cookbook jello salad

Minnesotans have a lot to be proud of: good quality of life, beautiful lakes and rivers, birthplace of Prince and last but certainly not least, we make a darn good “salad.” I’m not talking about the leafy lettuce kind. No, I’m talking about mayonnaise, perhaps some cream cheese, a pickle or two and Jell-O all combined together to form a Minnesota salad.

I wanted to compile some of the most interesting salads out there. Some are family recipes, some are just those that you typically find in a good ol’ church basement dinner.

Tuna is a tasty mild-flavored fish that fits into lots of delicious dishes, but in Jell-O? You better give this recipe a try to see if Jell-O and tuna are the perfect combination!

Lime Tuna Salad

1 3-ounce package of lime Jell-O

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup boiling water

2 teaspoons white vinegar

3/4 cup cold water

1 6-ounce can tuna, drained and flaked

2 hardboiled eggs, chopped

1/2 cup chopped dill pickles

1/4 cup diced celery

Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add vinegar and cold water. Chill until thicken. Fold in remaining ingredients. Pour into 1 quart mold or loaf pan. Chill until firm. Unmold and garnish as desired.


Let’s say you love Jell-O, but you also love vegetables. Well … have I found the recipe for you! This dish marries the two together in one quality “salad.”

Delicious Vegetable Salad

2 packages lemon Jell-O

2 cups boiling water

3/4 cup tomato soup

1 package cream cheese

1-1/2 cups celery

1 green pepper

1 medium cucumber

1 small onion

1 cup light mayonnaise

Stir boiling water and gelatin until dissolved. Cool and add tomato soup. Melt cream cheese in the microwave until just runny, about 30 seconds. Add gelatin mixture. Finely chop celery, pepper and cucumber. Grate the onion. Add veggies and mayonnaise to gelatin. Put in a large bowl or a 9x13-inch dish. Chill several hours or overnight.


Now that you’ve had your fish and veggies in Jell-O, it’s time to sweeten it up. This layered Jell-O salad was always served at my aunt and uncle’s house. Growing up, my brother and I looked forward to it every time our family headed to their home just over the border in Hudson, Wis. This Jell-O dish tastes as good as it looks. But be warned, it takes time to create this beauty (though trust me … it’s worth all the fuss).

Seven Layer Gelatin Salad

7 (3 ounce) packages assorted fruit flavored Jell-O mix

4-1/2 cups boiling water, divided

4-1/2 cups cold water, divided

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk, divided

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Coat a 9x13 inch dish with cooking spray. Dissolve one package of gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir in 3/4 cup cold water. Spoon into pan and refrigerate until almost set, 45 minutes. Dissolve another package of gelatin in 1/2 cup boiling water, stir in 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Spoon over first layer and refrigerate until almost set, 45 minutes. Repeat until all gelatin is used.


This was my Grandma’s signature “salad” dish, I can’t think of Chicago and not think of her making this in her bungalow-style house on the south side of Chicago. This Jell-O includes cream cheese and pineapple which creates a creamy, rich dish. It’s still the Jell-O you know and love, but with a little extra love thrown in. This salad is fabulous whether you’re enjoying it Chicago or back in Minnesota.

Pineapple and Cream Cheese Jell-O Salad

1 large box lime Jell-O

2 cups boiling water

8 ounce cream cheese, softened

1 15-ounce can crushed pineapple/1 cup juice

1/2 cup cold water

1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Dissolve Jell-O with 2 cups boiling water. Whisk in softened cream cheese until thoroughly blended. Then add crushed pineapple with juice and ½ cup cold water. Pour into mold and refrigerate until set. Turn mold into serving plate and spoon the whipped topping in the center of the Jell-O.

Whether you are looking for a sweet or savory salad, Jell-O has all the bases covered. Try one of these recipes today and become a fan of Jell-O and “salads” all over again. Ya betcha!

Kristin Kveno scours the internet, pours over old family recipes and searches everywhere in between to find interesting food ideas for feeding your crew. Do you have a recipe you want to share? You can reach Kristin at