Pink Salad

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So, this week’s recipe is a little different. Normally, I pull one of my cookbooks out of the closet I’ve crammed all of them into and flip through, seeing what strikes me. And… well, to be honest I just didn’t want to dig through the collection this week. I didn’t really know where to start. So I decided to go for another option. Sometimes, the best recipes are the ones that have been passed around and tweaked for the last thirty years or so.

Long story short, I called my mom asking her for the directions to this strange concoction. I’m assuming the original incarnation of this was created sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, considering the ingredients, but who really knows. This vintage recipe is a fairly simple one that, to be honest, was the perfect thing for the middle of summer. It’s one of those ‘salads’ that’s only loosely so, really more of a desert than anything else.

Ingredients on a counter, including cottage cheese, cool whip, Pineapple Tidbits, and Strawberry Jello


  • 16 oz container Cottage Cheese
  • 8 oz container Cool Whip *
  • 3 oz box strawberry Jello *
  • 20 oz pineapple tidbits in juice, drained

Ingredient Notes: First off, I say strawberry here, but any of the red flavors will work. Just use whatever you prefer here.

And secondly, I’ll admit that for such a simple recipe, I nearly made a mess of it. A word to the wise, make sure that your cool whip is completely thawed before trying to work with it. Mine wasn’t. My mother, however, had the perfect solution. Just set the tub of cool whip in a sink of warm water.

Let me tell you, melted Cool Whip is one of the most putrid looking things I have experienced lately. Thankfully, I only let it set there for a few minutes, but I still was met with a pool of yellow… stuff… at the bottom of the container that I had to spoon out. So, don’t be impatient like me. Just like it sit in the fridge, or in a thing of cool water.

Anyway, now that that mess is dealt with, it’s time to officially start. Hopefully, unlike me, you won’t have to weight out your Jello to get 3 ounces (a size I could not find in sugar-free).

a ramekin of powdered strawberry Jello sitting on a black kitchen scale

The first step is to drain the juice from the pineapples, squeezing as much it out as you can, so you don’t even up with a soupy desert later on. And yes, I keep the pineapple juice. It’s good, though sadly I can’t drink much of it anymore due to the whole sugar thing.

a bowl of drained pineapple tidbits sitting beside a mug full of pineapple juice

Anyway, you can mix this stuff however you see fit, since I don’t think the order affects things too much, but my I combined the white stuff together first, creating this gloppy mess.

A bowl of mixed cool whip and cottage cheese. It vaguely resembles clumpy paste.

And then I added the pineapple and Jello.

a bowl of mixed cool whip and cottage cheese with bright red Jello powder sprinkled across the top

Afterwards, let it chill for at least an hour before serving. It should get back some of the fluff it lost during mixing.

A serving bowl of pink salad. It isn't completely smooth, with small lumps of pineapple and cottage cheese

The Verdict:

Well, it certainly is pink.

Is it cheating to rate a family recipe? Well, family-tweaked at least. In this case, I don’t think so. This sucker is pretty divisive.

A serving of Pink salad on a small plate

Appearance-wise, it’s not got a lot going for it. I mean, it’s a fluffy lump, and a bright pink one at that. And I’m not certain if it’s due to the order in which I mixed it, or it it’s just an element of the recipe itself, but even after mixing, there were bright little pops of bright pink where the jello didn’t quite blend all the way. It kind of makes the desert look like it has the chicken pox.

As far as the texture, the creaminess is nice, and even as much as I messed up with the Cool Whip it still ended up gaining it’s fluff back once it cooled, but it’s not always easy to get over the cottage cheese additions. The pineapple makes sense, but who thought to add those little lumps of cheese into the mix?

Admittedly, those little white lumps do add a bit to the flavor profile. Along with the pineapple, it adds a little pop of tangy flavor. Well, a non-chemically tang. The artificial strawberry flavor is there as well, and it’s really hard to ignore.

Appearance – 3.5
Aroma – 3
Texture – 3.5
Taste – 4

Overall – 3.5 It’s definitely an interesting mix of a summer desert, but it’s not for everyone. I like it and even so It’s really one of those recipes that I end up craving once a decade and then, once I have my saucer, I’m satisfied for another ten years or so.

Pink Salad

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★ 1/2
  • Print


16 oz. container Cottage Cheese
8 oz. container Cool Whip
3 oz. box strawberry Jello
20 oz. pineapple tidbits in juice, drained


Drain pineapples.

Combine cottage cheese and Cool Whip until thoroughly mixed. Add the pineapples and Jello and stir until the color is a consistent light pink.

Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.

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