What Happens When You Put Jell-O in an Ice Cream Maker?

Today's question is this: what happens when you put Jell-o in an ice cream maker?

I woke up with this question in my mind, and it was such a powerful and burning question that it didn't take too long for me to have a batch of Jell-O in the works so I could test it out.

Now, let me pause to answer some questions that you might have. Namely...why? Why did I want to see what would happen when I put Jell-O in an ice cream maker?

Well, let me answer your question with three simple words:

  1. Summer

  2. Fun

  3.  Because. 

Luckily, I had my ice cream maker drum in the freezer (you know, in case inspiration might strike) so I didn't have to wait the interminable chilling period. All I had to do was make some Jell-O, wait for it to set (a much more manageable chilling period), then pop it in the ice cream maker to see what would happen.

I set to work. I grabbed some orange Jell-o that I had in the cabinet, and made it per the instructions. Nothing special or fancy in my methodology. 

I let it chill. While the Jell-O chilled, I dreamed of slushy jell-o flavored delights that awaited me at the end of this experiment. 

Finally, when the Jell-O was cooled and set, I plopped it into the ice cream maker. I say "plopped" because it really did come out of the bowl in one unit, and made such a sound when it landed in the ice cream maker's drum.

Then I set the ice cream maker for 18 minutes.

At first, the Jell-O began to form lighter, slushy-looking bits.

But as the churning progressed, it began to lighten in color all over.

When the churning was done, all of the Jell-O came out of the ice cream maker in one impressive unit.

I transferred the mixture to a bowl and gave it a stir, and here's what it looked like.

And then I gave it a taste.

So what does Jell-O made in an ice cream maker taste like?

It tastes like a Jell-O Slushie. I say this as a good thing. It's almost like Jell-o met and had a baby with Italian ice: a thick, viscous, sweet, slushy baby. 

What makes the Jell-O Slush special is not necessarily the flavor, which is pretty much standard Jell-O...but it's more the texture. It is like a thicker version of Italian ice or sorbet. It's a great summertime treat texture.

So, my vote is this: if you're into Jell-O and want to give it a hot weather makeover, serve it as slush. All you need is an ice cream maker.

I think that this Jell-O Slush would also taste great combined with vanilla ice cream, or served with whipped cream. I haven't done it yet so I can't report, but I feel pretty confident that both of those variations would be Good Things. 

There you go! If you put Jell-O in an ice cream maker, you will get smooth, wonderful, sorbet-like Jell-O Slush. And you'll be happy you did.

Here's the recipe. You can also find a simple printable version here

Jell-O Slush

  • I box Jell-O (your flavor choice)
  • An ice cream maker
  1. Chill the ice cream maker drum, if applicable. 
  2. Prepare the Jell-O per the package instructions. Let it chill in the refrigerator until set and cold.
  3. Place all of the Jell-O in the drum of your ice cream maker.
  4. Set to churn (I set my ice cream maker to churn for 18 minutes).
  5. Once you're satisfied with the texture, transfer to a bowl.
  6. Enjoy immediately, place in the fridge if you will enjoy the Jell-O Slush within the next hour or two, or store in the freezer for longer term storage. It will lose some of its softness in the freezer.

Have you ever put Jell-O in your ice cream maker?