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Orange Sherbet Jello

Throwback to mom’s orange sherbet jello salad side for the holidays, orange gelatin with orange sherbet and mandarin oranges.

Orange sherbet jello salad on serving plate.

This is the jello salad that was always on the holiday table growing up, especially Easter.  It’s so refreshing and full of orange flavor and ridiculously easy to make.

Of course, every year my mom would forget how much water to add and it always turned out a little different each time, but always good.

I thought it was time this year to get the recipe written down, once and for all with the correct amounts, no more guessing.  It’s just three ingredients and water.

My mom always made it in a cut glass serving bowl, I made it this year in a mold.  I think I prefer the crystal bowl, easier and familiar.

Jello salad on serving plate.

How to make orange sherbet jello salad

Two photo process collage.

Step 1: In bowl, dissolve a box of orange jello in 2 cups boiling water, then stir in the juice from a can of mandarin oranges, adding water if needed to make 1 cup.  So, 3 cups liquid total.

Three photo process collage, adding orange sherbet.

Step 2: Add one pint of softened orange sherbet by spoonfuls, stirring until sherbet melts.

Two photo process collage, adding oranges to jello mold.

Step 3: Pour the mixture into a jello mold or serving dish and gently scatter the mandarin orange segments into the gelatin mixture.

Step 4: Refrigerate overnight until set.  Turn out mold on serving plate or just scoop and serve out of serving bowl.

Close up of orange sherbet jello

I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up in the 70’s with this mandarin orange sherbet jello salad.  My dad always thought the intense citrus flavor cut through and complimented all the rich food on the holiday table.

And we definitely never had whipped topping or pineapple or any other stuff in it.  Just orange gelatin, sherbet and mandarin oranges… the way I liked it then and still love it now.  Kelly🍴🐦

Orange sherbet jello on serving plate with serving spatula.

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Orange sherbet jello on serving plate with serving spatula.

Orange Sherbet Jello

Old fashioned orange jello salad with orange gelatin, orange sherbet and mandarin oranges, a family favorite holiday side.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Refrigerate overnight: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 6-ounce box orange gelatin or two 3-ounce boxes
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 15-ounce can mandarin oranges, drain and save the juice if necessary, add water to reserved juice to make 1 cup
  • 1 pint (2 cups) orange sherbet, softened


  • In medium bowl, add orange gelatin powder and then 2 cups boiling water, stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup of reserved mandarin orange juice and combine.
  • Add the softened orange sherbet by spoonfuls, stirring until melted.
  • Lightly spray a jello mold (I used a Bundt pan) or serving bowl with nonstick spray. Pour gelatin mixture into mold or bowl, gently scatter orange segments over and into mixture.
  • Refrigerate overnight until well set. Turn mold out onto a serving plate or scoop and serve out of the bowl. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Add enough water to the reserved mandarin orange juice to make 1 cup.
  • I find it best to add the softened sherbet by spoonfuls, not all at once. Stir after each spoonful to melt. By the spoonfuls cuts down on excess foam.
  • If using a mold, run a knife or spatula to loosen the sides, place plate on top and gently invert to flip it over. You can also place the bottom of the mold in hot water for a few seconds to help it ease out.
Keyword: orange sherbet jello, mandarin orange sherbet jello salad, recipes with orange sherbet
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