This buttermilk congealed salad is the definition of a Southern delicacy. The fruity-flavored Jello salad is so refreshing to dive into on a hot summer’s day.
You might be wondering what exactly is congealed salad? Often called Jello salad, it’s a retro Southern treat that became popular in the 1930s when food was scarce and gelatin was cheap. Door-to-door salesmen carried a wide array of it and my grandmothers used to delight in purchasing a multitude of what was likely the only convenience food they could afford. The side dish is made with flavored gelatin, such as Jello, which is combined with fruit, vegetables, and/or nuts. Some options include cream cheese and sour cream rather than buttermilk, chopped walnuts or pecans for an extra crunch, and celery or carrot for a refreshing alternative. People usually serve it in a molded shape but scooping it in an ice cream dish is just fine too!
Now, my version of congealed salad includes buttermilk, strawberry gelatin, and crushed pineapple. The combination of the tropical pineapple with the salad’s creamy and crunchy texture is divine. Congealed salad is very popular in the South, and in particular around the holidays, so I highly recommend giving it a go. You can also use whatever gelatin is your favorite, whether that’s peach, orange, cherry, lime, or strawberry like me. If you’re going for a Christmas theme, I highly recommend using strawberry, cherry, or lime jello.
- Two small boxes of gelatin (I use sugar-free gelatin, but you can use whatever you prefer).
- Whipped topping (I use Cool Whip)
- Can of crushed pineapple (about 20 ounces)
How To Make Buttermilk Congealed Salad
Mix well. Remove gelatin mixture from heat.
Until it looks like this! Now refrigerate to your desired texture (I recommend at least four hours or overnight) and then serve!
You can also opt to add someon top, if you like.
This congealed salad can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to five days.
If you want to go the traditional route and use a mold or bundt pan, first spray the mold with nonstick cooking spray before adding the ingredients. Then to remove the buttermilk salad from the mold, I recommend placing it in a shallow pan filled with hot water. Take a sharp knife and carefully separate the salad from the mold around the edges. Then after a couple of minutes, turn the mold upside down and deposit the salad onto a serving plate. If it doesn’t come out, repeat this process.
Can you freeze congealed salads?
No, it’s best not to freeze this buttermilk salad. Because it contains gelatin, it won’t freeze properly. Fortunately, it lasts up to five days in the fridge.
Can you make this congealed salad ahead of time?
Yes, it’s best to refrigerate the buttermilk salad overnight, so making it one or two days in advance is actually recommended.
Is congealed salad the same as gelatin salad or Jello salad?
Yes, all of these salads refer to the same dish.
- 1 can crushed pineapple 20 ounces
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- 2 small boxes of gelatin your flavor choice
- Heat pineapple in juice and bring to a boil.1 can crushed pineapple
- Add jello and mix well.2 small boxes of gelatin
- Remove from heat and add buttermilk, stir. Allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.2 cups buttermilk
- Stir in whipped topping.8 ounces whipped topping
- Refrigerate to your desired texture.