Strawberry Nut Salad

My recipe is a bit of a palm-trees-in-December kind of recipe—hardly warm and heavy. Though it does have sour cream in it, and it is made in a casserole dish—and it calls for Jell-O, so it definitely has some comfort food elements with some imaginative stretching.
By / Photography By Jennifer Olson | November 01, 2014


Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water, then stir in strawberries with their juice, drained pineapple, bananas and walnuts. Pour half the mixture into 9- by 13-inch dish. Chill until set. Spread the sour cream over entire surface of salad then pour remaining half of Jell-O mixture on top of sour cream. Chill.

About the Dish...

I grew up in San Diego, so while American families in cooler climes huddle over open fires and roast nuts for the holidays, the idea of a “white Christmas” was but a song and a dream for me. Instead, we went played croquet in shorts, took long hikes before big meals and went to the movies for some free AC.

And what I most looked forward to every year was my mom’s strawberry nut salad. Gravy was never my thing, and stuffing left me feeling more, well, stuffed than satisfied. This was my family’s fruit cake—sans the dread of old Aunt Betty sending it to you from Kansas. It is fruit and nutty, deliciously addicting and appropriately celebratory.

Though this is the kid-friendly and easy-to-prep version, variations like subbing your choice of liquor for some of the water or fresh fruit instead of packaged fruit can easily make it your own.


  • 2 small packages strawberry Jell-O
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 2 (10-ounce packages) frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 pint sour cream
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