Lemon Jello Salad deserves a spot on all your summer menus! Zesty lemon, juicy pineapple and coconut come together in an easy recipe that’s perfect as a sweet side dish or chilled dessert.
We use the term salad loosely around here. If you’ve ever had Strawberry JELLO Pretzel Salad, you know what I mean. Our frozen cranberry salad is a holiday favorite, and way tastier than the green leafy kind of salad.
Why This Salad Is Best
Today’s Lemon JELLO Salad is a close relative of Ambrosia, a fruit salad that’s ubiquitous in the midwest! Pistachio Fluff is another similar dish that shows up at nearly all our family parties and potlucks!
What can I say? We just love mixing Cool Whip, JELLO and fruit together and calling it “salad.”
Of all the variations on Ambrosia out there, I think this Lemon JELLO version tastes most like SUMMER.
- Lemon, pineapple and coconut flavors.
- Lemon cool whip “dressing”.
- Tangy cottage cheese.
- Just 5 minutes of prep time!
- Serve it as a side dish or dessert.
- Cool Whip. Acts as the creamy “dressing” that ties the Lemon JELLO Salad together. Use our homemade cool whip instead!
- Lemon JELLO powder. Adds instant lemon flavor and color to the cool whip.
- Crushed pineapple. Make sure to strain out the the juices before adding it to the salad.
- Fruity mini marshmallows. I opted for the fruity variety to keep the salad colorful and give it more variety of flavor. Regular mini marshmallows would be delicious too.
- Sweetened shredded coconut. The texture adds a lovely variety to the creamy Cool Whip base. Use toasted coconut if you prefer a crunch!
- Cottage cheese. This might sound like a strange addition, but the tangy chunky texture melds deliciously with the other ingredients for a well-rounded satisfying flavor.
Tips and Tricks
- Not a fan of cool whip? Swap it out for a batch of this homemade Stabilized Whipped Cream instead.
- Regular mini marshmallows are a great alternative if you can’t find the fruity ones.
- Chill well before serving. This Lemon JELLO salad needs at least an hour or two in the refrigerator to taste its best. The chilling not only brings it to a nice cold temperature, but gives the flavors time to blend.
- Add fresh lemon juice. Squeezing some fresh lemon juice into the salad brightens up the taste and enhances the lemon flavor in the JELLO.
- Make it more yellow. This salad is a pale yellow when left au natural as the Cool Whip dilutes the hue of the JELLO powder. Add a drop or two of yellow food gel if you want it to a bolder color.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It stays good for up to 3 days.
Fruity marshmallows are marshmallows with different fruit flavors added. The blend I use includes orange, strawberry, lime and lemon flavored mini marshmallows.
Yes, you can assemble this sweet salad up to 2 days in advance. Store it covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
It’s both! I think of this as more of a dessert since it has all those marshmallows and lots of Cool Whip. But it’s totally acceptable to put a big scoop of it on your plate to enjoy as a side for your main course. That’s what makes JELLO “salads” so fun!
Yes, frozen pineapple can be used here. Thaw it first, then add to the salad with the other ingredients.
It sure will! Lime JELLO and Orange JELLO would taste good as an alternative to the lemon if you want a different kind of citrus flavor. I happen to like the lemon version best.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
If you love Ambrosia salad recipes, this fruity, tangy, refreshing JELLO Salad is going to knock your socks off!