7 Up Salad is a recipe that has been in my family for years. It’s a delicious addition to any holiday meal, and I’ve been eating it since I was a little kid.
It never occurred to me that 7 Up Salad was at all strange until a couple of years ago when it ended up on The Ellen Show being roasted by Kalen Reacts in his first appearance that got him his big break.
7 Up Salad is actually really delicious, and while it can look a little weird, it tastes kind of like a cross between key lime pie and a citrus cheesecake. I urge you to give it a try before you judge it because it’s well worth it if you can get past the idea of it containing *gulp* mayonnaise.
Every family has their traditions. Especially when it comes to food. We pass our recipes down from generation to generation, each potentially tweaking it to add their own flair. Sometimes we find that our dishes are well-known across the world, with every family we know eating the same thing made different ways. Other times we realize that when we mention our favorite dish, no one knows what the heck we’re talking about!
Such is the case of 7 Up Salad. This has been a staple at holiday meals in my family for as long as I’ve been alive. My mom got the recipe from my dad’s mom, and she gave the recipe to me. It’s stunningly simple to make, and I can’t imagine a holiday meal without it. And while I’ve always felt free to add to or change recipes in my life, I’ve never felt the need to change this one. It’s just perfect.
To begin, heat up the 7-Up in a pot on the stove and dump in the mini marshmallows.
Stir them in until they dissolve.
Once the marshmallows are totally incorporated into the hot soda, add the entire packet of lime jello. Beware – this kind of looks like toxic green sludge! My son said it looked like the goo that formed the Ninja Turtles (great imagination!).
Remove the pot from the heat and add in the cream cheese, stirring and then whisking until it is a nice smooth consistency. The cream cheese will tone down the green a little bit, and the whole concoction will bulk up a little.
Now that the main part of your “salad” is done, we can grab our cherries and cut them up. It’s up to you how you do it. You can leave them whole or cut them in half (as I do). You can even chop them smaller if you’d like. I like nice bite sized morsels that show in the salad. I want anyone who sees it and eats it to know what it is.
Then we add the cherries and the pineapple to the jello mixture. Truthfully I’ve no idea how much pineapple I actually add. I eyeball it, and it generally works fine. I reckon it’s about a cup.
I personally think it’s important to use crushed pineapple, as it almost dissolves in the dish and it flavors it without being overly obvious. You can use chunks if you’d rather, but there’s the danger of it being too chewy. You also lose some of the juiciness of crushed pineapple. But hey, it’s all about taste!
The last part is a little bit odd, but it works. And you have to trust me on this. This is where I usually lose people, as they just can’t get their heads around it.
And honestly, I get it. I grew up with this, and so I never really thought it was weird until it went viral. But please please give it a chance.
Mix the half cup of mayonnaise into the tub of Cool Whip.
Then add the whole thing to your jello mix.
I’m not entirely sure why the mayo is in there, but I think it’s to cut down on the sweetness a little bit. People have offered up that it sort of takes the place of eggs to emulsify the whole thing, and that sounds totally plausible.
Regardless of the reason, I’ve never tried this without it, and I’m not about to start. I promise you can not even remotely taste the mayonnaise.
Once everything is finally combined, dump the whole thing into your favorite jello mold.
Growing up, my mom would either put it into a Frosty the Snowman mold or (my personal favorite) a wreath mold.
Given the green color and the pretty cherries that show through, the wreath is beautiful.
But hey, you do what you gotta do, and presentation isn’t everything.
Once you’ve poured it out, cover in plastic wrap (or if your mold has a lid, use that) and let set in the fridge for three hours or overnight. Then it’s time to dig in!
You can either serve straight from the mold (or bowl, in this case) or turn it out onto a serving plate. It’ll taste great either way.
Try it at your next holiday meal and let me know how it goes! I’ve never met another person who makes it, but everyone I’ve shared it with has loved it.
- 7 oz 7-Up Soda
- 8 oz mini marshmallows
- 1 small box of lime jello
- 6 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 jar maraschino cherries (chopped or halved)
- 1 C crushed pineapple (drained)
- 1/2 C mayonnaise
- 1 tub of Cool Whip (thawed)
- To begin, heat up the 7-Up in a pot on the stove and dump in the mini marshmallows. Stir until dissolved.
- Add the packet of lime jello and stir to combine.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add in the cream cheese, stirring and then whisking until it is a nice smooth consistency.
- Add your chopped up cherries and pineapple.
- Mix the half cup of mayonnaise into the tub of Cool Whip. Then add the whole mixture to your jello.
- Pour the entire concoction into your favorite mold or just use a bowl.
- Set in the fridge for at least three hours, or preferably overnight.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g
Wow! I can’t believe this recipe has gone so viral! It’s been on the site for three years or more, and I recently updated with a video. The response was OVERWHELMING!
To answer a few questions:
NO, I don’t feed this to my kids all the time. It’s a holiday dish that gets served maybe twice a year, and they only eat a small portion.
YES, it tastes delicious – though if you aren’t a fan of lemon, lime, pineapple or cherries, you’re probably not going to like it.
YES, it is technically a dessert, as it’s sweet. But in our family, all meals are served buffet style, so it often got dished up alongside the actual meal. But if it fazes you that much, just keep it until the end.
NO, I have NO idea why mayo is in the recipe. I’ve seen it made since I was a kid, and it NEVER occurred to me that mayo was a weird ingredient until everyone else freaked out about it. Haha.
Anyway, the recipe has been shared everywhere, and it even appeared on The Ellen Show, being roasted by a comedian. And I honestly have loved all the exposure and hate. I have a great sense of humor (I like to think), and this has been quite a ride.