Applesauce Is The Secret Ingredient For An Autumnal Holiday Jell-O Salad

While pretty much no one wants to revisit the Jell-O salads of the 20th century, we can pull a bit of inspiration from those recipes to hopefully make something more palatable. For instance, you might have seen a little trend floating around on social media recommending you add applesauce to your Jell-O.

Sure, it might sound weird, but the applesauce gives texture and depth of flavor to an otherwise one-note dessert. Even better, you're likely to have both ingredients on hand already if you need a last-minute dish.

Many recipes combine applesauce with some of the most popular Jell-O flavors like raspberry and cherry, and some add a dash of cinnamon to really emphasize the fall flavor. That said, if you'd rather use a different Jell-O flavor, applesauce will also pair well with blackberry, apricot, cranberry, orange, and lemon. Keep in mind that whichever type of Jell-O you choose will provide the dish's dominant flavor, so choose wisely.

Alternatives to using applesauce in your Jell-O salad

Even if the Jell-O flavor in your salad will likely overpower that of the applesauce, you may still choose not to use applesauce for one reason or another — who knows, maybe you're out. Luckily, applesauce has plenty of substitutes, including pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, and other fruit or berry purees.

Therefore, for the ultimate fall Jell-O salad, you could try adding pumpkin puree to cranberry Jell-O. To really kick those flavors up a notch, add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon — it's essentially a homemade pumpkin spice recipe. Similarly, you can add sweet potato puree to lime or orange Jell-O for the perfect balance of sweet and acidic.

If fruit purees are more your speed (minus the apple kind, of course), apricot, pear, and cranberry purees are great alternatives. Cranberry puree with cranberry Jell-O? Sounds like a dessert-ified cranberry sauce, and we're here for it. This one might even have applesauce Jell-O salad beat.