Carrot and Pineapple Salad – A Gelatin Recipe Test

Posted on Sep 12 2012 - 6:01am by RetroRuth


This week we have a recipe test that is, thankfully, short and sweet. Since we tested out a TON of recipes for our recent Gelatin Contest, I have a bunch of gelatin recipes stacked up and ready to go for you guys.  Which is kind of weird since I am used to busting my butt every week to get the Mid-Century Menu recipes made, photographed, tasted and photographed again so I can post them two weeks in the future. But for the last couple of months Tom and I have just been gliding along on our tested gelatin riches and enjoying our break.  Someone in the comments or on the contact page (I forget which) asked, “Do you guys ever take a health break?”

Happily, the answer is “Yes. Right now, actually.”

But that doesn’t mean the posting is stopping! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Carrot and Pineapple Salad!!


This is a classic, classic gelatin salad. Sometimes known as “Sunshine Salad” it is a mid-century gelatin salad that is actually good. Unlike Perfection Salad, which can be a bit weird sometimes.

This salad was submitted by Janet, who sent this recipe in a loooooong time ago in this lovely email:

I heard you asking for Jell-o recipes on the Joy Cardin show and had to submit my childhood favorite. Just combine lemon Jell-o with grated carrot and a small can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup. It makes such a pretty salad, and being brought up on it, I find it delicious. I make it whenever I want to remember my mom.
I enjoyed your show and plan to become one of your regular readers.

Glad you liked the show, Janet, and thanks for sending in the recipe!


Only one picture, really, since this salad is so easy to make. I even bought pre-shredded carrots because, yes, I am that lazy!


Ta-Da! We have salad!

I actually ended up taking this salad to a dinner party (I know, right?) where it was tasted by many and declared yummy. However, since I know you love to see Tom…


Well, looking back on it, this isn’t really a “yummy” face so much as it is an “I’m still full from the dinner party” face. But the gelatin was still good.

From Tom’s tasting notes:

Good. Classic gelatin salad. Pineapple in heavy syrup is delicious.

The Verdict: Good.

Thanks for the recipe, Janet!

4.5 from 4 reviews
Carrot and Pineapple Salad
A classic mid-century gelatin salad
  • Small box of lemon gelatin
  • 1 can pineapple in heavy syrup
  • 1 to ½ cup shredded or chopped carrots
  1. Drain pineapple, reserving syrup and adding enough water to the syrup to make one cup.
  2. Make gelatin according to package, substituting the reserved syrup and water mixture for the cold water.
  3. Add carrots and pineapple to gelatin. Chill.


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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Perdita September 12, 2012 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Just a quick question – is this a savoury side salad, a sweet fruit salad or a ‘stand alone’ snack? I suppose it would work as all three!

    • RetroRuth September 12, 2012 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Hi Perdita! This was a sweet salad, but could definitely be eaten as a snack!

      • btty February 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

        I use to make this salad years ago. I love it and thanks for reminding me to start making it again.

  2. Jenn September 12, 2012 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Yummy memories of being a kid! However, we always used orange Jello for the salad and it is scrumptious as well.

    • Kate H September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      That’s what we did too — minus the pineapple. Just orange Jell-O and carrot.

  3. binky September 13, 2012 at 8:06 am - Reply

    My family makes this on holidays, but also adds raisins and chopped pecans. My sisters hate it, but I love it, and made my boyfriend a convert too!

  4. Cheryl October 11, 2012 at 12:08 am - Reply

    My mom made this every Christmas only she served it in individual bowls with Miracle Whip dolloped on top; it’s awesome. Hate it alone….love it with Miracle Whip.

  5. Propagatrix December 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    It looks like…a brain. A neon-orange brain.

  6. Jennifer December 26, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    My neighbour always made a variation of this recipe, it was 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of shredded carrot, 1 cup of miracle whip, a can of crushed pineapple added to the lemon jello. This was and is an absolutely amazing taste. Kind of zingy!

  7. Dorothy January 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    My family knows this as Golden Glow Salad. It’s good with some chopped pecans added. I usually just pour into a baking dish and don’t un mold. We have it for Easter with ham and mashed potato casserole.

  8. Shelby November 23, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I have also made this recipe with orange jello and the orange with carrots makes it even better!

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