Grandma’s Pineapple Cucumber Lime Jello Salad

Wonderfully retro jello salad recipe made with pineapple, cucumber, horseradish, and lime jello.


  • 1 6oz package of Jell-O Lime gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, diced cucumbers
  • 3 Tbsp horseradish (or more if you want it spicier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated onion
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of diced or crushed drained canned pineapple (you cannot use fresh pineapple with gelatins. The bromelaine enzyme in fresh pineapple will keep the gelatin from bonding.)


1 In a bowl, dissolve lime jello and salt in 2 cups of hot water (don't use boiling water, just regular hot water). Add 2 cups cold water. Chill until slightly thickened - the consistency of egg whites, about 30 minutes.

2 In a separate bowl mix cucumber, horseradish, grated onion, and vinegar. Fold pineapple and cucumber mixture into jello. Pour into a jello mold and chill for several hours (about 6) until gelatin sets.

3 To remove jello from its mold, fill up a basin half-way with hot water. Lower the jello mold into the hot water, metal side down, until the water comes up almost to the edge of the mold. Keep it there 5 seconds and remove. Place a plate on top of the jello mold and turn upside down. The jello salad should just slide out.

Serves 6-8.

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  1. Elizabeth

    My grandmother used to make this, and it has been a source of family jokes for years! We thought she dreamed it up on her own.

  2. elise

    Elizabeth – that’s great! another grandmother cooking up a horseradish jello salad. I can’t believe it.

    Alex – What a terrific link, thank you! Somehow in recent years we’ve lost the jello magic. Perhaps if they weren’t so neon, they would come back in favor. My Berry and Bannana Terrine is a gelatin fruit salad and is delicious, but it is made with grape juice and plain gelatin, not Jell-O. I do think the Jell-O salads are wonderfully retro.

  3. Leila

    My favorite gelatin salad is made with the unflavored stuff and tomato juice – aspic. Does that count?

    And when I was a teenager, an elderly friend of my mother’s gave me a recipe for a chicken aspic that had mayo and chow-chow pickles in it; perhaps also Spanish olives. I ate it her house, loved it, she gave me the recipe, I actually made it for a party. Recipe long gone and I don’t really remember how it goes.

    Meanwhile I feel weird about gelatin because of mad cow disease. Sorry to rain on the parade.

    My mother made dark red jello with canned pears in it last month, and my 3 year old absolutely wouldn’t touch it. I had to confess he’d never had Jello. This is the Bay Area. My crowd doesn’t do Jello. But my 4.5 year old scarfed it down – HE didn’t mind that it wiggled. My mother laughed at me. We suffer more culture shock from our food metamorphoses over the years than from any of the other geographic, cultural and social changes we’ve been through. Started out Southern Down home cooking in the 60s, with my Dad’s home style Lebanese food added in for good measure, then we experimented with vegetarian and whole foods, then I went to NYC and started eating RAW FISH (still gives mom the horrors), and now we’re here in California eating fresh tortillas, salsa, pinto beans and Vietnamese shrimp rolls. We’ve been through Atkins in my house for 18 months, then switched to vegetarianism, then compromised with only hormone free beef, etc. etc.

    Love your site. Maybe I’ll even make jello next summer. We served aspic last Christmas to some Jewish friends from L.A. and they loved it. Nice side dish with Moroccan style spiced chicken.

  4. Beth

    This may be a little LATE (I see the posts are from 2004)…but I have to say that I found this recipe in an old cookbook I have (about 3 years ago). I don’t know what possessed me to make it, but I did. My family LOVED it. And my husband is a picky eater!

  5. Ramona

    Christmas would not be Christmas without my mother-in-law’s special jello salad. Starting with lime jello you add grated carrot, chopped apple,celery and geen onions and then sliced green olives with pimento.Sounds weird but it is refreshing and we often forgo the rich dessert after a heavy meal for this.

  6. susan

    I found your jello recipes after looking up some recipes using lime. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, my family has a whole repetoire of jello salad/dessert recipes. In fact, they are still requested by children and grandchildren, especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings. Green and red jello with pineapple and marshmallows, layered; cranberry sauce and red jello and walnuts and… But the family heirloom is a recipe made with lemon or lime jello, vinegar,cabbage, green peppers, pimento and celery. It was always made for my grandfather who did not eat fruit in any form. Thanks for prompting me relive wonderful memories of family, which is one of the best things about food and Simply Recipes.

  7. sally

    I am looking for a similar recipe. It contained lime jello, pineapple, cottage cheese, horseradish and I think celery. I loved it as a child (in the 60’s) and would like to see what my family would think of it.

  8. barbara

    My grandmother made it with beetroot. I hated it.

  9. Betty

    Just came home from a funeral and there were three types of jello salad. one was lime jello with celery and pineapples. One of the other two was redish brown jello with cabbage. My friend who I sat next to bravely scooped them up proclaiming she grew up in a Baptist church and was totally at home with this. I ate the cheese cubes with mayo.

    I had to google this fare to see what else was out there. I’m impressed. horseradish?

  10. Sharon

    Last Christmas I made my Grandma’s Lime Jello Salad (affectionately referred to as “The Green Stuff” in my family), it was the first time we’d had it since she died (15+ years ago). It was delicious!

    Combine 2 small pkgs lime jello and 2 cups boiling water. Dissolve 8 oz cream cheese in the jello mixture, and beat to mix. Then drain a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, reserving the juice. Add water to the juice to make 2 cups of liquid, and combine with jello mixture. Refrigerate for about 3 hours. Remove from fridge and stir in the crushed pineapple, 1/2 cup finely chopped apples, and 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts. Lastly, fold in 1/2 cup cool whip, pour into a mold or bowl, and refrigerate overnight.

  11. Liz Rothwell

    Heres one from New Zealand that I loved from many years ago.
    1 packet lemon jello
    made with 1 3/4 cups boiling water.Add 2 tablespoons vinegar. Chill. When beginning to set add 1/2 small cup of mayonnaise,1/2 small cup grated carrot, 1/2 small cup tinned green peas. Place in mould to set. Then turn out.

  12. Bonnie Russell

    The best jello is very easy and fast.
    Put in 9 X 11 glass pan.
    1 large cherry jello in 2 c. hot water-dissolve.
    1 large can crushed pineapple
    1 can Wilderness Pie Mix – cherry

    Mix fruit and pineapple with jello. Chill
    Top with 1 c. sour cream; 1-8 oz soft cream cheese and 1/2 c. sugar. Mixed.

    You can use any kind of jello with any kind of fruit pie mix.

  13. Jen Davis

    I just made this for a work pot-luck this week and everyone loved it! It’s a delicious relish for sandwiches and roast meats. I highly recommend it, plus it’s easy as pie to make.

  14. Pat

    Last St. Patrick’s Day I delegated this recipe to my sister-in-law to bring to the family corned beef dinner. Because it was very runny, we all jokingly teased her for forgetting how to make jello. Yesterday, for our St. Pat’s dinner my sister was assigned to make it. Again, it was runny. Both say they followed the recipe exactly. We have concluded it’s the recipe. We think the salad is a tasty and festive contrast to corned beef on St. Pat’s Day and I’ll give it one more try next year. Would you suggest reducing either the hot or cold water and by how much?

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe your sister-in-law made this. Twice! Good for her. Points for courage all around. I haven’t made this since I posted it years ago. My brother still has nightmares about horseradish because of eating this dish when he was a kid. If it’s runny, then yes, reduce the water by a bit, but your guess is as good as mine as to how much. ~Elise

  15. Mark

    Hello. Like many of you, our family had a staple holiday and special occasion gelatin recipe that Mom would always make. It is really easy.

    1 large box lime gelatin, prepared as per instructions, minus 1/4 cup cold water
    1 package Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup 2% cottage cheese
    1 6 oz can mandarin oranges
    1 15 oz can crushed pineapple
    1 15 oz can dark (sweet) cherries (I can sweet cherries when ripe in Summer and use those)
    1/8 tsp white vinegar

    Chill prepared lime gelatin and refrigerate until JUST beginning to set-this is the crucial step, if there is one. If the gelatin is allowed to set too firmly, then this recipe will be a failure!

    Scrape gelatin out into stand mixer.
    On low speed slowly incorporate vinegar, then softened cream cheese, then cottage cheese.

    Increase speed to medium, scraping sides of bowl and blend until mixture is creamy and no lumps remain. A hand held mixer does the job as well.

    Remove bowl from mixer. Add oranges, pineapple and cherries and blend by hand until uniformly incorporated.

    Pour into 9 x13 glass baking dish or mold of your choice and refrigerate overnight.

    EVERYONE who has eaten this has really enjoyed it.

    Being the adventurous type, I have also made the exact same recipe with both orange or lemon gelatin, and while not bursting with as much fruit flavor, they were still good.