a decorative crystal bowl with black cherry jello salad topped with cream cheese and pecans
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Black Cherry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese

Are Jello salads coming back? Can it be? I think so!  Black Cherry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese and Pecans is an elegant side dish or dessert with a deep fruity flavour that is so refreshing. Little bites of cream cheese and crunchy pecans throughout black cherry jello add an interesting textural component. 

This is an heirloom family recipe from my Great Aunt Helen’s table. This jello dessert has really gone down in my family’s history as a beloved favourite. Unfortunately, I don’t remember eating this salad as a child but my parents have shared their fond memories. My mom recalls the first time she saw it on Aunt Helen’s table. Mom was struck by how beautiful and “jewel-like” it looked.

Jello desserts, Jello molds and Jello salads were all the rage in the 1960s and into the 1970s. Jello molds would be artistically presented, often the showpiece of a table. Looking at vintage cookbooks and old recipes of Jello salads is honestly hilarious. There were some crazy Jello recipes! Gelatin-based desserts are becoming more popular again. Now that people are more aware of the health benefits of gelatin and collagen, they are looking for creative ways to incorporate them into their diets.

My young children are Jello obsessed but I was honestly surprised that my four-year-old son enjoyed several bowls of this treat. I thought the addition of pecans and cream cheese would be too sophisticated for his palette but he loved it and asked me to make it again. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Cherry Jello Salad

How Do you Make Sure Jello is Properly Set?

After you pour in the boiling water, it’s important to stir the Jello until all the granules are completely dissolved. Also, refrigerate the Jello for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably longer.

How Long Does It Take for Jello To Set?

It typically takes only 2-3 hours for Jello to set.

How Long Does Jello Last In The Fridge?

Jello keeps well in a covered container in the fridge. Enjoy it within 10 days.

Does Jello have Gluten?

Nope! Jello is naturally gluten-free.

How to Make Black Cherry Jello with Cream Cheese and Pecans

  1. Drain the can of cherries, reserving the juice into a measuring cup. Add cold water to the juice to make a total of 1 ¼ cups liquid and place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Dissolve Jello in 1 cup of boiling water in an attractive serving bowl. Stir until totally dissolved and there are no visual Jello granules remaining.
  3. Stir the cold cherry juice/water combination into the warm Jello thoroughly.
  4. Refrigerate until partially set. In the meantime, check if the cherries are pitted. Cut the cherries in half if you prefer smaller bites of cherry. (I use half of the cherries but all of the juice in the can). Cut the cream cheese into small cubes.
  5. Roughly chop the pecans and measure out ¼ cup. Add cherries, cream cheese and roughly chopped pecans to partially set Jello. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Tips for Making Black Cherry Jello Salad

More Recipes to Enjoy Around the Table

Chocolate Orange Pudding Cake is delicious and so simple to mix together, making it an easy weeknight dessert. The flavour combination of orange and chocolate is a match made in heaven. I love the combination of textures with the spongy chocolate cake and creamy molten chocolate sauce.  Fudgy Chocolate Orange Pudding Cake is the most foolproof way to make a dessert reminiscent of lava cake but that several people can enjoy together.

In this recipe, gluten-free Matcha Green Tea Crinkle Cookies are soft, chewy and delicious. When you eat these delightful little cookies, expect a balanced matcha taste with no bitterness and the classic pairing of matcha and white chocolate flavours with every bite. 

Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars are our family’s new favourite treat for fall!  They taste exactly like pumpkin pie but with a delicious streusel topping and the satisfying crunch of crushed pecans. Pumpkin Pie Pecan bars are so easy to make.

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Black Cherry Jello Salad Recipe

a decorative crystal bowl with black cherry jello salad topped with cream cheese and pecans

Black Cherry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese and Pecans

Black Cherry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese and Pecans is an elegant side dish or dessert with a deep fruity flavour that is so refreshing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
chilling time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 447 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package black cherry jello or wild cherry or plain cherry
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 15 oz can Bing cherries using all the juice and half of the cherries
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Drain the can of cherries, reserving the juice into a measuring cup. Add cold water to the juice to make a total of 1 ¼ cups liquid and place in the fridge to chill.
  • Dissolve Jello in 1 cup of boiling water in an attractive serving bowl. Stir until totally dissolved and there are no visual Jello granules remaining.
  • Stir the cold cherry juice/water combination into the warm Jello thoroughly.
  • Refrigerate until partially set. In the meantime, check if the cherries are pitted. Cut the cherries in half if you prefer smaller bites of cherry. (I use half of the cherries but all of the juice in the can). Cut the cream cheese into small cubes.
  • Roughly chop the pecans and measure out ¼ cup. Add cherries, cream cheese and roughly chopped pecans to partially set Jello. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Notes

  •  Add the cherries, cream cheese, and pecans after the Jello has begun to set in the fridge. You want to add these in before it becomes solid.  I typically wait only 20 minutes. 
  • I cut the cubes of cream cheese quite small. They’re about 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch. 
  • My Aunt Helen’s original recipe called for all the cherries in the can, 3 oz of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of roughly chopped pecans.  I preferred to adjust the ratios to have a little more Jello relative to the add ins.
  • My children and I enjoy eating the left over cherries. 
  • Or you could use the whole can of cherries to double the recipe for a larger crowd.  You could make one large bowl or two smaller bowls for either end of the table. 
 
 
Keyword chocolate dessert, classic, Jello, Pecans, vintage

‘Til next time,

Christy

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Hi! I’m Christy, a happy wife and mother to three boys, a nutritionist, a food lover and a Canadian. Creating and experimenting in the kitchen is my idea of an afternoon well spent. To me, a clean kitchen is an empty canvas of possibility and that means my kitchen never stays clean for long. My dream is that one or more of the recipes I share here will inspire you, perhaps even becoming a cherished family favourite.

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