Sea Breeze Salad – A Mid-Century Gelatin Test

Posted on Aug 14 2013 - 6:00am by RetroRuth

This week we have a gelatin that is decidedly NOT gross. Sea Breeze Salad!


This thing is basically jelled lemon pie filling with pineapple in it. Nothing bad here. Surprising, isn’t it?  Well, we were invited to a picnic earlier last month where I knew there would be kids present and I didn’t want to completely gross the kids out. I was told to bring a salad, so I picked this.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Sea Breeze Salad
  • 3 packages lemon or lime Jell-O (or a combination of both) (*I used all lemon)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold liquid
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 can lemon pie filling or 1 large package lemon pudding/pie filling mix
  • 1 envelope Dream Whip
  1. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add cold liquid (water and juice off pineapple). Let set until Jell-O begins to thicken.
  2. Stir lemon pie filling or prepared and cooled lemon pudding into thickened Jell-O with electric mixer. Reserve one cup of mixture. To the remainder at the crushed pineapple. Put into 13x9 pan and refrigerate till set.
  3. Whip Dream Whip as directed and fold in cup of reserved Jell-O mixture. Spread over first layer and refrigerate.



Tom peered over my shoulder as I was cooking. “So what’s going into this to ruin the lemon pie filling? Cheese? Tuna?”



“Nope. Nothing.”


“Well, pineapple is going in, but nothing gross.”


“Are you sure? Give me that recipe.”



“What the…this isn’t a salad! This is a dessert!”


I shook my head. “Nope. Read the name. It says Sea Breeze Salad.”

“That’s garbage. There is Dream Whip in this. It’s a dessert.”


“Look, the concept of a salad used to be different, okay? According to 1960’s thinking, this is a salad. See? Sea. Breeze. Salad. SALAD!”

“Fine, but if the kids go into sugar shock it is going to be your fault.”

Tom TastesIMG_2348

“So, how is it?”

“Really good, but this is totally a dessert.”

The Verdict: It’s A Dessert

From The Tasting Notes:

Very good, if you like lemon pie. Especially good if you like lemon pie but not meringue. This basically tastes like a lemon pie with pineapple added to it, and a lemon-flavored whipped topping. The pineapple was actually a really good addition. We polished this thing off in a few days and probably gained five pounds in the process.

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

  1. veg-o-matic August 14, 2013 at 8:41 am - Reply

    They still make Dream Whip? 🙂

    • Lily August 18, 2013 at 2:07 am - Reply

      My stepmom used to buy Dream Whip. It was another reason to hate her, even though I never tried it! Now I HAVE to try it! This salad *cough* DESSERT sounds yummy!

      • Charlotte August 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply


  2. Ae August 14, 2013 at 8:58 am - Reply

    This looks so much better than when my mom made it! She used lime jello.

    • RetroRuth August 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm - Reply


  3. Amorette August 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I was born in 1958 and through much of my childhood, a ‘salad’ meant something with Jell-O, not lettuce.

    • dkzody August 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      You are so right Amorette. Especially for potlucks and nice dinners. NO ONE would think of serving a green salad to company.

      • Charlotte August 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

        Me too–3/1958. The closest thing we had to a green salad was iceberg lettuce; chopped tomato..and mayonnaise mixed in to make a sort of pink “dressing”. NEVER for company..or holidays. If there was a salad–it would be fruit cocktail and cool whip; sometimes coconut

        • Charlotte August 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

          P.S..this would’ve been a salad at our house.

  4. Sara In AZ August 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Mike’s Dad would go bonkers for this, I’ll have to make this for him one of these days!

  5. Nina August 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know you could still buy Dream Whip! My initial thought too! Yes, I grew up with these “salads”, I so appreciate you bringing these foods back to life 🙂 These memories help me put more childhood into perspective.

  6. Cristina August 15, 2013 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Looks delicious!

    • RetroRuth August 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Cristina!

  7. Dan August 16, 2013 at 9:01 am - Reply

    As tasty as this looks, and it does look tasty, I’ve come to find (perhaps as a result of reading this blog and the memories it evokes of my own mother’s mid-century cooking) that Jello just isn’t as interesting without olives or cocktail wieners or green peppers or some other horror floating lifelessly inside it.

    • RetroRuth August 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Ha! 🙂

  8. celia September 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I just printed this. It’s like my dream come true. My husband hates meringue and I love lemon pie. THIS IS SO ON.

  9. Angela January 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I made this with all lime (including lime pie filling) because that’s what I could get easily. If I make it again I’ll try it with lemon – I like lime but this was a little overwhelming. The little pineapple bits were really nice but something like mandarin oranges would probably have worked better with lime. The SO suggested that I add marshmallows inside and sprinkle nuts on top if I make it again. It was relatively inexpensive to make and its pretty good even if it does remind me of eating in a cafeteria.

  10. Barbara February 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    What size Jello packages? Small or large?

    • RetroRuth February 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply


  11. Diane February 11, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    How much does one packet of Dream Whip make? I’d need to substitute Cool Whip and I don’t want to get the measurements wrong (because I MUST make this, it looks awesome).

    • RetroRuth February 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Diane! One package of Dream Whip makes about the equivalent to one regular sized tub of Cool Whip. Good luck, and this “salad” is awesome! 🙂

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