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Pear and Lime Jello Salad

This easy Pear and Lime Jello Salad is a retro classic that can be served as either a dessert or a side dish at the holidays or any time of the year!

It’s sweet, creamy, light and fluffy, refreshing, delicious, and just as good at a summer barbecue as it is with Christmas dinner!

Back in the day when Jell-O salads and molds were all the rage, this one was often called Seafoam Salad (I assume because of it’s lovely seafoam green color and fluffy texture). And it’s a holiday dinner tradition in our family!

We call it The Green Jell-O Salad (because there’s a red one too), and there are very strong opinions about it. Some of us love it {raises hand and waves it enthusiastically}. And others…well, not so much.

I don’t get that (it’s sooo good!), but it’s totally fine because, you know, more for those of us who enjoy it!

Last year, I shared David’s grandma’s recipe for Cherry Applesauce Jello Salad (that’s the red one), and it’s become such a popular recipe here on the blog that I decided to share this one as well (I guess lots of people still like Jell-O salad!).

It’s so easy, all you need is 4 ingredients, and it takes only about 15 minutes to put it all together. Then you just let it chill out in the refrigerator until it’s set…so it’s perfect for making ahead.

Now, I will admit that I took a couple of liberties with Grandma’s recipe to make it just a little quicker and easier (both out of sheer laziness, if I’m going to be totally honest). I shortened up the steps, and I swapped out the Dream Whip for Cool Whip.

Both changes worked out just fine, and the salad came out exactly the same. You’ve got to try it!

pear and lime jello salad in a white bowl with a spoonful being lifted out

Ingredients you need:

  • Canned pear halves (in syrup or juice; I use the ones in heavy syrup)
  • Lime Jell-O
  • Cream cheese
  • Cool Whip

Here’s a look at how to make Pear and Lime Jello Salad:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of pear halves in a strainer over a bowl with text that says drain pairs, reserve the liquid; the other of the pair liquid boiling in a pot on the stove with text that says place the liquid in a pot; bring to a boil
2 images; one of lime Jell-O being stirred in a bowl with the pear liquid with text that says add hot pear liquid to Jell-O, stir until Jell-O is dissolved; the other of the pears and cream cheese in a bowl with a potato masher on the side with text that says place pears and cream cheese in a bowl
2 images; one of the pears and cream cheese being mashed together in a bowl with text that says mash until well combined and pears are in very small pieces; the other of the pear mixture added to the bowl of Jell-O with text that says add pear mixture to the Jell-O mixture
2 images; one of the pear mixture being stirred into the Jell-O with text that says stir until well combined; the other of Cool Whip added to the bowl with text that says add the Cool Whip
2 images; one of the Cool Whip being folded into the Jell-O mixture with text that says gently fold in Cool Whip until well combined; the other or a refrigerator with text that says cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • This recipe makes about 6 cups of salad (enough for 12 half-cup servings). If you don’t need quite that much, you can easily halve the recipe (you’ll just have half of a box of Jell-O left over to use another time).
  • The steps in the original recipe called for letting the Jell-O partially set before adding the pear and cream cheese mixture and then letting that partially set before adding the Cool Whip.
    • I decided to skip those steps and just mix everything together so I could put it in the fridge and forget about it until I was ready to serve it. I didn’t notice any difference in the end result.
  • The original recipe called for Dream Whip. I can’t always find it, so I substituted Cool Whip. If you’d like to use Dream Whip, use one envelope and prepare according to the package directions (you will need milk and vanilla extract).
    • Don’t substitute homemade whipped cream in this recipe; it is not stable enough and will break down rather quickly.
  • I have seen lots of variations to this recipe. Here are just a few:
    • You can use one 8-ounce container of small curd cottage cheese instead of cream cheese.
    • Two 15-ounce cans of crushed pineapple can be substituted for the pears. You need 1¼ cup of juice. If there’s not enough juice in the cans, use water to make up the difference.
    • Add chopped pecans.
    • Add maraschino cherries.
  • You could also try making this salad with other flavors of Jell-O.
two small bowls of pear and lime jello salad with the serving bowl in the background and two spoons in front

You can top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream if you’d like. And wouldn’t a red maraschino cherry on top make this so festive and perfect when serving it for the holidays?

I hope you try this Pear and Lime Jello Salad recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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pear and lime jello salad in a bowl

Pear and Lime Jello Salad

This easy Pear and Lime Jello Salad is a retro classic that can be served as either a dessert or a side dish at the holidays or any time of the year!
5 from 3 votes
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 13 minutes
Servings: 12 (about ½ cup each)
Estimated Calories: 185

Ingredients

  • 2 (15.25-ounce) cans pear halves, in syrup or juice (I use the ones in heavy syrup)
  • 1 (3-ounce) box lime Jell-O
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Cool Whip, thawed

Instructions

  • Drain the pears; reserve the liquid.
    Note: You should get about 1¼ cups of liquid from the pears. If there's more than that, discard the extra. If there's not quite that much, add a little water to make up the difference.
  • Put the liquid from the pears into a small pot (I use a 2-quart pot); bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, pour the lime Jell-O into a large bowl. As soon as the pear liquid comes to a boil, pour it into the bowl with the Jell-O and stir constantly until the Jell-O is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes; set aside.
  • Place the pears in a separate large bowl along with the cream cheese. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash them together until well-combined and the pears are in very small pieces.
  • Add the pear mixture to the Jell-O mixture; mix until well-combined.
    Note: If there are any large pieces of cream cheese, break them up into smaller pieces (I press them against the side of the bowl with the spoon). You will end up with small pieces of cream cheese left in the mixture, and that's fine; it's hard to get them all completely combined.
  • Add the Cool Whip and gently fold it in until the mixture is well-combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours; Enjoy!
    Note: Before refrigerating, you can transfer the mixture to your serving bowl if you'd like. I prefer to spoon the set salad into my serving bowl so it looks nice and fluffy in the bowl rather than flat on top, so I just leave it in the mixing bowl while chilling.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 6 cups of salad. If you don’t need quite that much, you can easily halve the recipe (you’ll just have half of a box of Jell-O left over to use another time).
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Kelly Hernandez

Thursday 31st of August 2023

Hi Michelle! My mother has been making Lime Jello Salad ever since the '70's. She made it every holiday and sometimes she would make it for guests that was invited for dinner. Everybody loved it. When I moved in with mom to help care for her I began making it for her and I because I always loved it. Mom has since went to be with the Lord and your recipe that I saw on here is the same recipe mom used. I have passed it on to my sisters. It is a huge family favorite. I have also passed on your Cherry AppleSauce Jello Salad recipe that I love. Thank you for posting such wonderful recipes that we grew up with. Your recipes are truly so good and they bring back memories of many years around the table. God bless you.

Michelle

Thursday 31st of August 2023

Hi, Kelly! Thank you for your kind words, for sharing this story about your mom's food, and for passing these recipes along to your sisters. It really is so awesome how food can help keep all of those wonderful memories alive!

Bonny Wise

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

I'm pretty certain this is the recipe my grandma made and I loved it! She did use Dream Whip which was readily available back in the 70s and 80s. I thought for sure it would be in with her recipes but I didn't find it. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Hi, Bonny! I'm so glad you found this recipe! There's nothing better than recreating those recipes that we remember and love from our moms and grandmas. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary

Thursday 16th of June 2022

I have been making this for years. Grandkids call it pear pudding. I use a large can of pears, 6 oz lime jello, 8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz Cool Whip. Add water to pear juice to make two cups, heat and dissolve Jello. Blend half of ingredients in Cuisinart or blender then other half. Easy and pretty!

Mary

Thursday 16th of May 2024

@Michelle, Using the blender makes the cream cheese and jello mix so well!! I chunk my pears, I don't blend or mash them up. We keep some plain green jello to put on top of pear mixture (after it partially sets) for a 2 layer look.

Michelle

Friday 17th of June 2022

Hi, Mary! Thanks for sharing the way you make this classic jello salad!

Becky

Thursday 30th of December 2021

My uncle made this for Christmas this year. Was what my grandma always used to make. I’m so excited to have it now!!!

Michelle

Friday 31st of December 2021

Thanks, Becky! I'm so glad you found the recipe...it's so awesome to make these classic recipes that we remember!

Michelle James

Tuesday 14th of December 2021

Love this salad! We always used cottage cheese and pineapple, but I'm very interested in trying pears. Thank you!

Michelle

Tuesday 14th of December 2021

Hey, Michelle! The pears are really delicious in this salad (and I'm not even a huge pear fan). I think you'll like it! One of these days, I'm going to try it with pineapple (my favorite fruit). Thanks!