This Dr Pepper Jello Salad is a fun, no-bake, retro dessert loaded with cherries, pineapple, and pecans! The perfect make-ahead dessert for any gathering.
Are you an avid Jello Salad fan? Chances are you’ve been making them for decades or grew up eating them at family gatherings. If this is an entirely new concept to you, then I’m sure you have questions, the first being, why on earth is this a salad?
Well, funny you should ask, jello salads were everywhere in the 1960s and went by several different names and came in many different flavors. Some of them even had vegetables in them… no, I’m not kidding.
But here’s where is gets really weird, it wasn’t even the vegetables that gave these desserts their name… it was from some people using salad dressing in their jello salad recipes. Wait, what? Yep, salad dressing… eek!
But luckily for you, I’m not brave enough to go throwing celery in a jello salad and I’m not crazy enough to ever use salad dressing either. So today’s recipe is a sweet one that’s perfect for hot summer days just like my Grape Jelly Icebox Cake!
I love that this Dr Pepper Jello Salad is so easy to make, it requires very little prep work and no baking which makes it a warm-weather win in my book! The twenty-three flavors in Dr Pepper make this dessert an instant hit, add in some cherries, pineapple, and pecans for additional flavor and texture and we’re in business! You can also substitute Cherry Cola for Dr Pepper in this recipe. I love topping it with Cool Whip or my Cream Cheese Whipped Cream.
A few key things to remember when making this recipe are:
- Time: Yes, this recipe is quick to prep, but the jello needs to set, so make sure to factor 4 to 5 hours into your plans for that.
- Pan: It’s important to use either silicon or dark nonstick bundt pan, it can also be made in a square baking dish or sheet pan, but should not be made in a light metal flute pan.
- Grease: Even if using a nonstick pan, it’s important to grease the pan with cooking spray and to then use a paper towel to rub it all over the inside of the pan for good measure.
Dr Pepper Jello Salad
- 1 cup water
- 2 (3-ounce) boxes of Strawberry Jello
- 1 1/4 cup Dr Pepper
- 1 (10-ounce) jar sliced maraschino cherries + juice
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple + juice
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add jello to a large bowl and pour boiling water over it, stir until jello mixture dissolves and add in the Dr Pepper. The mixture will fizz up, so make sure to use a large bowl and do it over the sink just in case. Place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a nonstick bundt pan with cooking spray.
- Once the 30 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients to the jello mixture and then pour into the prepared pan. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- If making in a bundt pan or another pan where the jello salad will need to be flipped out, gently pull the jello away from the side of the pan with your fingers to help loosen it before flipping.