Retro Jello Recipes That Are Actually Delicious and You Need to Try Today (2024)

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By Lisa Sharp 5 Comments

These retro jello recipes aren’t the scary retro recipes we see sometimes with fish in sweet jello or other horrifying recipes. These are delicious!

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Can you talk about retro food and not talk about jello? Gelatin has been around since the time of the Egyptians and in the 1600s we have written evidence of it being experimented with as food.

The brand Jell-O and what we largely think of when we think of gelatin now was first patented in 1845. It didn’t catch on for a while though. It finally started to catch on after a successful marketing campaign in 1902.

They started to advertise in the Ladies Home Journal and 15 million booklets were distributed. And the popularity just kept growing. You can’t look at a vintage magazine without seeing a recipe featuring Jell-O.

Now we think of it as only a dessert but the mid-century loved to use Jell-O in everything, especially weird salads. You can see some of those interesting recipes in the post Vintage Recipes Made Modern.

We did kind of throw out the baby with the bathwater though with the move away from the weird Jell-O dishes. There were some really fun recipes that we seem to have lost. Honestly, Jell-O by itself is kind of boring so I think we need to bring back some of the Jell-O-based desserts from the mid-century.

Below is a Jell-O ad from a Ladies Home Journal that I own. It is the June 1953 issue. This is a good example of a retro Jell-O recipe that still sounds delicious. This is a recipe I hope to recreate and share soon as well.

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And really while some mid-century recipes seem very unhealthy they did use a lot of fruit in their desserts and that is a good thing to bring back. We still need to be aware of how much sugar we are consuming but I’m a firm believer in moderation and throwing some fruit in there at least gives some nutrition value.

Now there are even vegan-friendly gelatin alternatives if that’s more your speed. And there are a lot of natural jello options that avoid dyes and other artificial ingredients.

These retro jello recipes are ones that are actually delicious and we should bring back. They are the ones I think we are missing out on since we moved away from the questionable past of jello-based recipes.

Retro Jello Recipes

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Polly's Pink Stuff (Raspberry Jello Mold)

Photo Credit: www.lanascooking.com

"A retro recipe for a festive raspberry jello mold. My grandmother's holiday specialty served every Christmas and Easter dinner."

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Lemon Jello Salad

Photo Credit: www.frieddandelions.com

"Lemon Jello Salad is my vegan spin on the all American classic side dish!"

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7 up Jello Salad Recipe

Photo Credit: www.serenabakessimplyfromscratch.com

"7 Up Jello Salad is an old fashioned Jello Salad recipe passed down from my husband’s Grandmother. Lemon Jello is made with 7 Up, pineapple, banana, and marshmallows than covered with a pineapple mousse."

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Rhubarb Dump Cake

Photo Credit: www.greedygourmet.com

"Looking for an easy dessert? Here's a Rhubarb Dump Cake that uses rhubarb, cake mix, jello, sugar, and butter. It really is that simple!"

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Sea Foam Salad

Photo Credit: www.thebittersideofsweet.com

"Sea Foam Salad is the perfect no-bake dessert any time of the year! We love it for around the holidays! Just a few simple ingredients and it is ready to go!"

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Photo Credit: www.lanascooking.com

"Fresh Strawberry Pie made with strawberries at the height of their season. A sweet ending to a weeknight dinner or a special occasion."

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Dori's Cherry Pineapple Gelatin

Photo Credit: www.cookingwithcarlee.com

"This fun cherry pineapple "salad" is sure to be a hit with your family. It is a simple make-ahead side dish that is festive for a holiday or fun for a BBQ."

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Raspberry Jello Fluff

Photo Credit: momsdinner.net

"This recipe for Raspberry Jello Fluff is super easy to make and only requires FOUR INGREDIENTS- crushed pineapple, raspberry jello, cool whip, & cottage cheese. Easy & delicious."

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Cranberry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese Topping

Photo Credit: houseofnasheats.com

"Cranberry Jello Salad is a sweet-tart dessert salad loaded with crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, cranberries, and a tangy cream cheese topping! It’s perfect to serve for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, or any night of the year!"

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Lime Congealed Salad

Photo Credit: www.lanascooking.com

"A very southern, lime congealed salad with crushed pineapple, celery, nuts, and marshmallows."

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Lemon Pineapple Jell-O with Pineapple Whipped Cream Topping

Photo Credit: houseofnasheats.com

"Lemon Pineapple Jell-O with Pineapple Whipped Cream Topping is a light and refreshing slice of vintage wonderfulness! The deliciously sweet and citrusy stuff can be served as a salad or a dessert and served with or without the chopped walnuts on top."

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Creamy Strawberry Jello Mold

Photo Credit: bellyfull.net

"This Creamy Strawberry Jello Mold has a smooth and creamy texture, so delicious, and super easy using only a few pantry items. Great for a small crowd and perfect for a Sunday brunch!"

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Marshmallow Cookie Bars

Photo Credit: www.rockrecipes.com

"Marshmallow Cookie Bars. Easy to make in any flavour you like. The shortbread cookie bottom gets topped by a homemade marshmallow layer made from your favourite flavour of Jello!"

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Raspberry Jello Salad

Photo Credit: www.plantbasedcooking.com

"This plant-based version of traditional raspberry jello salad with vegan sour cream is sure to hit the spot and won’t affect your waistline either."

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Rainbow Layered Jello

Photo Credit: www.freutcake.com

"My Grandma always made this Rainbow Layered Jello for every birthday and special occasion! It takes patience but the results are worth it. Such a family favorite!"

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Cranberry Jello Salad

Photo Credit: neighborfoodblog.com

"This Cranberry Jello Salad recipe has been in our family for years! It's a must make for the holidays, but a super easy and refreshing dessert any time of year."

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Strawberry Cream Pie

Photo Credit: www.simplystacie.net

"Strawberry Cream Pie - Tastes like a dream! This easy summer pie is creamy, sweet and refreshing."

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Orange Jello Fluff Salad

Photo Credit: www.mamagourmand.com

"Favorite Orange Jello Salad Recipe is an effortless dish perfect for potlucks and celebrations. Easy orange jello fluff salad combines Cool Whip, mandarin oranges, cottage cheese, orange gelatin, and pineapple for a refreshing tropical side dish."

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Jello Cream Cheese Dessert

Photo Credit: www.mightymrs.com

"We are kicking it old school today with this Jello cream cheese dessert made with pineapples and cherry pie filling!"

More Retro Recipes

  • Old-Fashioned Cake Recipes
  • Vintage Cranberry Noel Dessert Recipe
  • Vintage Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe
  • Retro Ham and Cheese Pancake Recipe

If you want to see even more retro recipes be sure to sign up below, you will also my meal planning ebook for free. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on over here on the blog.

Retro Jello Recipes That Are Actually Delicious and You Need to Try Today (2024)
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