Amish Strawberry tapioca pudding is a light and refreshing dessert. It's a creamy homemade tapioca pudding recipe with fresh strawberries, jello, and whipped cream.
Some people may know this dish as strawberry tapioca fluff or strawberry tapioca salad. But we always called it strawberry tapioca pudding. And it's a great summery dessert.
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I'm a sucker for tapioca! The squishy pearls in my mouth are delightful. And honestly, I love it in all forms, having recently discovered that I also love boba drinks. 🙂
Tapioca is made from the starch of the cassava plant, and it comes in different forms: tapioca starch, minute tapioca, and tapioca pearls, among others.
Tapioca starch can be used as a thickener in pie fillings. And it also plays a role in gluten-free baking as an integral component of gluten-free flour mixes.
Minute tapioca is a finer grind of tapioca pearls, resembling coarse salt. It is used for pie fillings, but you can also use it for pudding. And minute tapioca is what we use in this strawberry tapioca pudding recipe.
Tapioca pearls are balls of cassava starch which has been shaped into pearls. And contrary to popular belief, tapioca isn't a grain like rice, for example, that is grown. Tapioca starch is extracted from the cassava plant and mixed with boiling water to form a paste that can be rolled, cut, and shaped into different shapes and sizes, like tapioca pearls.
So tapioca pearls come in various sizes from very tiny pearls to large tapioca pearls also known as boba.
I love creamy tapioca pudding made with pearls. And this strawberry tapioca dessert could also be made with pearls, but today we are using minute tapioca.
Strawberry Tapioca Jello Salad or Dessert?
I have two questions, "Why is a creamy, fluffy jello dish called a salad instead of dessert?" "And why do we eat jello salads as a side with savory dishes instead of as a dessert?"
I don't know if very many people still eat jello salads. But having grown up Amish, jello salad was commonly served with the main course of the meal at many gatherings.
We ate jello salads of every kind, and I loved them all. Jello salad is more like a dessert (in my opinion), and it's delicious. So yeah, I'll pile it onto my plate whenever it's served.
But why do we call it a salad? Are we trying to make ourselves feel good about eating it by calling it a salad instead of a dessert?
I mean, it usually consists of jello, sugar, whipped cream, and possibly cream cheese and fruit of some sort. So it sounds like dessert to me :).
But hey, it's a free world. And even though it seems like dessert, I still like to eat jello salad as a side dish. (Although we typically ate this particular jello dish as a dessert instead.)
But, if you prefer, go ahead and serve this strawberry tapioca dessert as a salad instead. I promise I won't judge. 🙂
It can work as a side salad or a dessert. And it doesn't matter when you eat it, just go ahead and enjoy it because it is wonderfully delicious!
Strawberry Tapioca Recipe
This strawberry tapioca is very easy to make.
Simply boil the tapioca in water until the granules are transparent. Add the sugar and jello. And chill the tapioca for several hours (or overnight) to allow the jello time to set.
Add the whipped cream. You can either whip the cream in by hand or use a mixer. The mixture is a bit sticky, and it can be fun trying to get it creamy. 🙂 I used my big mixer, but do whatever works best for you.
Then add the sliced strawberries and serve, or refrigerate it until ready to serve.
Make-Ahead Strawberry Dessert
I typically cook this tapioca mixture at least one or two days before I want to serve it. Since the jello/tapioca mixture needs to be well-chilled (allowing the jello time to set) before adding the whipped cream.
And then I like to have the tapioca dessert assembled (with strawberries and cream) and chilled for several hours or overnight, before serving. It's one of those recipes that tastes better on the second day because the flavors have had time to blend.
But this strawberry tapioca pudding can also be served within a few hours if needed.
After cooking the tapioca/jello mixture, set your pan into a bowl of ice water to chill it quickly. Refrigerate it for a couple of hours, add the strawberries and cream, and serve.
Keep this strawberry jello dessert refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days - if it lasts that long 🙂 . But keep in mind that the whipped cream may start to thin the pudding a bit after a couple of days.
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries to Make Strawberry Tapioca?
I prefer using fresh strawberries to make this dessert tapioca. But yes, you can use sliced frozen strawberries as well.
Amish Strawberry Tapioca Pudding Recipe
- 8 c. water
- 1 c. minute tapioca
- 1 1/2 - 2 c. sugar
- 6 oz. strawberry gelatin powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1 - 2 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced or chopped
- 1 (8 - 12 oz.) Cool Whip (thawed) or whipped cream
Whipped Cream (if using):
- 1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the minute tapioca and boil over medium-low heat until clear, stirring occasionally. (It takes approx. 10 minutes.)8 c. water, 1 c. minute tapioca
- Remove from the heat and add the sugar, jello, and salt. Stir until dissolved.1 1/2 - 2 c. sugar, 6 oz. strawberry gelatin powder, 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
- Cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Add the thawed cool whip and mix until incorporated and creamy (I use my mixer to do this). Add the sliced strawberries and mix well.1 (8 - 12 oz.) Cool Whip (thawed) or whipped cream, 1 - 2 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced or chopped
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Whip the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar until thick and creamy.1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 Tbsp. sugar