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Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her daughter, Kaitlyn, of Danville.


Kaitlyn: This red, white and blue cheesecake salad is definitely our new go-to recipe for any summertime event. We took it to a picnic and it didn’t last long. 

This is such a delicious and refreshing dish, and it was a huge hit. We chose to use vanilla wafers and graham crackers as our dippers but anything would taste delicious with this. 

Another way to use this, rather than dipping, could be used as a topping on cakes, pancakes, waffles, or even just by itself. 

The most time consuming part about making this was hulling the strawberries and cutting them, but that still didn’t take too long. We’re already getting requests to make this again and there’s no way we wouldn’t. 

Vanessa: You know that signature dish that everyone requests you to make when you attend a gathering? I have a feeling this has become ours.  

As Kaitlyn mentioned, there are so many options and ways that you can adapt this recipe to carry the delicious flavors of summer into a multitude of dishes.  

One she didn’t mention would be to freeze this into an ice cream, popsicle, or even as ice cream sandwiches. With Independence Day right around the corner, show off the red, white, and blue ingredients and receive about as many ooh’s and ahh’s as the fireworks will when you serve this dish (or any variety of it) to your family and friends. Be prepared to make it again and again for the entire summer. 

As a side note: if you are not making this for a crowd, consider cutting the recipe in half, so it doesn’t get runny after sitting in the fridge for too long.


Red, White and Blue 

Cheesecake Salad

2 pounds of strawberries

1 pint blueberries

8-oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 cups powdered sugar

16-oz tub Cool Whip, thawed

2 cups mini marshmallows

Dippers — such as vanilla wafers, graham crackers, or animal crackers


Hull strawberries, and cut strawberries into small pieces about the same size as the mini marshmallows. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.  

Add half of the Cool Whip, then stir until smooth. Fold in the remaining Cool Whip. Fold in the strawberries, blueberries, and mini marshmallows. Serve. 

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