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.

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. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Grandma’s Sunshine Salad on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Showing 4 of 20 Comments / Reviews

  • Marcia

    My mom made this salad with some sliced green olives added. It is a great sweet/tart taste.

  • Katherine

    This was my favorite salad as a kid. My mom put in sliced green olives and topped it with Miracle Whip. She still made it for me in her 90s.

  • Clay Horton

    Just got through talking with my sister about childhood memories and she just found this and sent it to me. Yep, Mom made this I’ll bet every holiday and I think almost every Sunday. Just reading the recipe brought me back to my childhood! I can’t wait to make this! And now I even get to go buy a Jello mold! Talk about memories! Thank you for posting this!

  • Angela

    This Jell-O mold sounds very tasty, and I plan to make it very soon. I don’t particularly remember this Jell-O mold when I was a kid, but I DO remember a lot of Jell-O being served when we had company over for dinner, or when we went to someone’s house for a meal. I guess these molds were ‘all the rage’ back then. Actually, I still make my mom’s old Jell-O Molds one in a while, and everyone who remembers them loves them. Personally, my family and I still enjoy some recipes from the 60s, 70s, and 80…. when we were growing up. There was nothing pretentious about that food, and it was always delicious & satisfying. Thanks for the memories!

  • Miriam

    Instead of the lemon flavored jello I use orange flavored jello. This is a favorite at Easter – ,bunnies love carrots, right? – or anytime.

View More or Leave a Comment/Review
Sunshine SaladGrandma’s Sunshine Salad