No Bond family holiday meal is complete without Grandma Meme’s Cherry Coke Jello Salad! This vintage southern recipe combines cherries, pineapple, coca-cola & cherry jello. It’s the perfect easy side dish to serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter!

overhead image of cherry coke jello salad in white serving dish with spoon

This post originally appeared on the blog in March 2013 and was blog post #300. For posts 100, 200 and 300, I published a recipe from my Grandma Meme’s cookbook in her memory. Post 100 featured my Grandma Meme’s Pink Lemonade Pie and post 200 featured her Graham Cracker Cookie Sandwiches.

I was lucky enough to grow up across the street from my wonderful grandparents. And my Grandma Meme taught me so much about the love that goes into cooking!

Bond Family

Today I’m sharing her Cherry Coke Salad, with some updated photos and tips! This classic southern side dish was served at every holiday meal when I was growing up, and we still continue the tradition today.

It contains jello, sugar and coca-cola, so can you really call it a salad? Well there’s also fruit in there, so we’ll just call it a fruit salad! That would totally have been Meme’s logic, so we’re sticking with it!

cherry coke jello salad ingredients

What You’ll Need To Make The Salad

  • Canned Red Tart Cherries (pitted in water) – these are generally found on the baking aisle at most grocery stores. These cherries should not be confused with cherry pie filling, which contains added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Water
  • Boxed Cherry Jello Powder
  • Coca-Cola
  • Canned Crushed Pineapple

Walnuts can also be added to this jello salad. My Grandma’s original recipe called for 1 cup of chopped walnuts, but my brother and I didn’t like the nuts in the salad, so they’ve been left out of our families recipe for decades now. Feel free to add them if you’d like!

collage of images showing how to make cherry jello salad

How To Make Meme’s Cherry Coke Jello Salad

  • Heat the cherries, sugar and water.
    • Add the cherries, sugar and water to a medium pot on the stove over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Dissolve the jello powder in the boiling cherry mixture.
    • Add the cherry Jello powder to a large glass bowl or serving dish.
    • Pour the hot cherry mixture from the pot over the jello powder in the bowl or dish.
    • Stir to combine the jello powder with the hot liquid, making sure all of the powder dissolves into the liquid.
    • Allow this mixture to cool on the counter for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and refrigerate the jello salad.
    • Add the coca-cola and crushed pineapple.
      • Note: You do not need to drain the pineapple, just add the entire can to the salad.
      • Note 2: If you’d like to add the walnuts that I mentioned above, you’ll add them at this time with the crushed pineapple.
    • Stir everything together, then place in the refrigerator to set for 6-8 hours.

Whit’s Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure the powdered jello dissolves COMPLETELY in the hot liquid. The jello salad will not set properly if the jello is not dissolved in the hot liquid before refrigeration.
  • Jello with fruit in it will take longer to set than traditional jello by itself. So make sure to allow at least 6 hours for the jello salad to refrigerate before serving.
  • Do NOT put the jello salad in the freezer to speed up the setting process. This will ruin the jello and therefore ruin your cherry coke salad.
  • Do NOT use fresh pineapple in this recipe. I unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way. Not to get too science-class on you, but basically pineapple has an enzyme in it that will kill the gelatin and prevent it from setting. Canned pineapple is heated during the canning process, therefore breaking apart the enzyme that attacks the jello. In conclusion, fresh or frozen pineapple + jello = bad, canned pineapple + jello = good.
  • You can totally make this jello salad in a bundt pan or jello mold to create a ring shape. A classic way of serving this vintage recipe! Just be sure to spray the inside of either pan with cooking spray, so that the jello slides out easily in one ring for a fun presentation.
  • Leftover cherry coke jello salad will last in the refrigerator for up to a week. But I highly doubt it will last that long! It’s always the first Thanksgiving leftover to go after the big meal. This family treasure continues to be a favorite year-after-year!
cherry jello salad in white serving dish with spoon

Check out more Bond family recipes!

  1. Dad’s Famous BBQ Baked Beans
  2. Mom’s Strawberry Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
  3. Dad’s Captain Crunch Fried Chicken
  4. Mom’s Homemade Cherry Pie
  5. Dad’s Famous Red Sangria
cherry jello salad in white serving bowl with spoon
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Meme’s Cherry Coke Jello Salad

Grandma Meme's Cherry Coke Jello Salad recipe combines cherries, pineapple, coca-cola & cherry jello. It's the perfect easy side dish to serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter!

Ingredients

  • 14.5 ounce can red tart cherries, pitted in water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 ounce box cherry jello powder
  • 1 cup coca-cola
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple

Instructions

  • Add the cherries, sugar and water to a medium pot on the stove over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Add the jello powder to a large bowl or serving dish.
  • Pour the boiling cherry mixture over the jello powder in the bowl or dish, stir to combine until all of the jello powder is dissolved.
  • Allow to cool on the counter for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the coca-cola and pineapple and stir until everything is combined.
  • Place in the refrigerator to set for 6-8 hours.

Notes

  • The most important step of this recipe is making sure the jello is dissolved in the hot liquid. If the jello does not dissolve in the liquid, your jello salad will not set.
  • Do NOT use fresh or frozen pineapple in this recipe. An enzyme in the pineapple will cause the jello not to set. Canned pineapple is fine, as the enzyme is broken down in the heating and canning process.
  • You can make this recipe ahead of time, as it will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serving 6gCalories 287kcal (14%)Carbohydrates 72g (24%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 1g (2%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 107mg (4%)Potassium 159mg (5%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 56g (62%)Vitamin A 576mg (12%)Vitamin C 8mg (10%)Calcium 19mg (2%)Iron 1mg (6%)
Did you make this recipe?Tag @WhitneyBond on Instagram and hashtag it #WBRecipes!

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