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Kara’s Christmas Cranberry Jell-o

Kara’s Christmas Cranberry Jell-o

Simple cherry jell-o full of fresh cranberries, apples and bananas makes for the best Christmas side dish on the dinner table!

Two years ago we had our cute friends over and Kara brought jell-o. Whhhhaaaaaa? When is the last time that someone brought jell-o to dinner? I was OBSESSED with it growing up, like it was one of my favorite things, but now I’m so old and it’s so sugary so I kinda ditched it, but I AM BACK!!! 

I’m so in!!

a photo of a white ceramic pie dish full of cranberry jell-o with fresh cranberries scattered around the dish.

Kara’s Christmas Jell-o is one of those unexpected surprises. It’s so flavorful, the color is so bright and cheery and my goodness, it hits every good thing about life. I cannot get enough of it and I wouldn’t even share it except based on the love you all have for our raspberry pretzel jello, lemon pudding orange jello and our lemon jello cake, I’m gonna guess you all are fans of those killer jello recipes too. 

Kara is the friend that always remembers me. I don’t know how else to say it, she just is. She’s the one that pops by when I’m totally not expecting it. She’s the one that invites us over, asks about our kids and just loves us. 

And we love her, and her jell-o. Pretty sure you’re going to love it too.

Ingredients for Christmas Jell-o

You only need 5 ingredients to make this bright and festive Christmas side dish! Here is your shopping list:

  • Cherry Jello
  • Sugar
  • Cranberries
  • Apple
  • Banana

The measurements for each can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a closeup photo of a white ceramic pie dish full of a red fruit-filled jello topped with three fresh cranberries.

How to Make Christmas Jell-o

Maybe the reason jell-o is so popular is because it’s so easy to make! It takes some time to set up, but making it couldn’t be more simple. For this recipe, you just add a few fruits and you’re on your way to a beautiful and tasty side dish. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Make the jell-o like it says on the box in a large mixing bowl. Don’t do the quickset method.
  2. Chop up the cranberries and apple in a blender or food processor. Don’t chop it so much that is purees. You just want to pulse it a few times.
  3. Add the chopped fruit to the jell-o. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Pour into a 8×8 dish. Refrigerate for several hours to let it set up.
All of these instructions can also be found in the recipe card down below. You can also print or save the recipe from there too.

Will Jell-o Set Up Faster in the Freezer?

Yes, placing jell-o in the freezer will help it set up faster, but it is extremely risky. If you let it sit in the freezer for too long, it will freeze and then turn to mush when it thaws. I would highly recommend just planning enough ahead of time to let the jello set up in the refrigerator.

a photo taken directly above a white ceramic pie dish full of a chunky fruit jello. a small bowl of fresh whipped cream is sitting next to the dish.

How to Store Jello

It is best to store jell-o in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container.


Can Jell-o Be Frozen?

Jello can be frozen, but it doesn’t freeze hard like an ice cube and then when it thaws, it doesn’t go back to the same texture. I wouldn’t recommend freezing it.

a photo of a white ceramic pie dish that is full of a fruit filled red jello that is topped with three fresh cranberries in the middle.

Are you a jell-o fan? Whether the answer is yes or no, you’re going to love this Christmas cranberry jell-o recipe! The tangy cranberries combined with the sweet banana and apple all held together by cherry jello is a scrumptious and festive holiday side dish!

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a photo of a white ceramic pie dish full of cranberry jell-o with fresh cranberries scattered around the dish.

Christmas Cranberry Jello

Course 200+ Easy Side Dish Recipes Every Mom Needs
Keyword fruit, jello, jello salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 106kcal
Author Sweet Basil


  • 1 Box Cherry Jello 3oz box
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cranberries chopped in a blender, not pureed
  • 1 Apple with peel core removed, chopped in a blender
  • 1 Banana diced small


  • Make the jello as directed on box (not the quickset method).
  • In a blender or food processor, add the cranberries and apple and pulse to chop, but do not allow to puree. Add to the jello.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir everything to combine. Pour into an 8x8 dish.
  • Refrigerate to allow it to set up. Overnight is best.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg


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READ: Kara’s Christmas Cranberry Jell-o

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