Tomato Aspic


My Christmas heaping helping!


While aspics date back to the middle ages, with a detailed recipe of aspic being written in 1375, in the U.S. aspics were all the rage in the 1950’s.  Here in the south, we cling to such throw-back recipes.  You know the ones! The Lord-save-us-from-canned-onion-rings-and-cream of mushroom soup-Green-Bean-Casserole?  And, those oh-no-it’s-not-really-mini-marshmallows-in-green-jello salads that Aunt Gertie-Ann insists on bringing to every family gathering? Yes.  Those.

In the south, these tend to be staples; they are the wallpaper glue that holds a holiday meal together…not only for those who love them, but for those who love to snark about them.

Tomato Aspic is one of those dishes.

As a child, tomato aspic was one of the dishes served at holidays which was to be avoided at all costs. Those who know me well will testify, I call ’em like I see ’em…and, I’ll admit, it’s an acquired taste. Somehow though, at some point, I fell in love with the aspic.  I longed for holidays when I could pull out the tattered card from my recipe box and make tomato aspic. Now, as a matter of fact, I prefer that people not want to try it as that leaves more for my greedy little pie hole!

I like to think of tomato aspic as a congealed bloody mary; so, what’s not to love?

Recently, and perhaps as my age has advanced and I figure I can do whatever the hell I want, I’ve taken to making tomato aspic often; NOT just on holidays.  Who made that rule anyway? That certain things were ONLY for holidays?  Heh…forget that!  There is something so amazingly refreshing about this savory, filled with crunchy vegetables, jellied salad. It’s perfect for any ol’ time!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tomato Aspic
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tomato Aspic is a savory jellied salad of tomato juice and vegetables. It's a throw-back recipe from, likely, the 1950's.
Serves: 15
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2½ cups green pepper, diced
  • 2½ cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 packages Knox Unflavored Gelatin
  • ⅔ cups water
  1. Place first seven ingredients into heavy sauce pan.
  2. Heat to ALMOST a boil.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Dissolve gelatin in water and stir into the contents of the sauce pan.
  5. Pour into a bowl or a mold that has been sprayed with Pam.
  6. Refrigerate until set. Overnight is best.


When un-molding the aspic, let it sit out of the refrigerator for a few minutes.  Invert a plate on the top of the mold and flip the whole kit and kaboodle over.   Oh!  AND!  A dollop of Duke’s mayonnaise on the top?  Well, you might just want to consider that as a garnish.




About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
This entry was posted in Salads, Savory Gelatins. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Tomato Aspic

  1. Bill Powell says:

    I am 71 years old and remember a dish from my southern relatives at holidays made of aspic, asparagus and hardboiled eggs. I detested it then but long for it now. I think the aspic had a beefy flavor. Would you know of a recipe for this dish? It was presented usually in a rectangular casserole with low sides and the eggs were sliced and floated amongst the asparagus. I would appreciate it if you could steer me in the right direction towards finding a recipe for this.

    • P~ says:

      Oh…I know just what you’re talking about! I am guessing that it is kind of like this:

      Although this calls for chicken stock, if you used beef stock it would more resemble the dish you remember.

      • DLW says:

        IF you’re still there: see any reason why I can’t take your basic tomato aspic recipe (above), which seems to be as good as if not better than, mine, and simply cut the tomato juice with beef bouillon – – say, 75 tomato to 25 beef, and just go on with it?

        And: what, as a topping. A tricked-out mayonnaise variant? Any suggestions? I need it for this weekend . . .

    • Allen Rudolph says:

      My mom is 96 and loved canned tomato aspic. It disappeared from the shelves years ago. I think it was Vermont Country Store catalog that used to sell it and Mom used to order but then even that source ended. I hated the stuff along with her jello perfection salad.
      It is funny you brought it up that you hated it as a kid but long for it now. Mom served it the same way she served her perfection salad, on a lettuce leaf with a dollop of mayonnaise on top. Sooooo fancy. Thank you Saucy Southerner and Bill Powell, I’m going to make a batch for Mom and go all out with the mayo blob and lettuce. I long for it, strange huh?

      • Allen, I think it’s the sweetest thing that you’re going to make this for your momma! So sweet! I’m sure she will love it, lettuce leaf, blob of mayonnaise (that is how to serve it) and all. But…I’m sure what she’ll love more is you making the effort. Good job!

  2. Pingback: Tomato Aspic | Inepti*Food

  3. claire says:

    i have only recently discovered the ‘millions’ of recipes that i can access on the computer! (i just discovered the exact recipe for an icebox fruitcake
    from the 50’s, a key ingredient for which i had forgotten) .
    i grew up in the 40’s and 50’s and each holiday ate and loved my grandmother’s tomato aspic. most recipes i have found have lemon jello as the base. (yuck!) the only one close to hers comes from the Farmington Cookbook. your recipe, on this site, seems
    very similar to my grandmother’s. the only difference i notice is….this southern family from the piedmont of south carolina also adds pecans and sliced green olives.
    i look forward to trying other recipes from the saucy southerner. thanks, c

  4. WyomingWillie (aka John) says:

    Great – I was trying to reproduce an old recipe my mother handed down but I am at this moment 1400 miles away from her recipe book – so I was trying to reassemble from memory, but low and behold, no more mind tricks needed now that you (and others) have posted so many recipes. The only interesting difference is my mother started the recipe with actual tomato sauce, in fact, I had used spaghetti sauce successfully. What do you think of that variation, of course, it ends up more opaque, yours would be more clear, but it also ends up thicker.
    Of course, I should just throw caution to the wind and make a batch of each one, and “test market” with my coworkers on an impromptu “pitch in”. I just thought I’d see if you had a thought on that alternative. Otherwise, your recipe is virtually identical (as best I remember it). Thanks for sharing!

    • John, Actually tomato sauce is just a more concentrated version of tomato juice. For instance, if you added water to tomato sauce, you’d get tomato juice. The tomato juice makes an opaque aspic, too. I think sauce would work beautifully. It would probably be more tomato-ey tasting. Thanks so much for commenting and I hope you try this one and tell me if it compares to your mother’s recipe. Best, P~

  5. Judy Weigand says:

    I make this aspic in small muffin tins. I use it to top a salad of field greens and then put a big dollop of Green Goddess dressing on top. This is a huge hit at dinner parties, even with people who say they can’t stand tomato aspic. I usually put tiny bay shrimp, olives, onion and celery in my aspic.

  6. Judy W says:

    I forgot to tell you that I use a combo of Original V8 and Spicy V8 instead of tomato juice. Also, you have to try it with Green Goddess Dressing!

  7. I love Tomato Aspic, my mother served it with lettuce, cottage cheese, and I liked a little Thousand Island dressing, yummy.
    I can’t wait to make this, I can’t even find it on the grocery store shelves anymore, anywhere.

  8. Margaret Hendley says:

    Have you ever heard of a tuna tomato aspic mold? My mother used to make it years and years ago. I can’t remember the recipe…help!? Peggy Hendley

  9. Douglas says:

    After seeing dozens of aspic creations, both as a sixties kid and as pictured in our collection of Better Homes & Gardens magazines from 1940-1970, I’ve finally starting making my own. It’s 106 in Sacramento right now, so these are nice and cool. Your recipe looks great, I will use it tomorrow. I’m layering my auspices in loaf pans right now. They’re fun to decorate! Thanks for posting your aspic for us.

  10. Jeremy says:

    I love tomato aspic !!!! My husband is not a fan. The only tomatoes he likes are in ketchup. Poor man.
    Made some today using spicy Bloody Mary mix, tomato juice, Rotel Tomatoes, lime juice and zest, celery, green onions, and parsley (didn’t have cilantro). Maybe add vodka next time. (No kids at home)
    Now I wait…I think sour cream with scattered green onions for the top.

  11. Beverly Davis says:

    Do you mean 2 1/2 cups of green oepper or 2 2/2 green peppers for the aspic?

  12. bo says:

    My tomato aspic was way too firm! I was expecting a gelatin (jiggly) result. Please help……………..

    • Bo, What do you mean too firm? Mine is always gelatin (jiggly). One thing you could do is to heat it, add more tomato juice, stir, reset.

      • bo says:

        That makes sense. The reheating thing is ingenious! I would not have been bold enough to try that without a suggestion. I just started researching gelatin recipes and the savory ones fascinate me. Thanks

  13. Melanie says:

    I just made the aspic, it is in the fridge right now. I wonder if I should have drained the peppers , etc out before refrigerating?

  14. Gilbert Simon says:

    I’ve got an ancient Creole recipe booklet that has a tomato aspic with artichoke hearts,but I was wondering if the pickled kind or frozen would be best? Any ideas?

  15. Pingback: Tomato Aspic – At Home With Kayla Price

  16. Sally K. Bales says:

    Are you familiar with a jello recipe that included lemon/lime jello, chopped cabbage, cottage cheese and ginger ale or 7 up? When first presented, I thought yuck – was I surprised. It was like a very refreshing coleslaw. Lost the recipe and wondered if you might be familiar? Thanks in advance. Sally

    • Sally, I’m not familiar with that recipe. It sounds awful! But, so does tomato aspic! 😉 Actually, I had a friend growing up whose mother made a lime jello thing with cottage cheese and pineapple. I don’t remember the cabbage in there, though. These old recipes are making a comeback, so maybe someone will post it. Good luck in your search. Let me know if you come across it…I’d love to try it. I’m game for anything! P~

    • J Kellogg says:

      Do an internet search for Perfection Salad. It fits the description of the gelatin cabbage salad you describe. Knox had a recipe contest way back when and Perfection Salad was one of the winners. Lots of variations by now. I’m sure you’ll find one that matches your memories.

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