What is lime jello salad? A creamy, dreamy dessert with tangy lime Jello, cottage cheese, pineapple, and whipped cream — just the way Granny’s made it for years!
Granny’s Lime Jello Salad
Granny has been making her lime green cottage cheese jello salad for as long as I can remember. It seems like she always had a pan of it in the refrigerator when I was growing up!
While it does have “salad” in the name, this green jello salad is really more of a dessert. I recently served it with whipped cream and a cherry on top and it was definitely elevated to dessert status!
This is a great dish for potlucks, cookouts, holiday meals, reunions, or just because. At 89, Granny still makes it just because she loves it. And when she does make it, she makes enough for herself and some to share with her best friend who lives next door. She loves it too!
As a child, I preferred my Jello by itself, without the cottage cheese and pineapple. As an adult I can now appreciate the blend of flavors. The cottage cheese gives it a soft look and a creamy taste. The pineapple adds just the right amount of tart to balance the sweetness of the Jello. It’s a pretty green with a blend of delicious fruit flavors. This is still one of our family favorites!
This is a really simple dish to make, and Granny has a couple of tricks to ensure that it turns out perfect. That’s one of the things I really like about ANY recipe we feature that comes from Granny. She’s already one step ahead with solutions or ways to enhance the flavor. I’ll detail her tips later in the post.
This fabulously retro pineapple lime jello salad is a go-to our family recipe box and we hope you love it as much as we do!
Related: For another retro lime jello dessert, try our 7-UP Salad recipe!
What is Does Lime Jello Salad Taste Like?
As I mentioned, this isn’t a salad in the traditional sense, but rather a sweet treat! You can serve it as a side dish with a meal, as Granny often did, or serve it as the dessert course.
This dish is similar in color to another green fluff salad, Watergate Salad. However, Watergate Salad is made with pistachio pudding mix and has a much creamier flavor. Lime jello salad is of course made with lime jello, so it has a tangy, sweet and sour flavor. It reminds me a lot of 7up or Sprite! There is a bit of creaminess from the cottage cheese, but not so much as pudding mix. And you can’t really taste the cottage cheese itself, everything blends together nicely.
Also known by some as “Moon Glow Salad” or “Green Jello Fluff,” this dish became popular in the 1970s. I’ve seen some recipes that incorporate mayonnaise, cream cheese, and even Cool Whip. I’ve also seen some recipes that use an electric mixer to whip up the fluff. There are also similar salads in different flavors, like this Orange Fluff Salad.
Our recipe is as simple as possible, just the way Granny has made it for years and years. And no mixer needed!
For your convenience in re-creating this recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.
- Lime Gelatin — 2 small boxes (3oz)
- Ice cubes
- Cottage cheese — One (16oz) container
- Pineapple — One (15 oz) can of crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits (do not drain)
- Plain Gelatin — One (0.25oz) packet
- Chopped pecans or walnuts — Optional
Kitchen Supplies Used
- 9×13″ glass casserole pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Boil 2 cups water in a pot on the stove. Add the two boxes of jello and the unflavored gelatin powder to a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Add the boiling water to the bowl and stir until jello is completely dissolved.
- Add two cups of ice cubes to the jello mixture and stir until the ice melts enough to cool the liquid. Remove any small pieces of ice that did not melt.
- Add entire container of cottage cheese and all of the contents of a can of pineapple (including pineapple juice) and fold into the green jell-o mixture.
- Pour mixture into a glass 9X14 glass dish, cover, and refrigerate until set.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are Granny’s tricks to make the perfect jello salad recipe, along with questions that are often asked when preparing it.
Why Did My Jello Salad Get Watery?
This jello salad should not be liquid at all if made correctly. You should be able to slice it and have the individual servings keep their shape.
For stability and to make sure the dish becomes firm when you chill it, Granny adds one package of Knox unflavored gelatin. These are easy to find in the baking aisle, near the flavored gelatins. You can use a generic brand if you like. This is essential because the pineapple and cottage cheese have additional liquid — the extra gelatin helps everything turn out right no matter what the consistency of the pineapple and cottage cheese is.
Another issue could be that the dessert did not chill long enough. You’ll need about 4 hours or so for it to firm up.
What Type of Cottage Cheese is Best?
For the best texture, I recommend using small curd cottage cheese. Personally, I prefer cottage cheese with a higher fat content — at least 4% milkfat. However you’re welcome to use what you have on hand or what you like the best. Use about 16 ounces of whatever kind you like.
Do You Have to Use Nuts?
Nuts are included in the original recipe — Granny always sprinkles them on top, but you can also mix them in before you chill the salad. Anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans would work. Some people, like me, leave them totally out. If you don’t care for nuts or have allergies, the dish will still be delicious without them!
Can You Use Sugar-Free Jello?
Yes, you could substitute sugar free jello in place of the regular lime jello in this recipe. I’ve not personally tried it this way, but sugar-free jello should behave the same way texture-wise.
How Do You Tell if Jello has Gone Bad?
Because this recipe contains dairy, it needs to be keep refrigerated. When covered and stored in the fridge, your jello salad should last 3-5 days.
If you notice that it is starting to become watery or the texture is not what it originally looked like, then it’s past its prime. Toss it if there is any sign of mold or it smells off.
Lime Jello Salad Recipe (Printable Copy)
If you tried this recipe and loved it too, please rate it!
Granny's Lime Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese
- Heat proof mixing bowl
- 9X13 glass dish
- 2 small packages of lime gelatin 3oz boxes
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 15 ounces crushed pineapple with juice in can
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts optional
- Combine the lime jello and plain gelatin powder in a large heat proof mixing bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir until gelatin dissolves.
- Add two cups of ice cubes to the gelatin mix. Stir until the mixture is cooled. Remove any small bits of ice that don't melt.
- Add entire container of cottage cheese and the entire contents of the can of pineapple to the lime mixture. Stir until combined.
- Poor into a glass 9x13 inch casserole dish and refrigerate until set.
Pin this Old-Fashioned Lime Jello Salad Recipe on Pinterest:
You might also like: