Jellied Cottage Cheese And Tomato Salad – A Vintage Gelatin Recipe Test

Posted on Jun 19 2013 - 9:19am by RetroRuth

Want to see something scary?


Behold! Jellied cottage cheese and tomato sauce served over coleslaw! It looks…horrible. Like a melting monster face with a green pepper tongue. Appetizing, huh?

This recipe was sent in by Rachel for our gelatin contest, and she was nice enough to send with it a picture. This is what it is supposed to look like:


Wow. That’s…a lot better than mine.

But no matter how nice it looks in the picture, its still made with cottage cheese and tomato sauce.


Not that I have anything against those things, separately.


In fact, I love cottage cheese. I was actually excited about this one. I love cottage cheese, tomato sauce AND coleslaw. Having them all together in one dinner sounded like a great idea to me. Tom, on the other hand, not such a big fan.

“Oh God, cottage cheese?”


“So, what is it going to be like, lime gelatin, cottage cheese and fruit?”


“Oh. So are we going to spoon it over the top or something?”

“Nope. There is a layer of unflavored gelatin with just cottage cheese in it.”

“Oh God. Wait…what’s the other layer?”

“Tomato sauce.”

“You have got to be kidding me.”

“There is an onion in it, too.”



The layer of tomato sauce!


Aaaaaand…the “finished” product. Not sure what exactly happened here. Maybe the cottage cheese in the picture was creamier than the one I used. Maybe the mold they used was a little smaller. Maybe they greased their mold instead of unmolding it with hot water. In any case, this is what we had to work with.



“It looks like it’s bleeding.”

“Ew. It kind of does, doesn’t it?”

We just stared at it for a bit, then I clapped my hands together.

“Well, eat up!”

Tom TastingIMG_0035


“Bad, huh?”

“This does not taste good at all. And the texture is gross.”

The Verdict: Gross

From the Tasting Notes:

While Tom has never been a big fan of tomato and cottage cheese, I like both of these things. And even to me this taste was…less than good. Not exactly sure what the problem was, maybe the grated onion, but the tastes just didn’t go together. And the texture WAS gross. The jellied cottage cheese layer tasted exactly like what it was; jellied cottage cheese. Besides the fact that this thing turned out really, really ugly, the taste made it an all-around bad recipe. It would have been way easier and much more tasty to just spoon cottage cheese into hollowed out tomatoes and serve those over coleslaw.

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

  1. veg-o-matic June 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    It’s obvious what the problem was: gelatin. Without it, this might have been good. *Might.* The basic ingredients are all good, the whole thing just falls apart when you attempt to glue it together (see what I did there?) with the gelatin.
    It looks like teeth and bleeding gums.
    Tom certainly looks glum (with good reason), but at least there was no American cheese in it!

  2. Miss Whisk June 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    It totally does look like a mouth with bleeding gums! ewh.

  3. Technicolorcutie June 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I love these! Keep them coming! (and whatta bunch of liars with the perfect fake jell-o mold)

  4. Mia June 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Did you really think the outcome would be otherwise….bleeeeech!

  5. David June 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I thought this might be kind of good… simply based on the fact tomatoes and cottage cheese go well together… but THEN you see the photo (like “teeth and bleeding gums” (ROFLMAO!!!). Much easier on the eyes, is that awesome lamp in the background!

  6. J June 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    “Not everything can be put in a Jell-O mold” is a lesson that had not yet been learned at the time they developed this recipe.

  7. Patrick M. June 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    One of my favorite things is cottage cheese, chopped, ripe tomato, salt and pepper. And it’s a heck of a lot less work!

  8. Maura June 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    It sort of tugs at my heart to see the things that our mothers and grandmothers ate before Julia Child came along. Bless you for making these Jell-ominations (so we don’t have to) and bless Tom for soldiering through ’em! (Although I’ve got to say that the double pear salad does look pretty good.)

    But girl, with all this gelatin, your hair and nails must be *fabulous*!

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