in the fridge for up to two days.
- Freezer: You can also freeze it for up to two months.
Strawberry Jello Salad FAQs
In this recipe, the strawberry jello and the pudding are cooked in a saucepan on the stovetop, so an instant pudding will not work. That being said, if you do want to use instant pudding, I suggest stirring the powdered instant pudding mix into the salad along with the cool whip.
It does get quite firm, so it should work in a mold.
Use light or sugar free cool whip. Also, several readers have reported using sugar free jello and vanilla pudding with great results.
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.
Try raspberry, mandarin orange, cranberry, pineapple, or banana cream. Or leave the fruit out and make pistachio, lemon, or lime jello salad.
More Fruit Salads
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad has sugared pretzels and diced strawberries!
- Our Cranberry Salad with marshmallows is a holiday favorite!
- Blueberry Pretzel Salad has blueberries and pretzels in a creamy filling.
- This Fruit Salad is coated in a sweet lemon vanilla glaze!
Strawberry Jello Salad Recipe
- ½ cup cool whip
- 6 whole strawberries
- Cut up a 16 oz package of fresh strawberries and set aside.
- Whisk together strawberry jello and the cook and serve vanilla pudding in a saucepan.
- Whisk in the water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture becomes more translucent.
- Remove from heat and stir in the ice cubes until melted.
- Pour into a large heatproof bowl and cool in the refrigerator until slightly thickened.
- Remove from fridge and stir in the diced strawberries and cool whip.
- Return the jello salad into the fridge to chill and thicken.
- Garnish with cool whip and strawberries before serving.