By Nadia Hassani
May 31, 2019

What is Gelatin? What is Gelatin Made of?

Gelatin is a thickening agent made of the protein collagen. It is extracted by boiling the bones, skin and connective tissue of animals with water. Some brands use pork (porcine gelatin) and others use beef (bovine gelatin).

Powdered Gelatin
Photo by Allrecipes

What is Kosher Gelatin Made of?

Kosher gelatin is made of kosher animal sources such as kosher-slaughtered and processed beef, or from kosher fish species. While there is no overall consensus, according to most opinions, combining gelatin derived from fish sources with dairy foods is permitted under Jewish dietary laws.

Some brands of vegetable-gum based vegetarian gelatin are also labeled as kosher.

What is Vegan Gelatin Made of?

Vegan gelatin can be derived from different sources. Agar, agar-agar and kanten are based on red algae. Carrageenan, carrageen and Irish moss come from seaweed. A third type of vegan gelatin is vegetable gum derived from various vegetables and plant sources.

Not all types of vegetarian gelatin can be used interchangeably so always follow the specifics in the recipe.

What is Gelatin Made of in Gummy Bears and Marshmallows?

Depending on the brand, gummy bears and marshmallows are made with animal-based or plant-based vegan or kosher gelatin, which is indicated on the package.

What is Unflavored Gelatin?

Gelatin is always sold as unflavored gelatin. It is odorless, tasteless and colorless so it can be added to a wide range of sweet and savory dishes from molded salads to desserts.

How to Use Gelatin in Recipes

Time is of the essence when working with gelatin in gelatin salads and other recipes. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go. We cover this topic in more detail in an article called What's the Difference Between Powdered and Sheet Gelatin?

Some Favorite Gelatin Recipes

"This is the best finger gelatin recipe," says Alley. "It's simple to make, and kids love it! You can be very creative for parties or events by using cookie cutters to cut the gelatin. Enjoy! Use your favorite flavor of gelatin mix."

Fun Finger Gelatin
Photo by Alley

"A traditional, easy, and delicious Italian custard," says CHERYLA33. "It tastes just like the panna cotta served at Italian restaurants. Serve with warm hot fudge sauce and fresh raspberries on top. This keeps well for several days in the refrigerator."

Panna Cotta
Photo by Melissa Goff

Gelatin shows its savory side here. "This is my mom's famous Crab Dip that is easy to prepare and always a hit at every party," says Jeff Puchalski. "My favorite way is to serve with your favorite dip cracker. Enjoy!!"

Trudy's Super Deluxe Crab Dip
Photo by Deb C

"A simple quick dessert, I serve it in little tea cups or for a party, in disposable Champagne glasses," says A Wong.

Creamy Mango Pudding
Photo by Yoly

"Layered lemon-tomato aspic is a chilled jellied salad with a punch of sweet and tart flavors," says Culinary Envy.

Layered Lemon-Tomato Aspic
Photo by Culinary Envy

Check out our collection of Gelatin Salads.