Ranking Jell-O Flavors From Worst To Best

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Jell-O is fun stuff, isn't it? It's fruity, moldable, vintage, and has a texture unlike anything else. There's so much you can do with it, and there's likely a lot to discover about the history, facts, and features of this childhood favorite. For example, you might call any gelatin dessert simply "jello," but Jell-O is a trademark brand name still protected by law. So next time you see a wiggly, jiggly creation in the middle of a table, it's not officially Jell-O unless the box has the brand name on it. Seeing how popular and beloved the brand is, though, it likely is!

This ranking list of the best Jell-O flavors intentionally leaves out the sugar-free varieties because those options could constitute a whole other list. You also won't find the flavors offered through as a specific partnership, such as Kool-Aid Gels, though we're sure they are quite delightful in their own way. Oh, and although they are far too numerous and far too dissimilar to gelatin to show up on this list, never forget the goodness that is Jell-O instant or cook-and-serve pudding.

So, this Jell-O ranking list rounded up all of the following varieties, which are the flavors available at time of publication. Okay, ready? Grab yourself a cup, and let's discover a new favorite!

22. Strawberry Banana

There's nothing wrong with the Strawberry Banana Jell-O flavor. It expertly captures the classic pairing of juicy red strawberries and mellow, creamy bananas in gelatin. The only issue here is that the texture of bananas doesn't translate to the Jell-O treatment. It creates a little cognitive dissonance, you know? You can taste hints of banana, but you're eating something squishy and jelly-like. Maybe that's your jam, though! If so, you'll love this flavor even if it doesn't rank high on our list.

Strawberry Banana is one of the few on the market that combines two fruits, at least in the classic Jell-O boxes. The company should try it more often! Think of how delicious a blueberry lemon would be, or maybe, a raspberry tangerine. There are a lot of possibilities! In the meantime, pair this Jell-O with fresh berries and a banana slice to get the most out of the flavor duo.

21. Lime

You squeeze fresh lime juice onto your guacamole. If you're clever, you can zest lime peels into pretty green confetti and mix it into your Key lime pie. Enjoy a refreshing lime-flavored sparkling water on a hot day, or buy tortilla chips with a hint of lime when your feeling spicy. But, just taking a bite of a lime fruit straight up? That would leave a bold, bitter, and sour taste in your mouth.

Jell-O saves the day for the lime lovers out there! Take a huge bite of this lime dessert, and get all the flavor you want but none of the stinging sensations left in your mouth. Lime is definitely on the high end of the spectrum when it comes to crispness and is less cloyingly sweet than some of the other Jell-O options. But if you're not a huge fan of lime, this one might be slightly boring compared to the other Jell-O flavors ranking higher on this list.

20. Berry Blue

Jell-O doesn't claim to be made with real fruit; it's artificially flavored, and says so, right on the top of the box. If you want to eat a dessert that tastes vaguely of fruit but has the squishy texture no fruit could ever have (unless it's past the point of no return, in which case, DO NOT EAT THAT FRUIT), have a bowl of Jello-O. And maybe, have this Berry Blue flavor, because it doesn't particularly resemble any particular fruit. It's vaguely berry-centric. Is this Berry Blue modeled after a blueberry? No. Maybe a blackberry? No, definitely not.

The somewhat lackadaisical flavor profile does not mean this Jell-O tastes bad at all! Berry Blue might be the best choice on this ranking list if you want to really focus on the texture of gelatin as a vehicle, rather than a specific flavor. Or maybe, you're undecided about what fruit you're most interested in right now. If so, save yourself the analysis paralysis and have Berry Blue on hand for all your Jell-O needs.

19. Cherry

Did anyone else eat a lot of Jell-O when they were sick? Maybe not specifically ill with something clinical like pneumonia or that illness that shall not be named, but even just a little bit "under the weather?" How about in the days after getting your wisdom teeth out? If it wasn't mushy oatmeal or applesauce, maybe because your Mom grew tired of trying to get you to eat something substantial, it was definitely Jell-O. And Jell-O was probably as good as it was gonna get for a while (except, perhaps, ice cream).

If so, the flavor of choice may well have been Cherry Jell-O. The reason this staple flavor ranks so low on the best Jello-O flavors list? Cherry might have a tiny association with either illness or that awful liquid cough syrup you had to take when ill. If you have no ill will towards cherry as a flavor (pun intended), then this gelatin might even be your favorite because it's so undeniably fruity, nostalgic, and cheerful. Will it stain your tongue? Maybe it will, but that's half the fun!

18. Lemon

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! And when you get tired of lemonade, make Lemon Jell-O. When you really think about it, there are a lot of similarities in taste and presentation between two packets of powdery mixes. Both lemonade and Jell-O are lemony and bright, zingy and zesty, sweet and a tiny bit sour. More important, though, is the fact that both powdered lemonade mix and powdered gelatin become a magical new substance when mixed with water.

Enjoy lemon flavor in an, arguably, much more fun way with this Jell-O. The gelatin is just as refreshing (though, less thirst-quenching) when cold from the fridge. If any kids are hoping to make an extra dollar by manning a lemonade stand, they should also offer cups of Lemon Jell-O for sale alongside the drinks. Jell-O is basically just as cheap to make, but so much more rewarding than you might expect. 

17. Black Cherry

This ranking list pits (get it?) Black Cherry Jell-O against regular cherry and suggests the flavor is just a touch more authentic. Also, black cherries are actually a sweeter fruit than red cherries, and what better way to channel that sweetness than turning them into dessert? With a deep burgundy color, it's easy to see imagine black cherry as a more elegant and mature version of its kid-approved Cherry Jell-O cousin. Speaking of extended family, a reviewer shares that "My grandma made this all the time, and I have bought it weekly for years, but for the last year I have not been able to find it. My entire Italian family look forward to this on the holidays." Always ask your grandma if you're looking for some good recipes, especially if they're family favorites. 

The bad news? Black Cherry can be a rare find in stores. You'll have to harvest this flavor online, but how can you call yourself a Jell-O aficionado unless you're dedicated enough to taste test a bowl of Cherry and Black Cherry side by side?

16. Raspberry

Raspberries are an intriguing fruit. For one thing, they are very hard to find at perfect ripeness. When overripe, they're mushy and unappealing. When underripe, they're mealy, seedy, and too tart to enjoy. They're often too small, can fall apart in a fruit salad, and get moldy ridiculously quickly. Oh, and if you do spot the perfect berry hovering in a wooded glen, watch out, because the bushes are so brambly that you'll likely be torn to shreds. These little devils play very hard to get.

One option is to skip all the trouble, and go for raspberries that are safely preserved and processed: jams, for example. Another option is to get the flavor of the berries without any actual berries to potentially mess things up. That's where you intentionally, and logically, choose Raspberry Jell-O. Also, the zesty, fiesty tartness of raspberries adds a nice contrast to the unabashed sweetness of any Jell-O.

15. Grape

Nothing is more comforting and nostalgic than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The peanut butter should be creamy, the bread should be white, and the jelly should be grape. Why? This is the trio that's honestly the best callback to simpler times. Try the Grape Jell-O flavor to embrace childhood in full force. Leave out the bread and peanut butter, and focus on the grape jelly. 

Thanks to that very specific memory, grape is also likely to be the most satisfying choice after a long flight, on a sick day, or when there's nothing else on the schedule for an after-dinner snack to hit the spot. Another major bonus that you probably didn't pick up on as a kid? The affordability. Your inner child will be as satisfied as ever, and you can give your adult self a pat on the back for not spending your whole paycheck on one slice of cake.

14. Blueberry Pomegranate

This is one of the few Jell-O flavors that combines two different fruits in one convenient cardboard box: Blueberry Pomegranate has a little more depth of flavor than one is used to experiencing in a Jell-O. That might be a very good thing! Or, the complexity could be a small strike against this one, so we put the Blueberry Pomegranate lower on our ranking list, because sometimes we're just after a sweet treat with a berry brightness.

Blueberries are typically a subtler berry than cherries or strawberries. But if you eat a really good, in-season wild blueberry, you'll reconsider this underestimated fruit. Then there's pomegranate, which literally has mythical associations (ever read the ancient Greek story of Hades and Persephone?). Its blood red seeds offer tart, bold juice and a satisfying crunch — and with this Jell-O flavor, you won't have to make it past that hard shell. If the idea of getting these complimentary tastes together in an easy-to-eat Jell-O is exciting to you, be sure to try this sophisticated flavor.

13. Fruit Punch

Punch can be whatever you want it to be as long as it ends up resembling something like fruit juice. Alcohol, sparkling beverages, real fruit chunks, and bitters, are all negotiable. Punch can mean something very grown-up or something completely childlike and can be found at weddings, parties, bar-mitzvahs, or pretty much any celebration. But, despite the ubiquity of the flavor, Fruit Punch Jell-O is hard to find at a grocery store.

Honestly, the dominant flavors that come out in this gelatin treat are red strawberries, red raspberries, red cherries, and maybe some red-skinned apples turned into juice. It's a nondescript but highly approachable Jell-O flavor — but very red. It's not the favorite since it's sort of bland. Also, the Fruit Punch Jell-o ranks lower on this list because it is hard to find. But, if you do find it and mix it up, it will be a fabulous flavor to dress up with seasonal fresh fruit in shades of red.

12. Mango

One of the splashy tropical Jell-O flavors comes in mango, a twist out of left field that hits your taste buds front and center. One Amazon reviewer says, "Mango Jell-O should be more ubiquitous, but it's really hard to find at stores. It's an incredibly versatile flavor for whatever you are looking to use it in." And you know that it must be worth talking about if someone uses the word "ubiquitous" in an online review.

You might not know this, but a mango is considered a stone fruit, thanks to its pit. All around this frustrating pit, however, is an incredibly sweet, juicy fruit. When perfectly ripe, mango is almost creamy and can serve as a dessert in and of itself. But if you like your fruit at breakfast, hold your desserts sacred, and crave the freshness of mango, this gelatin will hit the spot. Mango Jell-O would also be a great flavor to use in recipes that call for Jell-O with a tropical flavor.

11. Tropical Fusion

Like the aforementioned Fruit Punch Jell-O, Tropical Fusion doesn't lean on a single fruit for its flavor. Instead, it tastes more like a blend of general fruitiness in the same vein as a Capri Sun or a smoothie. The ingredient list claims it "contains less than 2% of natural or artificial flavor", so it's not clear what makes this Jell-O flavor tropical. But, if we are to go by what the front of the box says, the flavors are a combination of cherry, orange, and pineapple flavors.

Whatever the case this is a crowd pleasing Jell-O that kids would flock to, and adults might prefer to something that somewhat unsuccessfully tries to replicate a perfect natural fruit. Speaking of adults, if you want more of that sweet tropical flavor in a mature beverage, give the Jungle Bird Tropical Cocktail recipe a try. With rum, lime, and pineapple, it's definitely on theme.

10. Island Pineapple

Now this is the perfect tropical twist on a familiar favorite! Bright and sunny and bursting with flavor, you'll feel like you're at a vacation resort with Island Pineapple, which is basically an unconventional version of a piña colada. One reviewer reports, "This is great! It tastes just like pineapple. I love how easy it is to make, and a great anytime snack. This is a fun summer treat!" It's definitely one of the best standalone flavors, earning it a high rank on this list. 

That being said, using this Island Pineapple flavor would be a great idea in any Jell-O recipes, especially if it's getting served up at an island-themed party. Besides, if you're not lucky enough to have a cruise to the Hawaii in your future, a snack that brings your taste buds there softens the blow. This is another one of those harder flavors to find on the grocery store shelves, so placing an online order is a good way to ensure you get to try this one. It's definitely worth the purchase beyond simply warmer weather. Nothing like Jell-O to put a little spring in your step when wearing those heavy winter boots!

9. Watermelon

If you make a batch of this Watermelon Jell-O, then leave the house on a hot summer day and forget about it, your future self will be really grateful. Think about it: coming home after a long day, opening the fridge wearily looking for a snack, and discovering the most refreshing, cooling treat waiting for its moment to shine. Oh, and best of all? It's perfectly pink!

The fun, rosy color is a nice change of pace for Jell-O, and it just begs to be shown off in some artful rainbow at a kid's party under a cluster of pink balloons. Watermelon would also be a real joy served in little plastic cups, poolside, in the middle of a long day swimming in the sunshine (literally and metaphorically.) But don't worry, it's not ranked this highly just for the undeniable aesthetic appeal. Watermelons have an inherent candy-like sweetness to them, so channeling that flavor into Jell-O was an excellent idea. Think about a pink starburst in Jell-O form, but make it far more refreshing, and you're getting close to pinning down this one!

8. Cranberry

A lot of people by now love to hate, and maybe even hate to love, Midwesterners' penchants for "dessert salads" that aren't really salads at all: ham salad, German potato salad, macaroni salad, Ambrosia salad, and most importantly for this ranking list, Jell-O salad. Mold it. Fold it into cottage cheese. Mix it up with canned fruit, or add pretzels or pecans. You can have a ball looking up vintage recipes that the residents of Wisconsin or Minnesota prize highly indeed. In fact, some of these creations become centerpieces worthy of the Thanksgiving table after the turkey makes the rounds. 

Maybe it sort of makes sense, because if you're so stuffed after dinner but still want something sweet, Jell-O is ideal. If you do decide to go this conversation-worthy route at your next Thanksgiving, at least make yours with Cranberry Jell-O, so everyone knows you still understood the assignment. More tart than some of the others on this list, Cranberry Jell-O is like that jellied, canned sauce you buy once a year, only now, fully embracing its resemblance to straight-up Jell-O dessert. 

7. Apricot

Well, aren't you a fancy one with your apricot-flavored gelatin dessert? Apricots are a member of the stone fruit family, meaning they have a pit in the center, alongside familiar favorites like the peach and the plum. Why are there never plum-flavored food varieties out there? Okay, yes, there's plum sauce, but that's a whole other ball game. Apricots are the stars of some gorgeous French desserts and go quite well with other subtler delicacies like almonds.

Now there's a bright idea; embrace the nonchalance, je-ne-sais-quois of Apricot Jell-O by topping it with sliced almonds and whipped cream. You can even go with homemade whipped cream if you're just that extra (or choose Reddi Whip Extra Creamy instead.) This flavor isn't as punchy as Cherry, wacky as Watermelon, or challenging as Blueberry Pomegranate; instead it's a lovely mellow Jell-O flavor for anyone who considers themselves vaguely mature or something along those lines. Think outside the box and buy this flavor. 

6. Blackberry Fusion

Blackberries are some of our favorite fruits. They have a sweet yet tart flavor and usually arrive in huge, juicy clusters. Surprisingly, the Blackberry Fusion Jell-O does a great job capturing all those sun-drenched fruity notes. It seems a little less artificial, and also less sweet, than other Jell-O flavors, but maybe that's just the nature of blackberry flavors. 

If you happen to spot this rare Jell-O flavor on your local grocery store shelves, grab it while you can. And if you can't find it, but you love the unique, mellow taste of ripe blackberries, don't sleep on baking with them. Think of the humble pie: Cherry and apple pies are all over the place, but blackberries fly under the radar in comparison. Give them some attention by baking an elegant yet rustic Honey Blackberry Sage Pie. If you don't have that much time on your hands, try whipping up some Buttermilk Blackberry Scones.

5. Peach

No fruit really encapsulates summer like a fresh, ripe peach plucked from a heavily-laden tree in a Southern backyard. A little dimpled, colored like an August sunset, fuzzy like your favorite worn sweater you'll rediscover in only a matter of weeks ... it's a whole vibe. But even if you don't get your peaches from Georgia, you can enjoy a bite of lazy, hazy summer days with a refreshing splash of Peach Jell-O. 

It's always worth mentioning that, as with any fruit, the window for keeping peaches fresh is a narrow one indeed. So stock up on Peach Jell-O to get the sweetness of this pie-ready fruit in a squishy, convenient form — even the skeptical kids in your life will enjoy this top-ranking flavor without complaint. It's probably a good idea to order this one online, since it can be a harder one to find than, say, strawberry or lime.

4. Melon Fusion

If you ask a group of people what their favorite fruit is, you will probably hear the usual favorites like strawberries, apples, and blueberries. What you will probably not hear is any kind of melon. When you see a fruit salad, the last pieces remaining are usually the squares of melon. That could be in large part because melon is often served in hard under-ripe flavorless lumps. But, melons, including honeydew cantaloupe and more, are woefully underrated. A perfectly ripe melon is delicious, and so is this Melon Fusion Jell-O flavor.

When you think about it, ripe melon is so juicy that it isn't too far from squishy Jell-O. It also has so much natural sweetness that making a gelatin dessert out of it doesn't mess too much with the authentic flavor. You will be as surprised as we are to find that melon is a refreshing treat.

3. Cherry Lemonade

Lemonade is the summer drink. There's nothing more refreshing on a hot day than a sip of the classic beverage sold at kids' sidewalk stands. And, the Cherry Lemonade Jell-O tries to capture that flavor with a twist and makes for a nice change of pace. It's mostly cherry flavored, with lots of bright, summery sweetness. But, that touch of acidic and citrusy lemon flavor takes it to the next level. However, those lemony notes could have been double-strength, though. It would be even better if it tasted more like cherry-spiked lemonade than just slightly zestier cherry.

By the way, upgrading a basic lemonade is super easy and yields disproportionately delicious results. You can take a leaf out of Jell-O's book and go for cherries, or choose something more elegant and herbal like mint or lavender. Your summer is about to get a lot more interesting! 

2. Strawberry

Strawberry Jell-O is completely classic. While Jell-O isn't the most wholesome dessert in the universe, at least it doesn't have high-fructose corn syrup! Also, there really is something homespun about a big bowl (or Tupperware, or baking dish, or whatever else is lying around) of radioactively red gelatin sitting in the fridge. Maybe your Mom had nothing else in the pantry, or no energy left after a long day of doing everything under the sun, and a dessert for her kids was an afterthought. Jell-O saved the day because it takes so little time and effort to whip up. Now, strawberry serves as such a nostalgic Jell-O flavor.

Other than the aforementioned grape, strawberry makes the most familiar flavor of jam, which makes it a no-brainer for a Jell-O that anyone can get behind. Life can be so sweet if you just let it, or, if you just mix up some Strawberry Jell-O.

1. Orange

This refreshing Orange Jell-O ranks high on our list of best Jell-O flavors for many reasons. Orange really does make perfect sense, when you think about it: Oranges are likely responsible for the most beloved juice, so why wouldn't that make for the most beloved flavor of Jell-O? Citrus fruits are some of the zestiest and liveliest fruits you can buy. They are reliably edible, but does anything beat a fresh orange from a roadside stand in the South? If that wholesome dream is unattainable at the moment, stash a box of Orange Jell-O in your pantry so you can have a taste of sunshine that doesn't go bad.

This Jell-O flavor doesn't try to pull off a big surprise of flavor, but that's no reason to reach for the more obscure flavors every single time. Once in a while, just go for a standby like orange or strawberry, and get a squishy bite of nostalgic childhood joy. And to sum it all up, perhaps the best Amazon comment to end with is: "This is my bed time snack."


Since many Jell-O flavor packs are only available in some regions, states, and stores, we were not able to try every single one of them ourselves. Thus, the ranking is based on both personal experience and research into customer reviews. But, if the chance to taste all of the above flavors in the future were to present itself to us in some sort of bouncy technicolor fever dream, well, we wouldn't say no.