Green Jello Salad is a nostalgic classic! Lime gelatin is swirled together with cream cheese and whipped cream for a vibrant, fluffy and creamy Jello base. Fold in chopped pineapple, pears and mini marshmallows to take this jello salad to the next level. Serve Green Jello Salad as a fun side dish for any occasion!

What KJ Loves about this Recipe

I love how happy this Green Jello Salad recipe makes me. Not only me, but also my family. My mom has been poking and prodding for a jello salad recipe to hit the blog! For us, it’s an old-school family classic. Her mom (my grandma) always made a jello salad for the holidays, and now my mom has made sure that the tradition lives on. Jello salad may not be the fanciest recipe on the block, but it sure does make you do a happy dance! Plus, it has mini marshmallows in it, how could you not like it?

Wait, Jello as a Salad?

If you’re not from the midwestern or Northern states, you may be questioning how in the world jello is a salad.

Well, believe me, it is!

Is a jello salad fruity and sweet? Yes. Does a jello salad usually have whipped cream, cream cheese or cottage cheese? Yes. Is jello salad made with vibrant gelatin? Yes. Is jello salad a dessert? No, it’s a salad! Make sense? Haha!

Jello salad being a side dish and served as a salad makes about as much sense as how the combination of the ingredients is actually crave-able and downright delicious.

Trust me, if you’ve never tried a jello salad, now is the time!

(And if you want to serve this jello salad as a dessert instead of a salad, just don’t tell me. It’s clearly a salad – it’s green.)

Ingredients Needed

Green Jello Salad is vibrantly green and studded with all sorts of goodies. Here’s the ingredients that are needed:

  • Lime gelatin – this becomes the base of the jello salad and brings all the wonderful lime flavor! Plus, it’s bright green. How great is that? Regular or sugar-free lime gelatin can be used. 
  • Boiling water – water usually isn’t an ingredient that I talk about much, but boiling water is essential here! Make sure to be careful when handling and mixing after the boiling water is added as it can get quite hot. 
  • Cream cheese – softened cream cheese is whipped into the jello and boiling water mixture to make the jello salad nice and creamy. It also gives the jello a thicker texture. 
  • Whipped cream – make your life easy and go with the store-bought Cool Whip. This is a jello salad we’re talking about here!
  • Pineapple tidbits – I love buying the pineapple like this because there is no chopping or dicing required! Make sure to drain the pineapple completely and pat dry if it’s extra juicy. 
  • Canned Pear – since the canned pear only comes in chunks, they will need to be cut into smaller pieces to match the pineapple tidbits. They are wonderfully sweet and fruity!
  • Mini marshmallows – anything with mini marshmallows is a party. They add extra fluffiness and fun!

Tips for Making

Making this Green Jello Salad couldn’t be any more hassle-free. Everything comes together in one bowl, and the refrigerator does all the hard work for you! Follow these simple tips to make your jello salad a huge success:

  • Make sure the water is boiling – this is essential as the gelatin needs boiling water to activate. 
  • Add the cream cheese in when the water is still hot – the cream cheese gets whipped into the hot, gelatin liquid which seems odd and chunky at first, but it gets smooth and frothy. Adding the cream cheese at this point is the easiest way to make the jello “creamy.” Otherwise, it can be hard to work the cream cheese in without ruining the jello.
  • Properly drain and pat the canned fruit dry – adding additional liquid into the jello mixture can cause the jello to not set properly.
  • Allow plenty of refrigeration time – since the jello needs to set in the refrigerator, it needs time! A trick of the trade: my mom says that if it’s not setting fast enough for you, pop it in the freezer for a bit! No one will ever know. 

How to Serve

First of all, remember that whatever bowl, dish or ring mold you pour the jello into before it goes into the refrigerator is what it will need to be served in. Or, if you’re using a mold, that is the shape it will be when it comes out of the mold.

For me, I chose a decorative, yet simple dish. Try to not choose anything too deep or un-even as the jello will set differently from one area to the next.

Then, after the Green Jello Salad has set, top with a dollop or two of whipped cream (or extra Cool Whip) and a few maraschino cherries. They really give the jello salad a classic, retro look!

Finally, it’s time to dig in! Set out and serve cold.

Green Jello Salad FAQ’s

Do I use regular or sugar-free lime gelatin?

Either! Both options work great for this recipe. 

Can fresh fruit be used?

Yes! There’s just a couple things to keep in mind. One, fresh pineapple will not be as soft as canned pineapple. I recommend cutting it into smaller pieces to help with this. And secondly, you still want to get rid of as much juice so it doesn’t make the jello watery. 

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes! Since it needs time to set in the refrigerator, it won’t hurt to sit in there a bit longer. This jello salad can be made 1-2 days in advance. I recommend topping it with additional whipped cream and maraschino cherries right before serving. 

Do I need to keep this cold while serving? 

I recommend pulling it out of the refrigerator right before serving, but it can sit at room temperature while being served.

Recipe Video:

Looking for other Side Dish Recipes? Check these out!

Honey Dill Roasted Carrots

Italian Orzo Pasta Salad

Wilted Kale Salad


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Green Jello Salad

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Green Jello Salad is a nostalgic classic! Lime gelatin is swirled together with cream cheese and whipped cream for a vibrant, fluffy and creamy Jello base. Fold in chopped pineapple, pears and mini marshmallows to take this jello salad to the next level. Serve Green Jello Salad as a fun side dish for any occasion!


  • 6 oz lime gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (additional for garnish if desired)
  • 8 oz pineapple tidbits, drained and patted dry
  • 15.5 oz pear chunks, drained and cut into smaller pieces to match the pineapple tidbits
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, carefully whisk together the lime gelatin with the boil water. Add in the cream cheese and use a hand mixer to carefully mix together until smooth and slightly frothy. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to1 hour to cool.
  2. Add the Cool Whip, pineapple, pear and mini marshmallows into the lime gelatin base. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Pour into desired serving dish (9×13 pan, round serving bowl or jello ring mold) and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or until set.
  4. Garnish with additional dollops of Cool Whip and maraschino cherries. Serve cold and enjoy!


  • Regular or sugar-free lime gelatin can be used.
  • This recipe can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until serving. Garnish right before serving.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours refrigeration
  • Category: Side Dish


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 208
  • Sugar: 16.8g
  • Sodium: 92mg
  • Fat: 13.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.6g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

Keywords: Green Jello Salad

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If you make this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures 🙂

Thanks for following and cooking along with me!


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