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.
Dr Pepper Jello Salad on a plate with whipped cream

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!

Dr. Pepper Jello Salad on a plate with a can of Dr. Pepper

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.

Piece of Dr. Pepper Jello Salad on a fork

A few key things to remember when making this recipe are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 on a plate with a can of Dr. Pepper
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Dr Pepper Jello Salad

This Dr Pepper Jello Salad is a fun, no bake, retro dessert loaded with cherries, pineapple, and pecans!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Rebecca

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (3-ounce) boxes of Strawberry Jello
  • 1 ¼ cup Dr Pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar sliced maraschino cherries + juice
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple + juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions 

  • 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.
5 from 8 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 177 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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About the author

I’m Rebecca, and Sugar & Soul is where I blend my traditional roots and millennial imagination. I’m a self taught baker, photographer and traveler with a business degree and a dream. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, and currently reside in Central Maine. I’m so glad you stopped in and I hope I can inspire you to bake a batch of cookies or head off on a new adventure!
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Comments

  1. I found this recipe after searching Jello. I absolutely love Dr. Pepper and decided to check it out. I have a few questions before trying this recipe though. 1) I absolutely love black cherry Jello – could I use that instead? 2) Is a silicone mold an ABSOLUTE necessity for this? (I do not own ANY silicone molds) 3) Do you HAVE TO used crushed pineapple in this? I do like pineapple, but tend not to like crushed pineapple or pears in my Jello – just peaches or clear jello. 4) Maraschino cherries vs frozen black cherries? Would it make a difference with the sweetness and consistency?

    1. Hi Carol, you can use whichever jello you prefer just keep in mind it will change the flavor. We find a silicone mold is the easiest to remove the jello salad from once cooled. You can try a different bowl and just serve directly from the bowl as well. Feel free to omit the pineapple or add in additional cherries in place of it, but you will still need the juices from the pineapples to prepare this recipe. We use the juices from the maraschino cherries for this recipe so I would be concerned there wouldn’t be enough liquid if you replace it with frozen black cherries instead. Hope that helps and would love to hear how this recipe turns out for you!

  2. On the jello box itself it says don’t add pineapple because it won’t set. Does the jello set using this recipe?

  3. A delicious salad made with salad dressing can be made by mixing dark cherry jello (large box) with boiling water (just reduce by a little bit) then add a brick of softened cream cheese and a dollop of mayonnaise or miracle whip and beat until blended. Refrigerate until set.