Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 6, 2011

Frosted Lime-Walnut Salad

Time for another one of those retro horror shows recipes that feature gelatin at its worst — in molded salad form!

Aside from a bundt pan, I don’t have any nicely-shaped molds that help transform your molded salad from frightening, to frightening-but-aesthetically-pleasing. Luckily, the Frosted Lime-Walnut Salad just calls for a loaf pan.


1 pkg. lime-flavored gelation
1 cup boiling water
1 #2 can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup finely sliced celery
1 tbsp. chopped pimiento
1/2 cup chopped Diamond Walnuts

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; cool till syrupy. Stir in remaining ingredients. Turn into 8 x 4 x 4″ loaf pan rinsed in cold water; chill. When firm, unmold or leave in pan; frost top (recipe below) and decorate with golden Diamond Walnut halves.

Frosting: Blend and beat till smooth, 1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, 1 tbsp. mayonnaise, 1 tsp. lemon juice.

People still make this, or at least post the recipe online. It’s even in the Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook, the most recent edition of which was published in 2007.

All the ingredients are fairly mundane, but not the sort of thing you really want to see sitting next to each other. Especially since you know they’re going to be mixed together.

I tried to make myself feel better by making the ingredients feel better. (It didn’t work.)

It’s charmingly colorful when you pour everything together, but then when you mix it…


I found a handy website here, a University of Nebraska Food, Nutrition & Health page that correlates can sizes, such as #2, to useful measures, such as 20 oz. Alternatively, just buy whatever size can is standard nowadays, dump it into your mixture, and think retroactively “Gosh, that looks like an awful lot of pineapple.”

It looks like even more pineapple when you read the dire warning that Jell-O will fail if you add fresh or frozen pineapple. (I am honestly not sure whether canned qualifies as “fresh” or not. Guess we’ll find out?)

One of the things I found worst about this recipe was the way it glistened.

It doesn’t really come across in the photographs, but it was pretty creepy.

I was secretly hoping the pineapple would cause disastrous problems with the gelatin setting. But, it didn’t, everything unmolded quite easily. “Yay.”

The few ingredients needed for the frosting are a little more reasonable.

The frosting was rather thick, making me worry I’d damage the loaf. (Sadly, I didn’t damage the loaf.)

I went the extra foot — not the extra mile — and added pimento garnish with the walnuts; it would have benefited visually from a bed of lettuce or such to decorate around the base, but I didn’t feel like throwing away perfectly good leafy vegetables on this.

Slicing was kinda hard; the loaf wanted to squish rather than separate, and you can see the curds and pineapple still clinging to the knife.

This actually wasn’t quite as horrifying as I expected. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was unappealing. The more you ate, the less edible it became; my mouth just stopped letting me put more forkfuls in. But I think it was the lumpy texture more than the flavor that I really disliked. The sweetness of pineapple and lime jello really masked every other flavor, but there was nothing to hide the crunchy celery and walnuts in the gloppy fruit. (I didn’t even notice the cottage cheese.)

But it was bad enough that I threw most of it away, since it sat in the fridge for four days without being touched and I needed the shelf space. There’s nothing in this recipe, except perhaps pimentos, that wouldn’t be better off without all its loaf neighbors. Despite its widespread “appeal” (and I base that solely on how ridiculously easy it was for me to find it online — maybe it’s some sort of recipe meme, ALL YOUR LIME-WALNUT SALAD ARE BELONG TO US) this is not something that should be cooked, served, or eaten.



  1. Eeeek! Retrochef, do you go out of your way to find the most awful — well, no, wait. I have a sad feeling that ALL JELLO SALADS ARE AWFUL. Maybe everything containing lime jello should have that same label.


  2. I’ve sort of gotten used to these jello-o dishes by now, but what I was really dreading this time was the mayonnaise-cream cheese frosting. It actually wasn’t as bad as a feared, but it wasn’t an appealing combination by any stretch.

  3. The slice in the original photo makes it look like the salad part is fabricated from Corian–maybe “Frosted Lime Walnut” could be this season’s hot new solid-surface countertop color?

  4. i don’t comment often, but i wanted to thank you for the sacrifices you are making for history and humor.

  5. My question is, who thought this was a good idea? Why on earth would you not just use strawberries for the red bits and add walnuts for crunch rather than celery? This poor thing could be saved, if you just removed or replaced some of the ingredients…

    Fun fact: Gelatin is basically collagen. Pineapple juice has an enzyme in it that breaks down meats and collagen. So, when you eat fresh pineapple, the pineapple is also eating you!

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