Layered Jello Salad – Amish Christmas Recipe

Amish ribbon salad for Christmas dinner

Christmas Ribbon Salad

Layered Jello Salad has been on the table at every family Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember. In our home, Christmas Ribbon Jello Salad was 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.

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jello ribbon salad ingredients
ribbon jello salad ingredients and mold

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.

Ribbon salad in stemware

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 sets.

red and green jello and lemon jello with marshmallows

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.

Ribbon salad ring and dish

More Amish 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

Check out my YouTube channel at My Amish Heritage

Amish ribbon salad for Christmas dinner

Layered Jello Ribbon Salad Recipe

Amish Ribbon salad is a three-layered jello salad that is made with red and green jello and includes a middle layer of cream cheese and pineapple. It is traditionally served with the Christmas holiday dinner.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Chilling 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 25 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Amish
Servings 20 people
Calories 207 kcal


Bottom Layer:

  • 6 oz. lime gelatin
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 1 1/2 c. cold water or pineapple juice

Middle Layer:

  • 3 oz. lemon gelatin
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
  • 1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 c. cool whip or whipped cream

Top layer:

  • 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.
  • Add the cold water. Pour into your dish/dishes, filling only 1/3 full. Chill until set (this may take an hour or more).
  • 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.
  • Add miniature marshmallows and stir until dissolved. If the marshmallows don't want to dissolve, you may have to warm it a bit more.
  • Add the crushed pineapples and chill until slightly thickened.
  • Beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the thawed cool whip and mix until incorporated.
  • 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.
  • Add the cold water and chill.
  • Place this layer over the top of the chilled and set cream cheese layer. Chill till firm.


You can layer this ribbon salad into any dish, stemware, cups, or mold. Just spread your first jello layer into as many dishes as it takes, filling them only 1/3 full to allow room for all three layers.
 If you are using a jello mold, look in the post above for more detailed instructions and tips.
 Sometimes we added crushed pineapple to the lime jello layer as well. But if you add pineapple, cut back on the amount of cold water so the jello sets properly.
If you are in a hurry to get the jello chilled, add some ice cubes to the cold water (make sure to include it in the measurement).


Serving: 20servingsCalories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 147mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 320IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Amish ribbon salad recipe, Christmas Ribbon Jello Salad
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3 thoughts on “Layered Jello Salad – Amish Christmas Recipe

  1. 5 stars
    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!

  2. 5 stars
    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.

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