I grew up eating congealed salads.  These salads were gracing tables from church potlucks to family get-togethers…and still do.  While these salads are commonly called  by other names, you are most likely to hear them called congealed salads in the South.  I was recently talking about a congealed salad recipe with someone; she stopped me to ask if I was talking about a Jell-o or gelatin salad.

There are so many variations of congealed salads.  We have recipes that include different kinds of fruit, nuts, marshmallows, tapioca, and even some vegetables.  Back in the day, these salads made a great fill-in dish due to gelatin being so economical.  Congealed salads helped stretch a meal for large families.

My Mama Minnie was my great-grandma on my mom’s side of the family.  Oh, how I used to love going to her farm in North Carolina.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the many times I spent sitting at Mama Minnie’s long kitchen table waiting for my favorite foods to be passed around.  You could always count on a congealed salad being among the many dishes passed around the table – no matter how  plain the meal, or how fancy the meal.

Don’t let the name fool you – if you don’t tell anyone it has buttermilk in it – they will never know!  The buttermilk gives it the least little tang that compliments the sweetness perfectly.  This can be made in any flavor, but orange and peach are most popular.

To make this you will need 2 cups of buttermilk, 2 small boxes of gelatin, 1 (20 oz.) can of pineapple, and 1 (8 oz.) whipped cream.  

Put the pineapple in a pan and bring to a boil.  Add the gelatin…  

Stir until dissolved and remove from heat.  

Let cool slightly and add the buttermilk.  (I don’t know why this ended up being the last prep photo – but – it was.  I can only blame it on the other million things that were going on at the time.)  Put this in the refrigerator to chill for about 20-30 minutes, then mix in the cool whip.  (When I have it, I also add a can of drained mandarin oranges at this time.)  Put back into the refrigerator to congeal.

It’s ready to serve when set.  Enjoy!  

Buttermilk Congealed Salad

Serving Up Southern


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 2 small boxes gelatin (any flavor)
  • 1 8 oz. whipped cream


  • Bring the pineapple, with juice, to a boil. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Cool slightly and add the buttermilk. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes, then stir in whipped cream Return to refrigerator to congealed.

Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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