Minnesota Strawberry Pineapple Banana Jello Salad

This is a classic potluck, old-school, Jello salad that is sooooo easy to make! Crushed pineapple, fresh strawberries (or frozen!), sour cream, and sliced banana combine for a delicious, creamy, pretty, and easy dessert (is Jello salad a dessert?) that everyone will love!

P.S. If you haven’t caught the rest of the Minnesota “salad” recipes, you really can’t miss them. Totally as Midwest as it gets:

The rumor is that this version of Strawberry Jello Salad (the most common version uses cream cheese instead of sour cream like this one does) originates from the Amish. I’m not sure if that’s right. Especially because I’m also not sure about the Amish and Jello. ? Anyone have insight on this.

Really, who cares. It’s a yummy salad and the sour cream keeps it easy, budget friendly, tangy, and creamy.

Strawberry Banana Jello Salad

Is Jello a dessert or a salad?

This is the question that keeps me up late at night. Is Jello a dessert or a salad? There is quite a bit of sugar in the Jello so…a dessert? But all of that fruit seems like a fruit salad?

In my home, we eat it like a dessert for family meals but it’s served as a salad along with hot dogs and burgers for a barbecue.

Jello salad really does have an identity problem, doesn’t it.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

  1. Strawberry Gelatin
    • Substitute: Any other flavored gelatin (like raspberry or cherry) can work if you’re looking to mix up the flavors.
    • Tip: Using a different flavored gelatin can complement the other fruits in the recipe, just be sure to choose flavors that taste well together.
  2. Strawberries, Sliced
    • Substitute: You can use other berries such as raspberries or mixed berries if strawberries are not available or you don’t like them (srsly, I know someone that doesn’t like strawberries…RIGHT?!?!.
    • Tip: If using frozen berries, make sure they are partially thawed so they mix evenly and don’t cool the gelatin mixture too quickly before it sets.
  3. Crushed Pineapple, Undrained
    • Substitute: Try chopped peaches or mango for a different sweetness and texture.
    • Tip: Use canned fruits in their juice for the best consistency and flavor.
  4. Bananas, Sliced
    • Substitute: Sometimes I use sliced peaches or nectarines, when they are in season, to replace bananas.
    • Tip: Add these at the same place in the recipe that you would add bananas to prevent them from browning if they sit out too long.
  5. Sour Cream
    • Substitute: Greek yogurt for a lighter alternative or mascarpone cheese for a richer alternative.
    • Tip: If using Greek yogurt, choose full-fat for the best texture similar to sour cream; if using mascarpone, be aware it will add a creamier, denser texture.
  6. Sugar
    • Substitute: Honey or maple syrup can be used for a natural sweetness variation.
    • Tip: When using honey or syrup, add it gradually and taste as you go – these sweeteners can be more potent than granulated sugar.
  7. Vanilla
    • Substitute: Almond extract or orange extract to tweak the flavor.
    • Tip: These extracts are stronger than vanilla, so start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste.

Can you freeze Jello salads?

I mean, technically you can. But don’t. Because of that gelatin, it will get nasty when it thaws and you will not want to eat it. Jello salad does keep in the fridge for several days so you can easily make it ahead of when you need it and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Growing up in the Midwest Baptist church culture, like I did, I have been to MANY church potlucks, open houses, and events. Jello salad has shown up, in some form, at each and every one. Without fail.

This salad is one of the standard recipes that you would find on the potluck table. This recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients, it is relatively healthy, and feeds a whole lot of people easily.

Bonus: you can make it well in advance of when you need it (in fact, you should!)

Make up this salad for your summer barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings. You’ll have a nice, sweet dish that everyone loves and is easy to serve.

Driscoll's Strawberries

strawberry and banana jello salad on a plate

Strawberry Banana Jello Salad

| 8 servings
Prep Time | 20 minutes
chilling time | 8 hours
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The easiest Jello salad…you remember this one from your childhood! Strawberry, sliced pineapple, and bananas combine in this delicious dessert!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 6 oz Strawberry gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2.5 cups strawberries, sliced can use frozen but thaw them partially, first
  • 1 20 oz crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 3 bananas sliced
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.

Instructions

  • In a bowl, dissolve the strawberry gelatin in the boiling water. Stir in sliced strawberries, pineapple, and sliced bananas.
  • Pour half of the mix into a 9 by 12 inch baking dish. Hold the rest of the mixture aside.
  • Chill the mixture for an hour.
  • Combine the sour cream, the sugar and the vanilla, mix well. Spread the sour cream mix over the chilled gelatin. 
  • Spoon the saved gelatin on top of the sour cream mixture. 
  • Chill at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 49mgPotassium: 308mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 385IUVitamin C: 30.9mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 0.4mg

Save this recipe to your Pinterest board for later:

Jello recipe full of fruit. Pineapple, banana, and strawberries in this Jello dessert. So good!

Other potluck salads you should try:

Crunchy Pea Salad: chock full of nutritious ingredients, easy to make ahead, and great to serve a crowd!

Cauliflower potato salad is delicious and easy to make! It tastes so much like the real thing you won't believe it!

Cauliflower “Potato” Salad: a reader favorite, this is a mock potato salad that tastes JUST like the real thing but uses cauliflower instead of potatoes. A favorite for picnics, potlucks, and…anything! You have to try this recipe!

Watermelon Red Onion Salad: the ingredient combo sounds strange but this is sooo refreshing, crazy easy, and wonderful for potlucks and picnics! Give it a try!

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