A few boxes of jello, evaporated milk and water are all you need to make this colorful and delicious holiday rainbow jello salad for a crowd!A few boxes of jello, evaporated milk and water are all you need to make this colorful and delicious holiday rainbow jello salad for a crowd!

Whoa…that’s a LOT of jello! Yep, you got that right. This Rainbow Jello Salad has been taking it’s place at most of our Thanksgiving and/or holiday events for the past 30+ years.  This colorful, delicious salad could feed a small village, and it sure is pretty!

I was given this rainbow jello salad recipe by a sweet woman named Mary Alice Brannon about 35 years ago. I saw and tasted it for the first time when she brought it to a church potluck (don’t a large amount of unique recipes come from church potlucks?). This jello salad was so unique, I asked her for the recipe, and she gave it to me. Now I’ve been making this salad for over 30+ years! It’s practically become a tradition at our holiday gatherings!

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What Flavors Are In this Rainbow Jello Salad?

The recipe uses 7 different flavors of jello powder, one can of evaporated milk, and some water. That’s it! From top to bottom, the flavors of jello in the rainbow jello salad are: Black Cherry, Cherry, Lime, Lemon, Orange, Peach and Strawberry. Every other flavor has some of the evaporated milk in it, which slightly changes the color and texture of that layer!

Why I Make Rainbow Jello Salad The Day Before Serving It

It does takes a bit of time to make this salad, because each layer has to set up before adding the next layer, but don’t let that stop you! The sheer “jiggle power” and colorful rainbow this jello salad adds to any festive meal will be worth your time.

I usually make this rainbow jello salad the day before a big event or holiday meal. When I make it for Thanksgiving, I simply work on the layers throughout the day, as I scurry around my kitchen making other side dishes! It really isn’t hard at all to do this! The next day, when I am ready to serve it, all I need to do is unmold the salad, and add the whipped cream right before serving!

Rainbow jello salad has seven layers of alternating colors!

You Can Almost Feed A Small Village With Rainbow Jello Salad

This recipe makes a LOT of rainbow jello salad (16 servings), so here’s my public service warning (ha ha). This jello salad will feed a lot of people! Unless you want this quivering tower of rainbow jello salad looking at you for a week in your refrigerator, make sure a lot of people will be there to help eat it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Rainbow jello salad with a whipped cream garnish is ready to eat!

This rainbow jello salad is not only colorful, it actually tastes good, too…who knew? I’m getting all jiggly just thinking about it. I hope you will give this rainbow jello salad a try at your next holiday or large family gathering! Have a great day.

Looking for More SALAD Recipes Kind Of Like This One?

You can find all my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have some salad recipes similar to this one you might enjoy, including:

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0 from 0 votes
Rainbow Jello Salad
Prep Time
3 hrs
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
3 hrs
A few boxes of jello, evaporated milk and water are all you need to make this colorful and delicious holiday rainbow jello salad for a crowd!
Category: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rainbow jello salad
Servings: 16 servings
Calories Per Serving: 172 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 1 can evaporated milk (13 oz.)
  • 7 boxes of jello (the small 3 oz. size)
  • (Flavors are---Black Cherry, Cherry, Lime, Lemon, Orange, Peach, and Strawberry)
  • Water
  1. Use a 9x13 cake pan or a bundt pan (I always use a bundt pan).
  2. Alternate method 1 and 2 in preparing layers. Be sure jello is "set" before adding the next layer (very important). I usually make one layer, pour it into pan and while that layer is cooling (I actually put it in the refrigerator), I make up the next layer. By the time the first layer is set, you can add the now warm next layer on top, and so on. Here are the two methods:
  3. Method 1: Dissolve jello into 1 cup of boiling water, then add 1/2 cup cold water
  4. Method 2: Dissolve jello into 1 cup boiling water, then add 1/2 cup evaporated milk.
Build The Jello Salad In This EXACT Order:
  1. Black Cherry (Method 1)
  2. Cherry (Method 2)
  3. Lime (Method 1)
  4. Lemon (Method 2)
  5. Orange (Method 1)
  6. Peach (Method 2)
  7. Strawberry (Method 1)
  8. Refrigerate completed jello for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, hold the bundt pan with two hands and lower it gently into a sink full of warm water (being careful not to fully submerge it!) Only let the water come up 3/4 OF THE WAY UP THE SIDES OF THE PAN. Hold it in the warm water for approx. 30-45 seconds. BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET THE WATER RUN OVER THE EDGE OF THE PAN. You should see the edges of the jello begin to detach from the sides of the pan. Place a serving platter over the top of bundt pan-using two hands firmly holding jello pan and platter together, quickly invert them at the same time (turn it upside down). Jello should release from the pan and land on platter in all it's jiggly glory. If it does not release, flip the pan and platter back over and put jello pan back in the water for a few more seconds, then give it another shot. Once removed, place jello onto serving platter. Garnish with whipped cream. Enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Rainbow Jello Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 172 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 197mg9%
Potassium 72mg2%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 55IU1%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Rainbow Jello Salad

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