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Coca-Cola Salad for Retro #SundaySupper

Coca-Cola Salad | Magnolia Days

Yes, it is a Jello salad. When was the last time you had one of those? I seriously doubt it or any gelatin salad has been on a restaurant menu in many years, if ever. You may have seen it at potlucks. Coca-Cola salad is sweet and tart with the flavors of cherry, cola, pineapple, and nuts. It is incredible with ham. My mom makes it often and still gets requests for the recipe. I was so excited for the opportunity to share it here. Why share it today? Well…

Sunday Supper is celebrating retro foods. This salad is about as retro and southern as you can get. Retro because of the popularity of gelatin salads back in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. Southern because of the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola company and Georgia being the leader of US pecan production. I could not think of a better recipe to share. Plus it is really good. Really.

Coca-Cola Salad | Magnolia Days

How good is it? Let’s see…I made it, took photos, and served it for dinner. My husband had two helpings. A little later I found him in the kitchen snacking on it. Half of it was gone by the next evening. The rest disappeared shortly thereafter. This is a treat for you if you like Jello, Coca-Cola, cherries, pineapple, and pecans. It looks really cool too with the vibrant red color and the way it shines.

Coca-Cola Salad | Magnolia Days

Notes on the recipe: The one I had in my notebook is what I got from my mom long ago. It shows it’s age because it called for cherries in a #2 can. Um, what is a #2 can? I had to call my mom to clarify. I honestly have not seen recipes stating can type sizes. Have you? I have no clue where the recipe came from originally. I think my mom got it from a friend who got it from a friend and so on.

Coca-Cola Salad | Magnolia Days
3.67 from 39 votes

Coca-Cola Salad

A recipe for Coca-Cola salad, a gelatin salad made with Jello, Coca-Cola, cherries, pineapple, and nuts. Serve it as a side dish or dessert.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Renee


  • 6 ounces cherry-flavored Jello not sugar-free
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 10 ounces Coca-Cola
  • 1 can red tart pitted cherries in water 14.5 to 16 ounces
  • 1 can crushed pineapple 8 ounces
  • 1 cup chopped pecans raw or lightly toasted


  1. Place the Jello in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over it and stir until dissolved. Stir in the Coca-Cola. Refrigerate mixture until partially firm, about 30 minutes. NOTE: check and stir every 3 to 5 minutes. You want it a thickened but not set.
  2. Place the cherries and juice in a food processor fitted with a knife blade or in a blender. Pulse or blend a few times to lightly chop the cherries.
  3. Once the Jello mixture has thickened, stir in the chopped cherries and it's juice, pineapple and it's juice, and pecans. Pour into a Jello/gelatin mold. Refrigerate until set or overnight. Remove salad from the mold by inverting onto a serving platter. Serve cold.

Recipe Notes

If you do not have a Jello or gelatin mold then you can leave it in the large bowl. Invert onto a serving dish when ready to serve.

Are you ready for more retro recipes? Take a look at what the talented Sunday Supper bloggers are sharing:

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:

Sunday Supper Retro Salads:

Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:

SundaySupper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:

Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:

What fun to read the stories about the recipes! There’s lots of great food in the list. I admit I still make and enjoy many of them. Nice to see some updated versions too. Which one is your favorite?

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Special thanks to Terry and Jim Gardner for letting me borrow their old coke bottles for the photo!

Recipe Rating

Devit Clark

Thursday 6th of May 2021

This is an interesting idea about Coca-Cola salad. I read your blog and find the best idea. I think I will apply it in my kitchen


Sunday 29th of September 2019

Where do I find cherries in water? Have never ever seen them before. Only cherries in syrup.

Katie Moseman

Monday 30th of September 2019

Red tart cherries in water come in a can. You can usually find them in the canned fruit section.

Matt Ross

Monday 22nd of October 2018

This is the same exact recipe handed down from my great grandmother, which dates it somewhere in the 30's or 40's. Thanks for modernizing it because I was clueless about the cans. Everyone should try this because it doesn't get much more retro and it will amaze.


Friday 4th of December 2015

This recipe has been a Thanksgiving tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. I can't believe I found this recipe online! It is so good with turkey! I like to freeze cream cheese and then grate it on top to give a snowy look for the holidays.


Sunday 2nd of November 2014

This has been a tradition in my family probably since the 1950s. The variation in our recipe is that we use black cherry jello, Bing cherries, and we add cubed cream cheese to it. The cream cheese has always been my favorite part.


Monday 3rd of November 2014

How interesting with the cream cheese cubes. I'll have to give that a try and see how I like it too.