Grandma's Sunshine Salad

Here's a cheerful stroll down memory lane. This retro sunshine Jello salad recipe, with lemon Jello, grated carrots, and crushed pineapple, will be the sleeper hit at your next potluck.

Sunshine Salad
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

Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 5 hrs
Chilling Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 15 hrs 30 mins
Servings 8 servings
Yield 1 salad


  • 2 (3-ounce) packages lemon flavored gelatin

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 1 cup ice water

  • 1 (9-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice (NOT fresh pineapple)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar

  • Pinch salt

  • 2 cups grated carrots


  1. Prepare the gelatin:

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

  2. Mix in the ice water, pineapple, lemon juice, and salt:

    Stir in 1 cup ice water, the 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 until thickened, then add the carrots:

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

  4. Pour into a mold and chill until set:

    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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
191 Calories
0g Fat
47g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 191
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 28mg 142%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 431mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.