bubble jello salad

Who hasn’t been mortified by jello salad at some point in their life? Theoretically they seem to work – sugary gelatin, the crunch of raw vegetables and nuts, perhaps some savory cream to top it off – but in the end, it still seems so weird. Even when it tastes alright, it’s like a food from another planet. 


I remember my mom serving jello salad for supper almost every Sunday after church. I remember carrying those plates of jiggly, wiggly, neon colored “salads” to the table and placing them at each person’s setting. The most vivid in my mind is Carrot Jello Salad. Mom always placed a slice –Yes, this salad can be sliced, did you not know? – on a bed of iceberg lettuce. The glossy, shiny orange square stuffed will shredded carrots, walnuts, and raisins was always topped with a layer of tangy sour cream. 


Crazy thing is, I don’t remember it being terrible. I remember kinda of liking it. Doesn’t mean it didn’t still slightly weird me out. 


I don’t think I will ever recreate those types of jello salads. Ever. However, I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water just yet… how’s that for a throwback saying?


So, here is my very mild, very approachable, rejuvenation of a jello salad. It has the gelatin, it has the necessary crunch (although it’s from fresh blueberries this time), and it has a cream topping of cottage cheese! 


To add in one more little throwback, this jello is given bubbles. Glorious, delicious bubbles from that sweet childhood nectar of the gods: Sparkling Cider. If this had been served as a “salad” during a Sunday supper, I think my siblings and I would have thrown in the towel and called it quits for our dessert. How can you out do this deliciousness with cake and ice cream?


makes 8-10 servings

3 envelopes (3 Tbls.) unflavored gelatin powder

2 c water

1 c sugar

3 c sparkling cider

1 c blueberries

2 c cottage cheese

mint for garnish


In a small pot, sprinkle gelatin over the water and let sit for 2-3 minutes or until the powder has been saturated. 

Over medium heat, stir the gelatin until fully absorbed. You need not to bring it to a boil, but get it nice and hot. Remove from heat. 

Add sugar to a big bowl and pour in the hot gelatin liquid. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. 

Add in sparkling sider and whisk until incorporated with the sugary gelatin. 

Refrigerate until the liquid has slightly thickened. This takes about 45 minutes, but check often as fridge temperatures vary. A good way to test is by dipping your finger in the mixture and, when removed, the jello doesn’t not completely dip off. Gently fold in blueberries to the jello. 

Divide jello into 8-10 glass containers. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight. 

Top off with cottage cheese and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Your mama, grandmother, and great Aunt Dolly will be so proud of you!

Glassware provided by and for sale at Refabed Chic