Lime Green Jello Conspiracy….

I have mentioned here before that my grandmother had lived with us during my teen and college years. When my parents could no longer keep care of her they put her into a facility near by that could keep care of her. My mother went everyday, usually about 4-5 hours a day. I truly don’t know how she did it. I only went twice a week. Wednesdays to help my mom with Bingo, she did it in English and I did it in Spanish. And then Sunday, we would all goes as a family. Two days a week for me was more than enough. It wasn’t so much the smell of stale urine that would get to you as the same conversation over and over again. The last few years of my grandmothers life we talked about green Jello every time I went.
See my grandmother was obsessed with the fact that she felt they were serving her lime Jello more than any of the other flavors of Jello. Her theory was that it was cheaper than all the other kinds of Jello. She had my mother go and complain to management time and time again(my didn’t really after so many times). If you would go eat with her and they served lime Jello, watch out, because you, and everyone else was going to hear about it. Now you know it has to be a pretty good facility when the only thing my grandmother could find to complain about was that she felt that they were getting lime Jello at a discount and pawning it off on the elderly. Taking that leftover saved Jello money(because you know how expensive Jello was) and buying all sorts of cars and vacations with them. I really hope my body goes to the great beyond before my mind does. :( As we never did convince her that she was getting the same amount of lime Jello as she was the other flavors of Jello.
The first time I had Lime Green Jello Salad my mother was experimenting at Easter. I say experiment because we liked our classics. My mother listed the ingredients and I raised and eyebrow. But I ate a square of that salad and I was hooked. After everyone left the table, my friend M(my mom always invited the strays over for holidays) and I sat finishing the Jello salad right from the pan. In fact we fought over it so much that my mom made us it again the next night(M ate over a lot in those days). And with that Green Jello Salad became a staple that was at the table every Easter. It is one of the few things I will only make once a year. Partly because I am ashamed to love such a concoction of such horrid ingredients and partly because I still eat the whole dish. I mean I made a pan of this last night as well as a couple in a parfait glass for Easter dinner. Literally half the pan is already gone and in my tummy. It’s so light and tasty, it is almost like eating air…kind of like me and rice krispy treats(which I also hardly make).
Hope everyone who was celebrating Easter has/had a good one!

Green Jello Salad

1 (6 ounce) package lime Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can mandrian oranges, drained
1 (8 ounce) can crush pineapple, drained
1 cup Sprite(or other lemon-lime soda)
½ cup chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) carton of Cool Whip, thawed, divided

Dissolve Jello in water. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in Jello and beat until smooth. Add pineapple, oranges, soda and pecans. Mix until incorporated. Chill the mixture in refrigerator for about 30-40 minutes, so that when you lift it with a spoon it is clumpy. Fold in ¾ of the Cool Whip.
Pour into a 9-x-13-inch pan or parfait glasses. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm. Garnish with remaining Cool Whip. If serving in pan, will make about 16 squares.


  1. I don’t know whether your story was meant to be funny, but it was touching because I have been there with my grandma. I have funny food memories just like that.

    This sounds like a decadent variation on lime green jello.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. That sounds like one very scary recipe, but one that I feel somewhat compelled to try! Can you use whipped cream instead of cool whip? We don’t have that here in Sweden. (nor do we have Jello, but I’m sure I can find some eventually.)

  3. I have to admit that I love jello — plain, unadulterated, any flavor of jello. Every five or ten years I go on a jello jag, and I buy boxes of sugar-free raspberry jello and eat until the craving goes away for another five years.

  4. Ah, I thought it sounded familiar – I think I had an aunt who used to make this!
    I understand about your grandmother, mine is currently heading towards that state, and her topics of conversation currently involve the amount of snow we have (several times a conversation), and the results of a physical she had back in the 1970’s.

  5. We all need our little sins!
    It looks lovely and it must be tasty to eat that much.

  6. I just had to laugh because my mother (89) is doing the same thing. Her topic is how mad she is at herself for selling her car. Although she uses a walker to get around and could not possibly walk to the parking lot of her little senior apartment, she still wishes she had that 1987 Chrysler. Every day, same conversation. I’m trying that dessert when she comes to see me in June. Maybe she will like to talk about jello!

  7. i have to admit my mother makes this green jello dish started with easter and everyone loves it so much she’s asked to bring it to all the hoilday get togethers..i had some earlier went back for seconds and it was gone :(

    -my grandmother went through a phrase of telling me how oprah would always come over to vist..and she would make it clear how much she disliked her-

  8. My mother was known for her “green stuff” as everyone referred to it. She made it every Thanksgiving and Christmas for the big family get together. I never could stand the stuff – but I carry on the holiday tradition now and make it for large family gatherings. Havent tried it with oranges though… Love your posts!

  9. Oh my god, I nearly squealed when I saw that first picture- Those exact salt/pepper shaker bunnies are on my wish list! Just be careful, I can easily see those cuties sneaking away with your dessert..!

  10. Love the bunny shaker. And the jello salad! This reminds me of the Watergate Cake I made this fall. The ingredients caused my eyebrow to rise…and feel the gasps behind me as I totally enjoyed it. Ha!

  11. Peabody, I laughed out loud when I saw that picture! I knew it was the green jello salad! My aunt always made that for all the family gatherings. Funny thing, she always put it in a green Tupperware bowl. She lost that green bowl one year and we all teased about how it tasted different! I actually emailed her your blog because it tickled me so much to see this. Then I called my mom to tell her as well! And by the way, I can eat the whole thing in one setting as well. eek! I just love this stuff!

  12. Hope we all end up with little more to complain about than green Jello (or equivalent). The recipe sounds like a great concoction for once a year. Love the oranges and pineapple additions.
    We have a cake Mom makes at Christmas called a Lane Cake which also is once a year…candied fruit, lots of pecans and coconut filling/frosting held together with booze and egg yolks over a plain white cake…great in small slices, but I usually eat small slice after small slice after small slice. That’s what holidays are for :D

  13. Peabody – I have to admit, this sounds disgusting to me.. but it wouldn’t be the first time I grimaced looking at the ingredients to something and then ate the whole thing. I’ll just have to take your word for it.. and maybe try it if green jello is on sale next time I’m at the story :) Beautiful pictures, as usual. Happy Easter.

  14. I have the exact same recipe that I received about 25 years ago from my ex mother-in-law, except it uses orange instead of lime jello. Of course, she called it orange salad. I thought it looked gross but was surprised how it tasted so good. It tasts just like a Dreamsicle; you’d love it! Just like you, I rarely make it since I always end up eating the whole thing in one day. (By the way, I found your site about a year ago and it’s the only one I go to regularly. I love your sense of humor and your photos are beautiful!)….

  15. I’ve never thought that something creamy could be refreshing too, but your green jello salad proved me wrong.

  16. My mother always made something very similar to this for Christmas. Must substitute real whipped cream, however, for the Cool Whip. Please!


  17. Thank you for the wonderful story, and for the … well, the recipe. I think that I’ll stay away from it, as it does sound like something that’d not go very far (that it’d end up securely tucked inside my tummy, that is). ;)

  18. This looks like a recipe made for my husband. It’s got two of his favorite food groups – jello and cool whip! Loved the lime jello conspiracy story. So that’s how those nursing homes make soooo much money!

  19. I’m dealing with the same thing you dealt with with your grandma.. for me it’s my auntie – who is more like my 2nd mom. :(

    I’ve never had jello salad in my life, that I can remember, but it looks good everytime I see someone blog about it. I need to try this.. everything in it is stuff I like, so it’s gotta be good, yes? :)


  20. I’m so glad you admitted to the weakness for jello salad – I inherited that from my mom’s side of the family! I love the stuff.

  21. she felt that they were getting lime Jello at a discount and pawning it off on the elderly.
    The swines!

  22. Green Jello injustice! I must admit, the salad sounds strange…. but so delicious!!! I might eat the whole pan too. Also, I can’t make rice krispy treats because I’ll eat the whole thing…. literally.

  23. Salad? Where are the greens? Oh, I see it, green jello ;)

  24. Where I grew up, Jello salads were all the rage at summer picnics and barbeques.

  25. Wow, this recipe creeps me out, but at the same time I want to make it.

  26. I love the lime jello conspiracy theory! So funny what catches the mind.
    Personally, I think they save more money serving oatmeal. That really fills up the gobblers and saves on laxatives. (This is nurse speak.)
    My mother was the queen of jello diversifications. Let me know if you need some more jello recipes. She did one with orange jello, whipping cream, grated cheddar cheese, and walnuts. I have 3 hand written recipes of it from her, as it was her most requested recipe. I really wasn’t that fond of it. But I treasure those recipe cards!

  27. I live in Utah – where Jello is the official state snack. You go to any church or community gathering, and you are sure to find some sort of Jello salad! A popular one is Jello with shredded carrots – which I have never understood. I could eat all of this one though!!

  28. courtney says:

    I know what you mean about child hood faves with ookey ingredients. I only eat cool whip in two incarnations. A doctored up box cake recipe that has mandarin oranges, and a pineapple coolwhip instant pudding icing. And cottage cheese with pineapple coolwhip and some powedered jello mixed into to help keep everything from being too runny.

    And, my husbands grandmother is in the early stages of Alzheimers so she still knows who we are and where she is, but repeats herself alot. I think she asked me if church was crowded about 5 times in 2 hours yesterday.

  29. It looks good, even if the ingredients are ‘un-real’ Touching story about your grandmother-and wonderful that you were able to share that time with her!

  30. Chopped Pecans? Holy Green Jello! Yum! I thought the jello it self looks delicious, but after reading the ingredients, my stomach started to growl!

    Looks and sounds wonderful!!

  31. Oh, Peabody, what a sweet and poignant story. I remember the first time I had this jello, though, and was craving it the other day. I’ve even made it with sugar free jello, and sugar-free Sprite. I know exactly what you mean about this jello, though. I’m so glad you were able to tell a wonderful but sad story along with it. Otherwise so many people would never even TRY this jello salad.

  32. Oh, your poor grandma! I love the obsession with lime jello. It’s one of my favorites. And Jeremy’s grandma made a lime jello salad for as long as anyone can remember. The recipes scare me, but having grown up in the south, I know that these beloved jello recipes are quite good – just don’t think about what goes into them :) Those serving glasses are wicked!

  33. I like the story very much. My grandma used to make a salad, similar to this, but it always seemed very runny.
    I wonder if lime Jello is the most popular/best selling flavor? I think it might be.
    Anyway, this dessert is so retro, which I like.

  34. I had such a giggle reading your post. My gran served this concoction as a dessert, not a salad.. We just used pineapple jello instead. Lovely stuff.

  35. I smiled and got teary eyed all at the same time reading your post. Your grandma sure was a strong one! I got my first taste of Jello salad shortly after I married a born and raised South Carolinian when his mom made it for Christmas…I was not expecting it but I am hooked now! Love your version of it, looks extremely refreshing!

  36. This sounds delicious. I can never get my head around how recipes like this are called salads – one of those delightful and charming cultural differences I guess.

  37. Even though I don’t want to eat anything with Cool Whip on principle….I still secretly fantasize about eating something just like this.

  38. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the ingredients in this recipe. I think it looks awesome. Even though you are adding to the lime green jello conspiracy.

  39. Hi there girlie,

    Just wanted to let you know that I loved your recipe! It is included in round up of the best recipes on the web over at Blissfully Domestic today. Thanks for the great recipe!! :)—r-2.html

  40. Oh, I love those shameful foods- not shameful for their calories (because who cares, right?) but shameful for the amount of boxes and plastic containers and chemicals needed to produce them.
    At least once a week I make my husband promise not to tell anyone that I ate xyz. This week it was “Betty Crocker’s Warm Delights.” Absolutely disgusting, but sometimes it’s midnight and I need something sort of resembling chocolate cake. And I need it to be ready in one minute and fifteen seconds.
    PS- my mom makes that jello thing with pistachio pudding mix. Or is it different?

  41. I just came across your blog today, and I love it! This is one of the most pleasurable posts I’ve read in a while- it reminded me of my own grandmother who had alzheimer’s in the last years of her life. I think the jello conspiracy theory was pretty clever! My grandmother would get hung up on different topics for long periods of time, too. For a while she kept telling us about this “ugly man” who would always come with her daughter (my aunt) to visit her- it was her son-in-law. :) I always wondered if she ever called him that to his face…

    Anyway, this recipe sounds a little bit like my mom’s watergate salad, except she adds mini marshmallows and skips the Sprite. I’m really eager to try it! I’m going to try it with sugar-free Jello and Diet Sprite.

  42. Your Mother sounds amazing, going every day to see your Grandmother.
    As for jello salads, they were at every family gathering when I was little (in one form or another). I may have to make this and take some to my mom.

  43. Miss Cristin says:

    My mother makes the SAME salad, only she uses mayonnaise (good ol’ Helmans) instead of cream cheese. It’s my FAVORITE part of the holidays, I hesitate to admit. The first time I brought my fiance around for a holiday, this salad almost made him hurl. Memories. Love it.

  44. i can’t wait to try this when the in laws come to visit in a few weeks! you see – the first time i had a jello salad i was very hesistant – jello? salad? huh? my mother in law makes hers with pineapple, walnuts, sour cream, and strawberries… i don’t care for sour cream when i can taste it, but i can eat oodles of her jello salad! so i can totally see how this would be good :)

  45. My grandma (who turned 100 last year) used to make this as a pie in a graham cracker crust and call it ‘cheesecake’. Until I was in my teens, this, to me, WAS cheesecake, and I LOVED it! Altho’ I am afraid the experience could disappoint, I am going to make this and see how reliable my childhood memories are.

  46. is it the sprite that makes it so fluffy?

  47. I just stumbled upon this exchange of ideas….I can relate and it made my day.

  48. Hi Peabody,
    Just a note to let you know I “borrowed” this recipe link for the Jell-O Rules Give-Away I’m having over @ my blog for Jell-O Week, 2009.

    Thanks so much for sharing…

  49. Shocked and Awed says:

    ISS considers this site as pornography. Wow!

  50. It is two weeks before Thanksgiving. 1:30 a.m. I am now thawing the cool whip for my personal green jello salad. I will eat the entire salad. I am not proud. This is the only way, on Thanksgiving Day, when I make it for my family, I will be sick of it and there will finally be some left for guests!!Shh I think I hear my daughter…


  1. […] A friend mentioned a pie topped with tiny colorful marshmallows.  Sounds like a great idea, right?  On the same day, Peabody posted a recipe for the most amazing and bizarre lime jello salad.  The fruity marshmallows were on sale at the grocery and the rest of the ingredients practically jumped out of the pantry.  I put everything on hold.  I just had to make this pie.   […]

  2. […] the Baker shifted Peabody’s Lime Jello Conspiracy Salad into pie form and added her own layer to the story. And now I’m adding […]

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