This post first appeared on Yellow Bliss Road where I am a contributor
When it comes to potlucks, nothing beats Classic Lime Jello Salad for an easy to make side dish. While we call it a “salad” it’s really dessert in disguise!
What do you do when you don’t know what to bring to a potluck?
Do you have a go-to recipe you always bring? Mine is my mom’s buffalo chicken dip!
Well look no further, because this lime jello salad recipe is a retro recipe everyone will devour! It’s also crazy easy to prepare and you can make it day in advance. Love that for party prep! The hardest part of this recipe is being patient while the jello sets up.
When it comes to jello salad recipes, lime green jello salad is one of the most popular. It’s all over the vintage Jello cookbooks. Some salads are stuffed with lettuce, olives, and hard-boiled eggs. Others have lime jello salad with cottage cheese and topped with a seafood salad.
Luckily this is not one of those recipes.
What is lime jello salad?
Lime jello salad is a combination of gelatin, cream cheese, whipped topping, and fruit. It can be chilled in a casserole dish or a jello mold and then unmolded and sliced.
It’s so creamy – think luscious lime jello salad with cream cheese and pineapple and pears. Yummy!!
Jello Salad Ingredients
- Canned crushed pineapple
- Canned pear halves
- Lime gelatin mix
- Cream cheese
- Cool whip whipped topping
- Maraschino cherries
You can use whipped cream instead of whipped topping for the garnish on top if you want. However, the whipped cream breaks down pretty quickly because of the gelatin and I don’t recommend it.
How to make lime jello salad
- Whisk together some lime jello gelatin mix and 2 cups boiling water in a large bowl until the jello dissolves. Then add in a block of room temperature cream cheese. The regular kind NOT whipped cream cheese.
- Use your hand mixer to beat the softened cream cheese into the hot jello, carefully because the mixture will be very hot. Because of the bubbles that form on top it can be tricky to see if everything is mixed in. After about a minute of mixing you should be good.
- Pop the mixing bowl into your fridge for about an hour so the hot jello won’t melt the whipped topping. Use a whisk to stir and make sure that everything is incorporated. Add a whole 8-ounce tub of whipped topping to the bowl and whisk it into the jello mixture. Whisking works much easier than folding for this step.
- But speaking of folding, you want to fold the crushed pineapple you drained and diced pears into the jello. Pour the gelatin mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. The fruit will want to sink to the bottom of the bowl and plop into the middle of the casserole dish. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to spread the fruit into your salad.
- Put the casserole dish into the fridge for about 3 hours until the salad is set. Make sure to give your jello salad the proper time to chill so it will set properly. At this point, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap and store until you’re ready to serve.
- Take the jello salad out of the fridge and serve it up just like it is, or top it with dollops of whipped topping and a few cherries. The cherries must be rinsed and dried well before placing them. Otherwise, the cherry juice will bleed all over your whipped cream.
You can make this jello salad up to 24 hours in advance for potlucks and backyard BBQs. Just be sure to wait to garnish the top until your ready to serve. Or skip garnishing all together. I’m all about keeping it simple.
Pineapple goes really great with the lime jello I used for this recipe.
But if pineapple isn’t your thing, add more pears instead or substitute 2 cans of fruit cocktail. Make sure that the fruit is really well drained so it doesn’t add additional liquid to the jello.
Chopped pecans or walnuts add some great crunch as well.
There are SO many options to play with this salad and all the add-ins.
When did congealed salads become popular?
Jello salads and other congealed salads became super popular in the 1960s. Their introduction started in the 1950s, but they REALLY took off in the 60s due to their visual presentation, inexpensive ingredients, and diverse recipe options.
What flavors of jello are there?
There are SO many jello gelatin flavors out there.
Feel free to mix it up with the flavors of this salad. Strawberry, cherry, raspberry, or orange would all be great options here. Really, any fruit flavors work well for this type of mixed salad (and for a layered version like this Strawberry Pretzel Salad). Just swap out the fruit to match your jello flavor.
Grab a fork and dig into these no bake desserts!
- No Bake Chocolate Lasagna
- No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
- Fizzy Berries Jello Mold
- No Bake Orange Icebox Cake
- No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Pie
- Side dish recipes
Classic Lime Jello Salad Recipe
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple (1 can)
- 15 ounces pear halves (1 can)
- 6 ounces lime gelatin mix
- 2 cups boiling water
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 8 ounces whipped topping thawed
- Whipped topping for garnish
- Maraschino cherries for garnish
- Drain pineapple making sure to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside. Drain pears and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together gelatin and boiling water until the gelatin mix dissolves.
- Add cream cheese to the bowl, and use a hand mixer to blend the jello and cream cheese together until completely combined. Be careful! The jello is HOT. There will be lots of bubbles on top, that's okay.
- Place mixing bowl in the fridge for 1 hour.
- After jello has cooled, remove the bowl from the fridge. If the jello has started to set around the edges, use a whisk to mix everything up.
- Add whipped topping to the jello and whisk until combined and smooth. Fold the pineapple and pears into the jello mixture.
- Pour the jello salad into a 2-quart casserole dish. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 3 hours, or until set.
- Remove salad from the fridge and serve as is or top with dollops of whipped topping and cherries.