Molded Tuna Salad

While my purpose for recreating these old gelatin recipes is not to make fun of my grandparents’ generation, it’s recipes like these that make it oh so tempting.

Who thought that combining tuna, boiled eggs, pickles and celery with jello would be a good idea? Congealed tuna salad? I suppose if times are tough you can get more miles on a casserole when it’s preserved in gelatin.

In the chef’s defense, the ingredients work just fine together when served between two pieces of toast. Let’s just thank our lucky stars that this recipe doesn’t call for mayonnaise!

The Recipe

This clipping appears to have come from a magazine. The only date on it is 1971, but it might even be from 1972. Somebody not only dreamed up this gelatinous beauty, but they also convinced others that it was worth printing!

25 cents per serving? What would it be now, I wonder. The portions of the ingredients I used probably add up to around $4.50, divide into 4 servings and you’ve got a little over a dollar per serving. Not bad. I could probably sit and calculate it out exactly but I don’t want to.

Tuna Salad

  • 1 (3 oz.) package Lime Gelatin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 2 tsp. vinegar
  • 3/4 c. cold water
  • 1 can tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 c. chopped dill pickle
  • 1/4 c. diced celery

Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add vinegar and cold water. Chill until thickened. Fold in remaining ingredients. Pour into a 1-quart mold or loaf pan and chill until firm. Unmold and garnish as desired. Makes 3 1/2 cups or 4 servings.


I’m not going to walk you through this one because, let’s be honest, you’re not going to make it.

But look at it! Isn’t it lovely? Disgusting, but beautiful.

The Verdict

I had a little jello-tasting party, of sorts. It consisted of two boys under the age of 8, three women of varying ages, husband “N” and an adventurous college student.

The general consensus was: Gross.

We will forever be haunted by memories of tuna suspended in a lime sea of pickles and eggs.

Each person took a turn tasting it, being cheered on by the others. A couple couldn’t get it down and eventually spit it out, one ran to the bathroom, two powered through and one didn’t mind it at all. This brave, remarkable soul admitted she wouldn’t be excited about eating it but she didn’t hate it.

I actually took a few bites (you know, for science), and I can accept that if someone were desensitized to this sort of cuisine they could probably learn to like it. Or perhaps I was just surprised – and grateful – that it wasn’t as bad as that molded chef salad. *Shiver*

One thought on “Molded Tuna Salad

  1. Plain gelatin with the broth from the can of tuna then add a little lime juice makes a nice molded salad.
    Add a few drops of green food coloring if you want. Forget the lime jello. It is good with carrots and pineapple for a salad.

    Liked by 1 person

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