Grandma’s Pineapple Cucumber Lime Jello Salad

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Growing up in the 60s, one would encounter a lot more Jello salads than one does these days.

My grandmother used to love to make gelatin salads for us – salads molded with Jell-O gelatin. One of her favorites included lemon jello, cabbage, and marshmallows. (I can’t remember what that one tasted like; must have blocked it out.)

Another favorite of hers was a lime jello salad with pineapple, cucumber, and horseradish.

This truly is a unique taste combination; I think it caused my brother Eddie a lifetime aversion to horseradish.

I on the other hand loved it.

Lime Jello Cucumber Pineapple Salad

When grandma passed away a few years ago we inherited her recipe collection, including this one. I just found it this weekend and had to make it.

I didn’t do a good job mixing the cucumbers and pineapple in, so the salad is not as evenly dispersed in the jello as I remember it. But it was still delicious.

Sound atrocious? I dare you to make it and then tell me what you think! Better yet, let me know what your favorite jello salad is.

Grandma’s Pineapple Cucumber Lime Jello Salad Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 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.)

Method

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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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