Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) is a retro recipe that my husband’s grandma made for many holiday meals. To continue with the tradition, I make this lime jello salad every Thanksgiving — and sometimes for Christmas too!
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Post updated 9/8/2019 with new photos. Originally posted on 9/18/2010.
This Jell-O salad is a nostalgic favorite for my husband. He grew up with his grandmother making it for many of the holiday meals in their home. It was always one of his favorites and it still is to this day.
While my husband’s grandmother is no longer with us, I have continued with the tradition of making Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad for him. Without fail, I make it every Thanksgiving.
The unusual part of this story is that my husband is usually the only one who eats Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad. Sometimes the kids will take a spoonful of it, and whenever we have a new guest, they usually try it. But he’s usually the only one who eats it.
Almost every year, my husband will tell me, “you don’t have to make it this year”. It’s his sweet way of trying to take something off my to-do list. But, he loves it so much that I won’t ever stop making it. And, to be honest, this is one of the easiest Thanksgiving side dishes that I make — plus it can be made in advance — so it’s really no trouble at all.
This Lime Jello Salad only needs 6 ingredients: lime jello (gelatin), crushed pineapple, evaporated milk, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, and walnuts. You don’t have to use the brands I have shown below — I usually use whatever I get the best deal on. I have used lots of different brands over the years and it always turns out as expected.
To make this Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad, you’ll first start with the crushed pineapple. After opening your can, drain the pineapple into a measuring cup or bowl that will hold at least 2 cups of liquid.
For this, I always use my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Drain the pineapple right from the can into the cup — of course, try not to let any of the pineapple pieces get into it, but don’t stress if a bit of them fall in.
Once you have the pineapple juice, add enough water to your measuring cup so that you have 2 cups of liquid. This is what you’ll use with the lime jello.
The 2 cups of diluted pineapple juice are placed in a small saucepan and heated together with the lime jello until the jello is completely dissolved. Allow the lime jello mixture to cool slightly in the pan before pouring it into a mixing bowl.
Next, in a mixing bowl, mix together the mayo and evaporated milk until smooth. Slowly incorporate the warm lime jello mixture into the milk/mayo mixture. I usually pour a bit in, whisk to combine and repeat until all of the lime jello mixture has been added. Finally, stir in the crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and walnuts.
Pour the entire mixture into an 8×8″ baking dish and cover. I use a basic glass Pyrex pan, but you can use pretty much any dish as long as it’s about the same size.
Place your lime jello salad in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but it’s best to refrigerate overnight. I usually make this the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas. You could even make this recipe 2-3 days before if needed.
For serving your Lime Green Jello Salad recipe with Cottage Cheese and Pineapple, it can be cut into squares, as we show in the photos, but we usually just scoop it out with a serving spoon.
Did you or someone you loved used to make this retro jello salad? We’d love to hear your memories of it! We also love hearing about the different versions you’ve had. Be sure to leave us a comment at the end of this post!
And, for my husband and all others, here is the full recipe for Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad recipe:
Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad RecipePrint
Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple)
Grandma’s Lime Green Jello Salad Recipe (with Cottage Cheese & Pineapple) is a retro lime jello salad that my husband’s grandma made for many holiday meals. To continue with the tradition, I make this every Thanksgiving.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Refrigeration
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained with juice reserved)
- 1 cup water (more or less depending on what’s needed, see instructions below)
- 2 packages lime jello (3 oz each)
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 cup evaporated milk (canned)
- 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
- In a large multi-cup measuring cup (I use my 4 cup Pyrex), add all of the reserved pineapple juice and then add enough water to the juice to make a total of 2 cups. Pour into pot and bring just to a boil.
- Add the lime Jell-o mixes to the boiling pineapple juice/water and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool just slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the mayo and evaporated milk. Combine until very smooth. Slowly stir in the Jell-o mixture until all is incorporated with the mayo/milk mixture. Stir in the crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and walnuts.
- Pour mixture into an 8×8″ glass casserole pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (preferred).
–To avoid waste, I often add all of the drained crushed pineapple from the can into this recipe, even if it’s more than a cup, and if I don’t need the leftovers for anything else.
–For serving, this Lime Jello Salad can be cut into squares or spooned from the dish.
–This recipe can be made 1-3 days in advance.
Keywords: 6 ingredients, retro jello salad, holiday jello salad, lime jello salad, cottage cheese jello salad, green jello salad, lime jello salad with cottage cheese
The photo below is the original photo (and the only photo) in this post from 9/18/2010.