Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad – A Mid-Century Gelatin Recipe Test

Posted on Nov 28 2012 - 6:43am by RetroRuth

Don’t know what to do with your turkey leftovers?? Well, the Mid-Century Menu is here to bail you out with our cardinal mid-century cooking rule:

When in doubt, add gelatin and pour it into a mold!


Yeah, that’s right. It’s Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad.

This recipe was submitted by Sean during our gelatin contest. He submitted three, but I have to admit, this is the one that caught my eye.

foil 2


Sean writes:


I ran across this gem in my 1975 Carefree Cooking with Aluminum Foil cookbook – This one gets extra Points because it includes a color photo – how its supposed to be appetizing I just can’t fathom – the peas and carrots in gelatin and bits of Turkey? Plus the last line of the recipe just blows me away: "…place frozen block of jellied mixture in the refrigerator" Yikes!

All the Best,

Turkey Veggie

Oh man! When the food is referred to as a “frozen block of jellied mixture” you KNOW this is going to be good.

Or bad.

Really, really bad.


Not that these are bad ingredients. In fact, this probably looks like about half the leftover turkey casseroles at everyone’s house right now.

Oh, and a small side note: I halved this recipe. I mean, come on. I can only take one frozen block of jellied mixture at a time.


Not that this ever got frozen. I just glopped it into the mold (my adorable clover mold!) and chucked it into the fridge. It was incredibly easy to make.


And sort of amazing when it was un-molded. It looks like the inside of a casserole or a pot pie suspended in space. Zero gravity filling, thanks to the power of Jell-O.


“I don’t even know why we do this anymore.”

“Because you like to try this stuff.”

“Do I? This looks horrible. ”

“Just eat it.”

Tom IMG_9885

“Why would someone do this?”

“Is it that bad?”

“No. It tastes like the cold insides of a turkey pot pie. Why would you go through all this molding garbage when you could just make a pot pie?”

The Verdict: Not bad

From Tom’s Tasting Notes:

Like turkey pot pie without the crust or biscuits. And bland. Needs more seasoning, but not horrible.

Hope everyone had a great Turkey day and that your leftovers are not “frozen blocks of jellied mixture”!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. veg-o-matic November 28, 2012 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Love the head-tilt!

    Yeah, wrap that sucker in a pie crust or some puff pastry and I might eat it. Naked pot pie? No thanks.

    • RetroRuth November 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      I know, right?

  2. Tasha November 28, 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    It really does look like someone needs to put a pastry sweater on that thing! I love his “this isn’t really quite so terrible but it’s not great either” face, too.

    • RetroRuth November 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Hee hee! “Pastry sweater”. I love it.

  3. Sean November 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I am stunned it actually turned out edible- or is Tom’s gelatin threshold just higher than the average person????

    • RetroRuth November 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      It actually didn’t taste bad! It really just tasted like the inside of a pot pie. I mean, it was cold, so that wasn’t that great, but it wasn’t gross. It wasn’t very “gelatin-y”, mostly just creamy.

      You know…I never actually thought about a “threshold” for gelatin tasting. Maybe we ARE getting used to it!

  4. The Homicidal Homemaker November 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I love this! I might have to make this for an upcoming edition of The Homicidal Homemaker’s Chopping Block. I think I would serve mine with crackers…I’d love to see the look on everyone’s face when they try it!

    Keep up the excellent work!

    • RetroRuth November 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks!! Let me know if you decide to use it. I am sure it would mold well into all kinds of undead shapes. 🙂

      You have a great site, by the way!

      • The Homicidal Homemaker December 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

        Why thank you! I love yours, as well! Just began following you on Facebook. 🙂

  5. Kim November 29, 2012 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Wow that is amazing! When I go stumble upon a particularly odd gelatin recipe, I often wonder what those that have no photos would look like. Thanks to you and bigger thanks to Tom for your work!

  6. Roxy December 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    You know, I always wonder if his threshold for gelatin has gotten stronger than the average joe. 😛

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