Claudean’s Cherry Jello is legendary in our home, it is, in fact, The Best Cherry Jello ever. Sweet and creamy, it melts in your mouth and is as delicious on a hot summer day as it is on your Thanksgiving table!
I know you’re thinking, really, JELLO? In our part of the country, Jello is usually present at most family dinners, church gatherings, funerals, parties, etc. You can’t hardly live in Utah without having at least one good Jello recipe under your belt. I remember visiting Utah when I was young and my Aunt making Jello dishes. I marveled at the variety of ingredients and the way the sweet Jello seemed to make everything taste like dessert. I loved this thing called Jello!
Have you ever heard of a person living in Utah who can’t make at least 5 different tried and true Jello dishes without looking at a recipe? Call me to repentance. I don’t know why, but I’ve never had good luck with Jello. It’s always too runny, or not mixed up enough, with that rubbery layer on the bottom of the pan. Or the outside sets up, but not the middle. I was a failure in the J-E-L-L-O dept.
I had all but written off Jello, and then a few years back, I found this recipe in a local school cookbook. For years we called it “Claudean’s Cherry Jello”. Claudean has been a family friend for a long, long time, and an expert at making anything sweet. It’s really a dessert of sorts, disguised as a Jello “salad”. So it’s totally legal to serve with dinner!
If you have any guilt about recipes made straight out of cans and boxes, this recipe is probably not going to be one you PIN. But if easy, easy, easy is your love language, The Best Cherry Jello is going to be your new favorite! This recipe is so easy, your kids can help make it. I love it when kids help in the kitchen, and this is the perfect dish to assign to one of your kids during the holidays.
The Best Cherry Jello sets up more quickly than just a plain pan of Jello because of the pie filling and crushed pineapple stirred into the Jello, and is topped with a mixture of pudding and whipped cream all folded together. Here’s the deal: No fail. Sets up in two hours. Fruity. Sweet. Creamy topping. Can be made up to three days before serving! Oh, and no carrots. Jello Perfection, my friends. This. Is. IT.
This recipe was originally published in 2011, updated content and photos added in 2021
Claudean’s Perfect Cherry Jello
THe Best jello ever! Easy to make and only takes two hours start to table.
- 1 large 6 oz box strawberry, raspberry or cherry Jello
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1- 21 oz can cherry pie filling low sugar or regular
- 1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple not drained
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream*
- 1 cup milk
- 1 small 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding
Boil the water. While water is heating up, pour the large box of Jello into a 9×13 pan.
Pour the 2 cups of boiling water over the jello in the dish. Using a whisk, slowly mix the jello and water together until all of the Jello is dissolved. Make sure to scrape up all of the Jello off the bottom of the dish.
Pour the contents of the can of pineapple and the can of cherry pie filling into the pan with the Jello and water. Mix with large spoon.
Place pan into refrigerator. Let set up for about 2 hours. It’s usually set after 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Whip the cream in a large bowl until stiff, set aside. In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk and the box of pudding. Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream. Spread the whipped cream mixture over the set-up Jello mixture in the pan. Serve immediately, or return to fridge until ready to serve.
- You may sub any flavor of Jello. I’ve used anything from Strawberry to Cherry. Anything red works.
- I’ve never tried using sugarless Jello or sugarless pudding in this recipe. Leave a comment if you experiment.
- This may be made up to three days before serving. Store in refrigerator covered tightly with plastic wrap or foil.
- *The original recipe calls for Cool Whip. A medium size container works. I’m not a fan of Cool Whip. And since I’m not a huge Jello fan either, I use real whipped cream and it improves the dish in a big way. If after reading this you still want to use Cool Whip-mix the pudding in a bowl with 1 cup of milk. Then fold in the Cool Whip.
46 thoughts on “The Best Cherry Jello”
OMG! What a delicious looking! I can't wait to eat this 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing.
My Indy would gobble this one up
Great recipe! Yummy!
My mother is the Jell-o queen, but I haven't seen this recipe in her collection. I'll pass it along. Thanks for posting!
Being from Utah myself I love Jello. Now to get the rest of my family on board!
my favorite part about this is that the original recipe author is named, "Claudeen:)" A perfectly utah mormon name to go with j-e-l-l-o! i was a tiny bit dismayed that it wasn't called a "jello SALAD," but i'll try to get over it!
In Claudeen's perfect cherry jello, did you drain the pineapple?
No need to drain the pineapple in this recipe!
I use 1 sm. box regular & 1 sm. box sugar free in jello recipes all the time & no one ever knows. Always tastes great!
Great idea Cheryl!
Could this pie also fill a pre-baked pie shell? Or would it cause the crust to become too soggy?
Thanks in advance for your response.
That is a great question…I really can’t say. I do know the filling sets up fairly quickly. Maybe it would be best to let it set up for a few minutes (30?) in a bowl, then scrape into the pie shell. Or, you could also fold some of the pudding and whipped cream mixture into the jello layer and then place in pie shell. Then just top with the rest of the pudding/whipped cream mixture. Let me know if you give this a try!
Where is the recipe?
The Best Cherry Jello recipe is right above the comment section. Just scroll down. I added the link right here so click on the name and you’ll find it! Perfect for Easter.
Can this be made the day before?
Yes! Make the Jello ahead of time but wait till you are about to serve to top with the whipped cream mixture.
I used sugarfree jello and pudding, real whipping cream and whole milk in pudding. Turned out beautifully! Husband is type 2 diabetic so I try to cut carbs where I can.
I’m glad this recipe worked well for your family. Thanks for your tips on adjusting this recipe for diabetics! Thank you for reading ABK.
This is so good! I just made it on Sunday and my husband asked me to make it again for the 4th. Thank you!
Thank you, Stacey! We love this recipe too and it’s perfect for any holiday.
I love this dessert. I served at a small gathering with some friends and they all loved it. could you please provide the nutritional value of this wonderful light dessert. Thank you
I’m glad you love this dish! It’s a family favorite. I’m sorry I don’t have the nutritional information , you should be able to enter the info on a site that provides this info.
thanks for reading ABK
Great Recipe. I used SF jello and no sugar added pie filling. I also used SF cool whip. It was fantastic.
Thanks for sharing, Maureen. I’m sure others viewers will find this healthier version helpful too!
This is the best jello ever! We made it for the first time for Thanksgiving and I have made it for every holiday and social function we’ve gone to and it’s fine within minutes. Honestly any excuse to make this I do. I made it with with Cherry jello and it was perfect!
*GONE not fine
I made this for a church luncheon and everyone wanted to know what was in it. It was great.
Thank you! It is an unusual and fun jello recipe!
I’ve made this several times. Always goes over great. I’ve even used raspberry Jello with strawberry pie filling and banana pudding. OMG 😁
Thank you for your positive review of this recipe. I’m so glad you liked it. I love go-to recipes that will please a crowd! Thank you for reading ABK.
Love this recipe! I make it at Christmas AND 4th of July! I wonder if you could add in a diced up banana with jello?
Great for 4th of July too! Yes, dicing a banana will work in this recipe. No need to make any other adjustments. I suggest a banana that is barely ripe so you don’t have problems with it turning brown!
I am not a huge fan of canned cherries, although my family is. I have all the ingredients to make this recipe including the real whip cream. 😋 I have never seen this recipe before until now. Please tell me on a scale of 0-10 how is it? 😉 I am gonna try it. Thanks for sharing your family recipe.
Using real whipping cream in the recipe is a huge thumbs up! This is a family favorite and I hope you love it as much as my family does! If you’re making for Thanksgiving, you still have time to do a test-run before then and let your family make the call. Thank you for reading ABK and I hope your holidays are fantastic!
Which is your favorite jello flavor to use?
My favorite is raspberry or cherry, but I also like strawberry in this recipe!
This was so good! I’ll be serving this again. I tested this recipe on a group of church leaders in our home, recently after a conference. I trust your recipes obviously! It was a hit. Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I use them all the time.
Thank you! This recipe is one almost everyone loves! Thanks for trusting to use our recipes at your table!
Delicious and so easy to make. Two thumbs way up!!
I have the whipped up cream, and jello mixture here, waited to be folded together…. I cannot wait! The jello has at least 30 more minutes until firm 😉
I have never been a big jello salad fan but my MIL asked me to bring one to thanksgiving so of course I had to try this one. It was so yummy and so EASY to make. I made the jello part the day before and then topped it with the whip cream/pudding mixture right before we served it on Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have most of it done the day before so I wasn’t stressing! I’ll definitely be making this again.
Can I use 2 cans of pie filling and omit the pineapple??
I haven’t ever tried this, but let us know how it works for you!
Last time I made jello it ended up all over the floor. Once I got the stain out, I felt brave enough to try this one. It was so simple and so yummy! The fam loved it ❤️
Janae, I am glad you didnt have the same experience as the last time you made jello. Thanks for reading ABK!