Coca-Cola Jello fruit salad combines cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple and strawberry gelatin. Pairs well as a side dish or a light summer dessert.
Keeping in step with my infatuation with jello … I have another jello fruit salad recipe for you! A few years after The Husband and I were married, my mother-in-law sent me a recipe for “Carolyn’s Coke Congealed Salad” and asked me if I would make it for the upcoming holiday dinner.
Carolyn was my husband’s maternal grandmother and she frequently made this during the holidays. Strawberry jello and cherry pie filling give this jello fruit salad its bright red hue. But I wouldn’t relegate this dish to just the holidays. It’s perfect for Easter or a 4th of July picnic too.
Jello as a Status Symbol
Why were gelatin salads so popular back during our grandmother’s time? Turns out, gelatin used to be a status symbol – like driving the right car or wearing the right pair of shoes today. Congealed salads require refrigeration to set, something not everyone could afford back then. If you showed up to the church picnic or a baby shower with a congealed salad, people assumed you were wealthy enough to afford a refrigerator.
How to Make Coca-Cola Jello Fruit Salad
This jello fruit salad only requires five ingredients and is super simple to make. Just make sure you allow yourself enough time for the jello fruit salad to set.
Start by combing one (21 ounce) can of cherry pie filling, one (15 ounce) can of undrained crushed pineapple and ½ cup of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Add two packages of strawberry flavored gelatin. Stir until the gelatin and the sugar are completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour in one cup of soda. My original recipe calls for Coca-Cola, but you could experiment with your favorite brand or different flavors.
Finally, pour the jello fruit salad into a mold, individual serving dishes or even a 9 x 12 x 2-inch casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the gelatin to chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours. I prefer to make my Coca-Cola Jello Fruit Salad the day before and give it an entire night to set.
Tips for Unmolding Your Jello Salad
Gelatin molds – they look pretty, but how to you get the dang salad from the mold onto a serving plate?
- Spray the mold with a little cooking spray. I promise your jello fruit salad will not taste greasy. Just a light coating of cooking spray is all you need. Cooking spray also prevents the surface of the salad from drying out and forming a tough skin.
- Fill a sink with warm tap water. You want it just deep enough to go up the sides of the jello mold, but not spill over into the jello fruit salad. Carefully dip the jello mold into the warm water and let it sit there for 10 seconds. That’s all you need to loosen the sides of the salad — any longer and your salad will start to melt.
- Place your serving plate upside down on top of the jello mold. Holding the plate to the jello mold, quickly turn everything right side up. Pull up on the mold. Your jello fruit salad should easily slip from the mold onto your serving plate.
- Immediately return the plated fruit salad to the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. The edges of the salad might have melted slightly while in the water bath. This will give the salad time to firm back up.
Coca-Cola Jello fruit salad pairs well as a side dish served alongside a salty entrée like smoked ham. But you could also top it off with some whipped cream and serve as a fresh and light warm weather dessert.
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Coca-Cola Jello Fruit Salad
- 1 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
- 1 15.5 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 2 3 ounces each strawberry gelatin mix
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup regular brown soda such as Coca Cola
- Combine the cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple and juice and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add both packages of strawberry flavored gelatin. Stir until the gelatin and the sugar are completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour in the soda. Stir to combine
- Pour the jello fruit salad into a mold, individual serving dishes or a 9 x 12 x 2-inch casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the gelatin to chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours, up to eight hours.