Photo by Rohan Portteus

The strawberry “salad” when it’s ready to be served. The recipe has been in the Portteus family for 40 years.

NanNan’s Strawberry Salad

December 12, 2022

Around 40 years ago, one of my grandmother’s dear friends, Wanda Philips, shared this strawberry Jello salad recipe with her. It was an immediate family favorite and became a staple at each of our holiday dinners and special occasions. 

I have fond memories from my childhood in the kitchen with my grandmother preparing this dish together. When I was too young to make it by myself she would let me mash the bananas and spread the sour cream. This recipe takes me back to the time in my childhood when life was much simpler. 

I remember walking into my grandmother’s house after a long day of driving to Tulsa. There would always be a fresh made strawberry salad on the countertop waiting for us. 

She would have bowls and forks out, ready to dish out one of my all time favorite comfort foods. 

The soft smooth texture of jello that you would normally expect is broken up with chunks of strawberry and chopped pecans. Sour cream by itself can tend to be overpowering, but the sweetness of the strawberry jello mixture balances it out perfectly. For years I thought the salad was made with cool whip, not sour cream due to its sweetness. 

Apart from the jello set time, this recipe is a quick alternative to a traditional holiday cookie. Strawberry salad melts in your mouth upon the first taste. Flavors coming together in an excellent melody that is bound to touch all of your senses. NanNan’s Strawberry Salad has stood the test of time, and is guaranteed to shock your guests when they try it. I highly recommend that everyone adds this piece of my family history onto their holiday dinner table.



  • 4 small boxes of regular strawberry jello.
  • 2 Сups of boiling water,
  • 3 mashed bananas.
  • 2/3 cups of chopped pecans.
  • Well drained can of crushed pineapple.
  • 1- 23.02 oz container frozen strawberries,
  • ****OR*****
  • 2-15.5 oz cartons of frozen Strawberries (Measure 23.02 oz)
  • 16.02 oz  container of sour cream



  • In a large bowl combine jello packets and boiling water, mix until dissolved
  • Fold in strawberries, Crushed pineapple, bananas and Chopped pecans,
  • Pour ½ mixture into large large rectangular pyrex dish 
  • Refrigerate until firm.
  • Once firm, spread an even layer of sour cream on the set layer. Be careful not to puncture the jello below.
  • Gently Spoon the rest of the jello mixture onto the sour cream.
  • Refrigerate for two hours or until firm.

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