In church world, we have a lot of potlucks. I used to think that certain denominations held more covered dish suppers than others, but I’ve ultimately decided that it just doesn’t matter. Eating always brings people together and so it happens a lot! When I was growing up, my mom had one particular dish that she always brought to any potluck dinner. I’d even dare to say that most people have a staple dish that becomes “their dish,” and other people begin to expect it! As kids, we would pray that Mom would have some left over from her women’s dinner at church so that we could carefully dissect and devour the remnants.
That dish has also become my dish. Rainbow jello, my friends. It’s SUPER easy, although a little time intensive, and it’s normally a huge hit with people everywhere I go. It’s jello, so it’s totally not healthy, but it’s a really fun treat and it looks so dang pretty!!
People always ask me how to make it, and I’m not sure that they believe how simple it is. I finally documented the process the last time I made it, and today you get the inside scoop on rainbow jello!! Try it out sometime… You’ll definitely win with the “wow” factor! Just don’t make it for a potluck at my church. It’s my dish, after all!
This is all you need (plus a few dishes):
Really. That’s it. You can order the colors however you’d like, and you can switch out colors for different holidays (maybe just do reds and greens for Christmas). But, 4 (3 oz) boxes of Jello and a 16 oz. container of sour cream will do the trick. Fat free and sugar free varieties are all okay to use.
Choose the color you’d like to have on the bottom and mix the packet of Jello with a cup of boiling water. Once it’s dissolved, divide it in half. I typically use a 1 cup glass measuring cup and a 4 cup measuring cup (makes for easy pouring and those are the two sizes I have). It really doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you can measure that initial 1 cup of water.
Gradually pour half of the dissolved Jello into 1/3 cup of sour cream and whisk until completely smooth. Pour it into a 9×13 glass dish (mine is slightly smaller, but barely) and put in the fridge until set, usually about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the dish. This is your “creamy” layer. Go start a load of laundry and clean the bath tub.
Add 3 T of water to the other half of dissolved Jello, pour on top of the set Jello, and put it back in the fridge. Guess what now? 30 minutes, my friend. Go switch out the laundry and start on the toilets.
Next color: Do the exact same thing. Be sure that the sour cream layer goes in first for each color.
See how much house work you can get done while you’re making this?! Just keep going until you’ve used all of the boxes of Jello!
A few notes:
*If you ask the kids in my family (ie: my brother, my sister, and me… Not my kids- Drew doesn’t count because he eats it by the fistful), the proper way to eat this is layer by layer. I’ve never instructed other kids in the Rainbow Jello eating ways, but they seem to inherently know. It’s just what we do.
*When you are dissolving in water or whisking in sour cream, bubbles tend to form. You don’t really want these to show in your masterpiece, so be careful when you pour. Also, if they’re still around, you can tap the dish on the counter to knock out some of the air before it goes in the fridge. Or use a toothpick to pop some bubbles. Or your finger. But make sure you washed your hands well after scrubbing the tub.
*Go ahead and take a sharp knife and cut it into squares. No one is very good with serving size and it looks much nicer to have clean, even squares!
*I’ve been known to make this over the course of a few days. It’s no problem to do 2 colors one day and 2 colors another day. And remember, 30 minutes is just a minimum for fridge time. If you need to run out for carpool duty, it can’t hurt for it to set for an additional hour. You just don’t want to leave the second half sitting on the counter for hours or it will start to set there instead.
*Get ready for fun conversation. People are always impressed by this one and it’s SO, SO easy! My favorite kind of dish!!