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Perfection Salad

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2 (3 ounce) packages lemon Jello
2 (0.25 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup sugar
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 cups chopped green cabbage
2 cups shredded baby carrots
2 cups sliced celery

Perfection Salad

  • Medium

About This Recipe

I know that gelatin salads are out of style, but I think they should come back. Notwithstanding the way the product is made, gelatin makes delicious recipes. And they don’t have to be virulent green or filled with strange ingredients.

Perfection Salad is a vintage recipe made by adding chopped veggies to a sweet and tangy gelatin. It was popular in the 1940s and 1950s. My version uses cabbage, celery, carrots, and pineapple suspended in a sweet and tart lemon gelatin.

When I was making this, my husband looked at me askance. He just could not believe that those ingredients could combine into something good.

Then he took the first bite. His eyes widened and he exclaimed, “this is so yummy!”

And he’s right.  Enjoy this salad yourself.



Combine the lemon Jello, unflavored gelatin, and sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine.


Drain the pineapple tidbits, reserving the juice. Set the tidbits aside.


Put the reserved pineapple liquid in a large 4 to 6 cup microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 4 cups. Heat this mixture in the microwave on high power until the liquid boils; this should take 3 to 5 minutes. You can also boil the liquid in a pan on the stovetop.


Add the boiling liquid carefully to the Jello and gelatin mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until the gelatin and sugar dissolve completely. Take a small amount of the liquid in the spoon and tilt it to see if any grains of sugar are still visible. If they are, keep stirring until the grains dissolve. Then stir in the lemon juice and another 2 cups of cold water.


Put the cabbage, pineapple tidbits, celery, and shredded carrots in a 9" x 13" glass baking dish and mix.


Pour the gelatin mixture over the vegetables in the baking dish. Chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours or until set.


Cut into squares to serve. I like to top mine with a bit of mayonnaise for a salty contrast.



Linda is a home economist who has authored 48 books (47 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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