Molded Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored on a bed of lettuce.

Congealed Salad, Lime Or Cherry Flavored

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The tropical burst of pineapple infuses this creamy, crunchy congealed salad. Besides pineapple, it has chunks of cream cheese, pecans, and crunchy bits of celery. My Mawmaw served it every holiday; back then, it was “the trendy dish” that everyone was preparing. Now it’s the one I’m re-introducing to my family.

Two salad plates with snowflake cutouts of Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored.

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Recalling The Congealed Salad

The mention of the congealed salad may take you down memory lane to dinner at grandma’s, or you may not have any idea of what I’m talking about. Well, it’s a side dish/salad/dessert made with flavored gelatin, fruit, vegetables, and nuts usually served in a molded shape. Perhaps its other name is more familiar, The Jello Salad.

Red and whiter casserole dish filled with the lime Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored.

This lime salad was something we looked forward to every holiday. In recent discussions of Mamaw Trahan’s congealed recipe with family members, we had a little trouble recalling the ingredients. Then, my sister Eleanor, found out that our Aunt Martha had the recipe. She had managed to scribble it on a small envelope while our grandma dictated it to her.

Usually, sweet Mamaw, in her broken English, would tell of her recipes as, “add some of this and some of that,” but this time, Aunt Martha had all of the ingredient amounts listed. YAY!

A glass bowl of lime jello and water stirred by a spoon for Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored.

Two things I remember most are the taste of lime and chopped celery. That’s right, celery! As a child, I couldn’t get past the thought of a vegetable in a fruit salad, but I’m over it now. I appreciate the fresh, crunchy bits with bursts of water when you bite into them that dilute the sweetness in the jello and pineapple. No worries if you aren’t a celery fan; just omit it altogether.

Red spatula stirring pecans into mixture of lime yellow and cream cheese, pineapple mixture for Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored.

To Mold Or Not To Mold

A molded salad can be impressive but not necessary. Most containers can be used for molding. Even cookie cutters make a pretty presentation. For this, ensure the jello salad’s finished shape is not too thick so the cookie cutter can pass through. Pouring the jelo into a shallow cookie sheet works well.

Begin by turning the cold salad onto a large plate or wooden cutting board. Then, carefully remove the dish and cut out the shapes. Remove the unwanted mixture from around the cutter’s sides and slide it onto a serving plate, pulling away the cookie cutter to expose its form. You can choose a corresponding shape to fit the season, like the picture at the top.

Here are some helpful instructions to unmold your salad. First, lightly spray the container with cooking spray before pouring gelatin ingredients into it. Next, the congealed salad must be set and cold. Then place it in a shallow pan and pour hot water surrounding the outside of the mold.

Cherry Or Lime Flavored poured into a round bundt cake mold.

Using a small sharp knife, carefully separate the jelled salad fom all sides without breaking it up. Go down as far as you can with the blade loosening the salad. After a couple of minutes in the warm bath, place a serving plate or platter on top of the mold and flip it upside down. The congealed salad should come right out. If it doesn’t, repeat the process again.

Placing a glass plate of lettuce leaves on top of molded Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored.

You can lay lettuce leaves for a garnish over the mold before flipping onto the serving platter.

Cherry Or Lime

Molded Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored on a bed of lettuce.

Isn’t this cherry-flavored congealed salad pretty? I like the taste of cherry, but I’m partial to the lime because it reminds me of Christmases gone by.

I have to tell you about a little catastrophe in my kitchen. This salad above only lived a few minutes before falling into the sink. It happened while I was photographing its beauty. Yeah, I dropped it. Well, it slid off the plate, but the lettuce saved it from being a total loss. Bless the lettuce!

I scooped what I could into a bowl, and it was delish! So it goes to show, you don’t have to mold it for it to taste good.

More Recipes From My Mawmaw Trahan At Louisiana Woman!

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Red and whiter casserole dish filled with the lime Congealed Salad, Cherry Or Lime Flavored.

Congealed Salad, Lime Or Cherry Flavored

The tropical burst of pineapple infuses this creamy, crunchy cherry or lime congealed salad. It has chunks of cream cheese, pecans, and crunchy celery bits. You can mold it into any form or serve it straight from a dish. 

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15 servings 1x


  • 3 (3-ounce) packages of cherry or lime jello
  • 1 1/2 cups of hot water, not boiling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 30-ounces crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped fine


  1. Lightly spray a dish or mold with a light tasting non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour hot water into a bowl with jello and stir until jello is dissolved and set the bowl aside until jello is cool to the touch.
  3. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer just until it is broken up into large chunks, not creamy.
  4. Add pineapple to the cream cheese and mix them together. 
  5. Pour the cooled jello into cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. 
  6. Stir in the nuts and celery then pour into the prepared dish or mold.
  7. Refrigerate about 8 hours or overnight until the salad is firm.
  8. Unmold by setting the mold in a pan for a few minutes that has a few inches of warm water in it while separating the salad away from the sides of the dish using a sharp knife.
  9. Place a plate over the dish and turn it all upside down to unmold the salad onto the plate. Remove the mold and garnish salad keeping it chilled in the refrigerator before serving.


  • Set dissolved jello in the freezer or refrigerator to speed up cooling down.
  • If salad does not want to unmold turn it over and repeat the process again. 
  • If it falls out in pieces, you can place it back together and use a little water to seal the edges.
  • If it is an unfixable mess, put the salad in a bowl and enjoy by the spoonful.
  • Try using other flavored gelatins.
  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: congealed salad

A collage of congealed salads,

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  1. I went back in time reading about this salad. We always had green salad at Christmas. Loved it with Ritz crackers for a late nite snack.

  2. My grandma and Aunt used to make the Lime congealed salad every Thanksgiving. I tried it Thanksgiving Holiday 2019. When I make it, i put cream cheese in with the warm water and let it dissolve in the water before adding the Lime Gelatin,and this makes the salad smoother to taste even after I add the pineapple & pecans, Oh yes, and add colored pink, green, and white Marsmallows on top. T
    Urns out delicious every time. We like to eat ours with Cornbread dressing & Collard Greens. Yum, Yum

  3. This is a family tradition on Thanksgiving and has always been my favorite side dish! I am happy to see others also share in this somewhat strange combination that is absolutely delicious!

  4. My grandmother used to make this all the time. I have been looking for the recipe for years. I’m truely thankful because it’s a strange combination but its works so well and it is delicious

  5. I have always loved jello mold salad. I use Lime jello at Christmas time and decorate with Cherries. Festive!
    Acadiana girl….

  6. Hello,
    I first tasted this recipe on Thanksgiving Day,1972,when I was attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and I was invited by a local family to join them in their Thanksgiving Feast. I was an international student and their daughter was a classmate of mine who wanted to help acculturate me. As she was describing the recipe, I realized that it was far different from the Mediterranean diet I was eating up to that point in my life. I had to try it however to be polite to my hostess, and I am so glad i did! I fell in love with it right away and asked for the recipe. Somehow, I had misplaced it. I am so glad I found it today, thanks to you! You brought to mind many fond memories from the years I lived in Knoxville, where I experienced Southern hospitality to it fullest!

    • Thank you! I appreciate the time you’ve taken to let me know how this recipe has brought back a bit of nostalgia for you. It always reminds me of my grandmother’s Thanksgiving feats, a fond memory for me, too. 😁

    • Dale, I haven’t tried any other fruit, but I would say 2 cans of drained mandarin oranges might work. I have used mandarin oranges in lots of other fruit salads with jello and they were delicious. I hope this helps. Thanks!

  7. This is the same recipe I use. I love this combination with the celery. However, I have never had it in the cherry version! Willing to try.

  8. So glad you posted this recipe. Was one of my favorite when I was a child. I don’t remember my Mother putting celery in hers.
    Thanks again

    • Hi, Carol! My pleasure! I’ve had a couple of people tell me the same thing. I like the crisp watery bites of celery. It’s delish!

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