Grandma’s Sunshine Salad


Classic retro sunshine Jello salad recipe, with lemon Jello, grated carrots, and crushed pineapple.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Years ago, in the sixties, my grandmother came to live with us. She loved to bake, especially oatmeal raisin cookies and lemon meringue pie.

She also loved to make Jell-O salads.

Our Favorite Videos

As kids we loved Jell-O in all flavors. Who were we to wonder when my grandmother put things like cucumbers, horseradish, carrots, and or pineapple in with the Jell-O?

One of her favorites was a Jell-O salad made with carrots and crushed pineapple. I had all but forgotten this salad until I met a woman at a counter at Logan Airport who told me about her favorite Jell-O salad, called a “Sunshine Salad”.

This is it, grandma’s salad!

Grandma’s Sunshine Salad Recipe


  • 2 3-ounce packages lemon flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 9-ounce cans crushed pineapple with juice (cannot use fresh pineapple)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots


1 Empty gelatin into a small mixing bowl. Stir in 2 cup of boiling water. Stir thoroughly until the gelatin has dissolved.

2 Stir in 1 cup ice water, one can of crushed pineapple with its juice, lemon juice (or vinegar), and a pinch of salt. (Make sure you use canned pineapple. Fresh pineapple has an enzyme that will prevent the gelatin from jelling.)

3 Chill in refrigerator until the gelatin starts to thicken. Then gently fold in the grated carrots until well mixed.

4 Add mixture to a jello mold. Set in the refrigerator until firm, several hours. To unmold, dip the bottom of the pan in hot water for about 5 seconds. Invert onto a serving platter, and shake firmly to release. Slice to serve.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

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.

More from Elise

42 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGrandma’s Sunshine Salad

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. CC

    My grandmother made this for every holiday I can think of. I lost the recipe. So grateful to find this. And I love the name, it’s exactly what my grandmother called it!


  2. Holly M.

    My aunt made this salad for my husband and I when we came to visit her and we both loved it, so I’m thrilled to find your recipe. I made it with orange jello, canned pineapple in 100% pineapple juice (no added sugars, gluten free, lactose free) , and used 1 cup grated celery and 1 cup grated carrots instead of 2 cups grated carrots–delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe.


  3. Catherine B.

    My favorite from when I was a kid. I want the recipe that has horseradish in it! That sounds delicious. Was it an aspic?


    Show Replies (1)
  4. Nita Neyland

    Use a packet of Cotties lemon jelly and a couple off tablespoons of freshly chopped up mint leaves.
    Serve Grandma,s Sunshine Salad with Leg Ham.
    We do this around Christmas time most years.

  5. Celia

    I forgot to add my mom used orange jello.

View More
Sunshine SaladGrandma’s Sunshine Salad