Holle is a retired English teacher. She loves to cook and share recipes with others.
Granny's Special Holiday Salad
For as far back as I can remember, my grandmother always made a special dish that she called “men-like-it salad.” No matter what the special occasion was—Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas—her men-like-it (or "men-love-it") salads always graced the table. It contains lime gelatin, cream cheese, pineapple, nuts, and whipped topping. Sometimes Granny would add chopped celery to the mix, too, but I like it better without the celery.
Recreating the Salad
I never did get Granny’s recipe while she was still alive, and when I searched for something similar online, I came up empty. I know this was what other folks in the South called the salad, but perhaps since this is an old-fashioned recipe, most of the cooks who made it have all died out. A few years ago I was really craving this salad, so I had to do a little experimenting to re-create the recipe. I finally perfected it, and I made the dish for our most recent Thanksgiving dinner.
- 2 (20-ounce) cans crushed pineapple
- 2 large packages lime Jell-O
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups boiling water
- Large container Cool Whip
- Chopped or broken pecans
- Maraschino cherries (optional)
- Pour the crushed pineapple, with juice, into a 13 x 9-inch dish.
- Place the gelatin mix and cream cheese in a blender or food processor. Add boiling water and blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour gelatin-cream cheese mixture over the crushed pineapple and stir. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
- When the gelatin is set, spread the top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with nuts. Garnish with cherries, if desired.
Adaptions and Tips
This salad is really delicious, and it could also serve as a light dessert. I used sugar-free Jell-O and sugar-free Cool Whip. I haven’t tried using low-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. That would really cut down on the calories!
This salad recipe would also be a nice addition to your Christmas dinner. I suggest adding a little green food coloring to give the salad a darker green color. If you want the green to show, just cut the congealed salad into squares and top each square with a dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream. Add a maraschino cherry on top for a very Christmasy treat!