Indulge in the simplicity and elegance of Strawberry Jello Parfait. It’s a delightful treat that combines fresh sliced strawberries with vibrant strawberry Jello that’s topped with a luscious layer of creamy Jello and finished with a dollop of Cool Whip, a whole strawberry, and fresh mint. This Jello and whipped cream parfait is a visual feast that’s sure to impress your guests.
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What makes the strawberry jello parfait the quintessential vintage Jell-O recipe
For decades, growing up in America meant eating a lot of Jell-O-brand gelatin. Although you won't find elaborate Jell-O molds on many dining tables these days, the wiggly-jiggly sweet treat is having somewhat of a revival.
With recipes for sparkling and frozen appearing on social media and the introduction of Kraft's all-natural Simply Good line of fancy Jello desserts, Jell-O is trendy again. Although this Strawberry Jello Parfait recipe may not be Instagram-worthy, it is definitely worth eating!
Why you'll love this parfait recipe
Strawberry Jell-O Parfait is a refreshing way to finish any meal, and it's an incredibly easy recipe (not to mention inexpensive) to make. And if you want to get your kids involved in cooking something they will love to eat, you can't do better than this recipe.
You can even use sugar-free Jell-O and a low-calorie whipped topping to make these parfaits healthier. They're also a wonderfully sneaky way to encourage your kids to eat more fruit.
Oh, and because it's red, it makes a simple and elegant dessert to make for Christmas or Valentine's Day.
Jello parfait ingredients
To prepare this Strawberry Jello Parfait dessert recipe, you'll need:
- Fresh strawberries
- Boiling water
- Strawberry Jell-O
- Cold water
- Ice cubes
- Whipped topping
- Fresh mint
It's best to keep it vintage and use the original Strawberry Jell-O here. However, you can use the sugar-free or all-natural variety if you prefer.
Thawed Cool Whip works well for Strawberry Jello Parfaits, but any whipped topping or fresh whipped cream is fine.
How to make a jello parfait
To prepare Strawberry Jello Parfaits:
- Rinse and dry the strawberries. Reserve the prettiest six for garnishes.
- Slice or chop strawberries and divide them between six parfait cups or glasses and set aside for later.
- Boil the water and pour into the bowl with the
- While waiting for the water to boil, dump the strawberry gelatin mix into a heat-safe bowl.
- Pour the boiled water into the bowl and stir until you dissolve the gelatin completely.
- Add the cold water and ice cubes to the bowl and stir until the ice melts.
- After the gelatin cools to around body temperature, pour three-quarters of a cup into each parfait glass. Transfer the glasses to the fridge and chill glasses at an angle for about 20 minutes.
- While waiting for the Jell-O in the parfait glasses to set partially, whisk a cup of the whipped topping into the extra Jell-O in the heat-safe bowl.
- After 20 minutes, spoon the whipped topping and Jello mixture into each parfait glass.
- Cover the top of the glasses with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- Before serving, add a dollop of whipped topping to the parfait and garnish with a mint sprig.
Why not try replacing the strawberry Jello with another flavor and pair it with matching fresh fruit? Orange-flavored Jello with drained canned mandarin oranges, pineapple-flavored Jello with crushed pineapple, and raspberry-flavored Jello with fresh raspberries are lovely options. Here are a few more ideas for this easy dessert:
- Sprinkle on crumbed cookies. Place vanilla wafers or chocolate wafers in a zip-top food bag and crush the cookies with a rolling pin. Add the cookie crumbs between each layer and over the top of the parfaits.
- Give a shout-out to classic Jell-O molds. Add mini marshmallows and crushed walnuts to the whipped topping and Jell-O mixture before using it in the parfait.
- Start with a no-bake cheesecake base. Fill a third of each parfait glass with no-bake cheesecake filling. Then, add the strawberries and cover them with the warm strawberry gelatin. Chill, then add the whipped topping and Jell-O mixture. Garnish each parfait with whipped topping and fresh mint. You'll need extra strawberries since using a no-bake cheesecake filling will give you more parfait servings.
What to serve with strawberry gelatin parfaits
Jell-O parfaits are perfect on their own but are even better when served with other light treats! Offer your guests some of the additional delights for the ultimate dessert buffet:
- Fresh fruit with fruit dip. Strawberries, diced melons, and sliced bananas go great with a sweetened sour cream-based dip.
- Pound cake. Sliced or cut into cubes and toasted, pound cake is mild enough not to overpower Strawberry Parfaits. Try dipping the toasted pound cake cubes in any extra whipped topping.
- Shortbread cookies. The snap of a shortbread cookie provides the perfect contrast to jiggly Jell-O.
How to store parfaits
These parfaits are best when eaten ice-cold, so always keep them covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. Put the whipped topping in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator, and add along with a sprig of mint to each parfait right before serving.
How long do parfaits last?
Go ahead and keep the parfaits in the fridge for two to three days, but they will be best the same day you prepare them. Check the expiration date for store-bought whipped topping to see how long you can save it.
The origins of the parfait
The French word parfait means perfect. Parfait originated in France around 1890 as a frozen custard created from eggs, sugar, and cream. As time passed, parfait was reimagined as a layered dessert served in a clear glass. In the US, parfait is more likely to be a layer of meringue or flavored whipped cream served with a layer of soft-serve ice cream, sorbet, or yogurt. Learn more about the origins of the parfait.
More Vintage Jello Recipes
Strawberry Jello Parfait
- ½ cup sliced fresh strawberries plus 6 whole strawberries for garnish
- 1 3-ounce package strawberry Jell-O
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ½ cup cold water
- ¾ cup ice cubes
- 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed, divided use
- fresh mint for garnish
- Distribute the sliced strawberries among 6 parfait glasses.
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly dissolve the Jell-O mix in the boiling water. Add the cold water and ice cubes and stir until the ice is melted.
- Measure ¾ cup of the Jell-O mixture and distribute it evenly among the 6 parfait glasses. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until the Jell-O is set but not firm.
- Let the remaining Jell-O stand at room temperature until cool. When cool, add 1 cup of Cool Whip and whisk until blended. Distribute the mixture evenly among the 6 parfait glasses and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- Serve topped with the remaining Cool Whip and garnished with mint and a strawberry.