Jennifer Causey
Active Time:
20 Mins
Total Time:
10 Hours
Yield:
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 square)

The only thing more retro than a congealed salad is a congealed salad made with soda. This delightful recipe, from a May 1980 issue of Southern Living, was submitted by Mrs. Jack Corzine of St. Louis, Missouri. The original story, “Congealed Salads Bring a Light Touch”, read: “If you’re having friends over for a casual lunch, round out your menu with one of these congealed salads.”

While gelatin salads may have gone the way of cassette tapes, this one is worth a second look, especially if you’re a fan of ones with lots of fruit. Made with black cherry-flavored and raspberry-flavored gelatin and a can of cola (such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi), it’s filled with crunchy chopped celery and pecans, juicy dark sweet cherries and crushed pineapple, and flaked coconut. Cream cheese, which is beaten until fluffy, is folded into the other ingredients, making the salad rich and creamy.

One of the best things about this recipe is that you don’t even need a special mold to make it. Just pour it into a 13- by 9-inch pan and chill in the refrigerator until firm. (The salad can be prepared one day in advance.) When you’re ready to serve, simply cut your cheery cola jello salad into squares. Top each cherry jello salad square with additional cherries or pineapple for a pretty garnish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Drain cherries and pineapple, reserving juices; add enough water to juice to make 2 cups liquid. Bring liquid to a boil; add gelatin, stirring to dissolve. Stir in cola beverage. Chill until slightly thickened.

Step 2

Combine celery, pecans, cherries, pineapple, and, if desired, coconut in a bowl. Beat cream cheese in a separate bowl until smooth and fluffy; add fruit mixture to cream cheese, stirring well. Fold cream cheese mixture into gelatin; pour into a 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan. Chill until firm. Cut into squares to serve.

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