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PAC-MAN - Fruit and Tapioca Pearl Jello Salad

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Complexity: ★☆☆☆☆

Originally debuting in 1980, Pac-Man is one of the earliest gaming icons represented in Super Smash Bros. - he's as old school as old school gets! I wanted to reflect that by making a recipe with a "vintage" feel. One of the most quintessentially "old-school" dishes, in my opinion, are those super tacky Jell-O salads you see in old cookbooks from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. So I decided to make something along those lines - but hopefully a lot more appetizing than those old recipes, many of which are quite off-putting by today's standards!

Jell-o just has the right kind of fun and colorful feel that fits this classic arcade hero. I went for an orange-pineapple flavoured jelly to capture Pac-Man's striking yellow colour!

This recipe also works quite nicely because jello is just waiting to be filled with delicious fresh fruit - which happens to be a pretty iconic part of the original Pac-Man! While fleeing ghosts and scarfing down power pellets, players could nab various fruits to score extra points. The "bonus fruit" is also represented as Pac-Man's Neutral Special attack in Smash. I included each fruit from the original Pac-Man - cherry, strawberry, orange, apple, and melon - and a couple from Ms. Pac-Man as well (pear and banana)!

I also wanted to represent the yellow dots that Pac-Man famously munches - I thought a good way to do that would be with tapioca pearls, or boba! They were the perfect addition to add some unique, modern flair to the classic jello salad. They might be available at an Asian supermarket, but if not, you can buy them online, or even make your own!

This is a super easy and fun recipe, perfect for the simple-yet-addictive Pac-Man. This recipe makes enough jello to fill about 6 to 8 dishes, depending on the size of your bowls, making this a great dessert to serve for a crowd! You could also pour it all into one large mould or bundt pan, and serve it sliced like a cake. If you're not cooking for a party and want to make less, simply half the recipe.



  • 2 packets gelatin (about 1 tbsp each)

  • ½ cup boiled water

  • 2 cups pineapple juice

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • 1 cup water

  • The juice and zest of one lemon (optional, if you want it a bit zestier)

  • 1 cup small yellow or white tapioca pearls

  • 1 apple, cored and cubed

  • 1 pear, cored and cubed

  • 1 banana, sliced

  • ½ cup maraschino cherries, halved

  • ½ cup strawberries, chopped

  • ½ cup mandarin orange segments

  • ½ cup honeydew melon, cubed

  • Whipped cream, for serving


  1. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over gelatin and whisk together. Set aside.

  2. In a large pot, combine the fruit juices and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

  3. Add tapioca pearls and simmer until they are cooked through, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. This will probably take 10-15 minutes, but it will depend on the size of the pearls. (I also added the apple pieces about halfway through the pearls’ cooking time so they could get a little more tender.)

  4. Once the pearls are fully cooked, remove pot from heat and stir in the remaining fruit. Pour in the gelatin mixture, stir thoroughly so that it is fully incorporated, and then ladle the mixture into your serving vessels (I recommend glass ice cream bowls).

  5. Chill in the fridge until set, about 2-3 hours. Serve cold, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

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