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The 4th of July Picnic: Jell-O Salad

It’s Independence Day, and since the Food Safety News team is spread out across the country, we’re having another “virtual potluck” for our first 4th of July celebration.  

Our first virtual potluck was held on Memorial day this year and was a huge success so we’re hoping for a nice follow-up today.

Michelle is bringing lobster, Dan is bringing ribs, Denis is bringing his mom’s Jell-O salad, Suzanne is bringing banana bread and mud pie, and Helena is bringing an arugula and goat cheese salad.  We’re sharing our recipes here, so you can join in our virtual potluck or use them at your next one.  

Note:  Food Safety News is observing Independence Day on July 5.  We will return to our regular publishing schedule Tuesday.

Have a safe 4th of July!  

The Food Safety News team.

Denis’s Mom’s Famous Frosted Jell-O Salad

frosted-jello-salad.jpgWhen I was growing up, the backyard of my parents’ house was where the people in my extended family–aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandmother–usually came to celebrate the 4 of July.  As I recall, this was partly due to the fact that we had a covered patio and a big backyard with ample room for setting off fireworks.  And, of course, there was always lots to eat, with everyone bringing their “famous” dish, which is to say, the dish that everyone loved, and would complain mightily if it was not present. For my mom, it was her frosted Jell-O salad, a dish of such familial renown, that I asked an aunt to make it last year to serve at the reception after my mom’s memorial service.  It just wouldn’t have been right for it not to be there.

The recipe is relatively easy, but it does require several steps.  As Jell-O salads go, however, this one is delicious–almost a dessert, but not too sweet.


3-oz. can crushed pineapple
2 c. (2 to 3) diced bananas (not too ripe)
2 3-oz. packages lemon Jell-O
2 c. boiling water
2 c. 7-Up or other carbonated lemon-line soda

1/2 c. sugar
2 T flour
1 c. pineapple juice
1 large, well-beaten egg

1 pint heavy whipping cream


Drain pineapple, reserving the juice.

Using a large mixing bowl, dissolve the Jell-O in the boiling water.

Once the Jell-O is dissolved, add the 7-Up.

Pour Jell-O mixture into a 9″ X 13″ pan, and add the drained pineapple and diced banana. (My mom always used clear Pyrex pan.) Then put pan into the refrigerator until the Jell-O is completely set.  


In a double-boiler (or a good saucier pan), over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, flour, reserved pineapple juice, and well-beaten egg.
Heat the resulting mixture gently until thickened, stirring often (or, near-constantly, because you don’t want this to scorch).  Once thickened, chill well, either in the pan, or after removing mixture to a bowl.


Whip the heavy cream until thick enough to hold peaks.  Gently fold chilled pineapple mixture into the whipped cream, and then frost your Jell-O salad. 

For best results, wait to do this last step until just before serving.  Steps one and two can be done a day ahead, however.

© Food Safety News