Old Fashioned Mandarin Orange Jello Salad Recipe

As Christmas grows near, and our time becomes short, having make-ahead dishes to serve to family and guests is always a great idea! This Old Fashioned Orange Jello Salad was a staple at family parties when I was growing up! The recipe is from my niece, Jammie’s, grandmother and was made many times by my sister during the Holidays! It pairs excellent with a mandarin ornage holiday salad.

Even though the Orange Jello Salad is made with very simple ingredients, the recipe is perfect to add to your Christmas Menu or any special occasion. I’m not sure if my sister, Gayle or her daughter still make this salad, but since Jammie has a family of her own now, I thought she might enjoy seeing this family recipe handed down.

The base for the Orange Jello Salad is a very typical fruit mixed with jello, recipe. But the topping and grated cheese sprinkled on top is what makes it extra special.

And before you think, like Doug did, that cheese and jello just don’t go together…give it a try! I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised! Doug sure was!

If you liked this one, be sure to give it a try to my mandarin orange salad recipe. I promise that it will surprise you (in a good way).

5.0 from 3 reviews
Old Fashioned Orange Jello Salad
Prep time
Total time
A make-ahead Orange Jello Salad that is perfect for a special occasion. Recipe from PocketChangeGourmet.com. Original Family Recipe from Lois Kimmel
  • Orange Jello - 2 small boxes or 1 large
  • 1 can (15 oz) apricots
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup real whipping cream
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  1. Drain apricots and pineapple, reserving the juice
  2. Cut apricots into small pieces
  3. In a large bowl, combine the jello and 2 cups boiling water, stir to dissolve
  4. Add 1 cup of reserved juice, stir and place bowl in fridge for about 30 minutes or until jello is consistency of egg whites
  5. Fold in fruit and marshmallows
  6. Rinse 13x9 glass pan in cold water and pour in jello mixture
  7. Return to fridge until set, several hours or overnight
  1. In a small saucepan, add the sugar, flour, beaten egg and orange juice
  2. Whisk constantly until thick
  3. Add butter and stir until melted
  4. Remove from heat and let cool, about 30 minutes
  5. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form, fold in pudding mixture and spread on jello
  6. Top with grated cheese
Chilling time is included

Holiday Recipes and Gifts from the Kitchen

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  1. Yes, we still make our Orange Jello Surprise every holiday!!! It is my Mom’s favorite!!!! My Dad still makes it too! It is one of the few recipes of Grandma’s that we have. 🙁
    And YES!!!! The cheese makes it!!! My favorite part. But if people wrinkle their noses, I let them… That means MORE for me later!!! Yummy!!!

  2. My daughter has been looking for this recipe! My grandma used to make this all the time for family meals and just because at times! Lol It was heavily requested in our family too! The cheese does throw some people off that have never tried it, but when they try it for the first time, they end up loving it too! Thanks so much for posting this recipe that my daughter and I thought was long gone!

  3. This is my husband’s all time favorite! His mom made it for holiday meals. She pssed in early in 2020 and I am going to carry on the tradition. Thanks for posting this, I am sharing with my daughter and niece.

  4. Kendra Graham says

    This recipe has been passed down now 5 generations in my family that I know of. I’ve talked with my grandmother about the origin of this but all she remembers is that it’s european. Do you happen to know which country?

    • Interesting question, Kendra! Maybe it has some roots in UK? It seems that they are quite fond of jellies. Maybe is a remnant recipe taken from one or more colonies and readapted over time.

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