Sweet strawberries paired with a creamy, vanilla flavored base. Strawberries & Cream Salad is an easy make ahead dish.
I’ve got a pretty little pink number to share with you today. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
It’s also a fabulous addition to your Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas meals.
And potluck parties. This dish comes back home empty. Every single time.
Or make Strawberries & Cream Salad any time you need a tasty side dish.
Strawberries & Cream Salad
I like to incorporate red, pink and heart-themed elements into special Valentine meals for The Teens.
Heart-shaped pizzas have always been a hit in my house.
And how about pink, heart-shaped pancakes for the win?
If you need a little inspiration this year, my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board is filled with ideas.
Strawberries & Cream Salad is a cheerful addition to any holiday or summer meal. The vibrant pink color makes it an obvious choice for Valentine’s Day. But it also complements Easter & Mother’s Day tables. Or truly any meal. A side dish this yummy should be enjoyed any time you crave a burst of Spring or Summer.
And the taste? Divine! Reminds me of a big bowl of strawberries and cream. The strawberry flavor is bright and refreshing. Like a creamy, dreamy spoonful of sunshine in every bite. Adios Winter!
Sometimes I like to experiment with family favorite recipes. I’m not trying to improve upon the recipe. It’s more of an attempt to discover new flavor profiles in a dish my family enjoys. No need to reinvent the wheel every time. I also enjoy adapting recipes to utilize seasonal ingredients.
A few years ago I wanted to take advantage of the Spring berries hitting the grocery store shelves. And I needed a pretty dish for Easter dinner.
And so Strawberries & Cream Salad was created. The result of tinkering around with a long time family favorite, Orange Salad (it’s one of the first recipes I shared here). You must love Orange Salad as much as my family does because it’s one of the Top 5 recipes on the blog.
Need another reason to love Strawberries & Cream Salad? The base mixture can be prepared the evening before the big meal. All that’s left is to combine the base mixture with the Cool Whip the day of the big meal. Easy peasy!
The vanilla pudding and Cool Whip give the Strawberries & Cream Salad a velvety texture, similar to a mousse. So dreamy! While you could serve this as a dessert, I prefer to serve it as a side dish with the meal. It’s a Midwestern thing to serve a jell-o salad with the meal. And serving as a side dish allows you to have a proper piece of cake or pie for dessert.
You’ll want to keep a couple things in mind when making Strawberries & Cream Salad. First, you must use cook & serve pudding mix. Instant pudding mix does not work in this recipe. Second, I recommend adding the fresh strawberries shortly before serving.
Work Smarter: the right tools can make or break your cooking experience. These are the tools I used to make quick work of this recipe.
Mix it up – ideal size for sauces and dressings. Dishwasher safe with a sealed barrel.
Handheld masher – I use this to combine the cooled Jell-o mixture with the Cool Whip.
Pyrex dishes – I use the larger dish for cooling the cooked mixture in this recipe.
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More ARM family favorites you may like:
Strawberries and Cream Salad
- 1 6 oz strawberry gelatin
- 2 3 oz cook & serve vanilla pudding mix
- 4 cups hot water
- 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- Combine strawberry jell-o mix, vanilla pudding mixes and hot water in a large saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue boiling (and stirring) until mixture turns clear.
- Pour into dish or bowl and chill until set. I usually make the night before and chill overnight.
- Combine Cool Whip with jell-o/pudding mixture (a potato masher works well for this step).
- Add diced strawberries immediately before serving. Stir gently to combine.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
- Instant pudding mix will not work with this recipe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a reference only.