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35 Retro Dessert Salads We Cherish

Who can forget gelatin and whipped cream "salads" that taste more like dessert!

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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Exps Cpbz19 4444 E11 02 3b 4

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
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Grandmother S Orange Salad Exps Sddj19 335 C07 24 1b 2

Grandmother's Orange Salad

This orange salad dessert is slightly sweet and tangy, too. It adds beautiful color to any meal and appeals to all ages! —Ann Eastman, Santa Monica, California
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Holiday Cranberry Gelatin Salad Exps Gbhrbz18 46432 E06 20 4b 4

Holiday Cranberry Gelatin Salad

This light, delicious holiday salad is very popular in my family and has been requested every year since I first brought it to Christmas Eve dinner. The refreshing, not-too-sweet flavor is a perfect pairing with just about any meat. —Jennifer Mastnick, Hartville, Ohio
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Molded Cranberry Orange Salad Exps Gbhrhbz18 163475 E07 18 3b 2

Molded Cranberry-Orange Salad

When I take this dish to potlucks during the holidays, people always ooh and aah. Feel free to top with whipped cream for added appeal. —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Layered Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Light and tangy, this gelatin is guaranteed to please. Kids go crazy for the marshmallow-cream cheese layer on top. —Irma Senner, Dixmont, Maine
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Green Flop Jell-O

Get ready for fluffy lemon-lime goodness. My family calls it "flop Jell-O" because most of the time a clear gelatin layer that tastes like lemon-lime soda falls to the bottom of the dish. Try it with any flavor gelatin! —Michelle Gauer, Spicer, Minnesota
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Creamy Pineapple Fluff Salad Exps Gbhrbz17 47362 D07 07 2b 4

Creamy Pineapple Fluff Salad

Guests of all ages will gravitate to this traditional “fluff” salad, chock-full of pineapple, marshmallows and cherry bits. —Janice Hensley, Owingsville, Kentucky
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Delicious Apple Salad Exps Sdon17 33852 B07 07 5b 4

Delicious Apple Salad

This yummy fruit salad was a favorite of my great-grandmother’s. My family always enjoys it, and I’m happy knowing it’s good for them, too. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Cherry Waldorf Salad

We combine apples with tart cherries and dried cranberries to give an autumn twist to classic Waldorf salad. —Marie Hattrup, Sonoma, California
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Stained Glass Gelatin

Kids love this sweet, wiggly gelatin and whipped topping dessert. Use different flavors of gelatin to make color versions that are as wild as your imagination. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Candy Bar Apple Salad Exps Hplbz18 36667 C05 17 6b 10

Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet snickers salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Overnight Fruit Salad

I first tasted this rich, old-fashioned fruit salad at my wedding reception many years ago. The ladies who did the cooking wouldn't share the recipe at the time, but I eventually got it. I've made it for many meals, and our daughters copied the recipe when they married. —Eileen Duffeck, Lena, Wisconsin
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Blueberry Gelatin Salad

I find myself making this blueberry jello salad often. People request this layered treat for potlucks all the time. This dish can be served as either a salad or a dessert. And preparing it a day ahead makes it taste even better! —Mildred Livingston, Phoenix, Arizona
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7 Layer Gelatin Salad Exps Cplbz20 13090 E10 11 3b 3

7-Layer Gelatin Salad

Here's an eye-catching salad that my mother makes for Christmas dinner each year. You can choose different flavors to make other color combinations for specific holidays or other gatherings. —Jan Hemness, Stockton, Missouri
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Orange Fluff Salad

My sister gave me this fluffy salad recipe that whips up in a jiffy. Unlike many gelatin recipes, there's no need to have the salad set for hours, so it's great for unexpected company. —Stacey Meyer, Merced, California
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Pina Colada Molded Salad Exps32663 Nbc143387b01 17 4bc Rms 3

Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Pretzel Dessert

Save both time and money with a big batch of this sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy treat. Any dessert that is left over is super the next day, too. —Rita Winterberger, Huson, Montana
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Peach Bavarian Exps Gbdbz20 523 B01 08 6b 7

Peach Bavarian

Fruit molds are my specialty. This one, with its refreshing peach taste, makes a colorful salad or dessert. —Adeline Piscitelli, Sayreville, New Jersey
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Exps33128 5sd153598a11 12 2b 2

Cherry Gelatin Supreme

When I was growing up, this yummy, easy dessert was always on the menu at holiday get-togethers. Years ago, my aunt gave me the recipe, and now when I make it for my family, I think of her. —Janice Rathgeb, Brighton, Illinois
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Rosey Raspberry Salad

Whenever I make this pretty raspberry salad, people talk! It's a festive side dish that works well for celebrations throughout the year. —Jane Vanderground, Macedonia, Ohio
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Fluffy Green Grape Salad Exps24867 W101973175b04 30 5bc Rms 5

Fluffy Green Grape Salad

I received this recipe from a cousin-in-law at a family reunion. Since then, I've brought it to many gatherings myself. We also like to eat it as a dessert.—Kelli Giffen, Barrie, Ontario
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Apricot Salad Exps Thca18 4042 B04 27 5b

Apricot Salad

Colorful gelatin salad adds a spot of brightness to any table. It blends well with this holiday feast. We children didn't know if it should be a salad or dessert, with its smooth texture and delicate flavor.—Fae Fisher, Callao, Virginia
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Cranberry Waldorf Salad

Cranberries grow in the coastal area about 50 miles from our home. When they become available, I always make this creamy salad. —Faye Huff, Longview, Washington
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Crunchy Apple Side Salad Exps Dsbz17 38446 C01 13 5b 6

Crunchy Apple Side Salad

With fiber-rich fruit, light dressing and crunchy walnuts, this is a great side dish or snack. Try it with low-fat granola. —Kathy Armstrong, Post Falls, Idaho
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Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad Exps36472 Nbc143387b01 17 2bc Rms 2

Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad

Plump blueberries and a fluffy topping star in this pretty, refreshing salad. My mom's blueberry salad was served at every holiday and celebration. Now my grandchildren look forward to sampling it at holidays. —Sharon Hoefert, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad Exps Hca18 38000 D08 30 6b 5

Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad

Salty pretzels pair nicely with the sweet fruit in this refreshing layered salad. It’s a family favorite that is a slam-dunk at potlucks. —Peggy Boyd, Northport, Alabama
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Aunt Marion's Fruit Salad Dessert

Aunt Marion's Fruit Salad Dessert

Aunt Marion, my namesake, is like a grandma to me. She gave me this luscious salad recipe, which goes to all our family reunions, hunt club suppers and snowmobile club picnics...and I go home with no leftovers! —Marion LaTourette, Honesdale, Pennsylvania
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Cranberry Pineapple Salad

Impress dinner guests with this delightfully different take on traditional cranberry sauce. The nuts add a tasty crunch. —Dorothy Angley, Carver, Massachusetts
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Cranberry Ambrosia Salad Exps Thca21 129904 B03 25 1b

Cranberry Ambrosia Salad

My paternal grandmother used to make this for Christmas dinner. I'm not sure how many batches she made, as there were nearly 50 aunts, uncles and cousins in our family. I still make the recipe in memory of her, and it's still as good as I remember.—Janet Hurley, Shell Rock, Iowa
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Jazzy Gelatin Exps12958 Bth1903862b03 05 3bc Rms

Jazzy Gelatin

Finish things off with a bang with this colorful gelatin garnished with a chorus of fresh grapes. Chock-full of mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple, it's so refreshing that guests won't be able to refrain from seconds. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad Exps Thca18 40203 B04 27 1b 4

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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Peach Gelatin Salad

My mother always asked our family what we wanted to eat for holiday dinners. Without exception, our requests included this refreshing gelatin. Toasted walnuts give it a little crunch. —Dennis King, Navarre, Florida
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Special Strawberry Salad

This berry-filled salad may take some time to prepare, but one taste and you'll agree it's worth the extra effort. I treat family and friends to this dish on special occasions. —Linda Goulet, Hadley, Massachusetts
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Creamy Cranberry Salad

One of my piano students taught me the perfect lesson in holiday recipes: this fresh cranberry salad. The keys are tangy fruit, fluffy marshmallows and crunchy nuts. —Alexandra Lypecky, Dearborn, Michigan
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Citrus Fruit Salad

Fresh pineapple with yogurt and pecans is a merry update of the classic ambrosia salad. We stir it up for breakfast, a snack or as a bright side. —Heather Rivers, Boise, ID

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.
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