This creamy, dreamy Cottage Cheese Jello Salad is one of my favorite treats once the weather turns warm in the spring and summer. It's perfect for potlucks, backyard barbecues, and family reunions!

Planning a summer cookout in the backyard? Be sure to check out these other reader favorites like Classic Potluck Broccoli Salad, Raspberry Pretzel Salad, and Classic Frog Eye Salad!

creamy strawberry cottage cheese jello in a cup and in a bowl with fresh strawberries

This recipe has the potential to be the most divisive one I've posted here on House of Nash Eats. It seems to be one of those things you either love or you hate. I love it. My husband can't stand the stuff. His loss, my gain, I say.

I grew up with this cottage cheese jello salad at every family reunion and potluck. I don't remember it ever having a name - we just called it "the pink stuff" or "the orange stuff" depending on the color at the time. But it was always the offering I went back for over, and over, and over, loading up my plate with giant spoonfuls of the stuff.

An image of a bowl of fluffy pink cottage cheese jello salad.

I'm a HUGE fan of cottage cheese, especially with fruit. One of my favorite snacks since I was a kid was just a bowl of cottage cheese with sliced pears. It's so good and quick and easy! And healthy too!

This is a perfect sweet treat for your Easter dinner table, but it's great served all year long. We always had it for 4th of July, Labor Day BBQ's, and any other potluck or family reunion gathering in Idaho where all my mom's family is from.

An image of a bowl of strawberry jello salad with cottage cheese, garnished with strawberry halves.
An image of a bowl of fluffy pink strawberry jello salad, garnished with strawberry halves.

How to Make Cottage Cheese Jello Salad

One of the best things about this quick and easy recipe is that you don't even need to measure anything.

You literally just combine a can of drained crushed pineapple (don't forget to drain the juice off or your salad will end up soupy), a carton of cottage cheese, and a box of your favorite Jello flavor.

Then fold in a tub of Cool Whip until combined and pop it in the fridge for an hour!

An image of the ingredients for making cool, creamy cottage cheese jello salad.
An image of cottage cheese, crushed pineapple, and strawberry jello gelatin in a bowl.
An image of cool whip being added to a bowl of cottage cheese, jello, and pineapple for an easy summer dessert salad.

I would say it's a one-bowl recipe, except I always mix it in a larger bowl, then transfer it to a smaller serving bowl for a cleaner, prettier presentation. I think this is best alongside a burger, chips, and baked beans. It really goes with anything, but those flavors are forever entwined in my memory of summertime!

More Fun Jello Recipes Everybody Loves

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Cottage Cheese Jello Salad

4.72 from 45 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Chilling Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
This creamy, dreamy Cottage Cheese Jello Salad is one of my favorite treats once the weather turns warm in the spring and summer.  It's perfect for potlucks, backyard barbecues, and family reunions!

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ounces jello, any flavor
  • 15 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed

Instructions
 

  • Combine cottage cheese, pineapple, and gelatin in a bowl, stirring well.
  • Fold the Cool Whip in with the other ingredients until combined.  Try not to overmix and deflate the Cool Whip.
  • Transfer to a clean serving bowl, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

    1. Definitely!  Just a little things we noticed, don't double dip if you take a spoonful.  Lol....we found out my brother has been doing that as this year we noticed it stayed fluffy for days if you don't.  Apparently the saliva on the double dip causes it to break down and get watery.

    1. Sorry about that! Looks like some of the data didn't transfer when I updated my recipe card recently. It's 8 servings (and I've fixed the errors now!).

  1. I used orange jello powder, half as much cottage cheese, and accidentally got pineapple tidbits rather than crushed, but it turned out amazing!

  2. My mother-in-law makes this for every family potluck. However, she adds chopped pecans to it. My husband loves it and it is the ONLY way I will eat cottage cheese!

  3. "Dump Salad" is the ever-so-glorious name my family called this stuff. And we alllll love it. Except for maybe my husband who did not grow up with it, either. Oh well. Their loss!

  4. So excited to include this in our Easter dinner tonight! I love your justification for this as salad 😂😂 sounds logical to me!! Whipped it all up and added fresh strawberries, with extra pieces on top as a garnish! SO delish!!!

  5. Just made this tonight I can't wait for it to chill so I can have some . following you now thank you .

    1. Hmm, I just double checked and both the recipe and the box of jello in my cupboard say 3 ounces, not point 3 ounces.

    2. The boxes that are 3 oz have sugar and the boxes with point 3 oz are sugar free, which work just fine. I use them all them all the time.

  6. just made I've had it a long time ago at church potluck....loved it so much.. tks for the recipe
    .

    1. I have not, but that sounds like an interesting idea! Like a fruit punch flavored version or something!

  7. This is the recipe I was looking for! My Mom put the cottage cheese in the blender and made it smooth before putting in the cool whip and the fruit! Totally yummy, and any jello works. My favorite is lime jello!

  8. This is just like the recipe my grandmother used at our family holidays. She added chopped pecans. She passed away a few years ago and it's so special to make this and remember her. Thanks for posting it.

    1. No, with this salad you don't make the jello according to the package directions. Instead, you pour the powdered gelatin mix in with the other ingredients and stir them together. That's it!

  9. I can not seem to find my old time recipe for a jello salad. the 1st layer is lemon jello, dissolved later folding in cottage cheese with whipped cream. after it sets you add the dissolved and chilled til almost set fold in the pineapple. It comes out a very pleasing salad/dessert in a clear large bowl. My problem is I don't remember how much water is used to dissolve and slightly chill each layer before adding it's main ingredient. Any idea? I used the boiling pineapple juice which was 1.5 cups and cooled with 4 ice cubes. I don't know if it will set right yet.

  10. OMG, I lived on this my entire 60 years every family get together but with Lime Jello or Orange. I always called Green Stuff and I still make it to this day everything Thanksgiving.

  11. Very interesting as I had made cottage cheese jello salad a bit differently, we used the same step pretty much, we mixed the cool whip, with a strawberry or raspberry, or a cherry flavor jello, we mixed the steps in with different berries not pineapples, we used raspberry, strawberries, and may add others such as blue berries and blackberries, and also marshmallows! Was a great holiday dessert!

  12. I am so happy to find this recipe! My family has had this every Thanksgiving and Christmas all of my life. Now that my mother has Alzheimer's, I thought it was lost forever. I will make it and surprise my family at Christmas. Thanks!

  13. My mother in law taught me this recipe but we make it using Apricot jello...even though it’s hard to find I found that Publix will order me a case at a time...if I am out of apricot I use peach...and we have it every holiday...it’s the only way I will eat cottage cheese too...I was wondering can u make fresh whipped cream and make it or will it not work the same as using cool whip? Thank you

    1. I just found some apricot jello while visiting family in Utah over the holidays! I'm going to have to try it with one of the boxes I bought! Yes, you can absolutely use fresh whipped cream!

      1. You can find a variety of interesting jello flavors at international grocery stores! I’ve yet to try one in this salad that I didn’t like!

  14. I make this often with sugar free jello. I usually use strawberries and if I have them, I throw in some blueberries. I've also drained Mandrian oranges and put them in the orange jello.

  15. I just got done making this and it's in the fridge chillin! 😉 I bought a 24oz container of cottage cheese by accident and knew I couldn't eat all that just plain. So I found this recipe and it sounded perfect for the box of pineapple jello I found at Walmart. I've never seen that flavor before. So I used it along with the pineapple and threw a can of mandarin oranges in just to break up all the pineapple flavor. I was thinking that some shredded coconut would taste great in it but I was out. I'll try that next time and maybe use a different flavor of jello and other fruit. Thanks for a great recipe! I'm staying up late just to have some before I go to bed. Lol

  16. I use a can of fruit cocktail (light.. in juice so it isn't mushy), and LIME jello! I CRAVE it all the time! Can never wait for it to chill. And usually make myself sick on it! Lol!!!

  17. 5 stars
    My grandmother used to make this all the time but she would make it for huge family gatherings. She would add like 4 different flavors of refrigerated jello, chopped pecans and marchino cherries to the crushed pineapple, cool whip and cottage cheese.  All time favorites of the family. 

  18. 5 stars
    My sister in law and I loved this salad. We call it “Pink Sin”, because we only used red jello and it was so good it was sinful. I had forgotten all about this recipe until I stumbled across this one. Thank you for igniting lovely memories of a loved one who has passed on.