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Three Amazing Vintage Jell-O Recipes

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

vintage-jello-recipes

Jell-O Is a Vintage Classic

Jell-O is one of those foods that nearly everyone remembers from childhood. Its history goes back more than 100 years but when refrigeration became more common by the 1930s, Jell-O recipes grew in popularity.

Refrigerators were quickly replacing ice boxes in American kitchens and recipes that used the new technology were featured in women's magazines. My grandmother had a gas-powered refrigerator, which was still working when her household goods were sold in the 1990s.

On the Boomer test, you get the question right if you can sing the tune that goes with the jingle: J-E-L-L-O.

At our house, we always thought of Jell-O as a salad, but it can be a dessert, too, even in these recipes which feature more added vegetables than fruits. These are based on Jell-O salads my grandma made for family gatherings. We especially liked the orange version.

Best Vintage Jell-O Recipes

  1. Lemon Jell-O with Pineapple and Parmesan
  2. Orange Jell-O with Grated Carrots and Crushed Pineapple
  3. Lime Jell-O with Apple and Cabbage
Lemon Jell-O, a classic American dessert.

Lemon Jell-O, a classic American dessert.

Lemon Jell-O and Other Classic Recipes for Parties and Holidays

Lemon Jell-O is the best vintage Jell-O recipe I have in my collection. Want to make a frosted lemon Jell-O salad? This classic dessert has been a family favorite for more than 50 years.

We just call it Lemon Jell-O, but it has a few more ingredients than just the flavored gelatin, including bananas, marshmallows, and crushed pineapple. It's topped with real whipped cream and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Its official name is "Frosted Lemon Salad."

We don't know exactly when my mother first made this dish but it entered the family recipe collection many years ago, and 50 years is a good estimate. It made an appearance at Christmas on my sister's table in England. The serving plates (vintage Sidekick by Corning) helped pull off a simple, yet festive table setting.

Lemon Jell-O will always be part of our family.

This is the kind of recipe you find from the days before there were lots of Jell-O flavors to choose from in the grocery store. This article includes a couple of other Jell-O salad recipes, as well.

vintage-jello-recipes

1. Lemon Jell-O with Pineapple and Parmesan

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

4 hours

8 hours

12 hours

12-16 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 small boxes lemon Jell-O
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 2 c. cold water
  • 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple (drain but save juice)
  • 1 c. miniature marshmallows
  • 2-3 large bananas, peeled and sliced
Parmesan cheese is the secret ingredient that makes this extra special.

Parmesan cheese is the secret ingredient that makes this extra special.

Lemon Jell-O Topping

Prep time includes cooling and setting. This topping can be made while the Jell-O salad sets.

Prep time includes cooling and setting. This topping can be made while the Jell-O salad sets.

Directions

  1. In a 13x9 glass baking dish, make Jell-O with water, following package directions. Chill until partially set.
  2. Mix in drained pineapple, marshmallows, and banana slices. Chill until firm, then top.
  3. Topping recipe follows. Prep times include time needed for components to set up before you can proceed.

Lemon Jell-O Topping Recipe

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

10 min

30 min

12-16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 c. reserved pineapple juice (add water if necessary to make 1 c. liquid)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 3 T. parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Mix sugar and flour. Add juice and egg. Cook until thick over medium heat, stirring often.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter. Let cool. When cooked mixture is cooled, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  3. Fold mixture and whipped cream together until just mixed. Spread on Jell-O. Sprinkle cheese on top.
vintage-jello-recipes

2. Orange Jell-O with Grated Carrots and Crushed Pineapple

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

7 hours 30 min

8 hours

9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large box orange Jell-O
  • 4 cups water (see package directions)
  • 1 15-oz. can crushed pineapple drained
  • 2-3 large carrots, grated
Orange Jell-O is a vintage favorite.

Orange Jell-O is a vintage favorite.

Directions

  1. Make Jell-O in a 9x9 square glass dish, according to package directions. Cool until partly set.
  2. Stir in the drained pineapple and grated carrots. Return to the refrigerator and chill until completely set.
vintage-jello-recipes

3. Lime Jell-O with Apple and Cabbage

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

7 hours 15 min

8 hours

9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large box lime Jell-O
  • 4 cups water (see package directions)
  • 2 large eating apples, cored and chopped (we like Braeburn or Gala)
  • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped fine or grated
  • 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1 rib celery, diced fine (optional)
Yes, back in the day, vegetables and nuts were not uncommon in Jell-O recipes.

Yes, back in the day, vegetables and nuts were not uncommon in Jell-O recipes.

Directions

  1. Make Jell-O in a 9x9 square glass dish, according to package directions. Cool until partly set.
  2. Stir in the chopped apple, cabbage, celery, and nuts.
  3. Return to the refrigerator and chill until completely set.

Do You Like Jell-O? - Let Me Know How You Like to Make It

Patsy on March 15, 2020:

I was asked to help with a wedding reception and was asked to make the jello. The bride furnished the recipe. I can't remember all the ingredients but it was lime jello with nuts celery and possibly cream cheese. For some reason I keep thinking there were avacodos too. It was very fluffy and was served in goblets. Delicious and pretty. Anyone out there know about this ?

Meg on April 21, 2019:

The orange/pineapple carrot salad aka Sunshine salad has been an Easter dinner tradition for more than 25 years in my family. My daughter’s favorite and asks for it for her birthday dinner.

kimbesa (author) from USA on January 30, 2018:

I'll bet pecans make it especially good!

Celia G on January 27, 2018:

My mom used to make the orange jello with carrots, pineapple, and pecans. It was a family favorite.

Virginia D. on January 26, 2018:

Strawberry jello with sliced bananas.

Cherry jello with a can drained fruit cocktail.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on November 22, 2015:

I loved the part about the Jello history. It's great to hear from you after the Bubblews demise. I hope to see your prize winning photographs in future hubs.

MortyB on June 11, 2014:

Brings back memories!

I'll need to try a few of these

Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on May 22, 2013:

Wow this lens brought back memories! My Mom used to make a lot of jello molds in the 60's & 70's. I still love jello in any form.

Winter52 LM on December 30, 2012:

We enjoyed jell-o desserts a lot as a kid and we loved them... it's been too long!

kimbesa (author) from USA on July 04, 2012:

@KittySmith: Awesome! Can't wait to hear how they liked it, and if anyone guessed the "secret ingredient" on top!

KittySmith on July 04, 2012:

I just finished making Lemon Jello for our American Legion 4th of July picnic today! I can't wait to try it.

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on June 19, 2012:

Wow I can't imagine the parmesan cheese with the Jello, but I bet it's good. It's always been "Jelly" in the UK, but the same stuff, and essential for any kids party when I was growing up.

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

@KittySmith: The Parmesan adds the "zing" component, to complement the sweetness of the Jello. Everyone who's had it here loves it!

KittySmith on June 11, 2012:

How about that? The only one of these recipes I have not had is the Lemon Jell-o one. Of course I have to try this one. I can't imagine how this is with parmesan cheese.

JenaleeMortensen on June 07, 2012:

My family likes a salad made with equal parts of cottage cheese and whipped topping with a package of jello and a can of drained crushed pineapple.

RecordLady on May 31, 2012:

Always room for Jello. My mom used to add lemon jello to her cream cheesecake. It was so good.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on May 23, 2012:

I like plain Jell-O. Mom always added fruit cocktail and that was good too.

Superwriter711 on May 23, 2012:

I'm getting pretty old, but I still love some jello from time to time.

BestRatedStuff on May 20, 2012:

These look delicious, remember some of the ones we had at outings, love it!

NTxWriter on May 20, 2012:

Very entertaining idea for a lens! I used to love jello and now make it for my grandchildren.

getmoreinfo on May 20, 2012:

Jello is my all time favorite dessert from childhood, thanks for the memories.

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on May 20, 2012:

I had forgotten about the orange jello with carrots and pineapple. It used to show up at all the family gatherings long ago. :)

Blackspaniel1 on May 19, 2012:

Nice lens

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on May 12, 2012:

Love jello. I think a recipe that has been a favorite for 50 years ought to be tried! I will check it out tonight. It's my husband's birthday party, and he likes jello too!

Auntie-M LM on May 10, 2012:

Love Jello. Haven't seen these recipes for years, and I had forgotten all about them. Great info.

Angela F from Seattle, WA on May 09, 2012:

These look like a perfect addition to my 1930s Pop Culture lens -adding it now :)

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

looks delicious, like to try some

anonymous on November 25, 2011:

Utah eats more Jello per-cap-ita then anywhere else so you know I like this stuff! Squidliked it.

skefflingecho from Tobermory Ontario on November 22, 2011:

Awesome lens, my in-laws have an orange and carrot jello with black pepper in it! Cool recipe!

Johanna Eisler on November 05, 2011:

For big family dinners, my mother always included Jell-O salad. Just lemon Jell-O and finely grated carrots - and it was everybody's favorite! Day after tomorrow, I'm having a big family dinner at my house, and serving - what else? Jell-O salad. Mom would be proud of me.

anonymous on September 21, 2011:

There were a lot of Jell-O desserts when I was growing up. My grandma used to make a very simple one with canned pear halves in green jell-o. I can vaguely remember one that had cottage cheese and I think pineapple stirred in. I'd forgotten about a lot of these--thanks for the memories!

kimbesa (author) from USA on July 08, 2011:

@NoYouAreNot: I encourage you to try the Parmesan, even on just one piece. It adds a touch of tangy flavor that makes a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the jello layer. Not cheesy at all!

NoYouAreNot on July 08, 2011:

You just gave me an idea for a lens. My mom used to make a jello dessert which I liked very much when I was little. Yummy jello recipes here, I think I'll try the lemon jello recipe -- even if parmesan cheese seems a little odd. Thanks.

fourthofjuly on June 13, 2011:

Oh that fruity goodness!

anonymous on June 11, 2011:

i haven't had jello in years, great lens, sharing and blessings from squid angel :)

Loretta from United States on June 05, 2011:

My husband's aunt makes a similar dish with strawberry jello.

miaponzo on June 04, 2011:

I love it.. my mother always used to put fruit in it and cool whip on top :).. often molded... :)

miaponzo on June 04, 2011:

I love it.. my mother always used to put fruit in it and cool whip on top :).. often molded... :)

Nancy Graham on May 30, 2011:

Oh yes, in Michigan in the 50's Jello was IT! I don't care for Jello, myself, but I must say I have tried some yummy concoctions that had lots of whipped cream in them. Fun lens.

anonymous on May 18, 2011:

Parmesan cheese is a surprised ingredient to me and must certainly compliment the Lemon Jello beautifully. You made me think of a jello dessert that Mom used to make with several flavors of jello cut into little cubes in it. Yummy lens!

Grandma-Marilyn on May 15, 2011:

Oh, Yes. I have to look for the 1-2-3 Jello recipe. Used to be in a box overseas.

Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on February 11, 2011:

The orange jello with carrots and pineapple (or mandarin oranges) is one of my fave dishes. Love that crunch!

dwnovacek on January 15, 2011:

I love Jello salads! My grandmother used to make a dish that looks pretty close to your Lemon Jello Salad, and my mother got adventurous with a layered concoction that included strawberry Jello mixed with sliced strawberries and a layer of sour cream in between. Man, I need to get that recipe! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on January 04, 2011:

Jello is always a fun dessert. Thanks for the recipes.

kimbesa (author) from USA on December 20, 2010:

@anonymous: Thanks! Same to you and all!

anonymous on December 20, 2010:

Awesome lens! My mom used to make the orange jello with the shredded carrots. It was so good! Blessed by a Squidoo angel on 12/20/2010. Have a great Holiday!

kimbesa (author) from USA on December 16, 2010:

@julieannbrady: Yes, it might sound unusual, but it puts a bit of "twang" into the topping. Goes great with the sweetness of some of the other ingredients, like the marshmellows!

julieannbrady on December 16, 2010:

I used to like it and eat it more ... mom kept pushing it at dinner ... so I guess I need to start making some. Parmesan cheese?

kimbesa (author) from USA on December 09, 2010:

Thanks!

Wanda Fitzgerald from Central Florida on December 04, 2010:

I remember some of these well. Thanks for linking to my holiday cakes recipes. I've lensrolled to my other cooking lenses.

kimbesa (author) from USA on December 03, 2010:

Thanks!

Robin S from USA on December 03, 2010:

I've never had Jello like this. Can't wait to give it a try!

Senora M on December 03, 2010:

Very cool lens! Who doesn't love Jell-O? :) Saw you on the RM forum!