Christmas Ribbon Salad
Layered Jello Salad has been on our table at every family Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember. And for us, this Christmas Ribbon Jello Salad has been a traditional side dish.
We always made it in a pretty jello ring mold, and I loved the look of the beautiful three-layered Christmas salad in red, white (slightly yellow), and green. The dinner table would not have been complete without it.
Amish Christmas and Traditions
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! There's just something about Christmas and family traditions that brings so much comfort and joy to the heart!
Growing up as an Amish kid, we had some of our own Christmas traditions. Although decorating a Christmas tree or getting our photo taken with Santa was not among those traditions.
However, when it came to food, we had some of the same traditions as anyone else. We baked hundreds of Christmas cookies and passed out beautiful-looking plate-fulls to all our neighbors.
And we loved to incorporate Christmas colors into our food. (Click here to read more about our Amish Christmas traditions.)
So we always had this Amish Ribbon Salad, and it is a tradition that I have kept to this day.
We usually have our little family candlelight Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. And somehow we ended up with a traditional meal of shrimp, homemade sushi, pigs in a blanket (smokies wrapped in crescent rolls), cheese and pretzels, olives and pickle tray, ribbon salad, and sparkling juice. And then a homemade cookie and candy platter to snack on later in the evening.
Holiday Ribbon Jello
This Amish jello salad takes a bit of time to make since it has three layers, and each layer needs to chill before adding the next layer.
But it is not hard to make. You just need to make it when you have a couple of hours, so you can keep coming back to it to add another layer.
We always made this ribbon salad recipe in jello molds and put the green on the bottom and red on top (using the jello mold, we put the red in first). It looks really pretty in a ring with the three layers.
And I am adding an affiliate link where you can purchase a jello mold, in case you're interested.
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What can I put my Amish Ribbon Salad into if I don't have a jello mold?
For our family Christmas dinner, I like to make individual ribbon salads. So I layer the jello into little stemware cups. It adds a little fun to our holiday table.
So you can layer this ribbon jello salad into any dish, stemware, cups, or molds. Just use whatever you have on hand.
You could buy the small, wide-mouthed, plastic drinking cups at Walmart and layer it in those to serve them individually. Or if you want to take this with you to a gathering, you can layer it into a glass 9 x 13" pan.
Christmas Layered Jello Salad
To make an Amish ribbon salad, start by boiling five cups of water. Place your three different kinds of gelatin into separate bowls. Add some of the boiling water to each bowl and stir until dissolved.
Add the cold water to the red and green jello. And stir the marshmallows into the hot lemon jello until melted.
You can work on all three layers at one time. That will give the jellos time to cool and be ready to add the next layer as soon as the prior layer is set.
Each layer needs to be chilled before adding another layer so that it does not melt together. So you can refrigerate each separate bowl of jello, just remove it from the refrigerator before it starts to gel.
3 Layer Jello Salad with Cream Cheese
Pour the red or green jello into a dish/cups/mold, whatever you want to put it in. This recipe makes more than enough for one mold. So you can put some of the jello into the mold and put the rest into another dish or cups.
You only want to fill the dish/dishes one-third full, allowing enough space for your next two layers. Chill the bottom layer until set.
Chill the lemon jello/pineapple mixture until slightly thickened.
Beat softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add thawed cool whip and mix. Then add the chilled lemon jello mixture and stir it all together. Spread this mixture over the top of the set bottom layer.
As soon as the second layer is set, pour the remaining chilled jello over the top. Refrigerate until firm (this will take several hours).
How to make Ribbon Jello Salad in a Mold
If you are making your jello salad in a mold, you will want to make sure to add the next layer before the first layer is completely firm. Because if you wait to add the second layer until after the first layer is completely firm, it won't bind together as well, which could result in having the next layer slide off when you place it onto a plate to serve.
So keep your eye on the jello as it is chilling because it needs to be set but still slightly jiggly. Don't wait till it's firm to add another layer.
Your jello mold will need to be refrigerated overnight, to make sure it is completely firm, before removing it from the mold.
How to Remove Ribbon Salad from a Jello Mold
To serve your layered jello salad, you will need to remove it from the mold and place it onto a large plate or platter.
To get the jello to slide out of the mold, warm the outside layer of the jello a bit. We used to dip the top of the mold into a basin of warm water, just long enough to soften it a little.
Remove the bottom cover, place your plate over the jello, and flip it over. Slowly remove the top cover, and the jello should neatly slide out. (If it doesn't want to slide out, warm it a little longer).
And hopefully, you have accomplished creating a beautiful ring of ribbon salad.
More Amish Christmas Holiday Recipes...
Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling Recipe
Amish Chicken Roast Recipe (chicken or turkey and stuffing)
Soft and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies Recipe
The Best Amish Caramel Popcorn Recipe
Homemade Rice Krispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls
Layered Jello Ribbon Salad Recipe
- 6 oz. lime gelatin
- 2 c. boiling water
- 1 1/2 c. cold water or pineapple juice
- 3 oz. lemon gelatin
- 1 c. boiling water
- 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
- 1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 2 c. whipped cream or 8 oz. Cool Whip
- 6 oz. cherry gelatin
- 2 c. boiling water
- 1 1/2 c. cold water
To make the bottom layer:
- Add the boiling water to the powdered gelatin. Stir until completely dissolved.6 oz. lime gelatin, 2 c. boiling water
- Add the cold water. Pour into your dish/dishes, filling only 1/3 full. Chill until set (this may take an hour or more).1 1/2 c. cold water or pineapple juice
- If you are using a jello mold, look in the post above for extra instructions.
For the middle layer:
- Add the boiling water to the lemon gelatin. Stir until dissolved.3 oz. lemon gelatin, 1 c. boiling water
- Add miniature marshmallows and stir until dissolved. If the marshmallows don't want to dissolve, you may have to warm it a bit more.1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
- Add the crushed pineapples and chill until slightly thickened.1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
- Beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the thawed cool whip and mix until incorporated.8 oz. cream cheese, 2 c. whipped cream or 8 oz. Cool Whip
- Add the chilled lemon jello mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.
- Spread this mixture over top of the bottom gelatin mixture once it is chilled and set. It doesn't need to be completely firm but firm enough to hold the weight.
For the top layer:
- Add the boiling water to the powdered gelatin and stir until dissolved.6 oz. cherry gelatin, 2 c. boiling water
- Add the cold water and chill.1 1/2 c. cold water
- Place this layer over the top of the chilled and set cream cheese layer. Chill till firm.
Yummy, just like Mom used to make.
Could I make this recipe and omit the cream cheese for a dairy free person?
That should be fine.
How far ahead can it be made?
A couple of days should be fine. I'm making mine on Friday for Sunday.
Very close to a recipe my Mom made for me every Christmas except:
1 no marshmallows or kool whip
2. Lime layer had a can of grapefruit pieces added to the jello
3. One can of Whole berry cranberry sauce added to the red layer
I have to make it a few times to make sure it sets, but I was thrilled to have so much help to make it again!
According to the picture, the top layer is red (cherry) so we should start with that, not the lime gelatin. Correct?
If you are using a mold you will want to start with whatever color goes on the top.
I was trying to find a new something for my Christmas dinner and saw this. I've never made a Jello ring before and had to borrow one from my sister-in-law. Well, I can say it came out perfect and my two boys couldn't believe how wonderful it looked and even better, it tasted. On my top layer I cut cherries in half and froze them before making the top layer so the cherry Jello had cherries in it. They said it was their new favorite dessert/salad. We all actually ate it before our dinner. Thank you for sharing this new found favorite. It truly made our Christmas a special one.
I am delighted that you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing!