Strawberry Jello Cottage Cheese Salad

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Whip up this strawberry Jello cottage cheese salad in 10 minutes or less. It's a quick and easy side dish recipe just like Grandma's back in the day!

Remember the retro cottage cheese Jello salad at just about every potluck dinner, whether church or family get together? I do, and here in the Midwest, it's still quite the popular holiday side dish.

plastic cup full of strawberry Jello cottage cheese salad with strawberry on top

Strawberry cottage cheese salad is a sweet side dish that surprisingly will disappear. I say surprising because it doesn't seem like cottage cheese and Jello should go together in the same sentence, let alone the same dish. But somehow it works! Just ask my oldest about his favorite mandarin orange Jello salad.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • Jello salad is so light and fluffy. My favorite part is all the little mini marshmallows that add a really soft texture to the salad.
  • It's so quick and easy to make. It takes 10 minutes or less to mix it up, and then you just let it chill 'til you're ready to serve it.
  • Fresh strawberries add real flavor to the salad, but it doesn't take a lot.
  • You can add any flavor Jello you want; it doesn't have to be strawberry.
  • It's a budget-friendly side, costing less than $10 to make.
ingredients for strawberry cottage cheese salad on white marble countertop

Ingredient Notes

  • Small Curd Cottage Cheese – Make sure you use small curd cottage cheese, because large curd will give a whole different texture to the salad.
  • Strawberry Jello – While I use a regular strawberry Jello mix, you can make this salad any flavor you want just by switching out the flavor of Jello you use. Sky's the limit when it comes to Jello.
  • Crushed Pineapple – Canned crushed pineapple is the way to go with gelatin salad. Fresh and frozen pineapple won't be the same… Fresh pineapple won't have enough moisture, and frozen pineapple will add way too much moisture to the salad.
  • Fresh Strawberries – Just dice them up and add them in.
  • Mini Marshmallows – These are my favorite ingredient. You can use plain mini marshmallows, or you can even use flavored if you want.
  • Cool Whip While you can use homemade whipped cream, it won't be as stable and the salad will need to be eaten fairly quickly the same day. Cool Whip makes it easy.

Ways to Add Variety to Jello Salad

You can add more texture and flavor to your salad with one or a few of these optional add-ins…

How to Make Jello Cottage Cheese Salad

Before you start to mix up your Jello salad recipe, be sure to gather your ingredients so they're ready to go. I like to drain the pineapple and dice up the strawberries beforehand, as well.

Then just follow these steps…

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese and dry Jello mix.
  2. Next add in the crushed pineapple and sliced strawberries.
  3. Stir in the mini marshmallows.
  4. Then fold in the Cool Whip.
steps for how to make Jello cottage cheese salad in mint green bowl

Cover the bowl and let it chill for at least an hour, preferably a few hours, before serving. Be sure to save out a few whole strawberries for garnish.

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's

Can I use a substitute for the cottage cheese?

I get it. Those tiny curds add a texture to this salad that some people just don't like. So, while I haven't tried it, you can likely substitute sour cream or plain yogurt for the cottage cheese. I have one friend who just leaves it out altogether because she makes her salad dairy-free. If you are trying to make it dairy-free, just be sure to check your other ingredients, as well, to make sure they don't include dairy.

Can I use sugar free Jello?

Yes, you can. I haven't tried it myself, but I've had readers who do, and sugar free Jello seems to work just fine. If you're trying to cut sugar or fat, you can even substitute sugar free Cool Whip and low fat cottage cheese.

How long will Jello salad with cottage cheese last?

It usually lasts about 2-3 days, so it is possible to make this a day in advance. It does need to be covered or put in an airtight container, then stored in the fridge.

clear cup full of cottage cheese Jello salad with strawberry on top

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Strawberry Jello Cottage Cheese Salad

Whip up this strawberry Jello cottage cheese salad, with Cool Whip and pineapple, in 10 minutes. Easy side dish recipe just like Grandma's!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese and dry Jello mix.
  • Next add in the crushed pineapple and sliced strawberries. (Be sure to save out a few whole strawberries for garnish.)
  • Stir in the mini marshmallows.
  • Then fold in the Cool Whip.
  • Cover the bowl and let it chill for at least an hour, preferably a few hours, before serving.

Notes

Can I use sugar free Jello?
Yes, you can. I haven't tried it myself, but I've had readers who do, and sugar free Jello seems to work just fine. If you're trying to cut sugar or fat, you can even substitute sugar free Cool Whip and low fat cottage cheese.
How long will Jello salad with cottage cheese last?
It usually lasts about 2-3 days, so it is possible to make this a day in advance. It does need to be covered or put in an airtight container, then stored in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
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