Jennifer Causey
Active Time
15 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours 15 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 slice)

With the holiday season officially under way, every Southerner knows that it’s time to break out the family recipes. Expected dishes like crunchy onion-topped green bean casserole or cheesy potatoes au gratin certainly make their rounds, but congealed salads are the passed-down heirlooms that really stand out on the spread. Jiggly and oh-so-festive, a gelatin salad just wants to be included, even if only two people deign to scoop a bite.

This vintage recipe skips the lime gelatin packets and Maraschino cherries, going all the way savory. With beef broth, chopped spinach, hard-cooked eggs, and bacon—yes, bacon—this salad will feel right at home next to the Christmas roast. Since this salad is so packed full of delicious ingredients, unmolding might seem a frightful task. Here’s a helpful tip: Once your congealed salad is molded, take a bowl or a casserole dish and fill it with hot (not boiling) tap water. Gently submerge the bottom of the mold into the hot tap water for 5 to 10 seconds. This process loosens the outer edges, making it easy to invert and slide out onto your serving dish. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Pour the cold water and 1/4 of the cup beef broth into blender and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand until gelatin is softened, 3 minutes. Heat remaining beef broth in a saucepan over high heat to boiling point. Pour into blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process at low speed until gelatin is dissolved, using a rubber spatula to push gelatin granules into the broth mixture. Add salt, lemon juice, and salad dressing and process until well blended.

Step 2

Add the onion and cover. Process at high speed until onion is chopped. Add the spinach and eggs and cover. Process at high speed just until eggs are coarsely chopped.

Step 3

Stir in the bacon and pour into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 6-cup mold. Chill until firm, 4 hours. Unmold and garnish with cherry tomatoes.

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