This Vegan Jello is quick and easy to make, using a similar method to my original jello recipe (which calls for gelatin). But instead of using gelatin, this new recipe below uses a vegan-friendly alternative, agar agar, which is easily found in grocery stores. I love that you can make this with less than 10 minutes of hands-on effort!
What is Agar Agar?
Agar agar is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. Instead of being derived from animal sources, agar agar comes from red algae. It has no calories, carbohydrates, or fat, and doesn’t have a noticeable flavor, either.
You can usually find agar agar flakes on the same aisle where you would buy seaweed wrappers for making sushi. I have only found the flakes in my local stores, but they also sell it in a powdered version. If you use the powder instead of flakes, the Kitchn recommends using a 1:3 swap of powder to flakes. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of flakes, use 1 teaspoon of powder instead, since the powder will be more concentrated.
In case you buy agar agar flakes especially to use in this recipe, here are some other ways you can use this vegan thickener:
How to Make Vegan Jello
Agar agar needs to be dissolved in boiling water, so to make this vegan jello recipe you’ll dissolve the flakes directly in boiling fruit juice. This recipe is naturally sweetened, using only 100% juice! You can use grape juice or apple juice with great results.
Once the flakes have dissolved, you’ll stir in another cup of fruit juice, then transfer it to a lined pan to set. Place the pan in the fridge for a couple of hours, and you’ll have an authentic-looking and delicious jello. No one will even know that it’s vegan!
Jello Recipe Tips
I have only tested this recipe using 100% grape juice or apple juice so far, since those are the easiest for me to find at the store. Feel free to experiment with other varieties of juice, or try stirring in some chopped fruit for added texture, such as sliced grapes, berries, or mandarin orange slices.
I imagine that vegan jello is similar to the original version, so I would hesitate to add in fresh pineapple, kiwi, or papaya. These fresh fruits have enzymes that cause regular jello to NOT set. (Though, I’ve heard that canned versions do work well.)
Vegan Jello Tutorial (1-Minute Video):
Vegan Jello (only 2 ingredients!)
- 2 cups 100% grape juice (or apple juice)
- 3 tablespoons agar agar flakes (or 3 teaspoons agar powder)
- Grease a 9-inch square pan (or any size/shape pan that you like) with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper for easier jello removal later.
- Pour the fruit juice into a small saucepan, and add in the agar agar flakes. Bring the juice to a boil, and whisk constantly to help the agar flakes dissolve. Once the juice is boiling the flakes have completely dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat.
- Pour the liquid into the lined dish, then transfer the dish to your refrigerator to set. It will take up to 2 hours to cool completely. Slice into squares and serve chilled.
Vegan Jello Nutrition (per square): Calories: 22, Fat: 0g, Carbohydrates: 5g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 1g
- If you’re looking to make cut-out shapes from your vegan jello (like jello jigglers!), you may want to try adding one more tablespoon of agar flakes to this recipe. I tried making cut-out stars and hearts with this recipe, and the shapes didn’t hold up to my kids playing with them the way regular jello does. I have a feeling a little more binding power might help, though.
Reader Feedback: Have you tried making vegan jello before?