Leftovers in Jell-O? No Thank-O!

by Katy on June 20, 2011 · 28 comments

It is no secret that I have a PhD in leftovers wizardry. Bread ends become bread crumbs, dried up cooked rice goes into soup and the last bits of stale cereal find their way into muffins.

But an entire week devoted to throwing leftovers into a Jell-O salad? Yes, I grew up with a midwestern mother who had no qualms about throwing cottage cheese and mandarin oranges into a Jell-O-mold. And yes, I admit that I ate it. But in the 16 years of working in a hospital, I have never munched down on the available Jell-O. (I have however served it thousands upon thousands of times.)

But I am here to say that cheese cubes, peas, onions, and holy hell, is that meat? are very, very bad ideas when mixed into a fruity gelatinous medium.

So please, keep your leftover tidbits confined to soups, frittatas, stir-fries and casseroles. But in the name of all that is innocent and pure, keep them out of the Jell-O!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am

I don’t mind Jello, but I’m of the opinion that it should never contain foods of the savory persuasion.


Bobbi June 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

My husband always thought I was exaggerating the stories about my grandmother’s Thanksgiving jello salads, but this ad proves me right! My grandmother’s favorite: molded lime jello salad with shredded cabbage, mini-marshmallows, walnuts, and pineapple chunks. Yep, she served it with pride!


Su Mama June 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Hey! Hey! Hey! Katy’s mother still LOOOOVES lime jello with pineapple and cottage cheese. Last time she made it, it was from a recipe using horseradish, too. And she found the receipe on The Almighty Interwebs. So there, you big-city hussies!


mairsydoats June 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Heavens to Mergatroid! That one is part of my “heritage” from my grandmother. I, however, choose to keep the apple butter recipe, and forget the green jello salad ever existed. Bleh. All the more for you, right?


Joanne November 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

ooh, I loved the green jello with pineapple and cottage cheese. One of the few Jello things I miss being a vegetarian. Our recipe did not include horseradish, or anything savory other than the cottage cheese.

I liked tomato aspic too, but it’s the only savory gelatin salad I liked.


Carla June 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Although I have not eaten it, I’ve seen recipes for stuff like tuna or salmon in jello. I guess there is actually little difference in that and meat loaf… except in my mind. However, I wouldn’t eat any of it! My mother served jello practically every supper of my life. I am jello-ed out permanently.


Tina (Tightwad Mom) June 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

LOL!!!! I have several cookbooks from the thirties and forties, and the salad sections always contain veggie/ fruit/ meat jello combos! The worst COMBO I found so far was green olive/ celery/ pineapple/carrot/walnuts in lemon jello (SICK….AND….WRONG)!


Linda H. June 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

I think I have some of those cookbooks! Also, in every church cookbook there is one or more heinous aspic or cabbage/celery jello creation. Fruit + jello = good. Veggies + jello = HORK!


Darcidoodle June 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Blech! My midwestern folks tried to pawn off assorted canned fruits in Jell-O growing up. I couldn’t imagine VEGETABLES in Jell-O! Eep!


Maureen June 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

There is a museum in Western New York between Rochester and Buffalo dedicated to Jell-O. My husband will not step foot in it.

And doesn’t everyone have an Aunt Jell-O? You know the one who always brought the Jell-O mold with the food in it?


Linda H. June 21, 2011 at 7:13 am

I live in Syracuse. I’ve always wanted to drag my husband to the Jell-0 Museum!!! My MIL just went on a senior trip!


Sandy in MI June 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I think that’s red pepper, not meat. I’ve seen the Jello cookbook with meat recipes in it though. Meat and vegetables do NOT belong in jello, either together or separately.


Sass June 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm

OMG! My drink just came out my nose! Veggies and jello– ick.


Paula in the UP June 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

That is so so wrong!!! I have a Jell-o mother in law, every gathering needs a jello dish or 3!! It is off my list of foods I will eat no a days!


Christina June 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

The photo is disturbing but it is making me curious. What can you do with Jello, besides those awful fruit salads. If there were a battle Jello on Iron Chef I’d totally watch.


Christine November 25, 2022 at 10:31 am

My kids and then my grandkids loved the Jello squares but plain with no fruit or anything else in them. The recipe to get them thicker than regular Jello used to be on the side of the package.


adventuresindinner June 21, 2011 at 4:28 am

Blarg! The gelled salad-my mom still makes this really odd one with grated carrot and it is still left on the table uneaten. At least it is better than the tomato soup one 😛

Having said that maybe it something rubbed off on me as I am making a prosecco jelly tonight with raspberries and I’m totally with Christina watching that episode of Iron Chef if it comes to pass. 🙂


Bellen June 21, 2011 at 5:13 am

Could the Jello with veggies/meat, etc been a way to entice kids to eat their veggies?? Wouldn’t work for me. I do admit to making a jello with applesauce instead of the cold water frequently when my kids were young – color coordinated to the meal/season or holiday too !!!


AnnW June 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Can’t twitter. Try Costco for the cheap prescription sunglasses, or get those flip up things that you attach to your regular glasses. They will probably be tax deductible. Or, look for ads for the discount places. These places have a lot of leeway and might give him a “professional” discount. You don’t have to belong to Costco to get your prescriptions there, maybe the optical department is the same. Ann


Lisa June 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Everybody else can have their jello. I’m going to give the fried kool aid a try. (I’ve actually put it into cakes before with success but never thought to fry it .) Iced and rolled in toppings, it might be pretty good. I know what I’ll be taking to the next family reunion!


Jo June 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm

In university in the 70’s, I ate jello and whipped cream (or maybe petroleum by-product?) every day after at least one meal, if not two. Still love that combination but can no longer afford the calories! A pox on the jello-fruit-veg combos though. It defiles the jello.


Dusti June 22, 2011 at 9:11 am

Very sick individuals…


Madeline June 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Oh dear lord, save us from jello molds of any shape or flavor!!


Tiana Bodine November 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

I can kind of see the draw of savory jello. It is derived from bone marrow, after all, so why not mix it with other savory things? *flavored* jello, though, that’s more disturbing.

But as I’ve never tried any old-school jello concoctions, I’ll have to restrain myself from judgment…..until I’m courageous enough to taste one.


Vivian November 12, 2013 at 8:50 am

My mother always made a lime jello with cottage cheese, shredded carrots, green onion or celery and probably a few other additions for Christmas. I ate it but do not continue this tradition as I know not many would try it.


Jessica Wolk-Stanley November 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

Soup for leftovers, Jello no. I can’t imagine anyone in my family eating this if I prepared it. But presumably, this was once considered tasty. I would end up having to make it into soup.


IsabelI April 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm

If jello is jelly, i eat it regularly! Favourites are fruit jelly with fruit custard and yoghurt! I also eat regularly mint jelly with various things! Some of the recipes did not sound too nice to me but I will try some of Aunty jello’s recipes! Love jelly! My mum used to make lambs tongue in jelly! Jelly is very digestable!


Christine November 25, 2022 at 10:38 am

Looks like a lot of the Jello mold recipes here call for green Jello. And like some here I grew up eating a lime Jello mold my grandmother made every year for Christmas Eve. It had pineapple and canned mandarin oranges in it but cream cheese instead of cottage cheese. I have to admit I loved it!
Sometime back in the 1970s my sister and I were watching Saturday Night Live and there was a skit about Christmas where a girl said “Who’s going to make the Jello mold when Grandma dies?” My sister and I just looked at each other. It was a joke for us but true to the skit, nobody makes it now that Grandma is gone.


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