Joys of Jell-O Ribbon Salad


Kimbesa enjoys making vintage Jell-O recipes. Especially in the summertime, they are a hit!

Jell-O ribbon salad recipe

Jell-O ribbon salad recipe

Jell-O Layered Ribbon Salad Makes a Cool Dessert

Learn how to make a classic Jell-O ribbon salad, or create your own special combination with new Jell-O flavors.

"Ribbon" comes from the colorful layers of sweet Jell-O, or a Jell-O and pie filling mixture. There are lots of versions of this classy dessert out there.

I made my ribbon salad for a 4th of July cookout, but this theme will work for many summer parties and other occasions.

For a Christmas or wintertime dessert, you could make red and green ribbon layers. In this instance, you could put the red layer on the bottom, using cherry Jell-O and pie filling, or perhaps red raspberry.

For a lighter salad, the pie filling can be left out entirely, or replaced with drained, canned fruit.

Vintage Jell-O recipe book

Vintage Jell-O recipe book

Vintage Jell-O Is a Classic

This cookbook shown above is the 10th edition, from the late 1960s to early 1970s, by my estimate.

The ribbon salad recipe in this book is red, white, and green. The red layer uses raspberry Jell-O. The salad also includes crushed pineapple, marshmallows, whipped cream, and mayonnaise—an unexpected twist that makes the dessert both tangy and sweet!

My ribbon salad recipe, below, is a modern adaptation. It just goes to show how adaptable Jell-O is...

I recommend making this salad in a glass dish or bowl, in order to show off the layers to best advantage. Also, when you cut it, use a spatula to lift the pieces out, to preserve the beauty of your colorful layers.

Be Sure to Set Aside Enough Time

Each layer needs time to set before the next layer is added, so you should plan to make your salad at least several hours before you want to serve it.

One big benefit: Your salad will be ready and waiting for your carry-in, cookout, picnic, or tailgate party! One item prepared and ready before the last minute.

You can change the order of the layers, as you wish. Use a two-quart glass bowl or a 13x9 glass dish.

I used a vintage glass mixing bowl in these examples. (I love to use my vintage finds.)

Prep timeReady inYields

12 hours

12 hours

8 servings


  • 2 (3 oz) pkg black cherry or blackberry Fusion Jell-O
  • 1 can cherry or blackberry pie filling
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg lemon-flavored Jell-O
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg whipped topping
  • 2 (8 oz) pkg strawberry-flavored Jell-O
  • Boiling water and cold water (as indicated in the instructions)


  1. Make the blue Jell-O layer (black cherry or blackberry Jell-O) using 2 cups of boiling water and 1 cup of cold water (and not the standard package directions). Dissolve the powder in the boiling water, then add the cold water. Stir to mix well. Add the pie filling and pour into the serving bowl. Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Prepare the lemon Jell-O using 1 cup of boiling water. Put the cream cheese into a separate bowl and beat, then add the lemon Jell-O. Let this mixture cool to room temperature, then fold in the whipped topping. Spread on top of the firm blue Jell-O layer, and return to the refrigerator to allow the white layer to get firm.
  3. Prepare the strawberry using 2 cups boiling water, and 1 cup cold water. Like the blue layer, dissolve the Jell-O in the boiling water, and add the cold water. Mix well to completely dissolve the power. Cool to room temperature, and gently pour onto the white layer of the ribbon salad. Return the bowl to the refrigerator until set.

More Joys of Jell-O (1993 Edition)

Nearly 20 years old, this book is one of the more recent versions of the Joys of Jell-O franchise. Jell-O remains popular because it is an easy way to make tasty desserts and side dishes.

Jell-O Comes in Many Varieties and Colors

Is a Jell-O Ribbon Salad in Your Future? - Will You Make a Jell-O Vintage Favorite Recipe?

kimbesa (author) from USA on July 19, 2013:

@DebMartin: I've been thinking about this salad, and need a reminder myself! It won't be long before Labor Day is here and the summer's over.

DebMartin on July 19, 2013:

Yes. In my future now. I always forget about jello during the summer months. It goes so well mixed with all the great summer fruits and here I am halfway through summer without a jello salad. Thanks for the reminder.

anonymous on July 06, 2012:

After reading this lens, I certainly will!

Mandy Stradley from Riverton, Utah on July 04, 2012:

I've never made a jell-o ribbon salad, but they look so good! What a great treat!

Lori Green from Las Vegas on June 25, 2012:

I love jello and coolwhip. I make it all the time. Creamy and tangy. It's the best.

GOT LM on June 18, 2012:

So nice!

kimbesa (author) from USA on June 11, 2012:

@KittySmith: Awesome! Great that everyone liked it, and thanks for sending them by!

KittySmith on June 11, 2012:

@KittySmith: I made it, everybody loved it, some asked for the recipe. Of course I am sending them here!

KittySmith on June 09, 2012:

I am making the Ribbon Mold for a backyard party tomorrow.

dream1983 on June 08, 2012:

Great lens! Squidlikes!

Huntsnan on May 26, 2012:

Already have the Jell-O, just add water! Pretty pictures, thanks for the stroll down memory lane. Who doesn't remember hot summer days with cool Jell-O treats as a kid?

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on May 26, 2012:

Yummy, my kind of food. I would like some now Please. Thanks for sharing. Blessed

LadyCharlie on May 26, 2012:

Great lens with sweet ideas for the summer. I will give your jello recipe a try. Blessed

Karnel from Lower Mainland of BC on May 26, 2012:

Looks so yummy we'll have to make it today and give it a try

intermarks on May 26, 2012:

Definitely will give it a try, I can feel that it is delicious from the recipe itself.

CameronPoe on May 25, 2012:

summertime. of course. i just have to learn how to make 'em.

getwellsoon on May 25, 2012:

Ah Jello, the perfect summer treat!

UKGhostwriter on May 25, 2012:

I did a similar thing but slanted the bowls whilst it set. Got a lot of comments about the angles of layers!

JoshK47 on May 24, 2012:

I love Jell-O ribbon salad! Great stuff - thanks for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

microfarmproject on May 24, 2012:

This looks like a great recipe for the 4th of July.

ledlightsshopau on May 24, 2012:

looks really yameee..

AgingIntoDisabi on May 23, 2012:

This dessert is a real classic. Second only to apple pie.

Eileen from Western Cape , South Africa on May 23, 2012:

Mmm - nice , looks delicious !

Nancy Johnson from Mesa, Arizona on May 22, 2012:

Jell-O Salad is just about at every one of my family gatherings. Grandma always brings her lime gelatin salad. The kids love it.

Chocolate Pickney from Jamaica on May 22, 2012:

love jello, so i'm sure i'll do a jello ribbon soon

jayceehaynes on May 21, 2012:

sounds yummy!

jayceehaynes on May 21, 2012:

looks yummy!

genuineaid lm on May 21, 2012:

Maybe one day I'll make some jell-o, but usually my wifey makes it for me :)

anonymous on May 21, 2012:

yes, for memorial day :)

DogWatchColumbus on May 21, 2012:

You betcha! I make a rainbow ribbon salad but could never figure out the blue or white for a patriotic one. Thanks for the great tips!

entertainmentev on May 21, 2012:

The Jell-O Ribbon Salad is a staple at my fourth of July picnic. Love it!

flycatcherrr on May 21, 2012:

We used to call this a Neapolitan - by any name, a nice summertime dessert for sure. Variation: alternating layers of Jello mixed with yogurt or whipped cream: yum!

SoniaCarew on May 21, 2012:

Yeah! It looks tasty, beautiful,....

Millionairemomma on May 20, 2012:

I love jello so much so this lens was awesome and tasty!

CherylsArt on May 20, 2012:

Looks very tasty!

Clairissa from OREFIELD, PA on May 20, 2012:

Sounds just as delicious as it looks. I look forward to giving it a try.

Robin S from USA on May 20, 2012:

I usually just do the red and blue jello with the whipped cream on top. Yours looks a lot more interesting. Gonna try it next time!

Blackspaniel1 on May 20, 2012:

Salads are always great.

Marc from Edinburgh on April 21, 2012:

Really tempted! We call it Jelly over here, and I love it!

Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on April 20, 2012:

Sounds like a great idea for a party I have coming up soon. So bright and colorful - and who doesn't like jello?

anonymous on April 20, 2012:

My hubby does like jello. I may have to give this a try!

bossypants on April 20, 2012:

Vintage jello cookbooks are a treasure. Some of the recipes seems truly bizarre, but your ribbon recipe looks beautiful and delicious!

julieannbrady on April 01, 2012:

Oh my, it is not necessarily in my future, but it sure was a big part of my past! We always had room for Jell-O ... J-E-L-L-O!

clouda9 lm on March 15, 2012:

Mmm! This Jello salad looks so tasty and colorful.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on September 30, 2011:

I have always wanted to make the layered jello but have never gotten around to it for one reason or anther. Yours looks delicious and I think it is going to finally temp me into getting creative in the jello department ;)

Wanda Fitzgerald from Central Florida on August 14, 2011:

I love Jello and as a matter of fact ate some today. I'm horrible though I buy the little ready made cups from the supermarket. Yours are so much prettier.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on July 15, 2011:

Ah, you have just reminded me of some pretty and delicious ways to add beauty to our table. I had totally forgotten about jello and my children have always loved it! I love the red, white and blue idea for the 4th of July.

anonymous on July 15, 2011:

I remember the old 60's version that Mom used to make from the picture, thanks to bringing us up to date with your modern version. Okay, I have to say this, there's always room for jello!

Jeanette from Australia on July 10, 2011:

Your jell-o ribbon salad looks quite spectacular. But here in Australia we would call it jelly ribbon salad ;-)

NoYouAreNot on July 08, 2011:

Well, sort of. :) I mean, I don't think I ever saw Jell-O here in Greece, but there are some other (European) jello brands I could use.

fourthofjuly on June 13, 2011:

Jello Ribbon Salad is perfect for Fourth of July!

happynutritionist on June 07, 2011:

It may be in my future, looks like a very patriotic salad:-) I have an old jello cookbook...maybe the one you're talking about, will have to go check.

miaponzo on May 22, 2011:

I love striped jello desserts! We call them comfort jello...

GiftsBonanza on May 22, 2011:

Looks wonderful - I just love jelly!

Ann from Yorkshire, England on May 20, 2011:

this looks wonderful - featured on my summer soup lens

ohcaroline on May 19, 2011:

This is my favorite jello to make for Christmas dinner. It's so festive looking and refreshing instead of the many really rich foods we eat.

Grandma-Marilyn on May 19, 2011:

You betcha. I was saying earlier when someone did a jello lens that I was wondering where to find this recipe. LOL Believe it or not, when we were in Italy, we had a box jello that did this.

jolou on May 18, 2011:

Looks very pretty, it would be perfect for a summer party. So glad summer is almost here!

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