Raspberry Jello Salad

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Today’s recipe is in honor of my Aunt Sue.  For as long as I can remember, my Aunt frequently requested this ‘salad’ whenever my mom asked what she could bring to various family gatherings.  Until recently, I never really understood its intoxicating draw.  I mean, it was good, trust me.  Tart and sweet raspberries floating in raspberry jello, with the sweetness caught just in time before it went over the edge by the cool creaminess of sour cream lodged in the middle like a little white flag calling for surrender.

I noticed that my mom wrote ‘good’ on the recipe first and then went back later and wrote ‘very’ in red, as if to say “DAMN, that’s some fine jello salad”!

And then I made the recipe for myself…and it all became VERY clear.

It had a secret ingredient. One that dared not whisper its name…..but I knew it, and allllllll the church ladies knew it oh so well:  SHERRY. That juggernaut of spirits.

Now I get it, Auntie Sue.

This recipe comes together really quickly due to the frozen raspberries.  They do most of the setting up of the jello instead of having to wait for it to completely set up in the fridge.

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Once you dissolve the jello with the hot water, mix it with the raspberries, orange juice, sherry, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Take half of that mixture and spread it on the bottom of your 8×8 dish. Place the dish in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so to firm up the first layer.

Scoop the sour cream and drop dollops of it across the jello.  This helps with a more even distribution.  Spread sour cream out in a smooth layer.

Almost there!

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Take the other half of the jello mixture from the bowl and gently spoon it out flat on top of the sour cream.

Cover with plastic wrap and put back in the fridge to completely set up.

I remember my mom cutting it up into squares and dishing it out on leaves of lettuce on little plates.  I don’t recall ever eating the lettuce, but it sure looked pretty.  Maybe that was the ‘salad’ part of this dish.  Maybe it was there to make us feel better about all of the jello and sherry we were consuming.  Who’s to know?  And, really, who cares?  I just love my imbibed jello.

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Raspberry Jello Salad

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Salad/Dessert


  • 1 c. hot water
  • 2 pkgs. raspberry Jello
  • 2 pkgs. frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. sherry
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small carton of sour cream (1 c.)


  1. Dissolve the Jello in hot water.
  2. Add frozen raspberries, orange juice, sherry and lemon juice.
  3. Put half the mixture into an 8×8 pyrex dish and let set.
  4. Add the sour cream, smoothing over the Jello mixture evenly.
  5. Add the rest of the not quite set Jello. (It should be thick, however).
  6. This salad goes very nicely with any kind of poultry dinner.

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Comments: 14

  1. Jannell April 2, 2013 at 9:18 am

    “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” – (restated by) Willy Wonka

  2. Nikki April 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Your family has single-handedly caused me to re-think Sherry. I am suddenly inspired to put it in EVERYTHING! I mean, first chicken, now jello, what next? I can’t wait to find out, that’s for darn sure!

  3. Jenny Z April 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Branon is all over this one! Jello salad has always had a special place in his heart, can’t wait to try ti!

  4. Patricia April 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Your pics are absolutely awesome! Drool, drool, drool……..

  5. Patti Bruun McClure August 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I love seeing the names of these long-time Auburnites, like Helen Keskeys 🙂

  6. Liz November 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I did not have sherry but I used some Naughty Girl wine, which is a dry wine blend with 20% raspberry wine. I have not tasted the finished product the but by scraping the bowl clean with a spoon what I have sampled so far is fantastic!

    • Holly November 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Liz! I love your ingenuity!!! Please let me know how it turns out. That wine sounds delicious on its own AND swimming in a cloud of raspberries and sour cream.

  7. Jewel Riley’s Molded Salad | ExtraCrispyOne December 24, 2013 at 8:23 am

    […] my family used to make.  This included my Grandpa’s amazing Smoked Salmon, my mom’s Raspberry Jello Salad, and my Grandma’s green jello salad.  (Apparently, we survived on fish and gelatin […]

  8. Aryn February 23, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Hi there … I’m excited to try your recipe! It looks great! Im just wondering about the amount of raspberries. How many cups? Even approxiamently.
    Thanks!!! 🙂

    • Holly March 4, 2015 at 7:11 am

      Hi Ayrn!
      I used 2 12 oz. packages of frozen raspberries. Does that help?

  9. Pam Doty March 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Is this 2 SMALL boxes of Jello?

    • Holly March 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Pam! Yes, two small boxes. Whenever I make any of these recipes and have a doubt about portions, I just think that it’s probably the smaller, since the portions started out small in the 60s and have steadily gotten bigger as time has gone by.

  10. Pam Doty April 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Where do you find black raspberry Jello? None of the stores where I live carry it.

  11. Crystal Tyler November 25, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I did not waver from the recipe but it never set. What do you think I may have done wrong? My kids said I should have boiled the water instead of just using just hot water.