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Layered Christmas Gelatin Salad #SundaySuper

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This red, white, and green fruit filled layered Christmas gelatin salad is as yummy as it is pretty! It is the perfect addition to any holiday buffet table. Years ago when my children were small, we started a tradition of adding a gelatin salad to our holiday dinner party. Funny enough, this tradition was born in a hotel room in Houston, Texas.

You see, we were traveling for the holidays – having Christmas with my brother and his family in Texas. This was a big trip for our family. Going away at Christmas with three small children – Robert was probably no older than six or seven at the time, meant that we packed and shipped all of our holiday gifts with us from California to Texas.

The kids were a little bit worried about Santa finding them in a hotel in Texas, but they went along with whatever story we told them. Santa did not disappoint. While their Christmas stockings were filled in the hotel room, Santa left their other gifts sitting under their cousin’s Christmas tree waiting for them when we arrived.

For the Christmas dinner, I really wanted to find a fun way for the kids and me to help out and bring over something yummy. When you are planning to fix up a dish in a traditional hotel room, you are limited in space and equipment. Looking around, I realized that given a microwave, a refrigerator, and a sink – the kids and I could pull off a gelatin salad. After all – all you really need is boiling water (microwave) and a refrigerator to set it in. 

So that day we headed to the grocery store to pick up our ingredients – we borrowed a dish and can opener from my brother’s kitchen – and set everything up in out hotel room.

The strawberry gelatin filled with cranberries and topped with whipped cream was a huge success. My kids were  very proud of themselves for being able to bring a yummy dish to our Christmas dinner. That year and every year since, a gelatin salad has been a part of our holiday meal. Many years the girls would walk around the table showing off their beautiful salad and serve it up to our family. Some years we made this layered version in a large pyrex and other years we use a Christmas wreath mold that I acquired somewhere once upon a time. However we choose to serve it – it is always delicious!

Layered Christmas Gelatin Salad

This layered Christmas gelatin salad is made with a layer of lime Jello and crushed pineapples, a layer of cream cheese whipped with a bit of milk and some unflavored gelatin, and a top layer of strawberry Jello with whole cranberry suace. It is a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, a little bit creamy, and a whole lot of yummy!

It is super easy to make, but you do need to plan the time to chill and let the layers of gelatin set before you add the next layer. This is never a problem for me, as it seems like I always have something to do. Make the first layer and then fold laundry. Make the second layer and then grade some papers. Put together the third layer and then let it set overnight. So get your tea kettle going – and make up a layered Christmas gelatin salad.

Layered Christmas Gelatin Salad


Green Layer:

  • 1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 – 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (draining the pineapple will give you more than 1/3 cup pineapple juice.)

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup milk

Red Layer:

  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • Whipped topping, optional


Green Layer:

  1. Dissolve lime gelatin in boiling water.
  2. Stir in pineapple juice. Stir in pineapple.
  3. Pour into an 11×7-in. dish; refrigerate until set.

Cream Cheese Layer:

  1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute.
  2. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and beat in cream cheese and milk until smooth.
  4. Spread over lime layer; refrigerate until set. 

Red Layer:

  1. Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water. 
  2. Stir in cranberry sauce.
  3. Let cool for 10 minutes – you don’t want it to melt your cream cheese layer.
  4. Carefully spoon over cream cheese layer. 
  5. Refrigerate until set. 
  6. Cut into squares.
  7. Garnish with whipped topping if desired. 

Yield: 15 servings.

The holidays are almost here! We’re getting closer and closer to maybe the busiest time of the year for meal planning and cooking, so it’s time to start thinking about what we’re going to make!

Well, I think every holiday needs a salad. My friends at Sunday Super have shared some of their favorite holiday salad recipes. I’m not talking about only green salads– I mean chicken salads, potato salads, fruit salads, all kinds of salads. Check out the many scrumptious recipes below. Thank you to Em from Our Life Taste Good for hosting this event.

Holiday Salad Recipes #SundaySupper

Festive Holiday Salad Recipes

Bountiful Holiday Salad Recipes

The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

(38) Comments

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    1. Teresa Nagle says:

      My mother made this every year and I am delighted to find the recipe. The only difference is that she put walnuts in the cream cheese mixture.

      1. Stacey says:

        Oh that sounds like a wonderful addition! The walnuts would give it a bit of crunch. I’m so glad this recipe helps you carry on a family tradition! Enjoy!

  3. I think this is a dessert that adults and kids alike would enjoy for the holidays. I love how easy it is to make too.

  4. Delicious! My mom makes something very similar so this really reminds me of home. My daughters don’t care for it but it’s something I hope will grow on them if I continue to make it every year!

  5. This is super cool and festive. I would love to try this out

  6. what a classic christmas dish! definietly a crowd pleaser for all ages and so gosh darn colorful too!

  7. Very fun and festive for kids of all ages!

  8. I’ve never seen anything like this before! What an interesting idea and I bet it tastes delicious! The fact it’s called a salad cracks me up!

  9. Angela says:

    Yum, what a great holiday treat! My kids will love helping me make it!!

  10. This reminds me of a christmas themed pretzel salad. It looks good. It is a pretty fun idea for an easy side on Christmas.

  11. This came out super pretty, and it looks like it tastes really good as well. This would be fun to make with my Daughter for out Christmas party we are hosting.

  12. I have fondness for jello inspired desserts. It’s probably the only time I eat it these days. This dessert is so festive and it sounds delicious with all the different layers of flavors.

  13. Such a cute idea. I love getting the kids involved in food prep, no matter how simple it is.

  14. Journa Ramirez says:

    My kind of Christmas gelatin. I want to make this! I am sure our whole family will love it

  15. This looks awesome. My family would think I worked all day at it!

  16. I really like this recipe. My daughter would enjoy making it. It reminds me of layered cookies only in Jello.

  17. WHat a great recipe! I love the idea of the cranberry sauce on top! This seems like something that would become a family tradition to make at Christmas.

  18. I would love to have my youngest make this with me! Or maybe my son, Kyle, who I like teaching how to cook because he’ll be off to college next year! I think it’s something that we’ll enjoy making together!

    1. Stacey says:

      I love cooking with my kids! It is a great feeling when my son calls and says, “Mom, how do I make…” and he jots down my cooking notes over the phone.

  19. It’s so nice when the kids help out in the kitchen! It’s so much more fun to prepare a dish and they’re definitely going to feel proud as well. I love that this one’s easy to make and it looks yummy too!

    1. Stacey says:

      Yes, it is so easy that the kids can me it. It sure is fun working in the kitchen with them.

  20. Lol, layer, work, repeat. That’s how I get through every recipe, whether it actually needs time to sit or not.

    1. Stacey says:

      Isn’t that the truth! I am all about make-ahead meals.

  21. robin rue says:

    This is an awesome dessert idea. I am hosting Christmas this year, so I think I might add this to my menu!

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh, I hope you do!

  22. I’m not a big fan of jello, but this looks delicious to me. I would definitely try it. It looks so festive with the Christmas colors.

    1. Stacey says:

      Lol! For what ever reason I have always been a fan of jello! Jello shots are my favorite. 🙂

  23. This is such a pretty dessert, and perfect for Christmas. I also like the idea of changing up the colors based on the different holidays.

    1. Stacey says:

      Yes! So many color options. Orange and a dark purple for halloween, and red with pink for Valentines! So many choices.

  24. My grandma used to make treats like this for the holidays 🙂 I love the festive colors here – it’s so perfect for Christmas and any other holiday with vibrant colors. Love it!

    1. Stacey says:

      Just like Grandma used to make… 🙂 Yes, it is a recipe that has don tables for generations.

  25. […] Layered Christmas Gelatin Salad by Positively Stacey […]

  26. […] Layered Christmas Gelatin Salad by Positively Stacey […]

  27. SO pretty, Stacey! This reminds me of my childhood—always a fun jello salad on the menu!!!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks, Liz! Yes – jello and childhood really seem to go together!

  28. […] Layered Christmas Gelatin Salad by Positively Stacey […]

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