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Lime Jello Salad

Lime 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!

Digging into a serving of lime jello salad with a spoon

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

If you’ve never had green jello salad you probably think it’s weird…

But if you grew up eating green jello salad then you know exactly how essential it is to a holiday like Easter or a potluck supper!

It adds the perfect touch of sweetness to a savory meal, along with a hint of tropical tang.

Grandma’s green jello made an appearance at everything Thanksgiving, along with her Rice Dressing and Candied Yams with Marshmallows (which I personally requested).

I didn’t appreciate it as a child, but I didn’t appreciate the genius of cranberry sauce either!

There are many lime jello salad recipes out there, but the basics include boxed lime gelatin and crushed pineapple.

Lime jello in liquid form being whisked with cream cheese

Ingredients for Green Jello Salad

  • 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.
  • Crushed pineapple – don’t drain the juice. It adds flavor to the salad instead of using all water.

How to Make Lime Jello Salad

You can find the full recipe box below, but these are all the steps with detailed tips.

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in 2 cups boiling water. This takes about 2 minutes so don’t rush.
  2. Whisk in the cream cheese until well blended. 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 into desired serving dish. Sometimes grandma used a bowl, sometimes she used a fancy mold.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until set.

Scoop of lime jello salad garnished with pecans on a white plate

This salad is really beautiful in a bundt pan or a 13×9 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.

If you want a sweeter, fluffier salad you can certainly fold in a small container (8 ounces) before refrigerating.

Lastly, I added pecans as a garnish.

I swear my grandma added chopped pecans when I was a kid, but my mom insists she never did.

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

More fruity recipes to accompany any meal!

These fresas con crema can be served as a breakfast fruit salad or dessert!

Fresas con Crema - Mexican strawberries and cream in a cup

Tropical Orange Pretzel Salad – another jello dish that calls itself a salad!

Tropical Orange Pretzel Salad - jello pretzel salad with a pineapple orange twist!

For the citrus lovers this lemon cream cheese pie is a must! You can also use lime to change the flavor.

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie - no bake dessert like cheesecake with lemon pie filling!

Beth B

Thursday 26th of August 2021

I love the pecans in it. I get this salad at Tje Picnic Cafe in Nashville. I don’t know if theirs is this exact recipe. They may use cottage cheese. It’s close though.

S. Wirth

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

I have used grated carrots in the crushed pineapple/cream cheese version. I mix the softened cream cheese into the jello powder before adding the boiling water and then cool it down with the water/juice. I haven't made it in a bit but intend to soon. Thank you for all of your ideas!

Dorothy Nolen

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

We ate this delish salad at Highland Park cafeteria in Dallas that is now closed. I tried to make it just by my memory green jello, pineapple, cottage cheese and pecans and let it set up. It did not taste like I had remember it and now I left out the cream cheese. It’s still good and tomorrow I will add the cream cheese it made not look pretty but it’s going to taste better. Thank you for the recipe. If I can I will take a picture and post it.😊


Wednesday 10th of February 2021

The cream cheese makes it kind of chunky but gives it that tangy creamy taste! Sounds good with cottage cheese too!

Cheryl Rodriguez

Thursday 24th of December 2020

My grandma made this every year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and sometimes for Easter. I like it with or without pecans, but I especially like when she added maraschino cherries to it for Christmas!


Thursday 24th of December 2020

That sounds like a good addition! Merry Christmas!

Sharon Talley

Sunday 13th of December 2020

My husband’s mom made the best lemon/lime jello salad ever. Her recipe definitely had pecans in it, plus shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise & cool whip. She made it in 2stages. She’d cream 1small pkg lemon & 1small pkg lime jello w/cream cheese. Then whisked in boiling water, pineapple & cold water & refrigerated. She removed from fridge +/-1hr when like 1/2 set, lightly folded in mayo, cheese, pecans & cool whip, 1ingredient at a time then refrigerated over nite. It definitely had a chopped up look to it & was so good. I tried making it 1time but failed miserably.