Flavored with lime jello and thickened with cream cheese and mayonnaise, this retro dessert has the sweet taste of lime sorbet with mixed fruit and pecans.

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Creamy Lime Jello Salad! Flavored with lime jello and thickened with cream cheese and mayonnaise, this retro dessert has the sweet taste of lime sorbet with mixed fruit and pecans. | HomemadeHooplah.com

About Creamy Lime Jello Salad

I’ve been on a bit of a retro recipe kick lately, and there’s nothing quite so retro as a classic jello mold.

And this specific recipe really caught my eye not only for the festive look, but also due to the interesting ingredients.

Because, you see, not only is this salad flavored with lime jello, but the creamy look is due to a dash of cream cheese…  and mayonnaise. Yes, this jello salad does have mayonnaise, and it’s all the more delicious for it.

You have my word on this: this lime jello salad has lasted the test of time because it’s equal parts sweet, flavorful, and a great conversation piece.

What’s in creamy lime jello salad?

In order to make your own retro jello salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Cream cheese – For creating a creamy texture. It’s also what gives this jello mold its opaque, pale green color.
  • Lime gelatin and water – The star of the show! For the delicious lime JELL-O base that makes this dessert so popular.
  • Mayonnaise – For more consistency and creaminess.
  • Fruit cocktail and chopped pecans – To add more fruity flavor and a delicate crunch.

So, wait, there’s mayonnaise in this?

Yep, there absolutely is mayonnaise in this jello mold – but it doesn’t dominate the flavor. It only helps add consistency and creaminess.

But if you just can’t handle the idea of mayonnaise touching jello, you can substitute it for another three or four ounces of cream cheese. Just add this extra amount in when the recipe calls for cream cheese and ignore the step for adding the mayonnaise.

Side view of prepared creamy lime jello salad resting on a cake stand.

What fillings can you add to a jello mold?

This recipe calls for about six cups of fruit cocktail, which is sort of a catch-all for the most popular jello salad ingredients.

However, if you’d like to customize your jello salad, feel free to use a combination of any of the following ingredients. All you have to do is make sure you use no more than six cups total and that all ingredients are thoroughly drained or patted dry.

  • Canned pineapple (cubed or crushed)
  • Canned pears
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Fresh fruit, like strawberries, grapes, oranges, raspberries, etc
  • Mini marshmallows

Can cherry jello be substituted for lime?

Yes! If you feel you would like the flavor combination better if it was cherry (or strawberry or grape or any other flavor), then yes, you can definitely try that. Just keep the jello flavor in mind when picking your filling options.

However, I do feel I should say that I’ve only tried this recipe using lime jello. The lime jello actually ends up tasting like sorbet, and I’m sure a similar effect will happen with a different flavor. So if you like the sorbet flavor, you should also like it as a jello salad.

Top down view of creamy lime jello salad, showing off the fruit and pecans mixed within,

What kind of bundt pan should be used?

You can use any style or design of bundt pan that you’d like, so long as the bundt pan can hold about 16 cups (or four quarts). This is what most standard, 10-inch bundt pans can hold.

To make things easier, I would recommend avoiding any bundt pans with intricate designs or sharp edges. Jello is not solid and is nowhere near as forgiving as cake, so you’ll have more luck with round, sloping corners and designs on your bundt pan.

Can you make this in advance?

Certainly! Jello salad is great for whipping up ahead of time.

To ensure the best presentation, I recommend making this salad up to 24 hours in advance after the jello salad is ready to eat (so the eight-hour chilling time had already passed).

How long can jello last once made?

As a general rule, homemade jello can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

However, how long your jello salad lasts will ultimately depend on the fillings you’ve chosen. For example, if you used fresh fruit, plan to keep it for no more than four days.

Sliced piece of creamy lime jello salad on a plate pictured with green decorations and a gold fork.

Can you freeze jello salad?

Bad news here, guys. While jello can technically be frozen, the freezing and thawing process will change the consistency in such a way (grainy texture) that it may become offputting and unenjoyable to eat. The mayonnaise in this recipe is also a concern, as emulsions are notorious for not being not freezer-friendly due to ingredient separation. Because of all of this, I can’t recommend freezing this dessert.

For best results, plan on enjoying this jello salad while it’s still fresh.

Notes & tips for this creamy lime jello mold

Close up of a shiny gold fork piercing a slice of creamy lime jello salad.

More Retro Recipes

More great recipes with cherries

How do you make creamy lime jello salad?

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), whip the softened cream cheese and the powdered lime jello on medium-high speed until thoroughly mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Step 2 – Boil some water and pour it into the bowl with the cream cheese and jello. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients until the jello has dissolved and the cream cheese has melted.

Step 3 – Place the bowl in the refrigerator for one or two hours so that it can thicken up a bit. Check the jello frequently and stir to check the consistency. If you notice a ring forming around the edges of the bowl, you can move on to the next step.

Step 4 – Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and add in the mayonnaise, fruit cocktail, and chopped pecans (or whatever fillings you’ve chosen). Use a spatula to stir everything together until the mayonnaise has dissolved into the jello mixture.

Step 5 – Spray a standard, 10-inch bundt pan (that can hold 16 cups or 4 quarts) with cooking spray, then pour the jello salad mixture inside. Use the spatula to smooth out the top of the jello so there aren’t any pieces of fruit or pecans sticking up (this will ensure the jello mold can sit flat once set).

Step 6 – Transfer filled bundt pan to the refrigerator and let chill until the jello is set, about three to five hours. I recommend letting it chill overnight.

Step 7 – When ready to serve the jello salad, have your serving plate handy. Remove the bundt pan from the refrigerator and place your serving plate over the exposed part of the bundt pan. Then, while holding the serving plate in place, quickly flip it over so that the bundt pan is on top of the plate. Normally, the jello should immediately fall out of the bundt pan. If it doesn’t, lift the bundt pan up about one inch and give it a few shakes downward; the jello salad should easily slip out onto the plate.

Step 8 – Cut and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Close up side view of creamy lime jello salad, showing off the round shape with a whole in the middle.
4.40 from 41 votes

Creamy Lime Jello Salad

30 minutes prep + 8 hours chill time
484 kcal
Yields: 10 servings
Flavored with lime jello and thickened with cream cheese and mayonnaise, this retro dessert has the sweet taste of lime sorbet with mixed fruit and pecans.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 9 ounces lime gelatin, (3 3oz packages)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 45 ounces fruit cocktail, thoroughly drained (3 15oz cans)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


  • Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), whip cream cheese and powdered lime gelatin on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined, about 5-8 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer.
    8 ounces cream cheese, 9 ounces lime gelatin
  • Boil 3 cups of water, then pour boiling water into the bowl with the cream cheese. Use a spatula to stir until the gelatin has dissolved and cream cheese has melted.
    3 cups water
  • Transfer bowl to the refrigerator and chill for 1-2 hours, stirring frequently, until consistency has slightly thickened. Mixture is ready once a ring starts to form along the edges of the bowl.
  • Remove bowl from refrigerator. Add mayonnaise, fruit cocktail, and chopped pecans to bowl, then stir thoroughly until mayonnaise has dissolved into the liquid.
    3/4 cup mayonnaise, 45 ounces fruit cocktail, 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • Spray a 16 cup bundt pan (standard bundt pan size) with cooking spray, then pour the gelatin salad mixture inside. Use a spatula to smooth out the top so that there aren't any producing pieces of pecans or fruit.
  • Place bundt pan in the refrigerator and chill until gelatin is completely set, usually anywhere from 3-5 hours. For best results, let gelatin set overnight.
  • When ready to serve, remove bundt pan from refrigerator. Place a serving dish over the top of the bundt pan, then hold the plate in place while flipping the bundt pan over (so that the bundt pan ends up on top of the plate). If the gelatin doesn't immediately fall out, lift the bundt pan up about 1 inch and gently shake downwards; gelatin should quickly fall out.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 630IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Diana

    My husband is diabetic and I was wondering if I could make it using sugar-free jello, although someone commented it never firmed up.

    • Michelle

    My mom made this but it had a graham cracker bottom. Has anyone ever had it this way? I’m trying to find that recipe

    • Anna Gallo

    Hi Chrisy, thanks for posting this! I love retro recipies too! Can’t wait to try it! Many years ago I enjoyed making a variation of this salad! I used lime Jello too, withiut the creamchese and mayo, but added a small amount of distilled vinegar for a sweet and sour taste. I added small cubes of hard raw veggies and fruits such as carrots, celery, peppers ( red yellow orange ) red onion ( optional, sparingly), broccoli, cauliflower,
    raddishes, hard apples- grannysmiths are great, hard pears and pineapple chunks and water chestnuts instead. I think you’ll like it!

    • TlynnB

    This is a holiday favorite my mom would make every Christmas. She would use pineapple and pecans/walnuts and cottage cheese, with mayo and marshmallows just a few to not overcrowd it and cream cheese. I will be making it for the first time ever in my 55 years of life. Wish me luck, I will probably tweek it as I am making it as to the amounts of ingredients I put in. I am a visual person not so much go to the t of the recipe person. LOL. Thank you for having this online to reference it Happy Holidays everyone and enjoy your salad.

    • Rosanne Weston
    • 5 stars

    My mother made this when I was little. I loved it then and still do. I don’t remember if she put pecans in it or not. It’s

    • Emil


    • Sue
    • 5 stars

    Our version of this replaces the mayo and evap milk with softened cream cheese, whipped cream, and mini marshmallows. SO GOOD!

    • Sue

    Our version of this replaces the mayo and evap milk with softened cream cheese, whipped cream, and mini marshmallows. SO GOOD,

    • ann stoute

    This is a most delightful recipe, delicious, refreshing & most appealing in presentation. Your layout of the recipe is also very well presented & easy to follow. Have made this on several family/friends invites. Thank you for your fine work.

    • Patricia
    • 1 star

    How would you cut this in half? It’s way to big for my family of 3. I would love to try this!

      • Happy
      • 5 stars

      My mother always made the full recipe and then froze 1/2 in a separate mold. We ate the first 1/2 for Thanksgiving and the second 1/2 for Christmas. I hate this “salad” and always have but my now 83 year old dad loves it. This is the first holiday without my mom so very happy to see this recipe because she never passed it on to me. She died in a surgical accident during a “routine” surgery.

    • Billie Jo Burns
    • 5 stars

    I’m having a 70s themed party tonight so I made this jello salad. I forgot how much I loved these. My grandmother use to make them for us when I was a girl. What a great flash from the past.

    • Kai
    • 1 star

    It would be helpful if you had stated that you used regular full-sugar Jello. Turns out it the cream cheese makes it so it doesn’t set with the sugar-free Jello version. It was a watery mess. I had to go buy a cake instead for my potluck, because the failed recipe made me run out of time… 😕

      • Dan

      You don’t test your recipes before you go somewhere? Also, you know when an ingredient list doesn’t specify sugar-free, it’s not sugar free.

      This is a delicious salad, thank you for the recipe. Reminds me of holidays when I was growing up

      • Melissa

      Who makes sugar free desserts? Sorry, but that’s just unrealistic criticism for a holiday dessert. I’m a diabetic and wouldn’t expect this dessert to be made with sugar free jello.

    • taryn
    • 5 stars

    Reminds me of my grandma! Thank you.

    • Noelle
    • 5 stars

    The best way to fill a jello mold, great creamy reicpe!

    • Tina Rowe
    • 5 stars

    Thank you! In about 1981 I bought some lightweight metal, individual gelatin molds, because they reminded me of the desserts a former landlady made for her woman’s club tea parties, in the 1960’s. (How’s that for a reason?) I have never used them! However, I didn’t want to part with the memories they always evoke when I see them at the back of a kitchen shelf.

    Yesterday, I was trying to decide whether to throw them away or not and decided to use them at least once. I halved this recipe, for six molds and a small bowl for the rest, but had to modify it for my family’s dietary needs. Instead of using nuts I diced some celery hearts for crunch and added some well-drained cherries and diced green grapes.

    I served them, like Mrs. Bumgartner did, on lettuce leaves. The desserts were lovely and this recipe was delicious–creamy, with the right amount of sweet. Everyone enjoyed it, from son-in-law to little grandson. My daughter, who used to play with the molds like stacking toys, was impressed. She took the remaining desserts home and they ate them that night!

    Bottom line: I’m going to keep the gelatin molds and use them again soon. Also, thank you for the clear pictorial, video and text. I didn’t necessarily need them to make the recipe, but I enjoyed them very much and thought they were very well done.

      • Cathy

      I too have the same small gelatin molds, about 15 of them. Do not throw them out, they’re valuable and vintage. Pass them on to your daughter or donate to the Salvation Army. Great story.

    • Patrici

    Cream cheese comes in 8 not 9oz…🙃

      • Chrisy

      Thank you for catching that! All fixed now 😀

    • Angela Johnson

    Can you substitute plain yogurt instead of mayo?

    • Kelly

    My Grandmother made this all the time but with a can of crushed pineapple, sour cream, and toasted pecans. My favorite!!! Thanks for the fresh take on it!! Can’t wait to try it.