Homemade Jello

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Jello is a fun, kid-friendly treat.

purple jelloEspecially this homemade version, which is made without the artificial colors and flavorings found in the brand-name variety. In fact, these sweet and gelatinous squares are so easy to make, I’m surprised the boxed variety is so popular! All you need is 100% juice and grass-fed gelatin to make these quick and easy treats at home, and it’s no more time consuming than the original.

Gelatin is thought to support skin, hair and nail growth, and may be helpful for joints and joint recovery. It’s also a great dietary source of collagen, as well as a source of protein, so when it’s paired with 100% fruit juice with no added sugars, this is the type of Jello you won’t mind feeding to your family. (Unless, of course, you’re a vegetarian–> I’m trying to perfect a vegetarian version of this next!)

Hope you enjoy this fun, jiggly snack!

Homemade Jello
fills a standard loaf pan

Adapted from Wellness Mama


1 3/4 cups 100% fruit juice, divided
1/4 cup boiled water
1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin


To begin, you’ll want to “bloom” the gelatin in a bit of cool or room-temperature fruit juice, to ensure a smooth and even end result. In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle the tablespoon of gelatin over 1/4 cup of the fruit juice (I used 100% organic grape juice for this batch), and whisk well until the mixture starts to thicken.

making homemade jello

Once the mixture is nice and thick, pour the 1/4 cup of hot (just boiled) water over it, and whisk well to dissolve evenly. When the mixture is smooth, add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice, and mix well to combine.

Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan, greased or lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

making homemade jello

You’ll know it’s done with the top is firm to the touch!

making homemade jelloSlice into squares and serve immediately, or store in the fridge in a sealed container until ready to serve.

stack of homemade jello
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4.49 from 25 votes

Homemade Jello

A quick and easy homemade gelatin snack, with no added sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword jello, no bake, quick
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 35kcal


  • 1 3/4 cups 100% fruit juice , divided
  • 1/4 cup boiled water
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin


  • To begin, you'll want to "bloom" the gelatin in a bit of cool or room-temperature fruit juice, to ensure a smooth and even end result. In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle the tablespoon of gelatin over 1/4 cup of the fruit juice (I used 100% organic grape juice for this batch), and whisk well until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Once the mixture is nice and thick, pour the 1/4 cup of hot (just boiled) water over it, and whisk well to dissolve evenly. When the mixture is smooth, add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice, and mix well to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan, greased or lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. You'll know it's done when the top is firm to the touch!
  • Slice into squares and serve immediately, or store in the fridge in a sealed container until ready to serve.


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Sodium: 5mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 20.6mg
Per Serving: Calories: 35, Fat: 0g, Carbohydrates: 9g


  • You can use any type of juice you want for this recipe, either fresh-squeezed or bottled. (Preferably BPA-free with no sugar added.)
  • For a truly sugar-free version (i.e. no fruit sugars) you could make this with water and lemon juice instead of the fruit juice, and sweeten with stevia, to taste.
  • For added texture and fiber, you could probably add in some fresh fruit before setting in the fridge.

Reader Feedback: Have you ever made homemade Jello from scratch? Now that I’ve tried it, I can’t believe how easy it is!

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I started making my own jello for my daughter when we found out that she has celiac disease. She was only 4,so it was difficult to find scd kid-friendly recipes, but this jello certainly fits the bill. And, it’s so easy!


I love making my own jello! I usually make it with fresh squeezed orange juice, or kombucha I’ve brewed myself (per this recipe: http://www.cheeseslave.com/kombucha-jello/). Sometimes I also add gelatin to smoothies <3

    Patti Shrum

    Could you guide me to someone that might have a baby Kaombucha for a start. I use to make it and enjoyed it very much. When I get on the web to find one it’s like so comfuseing. If you have any baby Kaombucha. I would be happy to take one off your handes.
    I make home made jewelry. My web name is offthebeadenpath. Work mainly through Ebay. I could send you some pic of some jewelry. Or let me know what your likes are. Well let me know if your intrested. Thank you.
    Patti Shrum


      You can buy Kombucha at most grocery stores nowadays (at least up here in Oregon we can). The refrigerated bottles of LIVE and “plain” Kombucha have live bacteria/yeast to start up your own home brew of Kombucha. I’ve made many successful and healthy batches of homemade Kombucha, and never had to purchase a SCOBY, I just use the plain bottle of live Kombucha to get my own SCOBY started.


Hi Megan,
I am a big fan of your recipes and this jello is definitely one I can’t wait to try.
My daughter recently had a baby and I am here in town for a few more days and wondering what kind of recipes you might recommend for fixing ahead of time and freezing that will make it easier for her when I leave. Whatever suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for this recipe! I haven’t made jello in about 15 years! But this I will try! I love how easy it is :0)!


You can also make this vegan with agar agar in place of gelatin same measure if your using powdered


The vegan version, with agar, has been around for ages~ It’s delicious!


Awesome recipe. I too use agar agar as a vegetarian option. 1 tsp per 400mls liquid 😉


Thanks, I seldom make jello because it’s so filled with sugar, now I can make a healthy versions. Thanks a million.


Thank you for posting this! I really need to add more gelatin into my diet and this jello recipe is the easiest one I’ve seen yet. Now, I have no more excuses! 🙂


I remember wanting to eat jello so much as a kid, but our mother never allowed us, because she was scared of that cow disease.
It looks so easy, I think even I can try out this recipe 🙂


The idea of eating Jello rarely occurs to me, let alone making it. But I am glad to know how to do it, and especially in a healthy way. If I had young children I would definitely be making this.


I’d love to try this!! Where can I find the gelatin? And does it have a taste?


    I order mine from AzureStandard.com, you can also google it. It really doesn’t have any flavor. I mix 1 tsp. gelatin with 1 tsp. cacao powder and 1-2 tsp.coconut sugar, add 1/4 cup cold water, stir, then add hot water to make hot chocolate. It makes it creamy, so people that can not have dairy can still have a delicious cup of hot chocolate. I’ve also used it with Blue Lotus Chai Rooibos MASALA CHAI.

    Mk bob

    This recipie is the simplest I’ve ever made! #must try


Same as Natalia said – I’ve made a vegetarian version using agar. You can buy it at health food stores. The only thing you have to be aware of is that the measurements are different for different forms of it (powdered, flaked, bars, etc.). Agar is also called kanten or carrageenan. You’ll see carrageenan is actually used A LOT in food products!


If agar is actually carrageenan, then that makes it carcinogenic based on a research that was published earlier this year. A movement is also underway to bring in legislation to label products that contain carrageenan, and there is a website that now lists products that might be GMO-free and all organic but still contain carrageenan.

Regardless, I’m gonna try this version today! Thanks.


    Agar is NOT Carrageenan, though they are both made from red seaweed. Carrageenan is a processed form.

    “Several studies in the early 2000s suggested that a certain type of carrageenan — degraded carrageenan, which has been hydrolyed, or broken down by acid — could cause gastrointestinal problems, including cancers. The degraded type is not typically used in food. In fact, only the undegraded variety has been deemed safe for human consumption by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and approved for use in foods by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.” ~from Wisegeek.com


I have made fruit juice jello for years, using Knox gelatin. What is the advantage to using your recommended brand of gelatin?

I make jello for my girls around holidays using themed cookie cutters. This summer I started making popsicles out of Fruitables juice (Fruit/veggie blend), my girls liked them just as much as my regular straight fruit juice ones. I can’t wait to try the fruit/veggie blend in jello.


    The difference is the same reason one would by grass fed, pasture raised, organic meat versus conventional. It is simply the health of the animal. Cheaper conventional brands are not putting a vested effort into organic methods of raising animals which is why there is a difference in price. If the animals are less healthy the health benefits are not so good.


I recently started making gelatin with organic juices. I recently bought a cocoanut pineapple blend and I have one tip that every one needs to know. You can not make gelatin out of juice with coconut in it. It separates from the other juices and sinks to the bottom I was so disappointed in it as I love pina-coladas and thought that would make a wonderful jello. I was wrong I was horrible wrong. LOL I still ate it but it was not as pleasant as other straight juice jellos. The orange juice was the best as My family had all developed sore throats and could not drink Orange juice but they where able to eat the OJ as gelatin. I am getting ready to try a mint mojito tea jello brewed with stevia (non alcoholic) I am thinking this may turn our much better than the virgin pina-colada jello.


    Perhaps you could try pineapple juice with coconut milk?

    Or something like this: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/coconut-panna-cotta-dairy-free-gaps-paleo-grain-free/

    Erin L

    Thanks!! Great tips.


    I thought it was the fresh pineapple that was not able to set in jello. Kiwi and papaya too. At least that’s what the actual jello package says ?


      you are right Jenn Pineapple and papaya are enzymes which prevents gelatin from setting


    the reason for that is coconut juice still has fat in it and it’s heavier so will sink to the bottom. Back home we grew up with agar agar so its many deserts. One of my fav is using dark brown sugar and pour in coconut milk ..once settled it looks beautiful – two layers – top is the white coconut milk and the dark brown part settle at bottom …it gives a sweet and slight salty taste coz of the coconut milk. But use can ones as it’s pure coconut milk/cream if u like richer tase…not the refrigerated that’s been processed with other stuff in it
    If u like see a pic for ref look up “Malaysian agar agar santan” u’ll see how crazy we go flavors and it’s healthy! 🙂


i dont have that stuff were do i get the ingeridients at.


    I got the great lakes that is shown on this site from Amazon.


      I don’t believe that gelatin is from grass feed beef. I have some and never used it since nowhere on the container do the words state grass fed


        Great Lakes gelatin has a grass fed pasture raised one. It says it right on the package. I get a 16 oz can for 24 dollars on Amazon or right from the great lakes website.


I think it’s the pineapple and not the coconut which doesn’t set

kalen balls

this is the best recipe for jello i have seen yet-thank you.


Great, super easy, delicious healthy version for jello. I used organic tart cherry for my first batch and will be using organic grape for my second. I find it great for controlling my appetite and my obsession for ice cream.


I make homemade “jello” with plain ol NOW gelatin and tea, any kind, herbal, black, green, yerba mate and it’s great. I also make it with konjac powder which is high fiber. I love the little fish molds for this.


I made this for the first time today! SO funny. I used plain white grape juice thinking that would be good to try, it’s clear and sweet (my kid is on a Jello kick). OK it looks and tastes exactly like BEER! Ha ha. I guess gelatine has a bit of a taste itself? Needless to say I will be trying it with a stronger flavour next time. Well, maybe not. The kids didn’t seem to care and ate it all up. Yum yum.


Was wondering if you could suggest a Vegetarian Option to the Grass Fed Gelatin. Thanks. 😀


    You should be able to agar agar, but the ratio will be different– you can do a google search to find a good suggestion on that!


This is a good idea and easy enough for me to do in a short amount of time. Thanks for posting.


Would this work well using fresh vegetable juice from a juicer? If so, what flavor would you recommend? I can only think of Carrot, Orange, & Pineapple and Cucumber Lime. How would the final product be with coconut water or using a probiotic?

I tried rating this 5 stars but it wouldn’t let me.


    Do not use fresh pineapple or kiwi juice, the enzymes in the juice prevent the jello from setting.


I don’t get this setting like your picture – it doesn’t even gel.
I used cold water soluble pure protien Kosher Great Lakes Gelatine Collagen Hydrolysate Collagen Joint care dietary supplement in a green tub, so why isn’t it working?


    The green tub is only for cold uses, like blending into smoothies– it won’t ever set! The red tub is the one you want for making jello-type recipes.


      Thanks for your recipe and tips and thanks the poster who asked about he Great Lakes Gelatin in the Green tub.. ooops! I keep checking my tart cherry juice with added organic coca powder and it hasn’t set.. Darn. 🙂 What is the advantage or reason for the Cold gelatin? Does it dissolve better?

        Megan Gilmore

        I believe people use the cold gelatin (collagen) as a supplement for extra protein, so it won’t clump when you add it to cold drinks, such as smoothies. You need to use the gelatin (red container) to actually make jello-like treats, because it’s the only kind that will set.


Most recipes just say grass fed gelatine so it’s all very misleading and no one has been that specific.
It should be clarified as it’s such a waste of money otherwise when all you want is an organic grass fed jelly (I’m British!!)


Do you have a recipe for making a dry fruit gelatin mix. I want to use in a recipe for green tomato jelly and I will not use jello? Thanks so much. Jean


Hi! I’ve tried your recipe a few times and they have always come out perfect. I made it last night and it never set! I used grape/orange juice (have done this before and its been fine) but after i poured it in the pan i added sliced bananas quickly mixed and put in the fridge. BUT it never set! What did I do wrong!! Help please! Thank you!



Hi, I noticed that the recipe states to use 1 Tbs. gelatin but in the picture it looks like you are pouring in 1/4 Cup gelatin. Am I seeing that wrong? I just want to be sure before I make the jello.
Thank you! 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    Nope, that’s just what my tablespoon looks like. 🙂


How long will these last in the fridge? I have them cooling there now….thanks for the recipe!!


Gelatin has to be the most disgusting product ever to exist. Pectin is an excellent alternative; not only is it derived from fruit rather than animal ligaments and hooves, it makes AMAZING “Jello”


    Is there a pectin that you would recommend? And have you used pectin in this recipe? Thank you


Yum! Mine turned out great. Does anyone know how long it’d last in the fridge? I.e. shelf-life? Thanks


Megan, can you tell us why you prefer the “beef” version of the gelatin over the “porcine”? The containers look deceptively the same…just wondering if there is a real difference or it’s just a matter of personal preference. Thank you! Great recipes on this site, by the way.


Instead of the powder gelatin, I have gelatin sheets. How many sheets should I use?

Rachel C

Thanks for the great recipe! You don’t need to line your pan if you use a glass or Corningware. 🙂


your receipe will not print, 4 times clicking the print and nothing. can you help

    Megan Gilmore

    When you click the print button, it opens a new window with a printer-friendly recipe format. You will still have to select the “print” option from your internet browser to send that page to your printer.


Do you scrape the foam off the top because it did not disappear after mine thickened in the fridge? Thanks!


I wanted to make a larger batch for a party. What would be the best way to do this.


Can you make this in individual size molds?

Recovering Food Junkie

Thanks a lot for this recipe!! I love gelatin desserts but hate the toxic ingredients in Jello.

I love to chill hibiscus tea, it has a sweetly sour, fruity taste and is delightful when sweetened with honey, and it has a beautiful, naturally red color. Since I’m in the habit of brewing and chilling this tea, I’m going to experiment with hibiscus gelatin, using freshly brewed, hot hibiscus tea in lieu of hot water, and an already chilled batch in lieu of cool juice. I would imagine it will blend well with any sort of berry, cherry or grape, so after experimenting with the hibiscus tea, if it works out, I’ll try mixing fruits into it later on.

If anyone else is keen to try this, I would advise you to first research the medicinal qualities of hibiscus before consuming. It has many nutritional benefits, is widely consumed in various countries and is probably fine for most folks, but also has some medicinal effects, including headache remedy, mild diuretic and might have some effect on hormones in some cases, so do not consume without first discussing with a qualified herbalist/natural health practitioner (or midwife) if you are pregnant, diabetic, or taking allopathic medications. I personally have not experienced any unpleasant side effects or drug interactions using hibiscus, but everyone is different, so it’s good to do your own research first.

In closing, you can use your own preferred sweetener with this, it need not be honey- that’s just my personal trip, I dig honey. Also keep in mind that the lovely red hibiscus tea will leave a blue stain on white stuff, so guard your doilies!


I’m useing Aspen Naturals 100% grass fed gelatin 250 bloom and it will not thicken as pictured. It’s like soft egg white peaks. How long shall I whisk? So far I’m in at 15 minutes. Thank you.


Love this recipe. Will definitely be trying. Any idea how long it lasts in the fridge? Thanks!


Note with any fresh fruit…pineapple will only work if it is canned, not fresh!!! Fresh pineapple has natural enzymes that prevent the gelatin from setting.

Andy Soboil

Have you made the veg version and what gelatin did you use??


Thank you for the recipe I had a medical procedure in which they said I could eat jell-O and wanted to make a natural version .
iused guava juice and mine was not successful and didn’t set! it’s more like a mouse or pudding. Wondering if it has something to do with using the super hot water out of my filter system which we use all the time for hot tea maybe it just was not as hot as it needed to be?


    If you like making gelatin for dessert, the box often recommends not adding certain kinds of fruit, including pineapple, kiwi, mango, ginger root, papaya, figs or guava. People have a hard time getting the gelatin to solidify when they add these fruits. Gelatin is made from collagen, which is a structural protein found in all animals. Collagen is found in many parts of the body and helps give animals their structure, or shape. Gelatin, which is a mixture of collagen proteins, solidifies when you cook it because its proteins form tangled mesh pockets that trap the water and other ingredients. After the gelatin cools, the proteins remained tangled. This results in your wiggly-jiggly gelatin dessert.
    The fruits listed above contain proteases, which are enzymes. Enzymes help make certain chemical reactions happen. Proteases specifically act like a pair of scissors, helping reactions take place that cut other proteins up. In this activity you’ll explore whether these protease enzymes are preventing the gelatin from solidifying (by cutting the gelatin’s collagen proteins into such small pieces that they are no longer able to tangle together and create a semisolid structure). To do this you’ll inactivate these proteases by using heat.


Thank you so much. You were right. …way too easy!! Love having this new healthy sugar free alternative.

Kelly Drzewiecki

Would this work with the green bottle of collagen hydrolosate gelatin?

    Megan Gilmore

    No, it has to be the gelatin that needs hot water, otherwise it won’t set.


Loved! My girls gobbled it up. I made orange juice and strawberry lemonade with organic juice. I think blooming was the key and you don’t use too much gelatin so the texture was perfect. I’ve tried some others and they often turn out too firm, so it’s nice to have a goo go to recipe.

How would you make the sugar free lemonade version w/o too much effort? I find I have to use a lot of lemons to make decent lemonade, so juicing them all would not be fun. Does anyone have some good sugar free (stevia is good) recipes to share that the kids will eat?


What does “grass fed” mean? It’s gelatin that comes from cows. I checked the the manufacturer andrhey don’t know what you mean either.

    Megan Gilmore

    When this post was written years ago, that was the only brand that sold gelatin that came from grass-fed cows. Now, there are several brands available that offer this, so there are more options! Not sure why the company wouldn’t know what I was referring to, but maybe their quality has changed over the years.

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