Green Jello Salad Recipe

Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski | Kitchen Gidget

Green jello salad with pineapple and cream cheese tastes like your childhood memories! This classic side dish is a beautiful addition to a special meal and only takes minutes to prepare!

If you love green Jello salad or even if you don't, you need to trust me and give this potluck favorite a try at your next party or picnic.

This particular lime jello salad recipe has no cottage cheese, but does include options for using lemon jello and how to make it with or without Cool Whip.

Basically Jello salad is a thing. If you love it, you love it - and this particular green Jello salad recipe is a total hit that you can switch up as you deem fit.

Green Jello Salad Photo

What Is Jello Salad?

Jello salad is an American dessert or side dish salad made with flavored gelatin, fruit, and sometimes grated carrots or even nuts. It's a unique combination!

Jello salad may also contain cottage cheese, cream cheese, marshmallows, nuts, or pretzels for added flavoring. Yes. I said cottage cheese.

Extremely popular in the 1950s and 1960s, Jello salad recipes are now widely considered “retro” dishes making them a really fun addition to themed parties.

Grandma’s green Jello made an appearance at every Thanksgiving, along with her rice dressing and candied yams with marshmallows.

I didn’t appreciate it as a child, but I also didn’t appreciate the genius of cranberry sauce either and now I know better on both fronts.

Why Do People Make Jello Salad?

If you’ve never had green Jello salad you probably think it’s weird, and on a baseline I can understand why one would find Jello salad to be entirely odd.

That said, if you grew up eating green Jello salad then you know exactly how essential Jello salad is to a holiday like Easter or even a potluck supper!

Jello salads became popular because they are extremely economical. Housewives could stretch their budgets while serving up a delicious Jello salad.

Because Jello already includes sugar, this expensive ingredient (at the time) did not need to be added in order to make dessert the family would love.

They also just make a great addition to the table - Jello salad adds the perfect touch of sweetness to a savory meal, along with a hint of tropical tang.

Believe it or not, in the 1950s Jello salads were also a bit of a status symbol as refrigerators were expensive so making a refrigerated salad was a big deal.

Green Jello Salad Picture

Ingredients for Green Jello Salad

There are many lime Jello salad recipes out there, but the basics include boxed lime gelatin and crushed pineapple. For this recipe, you will need:

  • Lime gelatin – You can use one large box or two small boxes. Grandma would often use one small box of lime and one small box of lemon. The combo takes this to another level!
  • Cream cheese – For tang, Grandma used cream cheese. I’ve seen other recipes using cottage cheese or mayo, but it doesn’t have that tart component that really makes this green Jello salad so delicious.
  • Crushed pineapple – Use canned, crushed pineapple but don’t drain the juice. It adds flavor to the salad instead of using all water.
Green Jello Salad Image

How to Make Lime Jello Salad

You can find the full recipe below, but these are all the steps with detailed tips for making this family favorite epicurean delight.

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water. This takes about 2 minutes so don’t rush. Keep whisking!
  2. Whisk in the cream cheese until well blended and fully combined. Small chunks may remain which is fine.
  3. Mix in the crushed pineapple along with the juices (don’t drain it!) and 1/2 cup cold water.
  4. Pour the Jello mixtured into your desired serving dish. Sometimes grandma used a bowl, sometimes she used a fancy mold.
  5. Cover your Jello salad and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until set.

Tips for Making Jello Salad

This salad is really beautiful made in a bundt pan or a 13x9 glass dish. It can be cut into slices to serve. Or you can mash it up and eat it the way we do!

I also want to say that there is no Cool Whip in this recipe, but it's always an option to add Cool Whip if that is your personal preference for Jello salad.

If you want a sweeter, fluffier salad you can certainly fold in a small container (8 ounces) of Cool Whip right before refrigerating your salad mixture.

Lastly, I always add pecans as a final garnish. I swear my grandma added chopped pecans when I was a kid, but my mom insists she never did.

Note: Raw, fresh pineapple cannot be added to a gelatin-based salad.

Pineapple contains an enzyme that will dissolve the gelatin - use cooked or canned pineapple in Jello recipes for the desired outcome.

Do you like it with or without nuts? I’d love to hear your take below!

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Green Jello Salad Recipe

    8 Servings


  • 2 small box Lime Gelatins, (3.4oz each)
  • 2 cups Boiling Water
  • 1 8 ounce package Cream Cheese, well softened and cubed
  • 1 8 ounce can Crushed Pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup Cold Water
  • Chopped Pecans, for garnish (optional)


  1. Dissolve the gelatin in 2 cups boiling water, about 2 minutes.
  2. Vigorously whisk in the cream cheese until well blended. Small pieces may remain.
  3. Mix in the crushed pineapple (along with the juices) and 1/2 cup cold water.
  4. Pour into desired serving dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until set. Garnish with pecans, if desired.



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Related Recipes:
Cheese Recipes, Lime Recipes, Pineapple Recipes, Cream Cheese Recipes, Chilled Recipes, Pecan Recipes, Easy Recipes, Salad Recipes, Potluck Recipes, Picnic Recipes
Recipe Yields:
8 servings
Prep Time:
Chill Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski
Recipe Yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 125 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 30
Calories 136

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g
  Saturated Fat 6g
Sodium 109mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 9g
Protein 3g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski

About Rebekah

Rebekah is the blogger behind Kitchen Gidget, an all-encompassing food blog dedicated to her Midwestern roots and Hispanic heritage. She adores cheese (who doesn't?!), so we asked her to be our Cheese fanatic. Time to get excited!

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