Lime Jello Salad with sour cream and pineapple is an easy vintage Jello recipe that you make with just 4 ingredients. This dessert salad is perfect for potlucks and holidays and tastes just like Mom and Grandma used to make!
I think I've told you how much I love vintage recipes, especially vintage Jello salads! I get the biggest thrill from browsing through old cook books, and I adore the fact that one bite of an oldie but goodie can immediately take you back to your childhood and bring back some happy memories. And that's exactly what happened when I made this retro lime Jello salad.
My husband's mother used to make this fruit salad with lime Jello, sour cream, pears and pineapple for family gatherings. That's it! This is one of the easiest jello salad recipes I've ever made. It's practically foolproof!
He grew up on this Jello recipe, but I didn't. Some of my favorite Jello recipes are Strawberry Jello Salad, Orange Jello Salad, Strawberry Pretzel Salad and Pistachio Salad for parties or potlucks. You can find more Jello recipes on my salad recipes page and my dessert recipes page.
This green Jello salad is an easy 4-ingredient recipe. You can find everything you need to make this dessert salad in your grocery store.
- Lime Jello -- or any brand of lime gelatin
- Sour cream -- makes the salad smooth and creamy
- Canned Pears -- a can of diced pears, drained
- Canned Pineapple -- a can of crushed pineapple, including pineapple juice-- do not drain
- Water -- boiling water or very hot water to dissolve the gelatin
I have a similar lime salad recipe from my grandma that uses cream cheese instead of sour cream. This one is much simpler, though.
How to Make Lime Jello Salad
First, add the Jello gelatin powder to a large bowl or a large casserole dish.
I usually just mix it in the same dish as I serve it. But, you can mix the Jello in a mixing bowl if you want.
Then, pour in a cup of very hot water or boiling water, and mix until the gelatin is dissolved.
After the gelatin is completely dissolved, add the pears, pineapple and sour cream. Next, stir the Jello mixture together until well blended.
You can use a hand mixer, a whisk or a large spoon.
The sour cream took the longest to blend into the hot Jello. You might have some small lumps of sour cream, but just mash them with the spoon until they dissolve.
When the salad is nice and creamy, smooth it out in the casserole dish. Then, pop it into the fridge to set.
It takes about 4 hours for the Jello to set completely. After that, go ahead and dig right in!
Actually, the kids and I used to refer to this pineapple lime Jello salad dish as Jello Ewww. But then we tried it, and we actually liked it!
The Hubs loved this lime Jell-o salad, and he ate it with the same enthusiasm that I reserve for chocolate, so I think I did something right!
How to Store
Store this lime gelatin salad in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Don't leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Like many creamy Jello salads, it keeps for about 4 days before it starts to break down. You can make this classic lime Jello salad a day or 2 ahead of time.
There are so many versions of this vintage recipe. One popular variation of the lime Jello salad recipe uses small curd cottage cheese and Cool Whip with mini marshmallows instead of sour cream. Another version of the recipe uses mayonnaise and another version uses cream cheese and walnuts.
Substitute lemon Jello instead of lime, and leave out the pears if you like. You can sub Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
You can use a Jello mold to form the congealed salad instead of a casserole dish or baking dish. Non stick cooking spray will help the salad release easily.
Serve this dessert salad sliced in squares or scoop the salad into individual bowls. Add a lime twist, maraschino cherries or whipped cream for decoration.
There is no cold water in this recipe. The sour cream and pineapple juice will cool the hot Jello down.
You can heat the water in a glass measuring cup in your microwave. 2 minutes works -- it doesn't have to be a full boil, just very hot.
Make sure to allow the salad to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. This isn't a green Jello fluff salad, it's supposed to be firm.
Lime Jello Salad
- 1 6 oz box of Lime Jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 15 oz can diced pears drained
- 1 15 oz can crushed pineapple do not drain
- 1 16 oz tub of sour cream
- boil the water on the stove or in the microwave
- In a large bowl or shallow serving dish, mix the Jello and the boiling water until fully dissolved
- Stir in the pineapple, pears and sour cream, and mix until well blended
- Refrigerate for about 4 hours or until firm
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
So, if you're looking for a refreshing summer salad that's a blast from the past, give this retro recipe a try. It's creamy, tangy and a great recipe to enjoy on a warm summer day.
And if you happen to remember this classic side dish or have a version of this recipe to share, I'd love to hear about it!
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Recipe first published in 2016 and updated in 2023
I've never heard of this before! I am so excited to try this! It looks delicious and refreshing.
Love this creamy and refreshing dessert!
I haven't had this in forever, but it tastes just like i remember. Thanks for the nostalgia!
Delilah Gillis says
My Ma made a 2 layer lime. Lemon with pineapple bottom,let set,top layer lime with cream cheese.Cut in squares top with mayo, top with cherry.She also made 1lb. cottage cheese,sprinkle dry jello over top, then added drained crushed pineapple(leave alittle juice), add cool whip let set. Can eat plain (salad or with chocolate chip cookie for dessert). Wonderful ENJOY. My Ma made Fruit soup also that was Wonderful.
Thanks for sharing -- both sound delicious!
Can you substitute plain or flavored yogurt for the sour cream?
I haven't tried it, but yogurt should work. 🙂
My mil used to make a version of this that was layered
I am 51 and this was an all-time favourite recipe of my grandmother's when I was a little girl. I make it once in a while, for the memories. 🙂 Going to make a bowl for Thanksgiving! I had never heard of adding pears, however.
I think there are a lot of variations on this, but my husband said his mother always added pears, so that's what I did. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Des @ Life's Ambrosia says
I don't think I've ever had a lime jello salad!
Miz Helen says
Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and come back to see us real soon!
I have the original recipe mom made it all the time. It also has nuts in it. Loved it.
I'll have to tell my husband about that. 🙂
Dee, I love that you are so young and you make this! My inlaws are in their late 70s and they have this at all times in their refrigerator. I'm glad you shared the recipe because they are coming to stay with us for a few days later this week and I'll make it. 🙂
Thanks so much, Stacy -- That's super sweet! I can definitely understand why people love it, especially during hot weather. 🙂
This looks good and refreshing! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by! It's one of our favorites! 🙂
The Student-turned-Doctor @ Food for Dissertating says
I love Jello salads and retro recipes. I've made lime Jello salads with applesauce and 7-Up and with cottage cheese, Cool Whip, and crushed pineapple. They were both really wonderful, wonderful enough to make more than once and to inspire me to try another one that combined lemon and lime Jello with crushed pineapple and Cool Whip in a totally different way. So I can just imagine how great your "Jello Eww" was. Thanks for sharing; I hope to try it soon.
Thanks so much! I love that there are so many different variations of these Jello salads. 🙂
Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) says
I love browsing through old cookbooks, and I really love recipes like this one!
Thanks, Jaren -- I feel exactly the same way!
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
"Right way" or not, this looks awesome haha and totally brings back tons of memories!
That's so good to know, Angie. Thanks so much!
Shirley Wood says
Dee this looks and sounds delicious. I don't know why I've never heard of this recipe. I've been missing out!
I hadn't heard of it either, but it really is good! 🙂
Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen says
This looks so good! I love easy side dishes like this! Yum!
Thanks! My family sure enjoyed it.
Melanie | Melanie Makes says
Love how you made this salad look so festive - perfect for warm weather gatherings!
Meg @ With Salt and Wit says
This sounds refreshing! I love anything lime flavored!
Sheena @ Hot Eats and Cool Reads says
These types of Jello salads are my favorites!! Reminds me of my childhood!
My husband said the same thing -- It's one of his favorites!