Lime Jell-O Salad – A Vintage Gelatin Recipe Test

Posted on Jan 30 2013 - 6:53am by RetroRuth

Yes, we are still posting gelatin recipes!

This lovely layered extravaganza was submitted to our Glistening and Jiggly contest by Kelly.


Kelly writes:

Hello Ruth,

I am submitting my contest entry at the last minute, but am sure it’s a winner. It is an old family favorite and was served at my parent’s pot-luck wedding reception in 1964. Enjoy!


4.3 from 3 reviews
Lime Jell-O Salad
  • Lime Jell-o (1 large box or 2 small boxes).
  • 1 large can crushed pineapple – drained, reserve juice.
  • ½ - ¾ c. chopped nuts.
  • 1 large pkg cream cheese.
  • 1 8 oz. carton whipping cream.
  • 1 c. sugar.
  • 2 T. flour.
  • 3 eggs beaten.
  • Squirt of lemon juice
  1. Add drained pineapple and chopped nuts to prepared Jell-o, pour into cake pan and refrigerate to set.
  2. Combine the cream cheese and whipping cream and beat until well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of set Jell-0.
  3. Using the reserved pineapple juice, prepare pineapple sauce on stove top. Combine pineapple juice, sugar, flour and beaten eggs in heavy sauce pan. Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened. Add a squirt of lemon juice to thickened sauce. Allow sauce to cool a bit before spreading sauce on top of cream cheese layer.



I was sort of excited about this salad being served at her parent’s wedding reception. How cute is that? Plus as I was reading the recipe I realized the top layer was a pineapple curd and I was really excited about that.

But I should note that this was far, far into the gelatin contest. Tempers were wearing thin. As I was carefully spreading the (admittedly lumpy) cream cheese layer over the gelatin and cursing under my breath, Tom came strolling into the kitchen and stopped dead.

“What the *beep* is that?’”

I sighed. “The Mid-Century Menu for tonight.”

“It’s a gelatin thing, right? Because if that is Shepherd’s Pie it’s gone way bad and you need to start over.”

“Get out of the kitchen.”


I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was that I was tired, or tired of making gelatin, or maybe it was because of all the lumps in that one layer that frustrated me but I was too lazy to fix it. For some reason all those feelings came to a head and I decided to deal with them in a mature, constructive way.

Which was to mess with Tom’s head.

The next time he wandered into the kitchen, I was ready for him.


“Ugh. Is that American Cheese in that sauce?”

I carefully stirred the pineapple curd and didn’t look up at him. “Yup.”

“Oh my God. Really?”



“Yes. You want to try it?”

“No, get it away from me!”


I served up his portion with more than a little glee. He was already complaining before I even set it in front of him.

“Couldn’t we have had a good one tonight? I think I deserve a good one every once in a while.”

“Just eat it.”

Tom TastIMG_9516

This is the face he made when he thought it was full of American cheese.

And this is the face he made when he realized I had tricked him:


“You jerk, this is sweet.”

I was giggling too hard to answer.

“This is actually good.”

I just giggled more. “You said you wanted a good one. So take that!”

That’s what he gets for making fun of Kelly’s parent’s gelatin.

The Verdict: Good.

From the Tasting Notes:

Interesting flavors. The nuts add a good texture. The pineapple topping is good! Would definitely be good for a mid-century pot luck or buffet.

WordPress Author Box

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 (

Like us on Facebook
on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
Follow @MidCenturyMenu on Twitter

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

  1. Barbara February 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    That’s actually one of my favorite Jello recipes, but I stir it all in, I don’t do layers….

  2. Brenda February 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    I had something very similar as a teenager, including the nuts and pineapple, no topping, though. My parents’ friends had us over. They didn’t have children, which may explain why the white nuggets in the jello, that I thought might be marshmallows (it was served for dessert), turned out to be balls of cream cheese. When you expect to bite into a light, sweet marshmallow, but your mouth is filled with plain cream cheese instead, it’s a shock to the palate.

    • RetroRuth February 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      Jeez, I’ll say!

  3. Lunchlady Mel March 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    This reminds me of a gelatin concoction my mom used to make except with cherry Jell-O, cream cheese, crushed pineapple, and chopped nuts, all mixed together. Coca-Cola was the liquid portion of the Jell-O prep. I never wanted anything to do with it because I was a picky child, but it seemed to disappear whenever she made it for gatherings. You’ve inspired me to try it now!

    • Sarah March 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      Oh I would so love this recipe! If you see this comment would you be so kind as to share it here or email it to me?

  4. Rachel @ March 14, 2013 at 7:22 am - Reply

    I love the faces… I am so glad it was a good one! 😛 I love the Mid Century Menu… I’ve been lurking your blog every now and then for a couple of years just for these features.

  5. Brenda April 1, 2013 at 1:16 am - Reply

    I’m late to the party but here goes. I grew up in the 50’s and my mom regularly made what we called “grumble salad”. None of us liked it and we all grumbled when she made it. It was lime green jell-o, grated carrots, walnuts and drained crushed pineapple. I thought you weren’t supposed to use pineapple in jell-o. Maybe it is fresh you aren’t supposed to use. Anyway, we hated it. I never make it. 😀

  6. The Old Fashioned Girl September 27, 2013 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Long story coming your way.

    This year marks my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and so the family (the two generations that arose from this marriage) got together for a week this summer to celebrate. One night was 1963 themed, with, you guessed it, all sorts of delectable treats from the early sixties! Alongside the sloppy joes, cheddar olives, devils on horseback (bacon wrapped prunes), and five can casserole (the most disgusting thing I have ever made: a can each of chopped chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, evaporated milk, and chow mein noodles, mixed together and baked), I served this salad. It was quite a hit, although maybe because of its stellar appearance and the giggle factor rather than flavor. Grampa loved it, and had the leftovers for breakfast, although he pointed out that he would never have gotten something so fancy as a “pineapple curd” on his jell-o! Personally, the sweetness of the lime jello (not to mention the little soggy pecan pieces) was not a favorite. While extraordinarily fun to make, and a great way to celebrate a long time together, this won’t be a repeat in our house.

    I have always been one of those people to look at an old recipe for something atrocious and want to make it…I just don’t because I can’t get anyone to eat it. RetroRuth, thanks for doing this and showing us that it can be done!

  7. Deb October 16, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    My mom made this all the time and it was one of my favorites. She made it sans the cream cheese and sometimes sans the nuts. I loved it and could eat the whole dish as a kid! I made it as a young married in the 80’s, but haven’t made it in years. Ahhhh, such pleasant memories!!!
    ; )

  8. Paula Briceland November 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Yes, that was similar to my moms but she did add mini marshmallows and bananas, yum yum yum!!! not cottage cheese

  9. Momma Dee January 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    I suppose, after all this Glistening and Jiggly deliciousness, you have heard the “Lime Jello, Marshmallow, Cottage Cheese Surprise” song? It is on YouTube:

  10. Cindy Flower November 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    This is the best recipe around….my mom always made it and now my son just loves it!

  11. Donna January 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    My mom made this recipe when I was a teen..never found her recipe and thought it was gone forever..I do believe this is it, except I thought she used cornstarch in the pineapple juice. And I think the cream cheese layer was on top, but I am sooo glad to have finally found it! Going to make it for Superbowl Sunday since I am doing blue and green themed foods for the awesome Seahawks!! WOOOO!

  12. Mike December 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    My aunt Mary made this every Christmas for her get together’s. It has always been my favorite Jello desert. She never knew what it was called. So I named it Aunt Mary’s Christmas Special dessert. She passed away on December 22, 2008 she was my favorite aunt.

Leave A Response

Rate this recipe: