Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (2024)

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Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) is a retro recipe that my husband’s grandma made for many holiday meals. To continue with the tradition, I make this lime jello salad every Thanksgiving — and sometimes for Christmas too!

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (1)

Post updated 9/8/2019 with new photos. Originally posted on 9/18/2010.

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ThisJell-Osalad is a nostalgic favorite for my husband. Hegrew up with his grandmother making it for many of the holiday meals in their home. It was always one of his favorites and it still is to this day.

While my husband’s grandmother is no longer with us, I have continued with the tradition of making Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad for him. Without fail, I make it every Thanksgiving.

The unusual part of this story is that my husband is usually the only one who eats Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad. Sometimes the kids will take a spoonful of it, and whenever we have a new guest, they usually try it. But he’s usually the only one who eats it.

Almost every year, my husband will tell me, “you don’t have to make it this year”. It’s his sweet way of trying to take something off my to-do list. But, he loves it so much that I won’t ever stop making it. And, to be honest, this is one of the easiest Thanksgiving side dishes that I make — plus it can be made in advance — so it’s really no trouble at all.

This Lime Jello Salad only needs 6 ingredients: lime jello (gelatin), crushed pineapple, evaporated milk, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, and walnuts. You don’t have to use the brands I have shown below — I usually use whatever I get the best deal on. I have used lots of different brands over the years and it always turns out as expected.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (2)

Ingredients needed for Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad:

Cooking Equipment needed for Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad:

To make this Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad, you’ll first start with the crushed pineapple. After opening your can, drain the pineapple into a measuring cup or bowl that will hold at least 2 cups of liquid.

For this, I always use my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Drain the pineapple right from the can into the cup — of course, try not to let any of the pineapple pieces get into it, but don’t stress if a bit of them fall in.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (4)

Once you have the pineapple juice, add enough water to your measuring cup so that you have 2 cups of liquid. This is what you’ll use with the lime jello.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (5)

The 2 cups of diluted pineapple juice are placed in a small saucepan and heated together with the lime jello until the jello is completely dissolved. Allow the lime jello mixture to cool slightly in the pan before pouring it into a mixing bowl.

Next, in a mixing bowl, mix together the mayo and evaporated milk until smooth. Slowly incorporate the warm lime jello mixture into the milk/mayo mixture. I usually pour a bit in, whisk to combine and repeat until all of the lime jello mixture has been added. Finally, stir in the crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and walnuts.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (6)

Pour the entire mixture into an 8×8″ baking dish and cover. I use a basic glass Pyrex pan, but you can use pretty much any dish as long as it’s about the same size.

Place your lime jello salad in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but it’s best to refrigerate overnight. I usually make this the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas. You could even make this recipe 2-3 days before if needed.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (7)

For serving your Lime Green Jello Salad recipe with Cottage Cheese and Pineapple, it can be cut into squares, as we show in the photos, but we usually just scoop it out with a serving spoon.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (8)

Did you or someone you love make this retro jello salad? We’d love to hear your memories of it! We also love hearing about the different versions you’ve had. Be sure to leave us a comment at the end of this post!

And, for my husband and all others, here is the full recipe for Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad recipe:

Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe


Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (9)

Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple)

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4.9 from 178 reviews

  • Author: Brandie Valenzuela
  • Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
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Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) is a retro lime jello salad that my husband’s grandma made for many holiday meals. To continue with the tradition, I make this every Thanksgiving.



  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained with juice reserved)
  • 1 cup water (more or less depending on what’s needed, see instructions below)
  • 2 packages lime jello (3 oz each)
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (canned)
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)


  1. In a large multi-cup measuring cup (I use my 4 cup Pyrex), add all of the reserved pineapple juice and then add enough water to the juice to make a total of 2 cups. Pour into pot and bring just to a boil.
  2. Add the lime Jell-o mixes to the boiling pineapple juice/water and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool just slightly.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the mayo and evaporated milk. Combine until very smooth. Slowly stir in the Jell-o mixture until all is incorporated with the mayo/milk mixture. Stir in the crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and walnuts.
  4. Pour mixture into an 8×8″ glass casserole pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (preferred).


–To avoid waste, I often add all of the drained crushed pineapple from the can into this recipe, even if it’s more than a cup, and if I don’t need the leftovers for anything else.

–For serving, this Lime Jello Salad can be cut into squares or spooned from the dish.

–This recipe can be made 1-3 days in advance.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Refrigeration
  • Cuisine: American

Recipe Card powered byGrandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (10)

The photo below is the original photo (and the only photo) in this post from 9/18/2010.

Grandma's Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) (2024)


How do they make green jello? ›

  1. Follow directions on gelatin box to prepare gelatin. Let set until syrupy (soft-set).
  2. Add pineapple, cream cheese, whipping cream, and optional nuts. Mix all ingredients together in a mixer.
  3. Turn into a mold and let sit in refrigerator until fully firm.
  4. Turn out from mold onto plate.

Can you add pineapple to Jello? ›

Bromolain in pineapple, papain in papaya and actinidin in kiwi are all enzymes capable of breaking down proteins, hence the warning that these fruits cannot be used in Jell-O. But canned fruits are fine because the pasteurization process they undergo destroys the proteolytic enzymes.

Why was Jello salad a failed product? ›

The problem was, the new processed substitutes couldn't be sold on taste alone, as Shapiro makes clear in her book Something From the Oven: They just weren't as good as the real thing. But American palates had been adjusting to industrial flavors for the entire 20th century.

Why did people eat jello salad? ›

Jello salads are a common feature of US communal meals such as potlucks, most probably because they are inexpensive and easy to prepare. The salad has a strong regional presence in Utah and surrounding states (the Mormon Corridor), especially among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Why do hospitals use Green Jellö? ›

Why Do They Give Hospital Patients Jell-O? Considering how easily digested Jell-O is because of it's smooth, liquid characteristics, patients in hospitals are given the nutrient dense protein for more reasons than just taste and digestion. It also proves to be a good source of calories because of the sugar content.

What is the green flavor of jello? ›

Jell-O Lime Artificially Flavored Gelatin Dessert Mix lets you add some wonder to your day with a delicious snack. Spoon up a smile with our artificially flavored lime Jell-O gelatin that contains 80 calories per serving.

Why won't my Jell-O set with pineapple? ›

Fresh fruits such a pineapple, kiwi and papaya contain enzymes which break down these protein molecules, making them smaller, so they can't tangle up, which stops the jelly setting. This is similar to how the enzymes in your stomach break down food.

Can you use frozen pineapple in Jell-O? ›

Jell-O® packages have a “warning” on their labels that tells the consumer NOT to prepare the jiggly dessert with fresh or frozen pineapple because the gelatin will not set. How could the pineapple prevent the gelatin from setting? To answer this question, we need to know how gelatin is made.

What ruins Jell-O? ›

If you like making gelatin for dessert, the box often recommends not adding certain kinds of fruit, including pineapple, kiwi, mango, ginger root, papaya, figs or guava. People have a hard time getting the gelatin to solidify when they add these fruits.

Why do hospitals always serve Jell-O? ›

Why do hospitals serve so much Jell-O? There are a few reasons: Jell-O is easy to swallow and digest, making it suitable for patients who have difficulty eating solid foods or have digestive issues.

What is the secret ingredient in Jell-O? ›

Gelatin is made from animal collagen — a protein that makes up connective tissues, such as skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. The hides and bones of certain animals — often cows and pigs — are boiled, dried, treated with a strong acid or base, and finally filtered until the collagen is extracted.

What state eats the most green Jell-O? ›

Green Jell-o is the official state snack of Utah and Utahans consume the most Jell-o per year in the world!!!

Which state eats the most Jell-O? ›

Utah eats more Jell-O than any other state

The people in Utah love their Jell-O! The state has an entire holiday week dedicated to the jiggly treat, and it's even Utah's official state food.

Why is Jell-O not popular anymore? ›

A lack of nutritional value does not stop other products from being popular, but the fact that Jell-O is regularly marketed toward children as a snack food rather than as a dessert means that some parents choose to stick with healthier options.

Did green jelly used to be Green Jellö? ›

Green Jelly began their career as Green Jellö in 1981. The name was chosen due to the band's poor opinion of green-flavored jello, and they decided it also appropriately reflected the quality of their music.

Does jello have artificial dyes? ›

Jello is made from gelatin, flavoring agents, natural or artificial sweeteners, as well as natural food colorings or artificial food dyes.

Why did Green Jellö change their name? ›

Green Jellÿ (/ɡriːn ˈdʒɛloʊ/, green Jell-O) is an American comedy rock band formed in 1981. Originally named Green Jellö, the band changed its name due to legal pressure from Kraft Foods Inc., the owners of the Jell-O brand, who claimed that it was an infringement of their trademark.

Where is Green Jellö from? ›

The band was originally formed in Buffalo, NY in 1981 by head honcho Bill Manspeaker as an attempt to create the world's worst band (their name was inspired by the worst possible flavor of Jello).


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