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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Showing 4 of 16 Comments / Reviews

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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