Vintage Three-Color Jell-O Salad
This vintage three-color Jell-O salad is one of my favorite recipes to make for special occasions, and it’s perfect for holidays. Did your family make this for you back in the 1960s?
Well, it’s a little bit of nostalgia today, my friends. My mother had one of the first official Jell-O cookbooks. Back in the1960’s recipes were not on the internet, as we all know.
I can still picture the Jell-O cookbook my mother had, it was a cream color and the size was about 5 inches by 9 inches, give or take. I’m not sure who got the book after she died, but I didn’t see it.
You may recognize this salad as the Jell-O Crown Jewel Salad. Some people would make a graham cracker crust and make it a pie. Either way, this is so fun to make!
Last night we had family over for dinner. Included were a couple of 10-year-old girls, one I consider my first great-grandchild. I told them they could eat a whole bowl full of this salad, but they needed to pay special attention to the “jewels” they found deep in the Dream Whip. Both of them giggled as the colorful Jell-O chunks showed up in each spoonful. What a fun time and delicious treat all kids, and adults will enjoy.
In case you missed this post, Fresh Cranberry Salad Recipe
Items You May Need In The Kitchen
Vintage Three Color Jell-O Salad
I love to gather the ingredients before I get started making the recipe.
Spray the three 8-inch pans with vegetable spray so the Jell-O squares will come out easily after they firm up in the refrigerator.
Prepare the first three flavors of gelatin separately, using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup of ice-cold water for each flavor.
Pour each flavor into an 8-inch square pan. Chill overnight to make sure they are really set and firm. (I waited 4 hours.)
Then combine the lemon gelatin, the white sugar, and the last cup of boiling water. Stir the gelatin until fully dissolved. Add the pineapple juice, stir completely and chill until this mixture is thickened.
Prepare the Dream Whip as instructed on the package. Beat until you see stiff peaks.
Add the slightly thickened lemon mixture to the Dream Whip.
Cut the different flavors/colors of gelatin into 1/2 inch squares.
Fold in the gelatin cubes to the Dream Whip mixture and pour into your bowl. Chill at least 2 hours and top with more whipped topping. Enjoy.
As a child, I loved to dig through the Jell-O (with my spoon) for the “jewels.” It’s time we have fun again sitting around the kitchen table eating delicious treats together.
Vintage Three-Color Jell-O Salad
- 1 3-ounce pkg. Orange gelatin
- 1 3-ounce pkg. Strawberry or Cherry gelatin
- 1 3-ounce pkg. Lime gelatin
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1-1/2 cups ice cold water
- 1 3-ounce pkg. Lemon gelatin
- 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 ENVELOPES Dream Whip Whipped Topping, or 2 Cups Whipping Cream (whipped)
Spray the three 8-inch pans with vegetable spray. Prepare the first three flavors of gelatin separately, using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup of ice-cold water for each flavor. Pour each flavor into an 8-inch square pan. Chill overnight to make sure they are really set and firm.
Then combine the lemon gelatin, the white sugar, and the last cup of boiling water. Stir the gelatin until fully dissolved. Add the pineapple juice, stir completely, and chill until this mixture is slightly thickened.
Prepare the whipped topping (Dream Whip) as directed on the package. Blend with lemon gelatin mixture. Cut the different flavors/colors of gelatin into 1/2 inch squares. Fold in the gelatin cubes and pour into your bowl or individual cups or bowls. Chill for at least 2 hours and top with more whipped topping. Enjoy.
How do I store the Jell-O salad?
I stored mine in an airtight Tupperware-type container with a lid.
What can I serve with it?
- Roast beef dinner
- Chicken meal
- Pulled pork sandwiches
- Cheese and crackers
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
Can I use Sugar-Free Jell-O?
Yes, you can. I have made it with Sugar-free Jell-O and it tastes great. The bonus is fewer calories!
Can I use REAL whipping cream instead of Dream Whip?
Absolutely, I just made the recipe as shown in the 1960s. I love fresh whipping cream. Just substitute 2 cups Dream Whip with 2 cups fresh whipped cream.
Can I substitute Cool Whip for the Dream Whip?
I actually have made it with Cool Whip. It’s one less step since you don’t have to make the Dream Whip.
Is it possible to use different Jell-O flavors?
This is what’s so fun about this recipe. If you want to make it for Valentine’s Day, make it with raspberry, cherry, or strawberry jello. You can use lemon or orange for Thanksgiving Day. Try lime-flavored Jell-O for St. Patrick’s Day. Use your imagination, kids love this salad. They love to dig for the “jewels.”
Can I make it a dessert?
Actually, this salad can be made into a dessert by making a graham cracker crust. You can make it a loaf dessert or pie. Truth be told, although it’s called a salad, more often than not we’ve eaten it for dessert!
Where did Jell-O come from?
I was curious to see where Jell-O originated. Some research taught me that a fellow by the name of Peter Cooper developed a process to make gelatin that wasn’t as labor-intensive. He patented it as a gelatin dessert in 1845. Side note, he also invented the locomotive “Tom Thumb.”
It wasn’t commercially successful until 1895 when Pearle B. Wait, who had developed a cough syrup, developed and patented a “packaged food product” he called Jell-O. The company was sold to Genesse Pure Food Company in 1899 and they began an aggressive ad campaign that put Jell-O on the map. It was eventually sold to the company we know today as Kraft Foods.
Why is Jell-O so popular?
There are a number of reasons Jell-O is so well known and popular to make:
- It is really easy to make.
- It is very inexpensive, particularly when making a dessert.
- The are so many flavors available.
- It was aggressively advertised using some famous celebrities like Jack Benny and Bill Cosby.
- The product line continued to expand into other dessert options like pudding. Jell-O molds made the product more versatile since you could make shapes like animals, the alphabet, cartoon characters, and toy cars.
- People discovered that is was great in salads too.
- It has its own Jell-O Gallery Museum in LaRoy, New York
Jell-O has particular significance here in Utah where I live. For a number of years, it has been the state with the highest per-capita consumption of Jell-O. I’m not sure if that’s due to the large families here, the population needs its daily sugar, or we just love to party where delicious foods, and particularly salads and desserts, are served.
Let me know if you make this vintage three-color Jell-o salad. It’s all about teaching our kids and grandkids how to cook from scratch. May God Bless this world, Linda
11 thoughts on “Vintage Three-Color Jell-O Salad”
Who has 3 8” square pans???
Hi Deb, oh I Love this! I had to buy them to make it. It’s a keeper, I will make it several times every year. You can also just make one flavor and use a 9″ by 13″ pan, the squares would be bigger but it would taste yummy! LInda
Hi Mary, I guess I’m a serious baker, a great comment. I love it. Linda
Merry Christmas to you, Linda!
This recipe will get a tryout for our Sunday School class get together!
I made the Cranberry Jello salad for Thanksgiving! It was so simple to make & very tasty! Definitely a keeper!
Thank you for all the recipes, lists & information you share in your articles & website. I’ve passed many of these on to friends and family. My 19 year old granddaughter appreciates them, as she’s living away from home for the first time & can use all the simple recipes, the organizational & practical skills information she can get!
Just FYI, all the troubles I had earlier this year with accessing your articles have been taken care of with a new tablet. Back on track & catching up on what I missed this fall.
Blessings from NW Florida!
HI BDN, oh this is good news, you have a new tablet. Last year I had to get a new laptop. I was getting so frustrated when I tried to write, I just ordered a new one. Life is so much easier now. I love hearing you made the cranberry salad!! Thank you for your kind words, my friend. Blessings from Northern Utah! I moved a couple of months ago. It’s so wonderful being close to friends and family. Life is so good! Linda
Believe me when I say I never heard of this until this recipe. My mother would make jello salad with fruit or veggies in whipped cream but never like this. I don’t know why she didn’t make this although the only cookbook she had was the original Betty Crocker cookbook that I know of. She had a fit when I started collecting old cookbooks because she always said the only cookbook you needed was the Betty Crocker cookbook. But I did see recipes other women gave her stuck on the inside cover or on pages that had extra space on them. She would probably have a fit if she saw how many cookbooks I have which is well over 1,000 even after getting rid of a lot when we were starting to do some home repairs especially in my library/office.
Hi Jackie, oh my gosh, we all have that cookbook. I love it! Do you remember the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook? I bet you have it too! Oh, my, over 1000 cookbooks, what a treasure, my friend! You can never have too many cookbooks!! Linda
P.S. thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! Hugs, Linda
There are still cookbooks to remove from my library because they are more modern cookbooks and I can’t stand the cookbooks of today because they all call for things most of us poor folk can’t afford or they use items I will not use. Now if I could find a good cookbook for making cookies from cake mixes that is one that I would really use. We all need something like that. I can’t make anything but chocolate chip cookies that look decent. I have a series of mysteries that have recipes in them and she has some cookies made out of cake mixes and she calls them whippersnappers and she makes lemon all sorts of flavored whippersnappers in her books. I need to finish up the set to the most recent book
The book is about a baker who can make anything and she has a sister who can’t cook for anything until she starts to make the cookies with cake mixes. The books are by Joanne Fluke. I love the books and not just for the recipes although they go a long way of getting me to buy them
Hi Jackie, oh those books sound fun!!! Linda