Gelatin Diaries: 7 Up Salad

My sister reminded me of 7 Up Salad just recently. I had completely forgotten that this congealed salad was served at our earliest family functions. I don’t remember it much. I’m sure young me ate it but the exact components of the recipe alluded me. Why am I telling you all this? Well, my sister wanted a gelatin salad at Christmas dinner that she was hosting so I quickly grabbed a version of 7 Up salad off a random blog. It turned out okay but it felt like was missing something. So in my typical fashion I started a search for this recipe and like always this brought me down a rabbit hole.

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It was not a hard recipe to find in old newspapers. This seems to be a salad that had it’s heyday during the mid 1960s through the 1970s. EVERY salad was slightly different but for the most part they use the same basic ingredients. Every one had lemon and lime gelatin, 7 Up soda, nuts and pineapple in varying measurements. The difference usually fell in if the congealed salad used cream cheese or marshmallows. I decided to go the cream cheese route as I already had some in the fridge. The other main difference was the use of a cooked sauce that was placed on the top. I did not do this but eventually I will try the marshmallow version with the cooked topping at a later date. My curiosity is peaked! The only other change I made was the additional sugar that many of these salads included in the ingredients. It may just be me but the soda, gelatin and pineapple already are quite sweet so the sugar would not be missed.

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If you saw my Instagram post of the 7 Up Salad I made for Christmas, you may notice that there is a lack of maraschino cherries. I added those for a festive holiday look but you can definitely still decorate the top of this with them. Just drain them and then pat them dry because the liquid will stain the whipped cream.

If you need to bring a gelatin congealed salad to a retro party, I do say you should try this one. It becomes a very pretty green color and looks quite kitschy once decorated.  Plus as far as these salads can go, the ingredients in 7 Up salad are fairly sedate. Trust me as I have tried deviled egg salad and apple cheese salad.

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7 Up Salad

  • Servings: 8 to 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A very retro congealed salad from the 1960s and 1970s.

Ingredients

  • 1 3oz package of lemon gelatin
  • 1 3oz package of lime gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature and cubed into small pieces
  • 2 cups 7 Up soda (or any lemon lime soda)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, drained (I used a 20 ounce can but you can use a smaller one if you want less pineapple)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • optional: whipped cream (or cool whip) and additional chopped nuts.

Directions

  1. In a large heatproof mixing bowl, dissolve both flavors of gelatin into the boiling water.
  2. Mix in cream cheese until melted and combined. This step can take a bit to get the cream cheese to incorporate. This is why it is important for it to be softened and cut up small. My trick is to stir it until the big pieces have melted down and then I grab a whisk to get those small bits to combine. Do not stress if it is not prefect.
  3. Then mix in the soda.
  4. Place in the fridge to chill till it starts to thicken. This step should takes about 1 and 1/2 hours to 2 and 1/2 hours. Start checking it at 1 1/2 hours and keep checking in 15 minute intervals until it has become thicker but not firm.
  5. Mix in the pineapple and nuts and pour into a 13×9 dish.
  6. Place back into the fridge until firm. I usually leave it over night but it should be fine after a couple of hours.
  7. Garnish with nuts and whipped cream if you want and then serve.

NOTES:

  • I topped mine with homemade whipped cream. I just whipped one cup of heavy cream till it formed soft peaks. I did  not sweeten because the salad was already quite sweet. Cool Whip or Dream Whip can be used instead.
  • The nuts can be left out of this recipe. They just add some texture.

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