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Apricot Jello Salad is a cool, refreshing treat that is made with canned apricots, crushed pineapple, bananas, marshmallows, and apricot or orange jello with whipped cream on top. You can technically eat jello with dinner since it's called a "salad", am I right?
I'm not ashamed to admit I love jello! It's so jiggly, fruity, and fun! Some of our other favorite jello recipes are Cherry Pineapple Jello Salad, Cottage Cheese Jello Salad, and Fresh Raspberry Jello Dessert!
Easy Apricot Jello
I grew up with jello making a regular appearance at our dinner table in one form or another and I always loved it. And apparently many of you love jello just as much as I do because jello posts are always popular here on House of Nash Eats. My rainbow jello gets thousands of visitors every Spring and cranberry jello is a big winner every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So when I was in Utah visiting family recently and saw packages of apricot jello on the shelf in the jello aisle, I snatched some up to bring home with me. There are way more flavors of jello available in Utah than at my local grocery store here in California!
If you can't find apricot flavored jello though, don't worry! You can either order it online, or just use orange flavored jello instead and it will still take on quite a bit of apricot flavor thanks to using canned apricots and some of the juice they are packed in to make this recipe.
Apricot jello is a fantastic side (or fine, dessert) to serve at summer potlucks and cookouts with grilled meats and other potluck salads. It's refreshing and sweet, plus you can make it ahead without heating up your kitchen. But it would also be good served with Easter dinner.
- Apricot Jello: I usually make a large 9x13 pan of jello, so you will need two of the small boxes of apricot jello. You can certainly halve the recipe for an 8x8 pan if you prefer. If apricot jello isn't available, orange jello will work just as well.
- Canned apricot halves: We almost always have apricot halves on hand because we love them and use them in another one of our favorite dishes, Paul's grandma's Apricot Pork Chops.
- Crushed pineapple: You will need one large or two small cans of crushed pineapple, which adds wonderful texture to the jello.
- Bananas: These really boost the fruit salad element of the jello and pair really well with the apricots!
- Marshmallows: These lighten up the jello a bit for a different texture than normal.
- Heavy cream: You could technically use a thawed tub of cool whip to top your jello, but nothing beats real whipped cream.
- Powdered sugar: For sweetening the whipped cream.
- Vanilla extract: This is used to flavor the whipped cream.
How to Make Apricot Jello
- Dissolve jello: Start by heating 2 cups of water in a microwave safe bowl until boiling. Then add both boxes of gelatin powder and stir until dissolved.
- Dissolve marshmallows: Add the marshmallows to the hot liquid and stir until they have almost completely melted. The fluffy marshmallows add an airy element to the jello that lightens it a bit.
- Stir in fruit: Once the marshmallows are pretty much dissolved, add in the can of drained pineapple and sliced bananas, stirring so it is evenly distributed. Transfer to a 9x13-inch baking dish and set on a level surface in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours until set.
- Top with whipped cream: Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks start to form. Spread the sweetened whipped cream over the jello, then slice into squares and serve.
No, this jello doesn't freeze well and will be watery after thawing.
Yes, if you need to use sugar-free jello, it will work as a substitute, although I don't think it comes in apricot flavor. In that case, I recommend just using orange jello instead.
- Other topping choices: I sometimes switch up my toppings and instead of just using sweetened whipped cream like I did here, I will make a cooked topping with the reserved pineapple juice, sugar, flour, and egg. It sounds a little weird, I know, but it's really delicious and would also be great on this jello salad. You can find that recipe on my lemon pineapple jello post. Another good option is a pudding topping that I use with my orange jello.
- Make-ahead: You can make the jello itself up to 2 days in advance. I don't recommend making the whipped cream topping until shortly before serving.
- Nuts in jello: I might lose some people here, but I actually really love chopped nuts in or on top of jello. I skipped them this time, but think some finely chopped walnuts sprinkled over the top of the whipped cream in this case would be delicious!
More No-Bake Dessert Recipes
- Layered Rhubarb Pudding Dessert
- No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
- Homemade Banana Pudding
- No-Bake Oreo Pie
- Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie
- Easy Lemon Icebox Cake
- 2 boxes apricot jello (orange jello will work in a pinch) 3 ounces each
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- 2 cups cold water or apricot nectar
- 2 large bananas sliced
- 30 ounces apricot halves, juice reserved
- 20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl, heat 2 cups of water in the microwave until boiling, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the apricot gelatin until dissolved, then add the marshmallows and stir until those are melted.
- Drain the apricots, reserving the juice, and chop them into bite-size pieces. Drain the pineapple, discarding the juice (unless you plan to make the cooked pineapple topping mentioned in the notes section below). Slice the bananas.
- Add the reserved apricot juice and enough cold water or apricot nectar to make 2 cups to the jello mixture. Add the chopped apricots, crushed pineapple, and sliced bananas. Transfer to a 9x13 pan and refrigerate for 4 hours until set.
- Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract using a mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread over the chilled jello before serving.
- Topping: I sometimes switch up my toppings and instead of just using sweetened whipped cream like I did here, I will make a cooked topping with the reserved pineapple juice, sugar, flour, and egg. It sounds a little weird, I know, but it's really delicious and would also be great on this jello salad. You can find that recipe on my lemon pineapple jello post. Another good option is a pudding topping that I use with my orange jello.
- Apricot jello substitutes: If you can't find apricot jello, orange jello will work almost just as well, but in that case I would recommend looking for a can of apricot nectar to use for the second 2 cups of liquid in order to boost the apricot flavor.
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