Tomato Aspic

by Lana Stuart on August 5, 2011 · 36 comments

Tomato Aspic

Okay, go ahead and call me old-fashioned. I can take it. Really.

Yes, I’m going way back in time today with this recipe for Tomato Aspic. It’s one of those classic recipes that you rarely see any more, but one which I wish more people would serve. I remember many, many ladies luncheons, bridal showers and other occasions from my young adult years where Tomato Aspic was an important part of the menu. It was served as either a side dish salad or as the first course and usually atop a few butter lettuce leaves. But always with a tiny dollop of mayonnaise. Always. Some cooks make aspic with tomato juice, but I’ve always liked this recipe that uses halved tomatoes that keep their shape in the finished dish. I most often mold my aspic in a loaf pan because I usually serve it in little squares, but you can use a ring mold as well and fill the center with chicken salad or something similar. It’s also a nice touch to make a flavored mayonnaise for the garnish. Aioli is great with tomato aspic. So is a shrimp flavored mayo or just a simple lemon and herb mayonnaise. The aspic would also be very pretty with a variety of heirloom tomatoes of different colors.

I wish I had the time (and the inclination) to make a tomato aspic the really old-fashioned way using lovely beef bones that are roasted and then slow cooked to make a gorgeous, delicious gelee. Ripe tomatoes and finely chopped aromatic vegetables are placed in the gelee and chilled in a mold. I’ve only had the really old-fashioned aspic a couple of times and it is truly luscious. Maybe when I retire I can spend two days making tomato aspic, but for now I’ll use this recipe with its gelatin method. It’s very good, too.

You’ll need 4 or 5 very ripe, juicy tomatoes. Peel and core the tomatoes and cut them in half. Put the tomatoes in a measuring cup and press down firmly so that the tomatoes fill all the air spaces in the cup. You want about two cups of halved tomatoes.

Spoon out about two tablespoons of the tomato juice into a small bowl. Add the gelatin and mix it well with the juice. Put about half of the tomatoes and the gelatin into a medium saucepan and bring it just to a boil, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining tomatoes, salt and pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire, parsley and celery leaves. Stir to combine well.

Tomato Aspic in mold

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan or small mold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

To serve, dip the mold into hot tap water for just 3 or 4 seconds.

Tomato Aspic inverted for serving

Invert the aspic onto a serving dish or cutting board. Serve the aspic sliced with a scant teaspoon of mayonnaise as garnish.


Tomato Aspic
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fresh tomatoes with celery and parsley in gelatin
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 4 or 5 very ripe, medium tomatoes
  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tblsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tblsp. finely chopped celery leaves
  • Mayonnaise for garnish
  1. Peel and core the tomatoes.
  2. Cut them in half and press them into a measuring cup. You should have two cups of firmly packed tomatoes with their juice.
  3. Spoon out about two tablespoons of the tomato juice into a small bowl. Add the gelatin and mix it well with the juice.
  4. Put half the tomatoes and the gelatin into a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining tomatoes, salt and pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire, parsley and celery leaves. Stir to combine well.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan or small mold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  7. Serve the aspic sliced with a scant teaspoon of mayonnaise as garnish.
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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sippitysup August 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Call me old fashioned too. That is so beautiful. GREG


2 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks, Greg. Aspic does always look so pretty on the plate, doesn’t it?


3 Mari @ Mari's Cakes August 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

It is a beautiful recipe, it is new to me. I am glad I visited your blog today.

Have a great weekend ;)


4 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Hi Mari – I’m glad I could share something new with you. I’ve visited your beautiful blog, too, and found so many wonderful recipes there! I’ll be trying some soon.


5 Kathleen August 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

This is really lovely! Guess I’m in the old fashion club too! Happy weekend to you!


6 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Thanks, Kathleen. A great weekend to you, too.


7 Lizzie in LA August 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm

My Mom used to make something very similar to this. She would now be 104, so I guess it’s really old fashioned. But then again so am I. Thank you so very much for this memory-provoking recipe. You’ve got to season the mayo!!


8 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Hi Lizzie. I did suggest several different versions of seasoned mayonnaise that you could use. However, the classic presentation is with a very good, usually homemade, plain mayo.


9 Lucy@acookandherbooks August 6, 2011 at 7:22 am

This is old-fashioned in the best way! When we cleaned out my grandmother’s house after she passed away, I got the aspic molds. Tiny tin molds held together with a green rubber band. I’ve never made aspic – you’ve inspired me to get out the molds and try!


10 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Aspic molds are one of the few kitchen things that I don’t have, Lucy. I’ve seen them many times in antique stores but never brought them home with me. Maybe I’ll pick up a set next time.


11 Alice Beth August 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

while searching the web for a particular cake pan for my sister, I found the site….oh my, I could waste so much time and money there, but they have ……aspic cutters…..never heard of them before, though I have eaten my share of tomato aspic.


12 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

That’s a really great site, Alice Beth. I had not seen it before so thanks for letting me know about it.


13 Brenda August 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

I have an old church recipe book w/ something similar to this in it. That recipe calls for a can of tomato soup *gag* but THIS version looks delightful! :D


14 Lana August 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Brenda – Yes, during the mid-century timeframe tomato aspic got a really bad name from the use of tomato soup or vegetable juice instead of nice ripe, juicy tomatoes. I much prefer this recipe – it’s a lot older than the tomato soup/veggie juice versions :-)


15 Brenda August 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm

it’s nice to have your pics as my mental image when I come across that recipe next time…Thanks for sharing!


16 Jocelyn August 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Oh my, you’re so going to shoot me, but I cannot abide tomato aspic. When I was young, my Mother used to make tomato aspic & other gastly veggie molds a lot, as my Father loved them. We, my brother & I who disliked them, had to eat them as there was no such thing as not eating what was put in front of you.
If we dared to refuse eating the food on our plates, my Fathers rule was we had to sit at the table (sometimes for hours) until we finally gave in and ate what was now, a horrid looking mess.
That’s my memory of tomato aspic & any other jellied veggie dish. *shudder!*
But, even though I’m not a fan, I bet you’ll have many readers who will be, after trying your recipe!


17 Lana August 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Well, Jocelyn – “to each his own” as they say.


18 Jocelyn August 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Oh I have a feeling you might have taken my post the wrong way Lana. I truly didn’t mean to offend. I saw your aspic and it brought back an old memory I’d not thought about in years. Hence my explanation of my mothers obsession with aspic. I do apologize if what I said upset you.


19 Lana August 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Not at all, Jocelyn. Not everyone is going to like every recipe. No problem!


20 claudia lamascolo August 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

This is truly elegant what a amazing looking aspic, just perfectly done. I love these flavors in this!


21 Drick August 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm

well I’ll be…. this is such a classic, a real ringer… the real deal in other words… I am not a big fan of tomato aspic as some folks serve it up, all shaped in cute little molds with tart, tangy overtones in a base of beef bullion… but reads and looks to be the best aspic I have seen… got get to making it soon… gonna tell everyone my Georgian cousin gave me the recipe…


22 Tres Delicious August 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Never heard of an aspic but I would definitely go with this tomatoes brilliantly prepared.


23 Robert August 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for this recipe, can’t wait to try it out.


24 Georgia Pellegrini August 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm

So fun! I haven’t made this since culinary school but the tomatoes are really ripening so maybe it’s time to go for it again.


25 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective August 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

Truth be told, I’ve never made an aspic. Gelatin sort of weirds me out, BUT upon your recommendation, I’ll give it a try. :)


26 Tom from Florida: December 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

Any information on origional tomato aspic and where to purchase the Royal tomato aspic type gelatin, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


27 Lavonne Gould March 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Is there anywhere I can buy aspic? I used to get it from the grocery store, but can’t find it anymore. It came in a can. Thank you.


28 Lana March 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Sorry, but I don’t know. I’ve never purchased aspic in a can – I just make it from this recipe.


29 Lana R October 16, 2012 at 1:10 am

Lana! It’s Lana. :)

My mother used to make tomato-juice based aspic every Thanksgiving and I loved it as a child. I’ve made it a few times as an adult, but I confess it’s never really caught on with my 20-something-aged friends. I’m happy to see a version using whole tomatoes in a smaller size that I could enjoy myself over a few days. The mayo topper sounds like a win too! I am enjoying pouring over your recipes and website.

Lana in Seattle


30 Dawn J February 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Showed this to my daughter (13 yrs old). She laughed and said, “It’s a jellied Bloody Mary!” I had to agree with her, laughing all the while. This is a great basic Aspic recipe. Makes me want to make up some sinfully rich shrimp salad (maybe lobster, if I feel flush), and serve it with a scoop of the seafood salad on top. Thanks for the inspiration!


31 Lana Stuart February 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

You’re right, Dawn, this aspic would be wonderful served with a seafood salad! It’s a classic recipe that I always enjoy making in warm weather.


32 KC from Cayce January 17, 2015 at 7:15 am

I made this delicious recipe for Christmas and a couple of times since. Instead of mayonnaise, I mixed together cream cheese and sour cream. WOW!


33 Lana Stuart January 17, 2015 at 9:52 am

Sounds great!


34 Belva April 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I have these beautiful little molds, hold about 1/2 cup. My question: how is best way to grease molds? I have my mother in law’s recipe. Am making 100 tomato aspic molds for my grandson’s wedding rehearsal supper..


35 Lana Stuart April 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm

I’d probably try spraying them with cooking spray – like Pam.


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