Retro Seafoam Salad

How to make a delicious and gloriously retro Sea Foam Salad! Lime gelatin, canned pears and cream cheese make this retro dessert salad a timeless favorite!

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The moment I tasted this seafoam salad recipe, I knew that I had eaten it before. I had flashes of baby showers or home parties (Tupperware, perhaps?) that my mom had dragged me along to in the early 80s. I actually didn’t think when I was making this lime gelatin and canned pear concoction that I had ever eaten it before, but as soon as I took my first bite, I knew that I had eaten this as a kid—and you might find that, too!

This is a fabulous retro dessert, and if you’re looking for more try my Nana’s 5 cup salad, or  Harvey Wallbanger cake!

Seafoam Salad topped with Whipped Cream and Red Cherries, stack of plates and spoons on the side

Seafoam Salad Recipe

This seafoam salad recipe is a blast from the past. It is easy to make, and honestly, it is so much fun to make in a Tupperware salad mold. Now, I will say that it doesn’t exactly fit in the mold I have, but I haven’t found my vintage Tupperware mold after we moved, so I had to buy a new one. I’m not sure if the new Tupperware molds are a tad bit smaller than the old ones.

I put the extra salad into a small bowl and covered it up—which my teenage son discovered and promptly ate, haha! I can’t have nice food in the fridge with a teenage boy in the house!

ingredients needed for Seafoam Salad

Seafoam Salad Ingredients

This is so easy to make and the ingredients are readily available! This is also an easy salad to make lower calories and fat; just know that the texture will change. I made this the traditional way, but feel free to experiment with lower fat and calories and if you do, let us all know how it turned out by leaving a comment below!

  • lime gelatin – you can use sugar-free to reduce calories
  • canned pears – you will want ones that are canned in juice, not water, you do need the sweetness
  • cream cheese – make sure that it’s really soft and at room temperature or you will have lumps in the salad!
  • Heavy cream – you need this to thin out the cream cheese just a bit.
  • whipped topping – you can use no-fat to reduce calories if needed. Just remember that less fat affects the texture.
Close up of Seafoam Salad topped with Whipped Cream and Red Cherries

How to Make Seafoam Salad

I really recommend that you make this in a salad mold, it slices absolutely beautifully and I think that once your family tastes this, you will be making it for holiday dinners again and again! This was an absolute HIT with everyone that tried it, even Mr. Magpie who wasn’t quite sure about this green concoction lol! It’s also so easy to make! Here is a quick rundown of the steps for you:

  1. Heat up pear juice from the canned pears.
  2. Mix in the gelatin until completely dissolved.
  3. Beat the heavy cream and the cream cheese together.
  4. Mix in the gelatin mixture.
  5. Let that mixture sit in the fridge until it starts to thicken up.
  6. Smash the pears, and fold them, and the whipped topping into the now thickened gelatin mixture.
  7. Scoop into a salad mold.
  8. Refrigerate until completely set, around 3 hours.
  9. Unmold and serve!
a Slice of Seafoam Salad topped with Whipped Cream and Red Cherry

Karlynn’s Tips and Tricks

  • To unmold the salad, remove the lid and dip the bottom of the mold (the bumpy side of the mold that doesn’t have the lid on it) into hot water for around 5-7 seconds, then flip over and unmold onto your serving plate. Works like a charm!
  • Once you unmold it you can return it to the refrigerator for a little while until you serve it. It won’t dry out if you keep it in there for 30-60 minutes before dinner. I didn’t even bother covering mine!
  • Ah, just look at that presentation with the slice and the cherry in the photo above! Now, of course, that is MY addition, but if you are making this for a holiday dinner this is such an easy and impressive dessert! Now I only put 6 cherries on top and this serves 12 people, so I would put twelve dollops of whipping cream on top and top with 12 cherries! Make sure to do this RIGHT BEFORE SERVING, or the whipped cream will deflate.

More Dessert Salads

I love a good dessert salad! Try my:

Ok, I really want to know who ate this as a kid? Does anyone still make it? I am absolutely going to put this into the Christmas dessert rotation, it’s delicious, it’s easy, the colors match perfectly and everyone loved it!

Hope you love it! Let me know in the comments what you think!



Retro Sea Foam Salad Recipe

How to make a delicious and gloriously retro Sea Foam Salad! Lime gelatin, canned pears and cream cheese make this retro dessert salad a timeless favorite!
4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • one 28 ounce (798 ml) can pear halves DO NOT DRAIN
  • one 3 ounce package lime flavored Jell-O® mix
  • one 8 ounce package cream cheese softened, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 cups frozen whipped topping thawed (see notes)


  • Measure out one cup of pear juice from the canned pears into a large glass measuring cup (make sure it is microwave safe!).
  • Heat the pear juice in the microwave until boiling.
  • Carefully sprinkle the lime gelatin over the boiling hot pear juice. Stir until the gelatin has dissolved completely with no granules remaining.
  • In a large bowl combine the cream cheese with the heavy cream. Beat until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the gelatin mixture, and mix until smooth and blended in completely.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until the mixture is partially thickened, around 40-50 minutes. The time needed for this step depends on how hot your water was.
  • Drain the remaining pears in the can and place the pears into a medium sized bowl. Mash the pears with a potato masher or fork until smooth.
  • Fold the pears and the whipped topping into the lime gelatin mixture.
  • Pour the gelatin into a mold or a large bowl. IF you have extra like I did when putting it into the mold simply put the rest into a small bowl.
  • Cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for 2-3 hours OR until it's set.
  • To unmold the salad, dip the bottom of the mold (which is actually the top when you flip it over, FYI) in warm water for 5 seconds. Invert the onto a large serving plate and serve.
  • If you have made it in a bowl, simply scoop it out to serve!

Recipe Notes

  • The Cool Whip should be an 8-ounce container, which we don’t always have in Canada, it’s about 3 cups of whipped topping.
  • Calories are based on fresh pears, the calories will be more and will depend on the brand of pears that you use and the amount of sugar in the juice etc.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 46kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 81IU, Calcium: 29mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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How to make a delicious and gloriously retro Sea Foam Salad! Lime gelatin, canned pears and cream cheese make this retro dessert salad a timeless favorite! #dessert #Christmas #Thanksgiving

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Donna says

    Can I use real whipped cream to replace the Cool Whip? Will it hold its shape?

  2. Amelia says

    So so so good! Got some vintage jello molds and used this recipe to test them out and it was such a hit! Made two. One that followed the recipe exactly and it turned out amazing! So creamy and sweet but not too sweet and the second I made sugar free I would say for the sugar free one you would want to add some clear unflavored gelatin when melting the jello bc it won’t set as firm as the sugar jello but other than that amazing!5 stars

  3. Susan says

    We had this recipe every holiday growing up. I made it for my kids and now my grandkids.5 stars

  4. Jaye says

    Hi Karlynn! I’m not familiar with this version, but it’s right up my alley! A similar one that frequented every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner was Lime Cottage Cheese salad. Lime jello, pineapple, whip cream, cream cheese, salad dressing/mayo, and cottage cheese. I love it and still make it today. I may try pears in my version next time!4 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      That one is on my list to make!! I won’t tell the kids that mayo is in it… and see what they think!

4.93 from 13 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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