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Layered Christmas Gelatin

Christmastime always means that this recipe comes out of my recipe box. The traditional holiday colors in this salad make the buffet table look so pretty. —Diane Schefelker, Ireton, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • Optional ingredients: Thawed whipped topping, lime wedges and fresh strawberries


  • Dissolve lime gelatin in boiling water; stir in pineapple juice. Stir in pineapple. Pour into an 11x7-in. dish; refrigerate until set.
  • In a small saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl. Beat in cream cheese and milk until smooth. Spread over lime layer; refrigerate until set.
  • Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water; stir in cranberry sauce. Cool for 10 minutes. Carefully spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.
  • Cut into squares. If desired, serve with whipped topping, lime wedges and fresh strawberries.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • For individual portions, pour gelatin layers into clear plastic cups.
  • Homemade whipped cream topping truly tastes best. Beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream on high until slightly thickened, then add 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until soft peaks form.
  • Get more jiggly, wiggly gelatin salads for your holiday spread.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 267 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (39g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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    • Deb
      Dec 7, 2019

      ahannifan: My mom made the gelatin, just as your's did, using two red layers, adding pecans, frozen sweetened strawberries (thawed, of course), in place of the whole-berry cranberry sauce, and used 16 oz of whipped topping mixed with the cream cheese, and NO gelatin, for the center layer. I'll be making this for Christmas this year, which I haven't done since Mom passed, 5 years ago!

    • Ana
      Dec 8, 2018

      Great for even kids birthdays red White n blue Fourth of July the White is the cream cheese

    • Vondy
      Mar 29, 2018

      Not only a great Christmas dessert, but also a great Easter dessert! Making second 'batch' now. I've been using peach gelatin and either lemon or pineapple flavored gelatin ( yellow ) . Same great taste, just changing the colors for the Easter table! My family ( and friends ) all enjoy this great jello dish! Thanks for sharing.

    • i_like_pie
      Dec 27, 2017

      We really liked this, and it was really nice looking with no mixing between the layers. My only thought for next time is to use a slightly larger dish. It filled an 11 x 7 dish to the very top, so it was difficult to get it in the fridge without spilling it. I love the idea mentioned by another reviewer to put it into individual cups.

    • crm40
      Dec 17, 2017

      I will use sugar-free jellos for this, for my diabetic son, he will LOVE it! Thank you so much!

    • ahannifan
      Dec 17, 2017

      One of my very favorite memories, my mom always made this, except she made two red layers (no green). She also added chopped pecans to the jello. So delicious!!

    • RovingWino
      Dec 10, 2017

      This was a family favorite for DECADES. The only difference was on the top layer we added mini marshmallows. We'd put a slice on a bed of lettuce and it not only was beautiful, it was doggone tasty!

    • Anne Bernadette
      Dec 27, 2016

      This was a relatively easy recipe with great results! The middle layer is a nice balance for the sweeter top and bottom layers. I served it as a salad on a bed of red lettuce with a small dollop of whipped topping. It was as tasty as it was attractive. Thank you, Diane, for providing the recipe for a lovely Christmas salad.

    • _nlfPA
      Apr 7, 2016

      This salad is really good. Even though it says Christmas in the title and Christmas colors, my family enjoys it so much I make it all year long.

    • TNbluffbaker
      Jan 9, 2016

      I love holiday recipes that are festive looking and can be prepared ahead of time. This one is both! I didn't have strawberry jello so I substituted cherry. It was delicious!