Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen, where today I’ll be sharing with you a recipe that has been passed down through generations and was even served in the White House during the Nixon administration. Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe is a classic dish that has stood the test of time, and I’m excited to share it with you today.

This chicken salad recipe is unique in that it incorporates grapefruit juice and beets, which give it a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that is sure to leave your taste buds wanting more. The combination of cream cheese and mayonnaise creates a creamy base that perfectly complements the crunchy celery and toasted sesame seeds.

Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a flavorful and hearty meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or a dish to bring to a potluck, this recipe is sure to impress.

So, grab your apron and let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Patricia Nixon's Continental Salad
Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad

If you’re looking for a recipe that is both delicious and refreshing, then Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe is the perfect choice for you. This salad recipe is a classic that has been enjoyed by many for decades, and it’s not difficult to understand why.

Firstly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a dish that is not only tasty but also visually appealing. The combination of juicy grapefruit, crunchy celery, and tender chicken chunks creates a salad that is both satisfying and healthy.

Secondly, the flavors in this salad are perfectly balanced. The use of grapefruit juice, lemon gelatin, and mayonnaise as the dressing creates a tangy and sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly. The addition of cream cheese adds a creamy texture that makes this salad even more appetizing.

Thirdly, this recipe is versatile. You can easily customize it to your liking by adding your favorite ingredients or substituting some of the ingredients with healthier options. For example, you can swap the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt or use grilled chicken instead of boiled chicken.

Lastly, this recipe has a rich history. It was created by Patricia Nixon, the wife of former President Richard Nixon, and was a staple dish at the White House during their time in office. Being able to recreate a dish that was enjoyed by the first family is a unique and exciting experience.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why you’ll love Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe. It’s easy to make, perfectly balanced in flavor, versatile, and has a rich history. So, what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to please.

Ingredient List

 A bowl full of colors and flavors
A bowl full of colors and flavors

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe. This salad recipe is a unique combination of flavors and textures that will certainly impress your guests. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Salad:

  • 1 (3-ounce) package lemon gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups canned grapefruit juice
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar diced beets, drained (reserve 1/2 cup of juice)
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Gather all ingredients before starting to cook to ensure you have everything you need. You can find most of these ingredients in your local grocery store, and they are affordable and easy to find.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect summer lunch or dinner
The perfect summer lunch or dinner

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to start making this delicious Continental Salad. This recipe has a few different components that need to be prepared separately and then combined, but don’t worry, it’s not too complicated.

Lemon Gelatin Layer

First, we’ll make the lemon gelatin layer. In a bowl, dissolve a 3-ounce package of lemon gelatin in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Stir in 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square dish and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Cream Cheese Layer

Next, we’ll make the cream cheese layer. In a bowl, beat together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise until smooth. Spread the mixture over the set lemon gelatin layer and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Chicken Salad Layer

Now, onto the chicken salad layer. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked, diced chicken; 1/2 cup of diced celery; 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice; 2 tablespoons of lemon juice; and 1/4 cup of mayonnaise. Stir until well combined.

Putting it All Together

Once the cream cheese layer is firm, spread the chicken salad mixture over it. Drain and reserve the liquid from a 16-ounce jar of diced beets. Sprinkle the beets over the chicken salad layer, then pour the reserved beet liquid over the beets. Finally, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds over the top.

Refrigerate the Continental Salad until set, about 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve on a bed of lettuce or mixed greens. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Fresh and crunchy ingredients in every bite
Fresh and crunchy ingredients in every bite

Don’t be afraid to mix things up with this salad recipe! Here are a few substitutions and variations to try:

– Vegetarian: Skip the chicken and add in some extra veggies, like diced cucumbers, carrots, or bell peppers.

– Vegan: Use a vegan mayonnaise and cream cheese alternative, and omit the gelatin.

– Fruit salad: Swap out the chicken and beets for additional fruits, such as diced apples, sliced strawberries, or blueberries.

– Asian-inspired: Add some diced water chestnuts, sliced scallions, and a tablespoon of soy sauce to the mix for an Asian-style twist.

– Creamier dressing: Double the mayonnaise and cream cheese for an even creamier dressing.

– Healthier dressing: Swap the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt and reduce the amount of cream cheese for a healthier dressing option.

– Spicier: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a diced jalapeno for a spicier kick.

– Seed variety: Substitute the toasted sesame seeds for toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a different crunch.

Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and finding what works best for you and your taste buds. So don’t be afraid to try something new and make this salad recipe your own.

Serving and Pairing

 A salad that will make your taste buds dance
A salad that will make your taste buds dance

This Continental Salad Recipe is a perfect example of a versatile and flavorful salad that can be served in various settings. It can be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner, served as a side dish with grilled meats, or as a potluck contribution.

To serve, simply pile the salad high on a bed of lettuce leaves or arrange it on a platter. It’s colorful and visually appealing, with a rainbow of ingredients that pop against the greens.

When it comes to pairing, this salad can be savored with a variety of drinks. A crisp white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay would complement the citrusy and refreshing flavors of the salad.

If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, a sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon can provide a refreshing sip that will balance the flavors of the salad.

Additionally, this salad can be paired with a variety of foods, depending on your preference. For instance, you can serve it with grilled chicken or fish, quiches, or even sandwiches. It’s a perfect side dish for outdoor barbecues, picnics, or brunches.

Lastly, when it comes to garnishing, toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top of the salad for added texture and nuttiness. A light drizzle of salad dressing can also enhance the flavors of the salad. You can use a simple vinaigrette or try an Asian-inspired dressing for a more exotic twist. Whatever your preference, this Continental Salad Recipe is a delicious and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A classic recipe with a touch of elegance
A classic recipe with a touch of elegance

One of the best things about this Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. This makes it an ideal dish for busy weeknights or for a make-ahead lunch.

To make it ahead of time, simply prepare the salad as directed in the recipe How-To section. Once the salad is fully assembled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 2 days.

When it’s time to serve the salad, simply remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to take the chill off. You can also give it a quick toss to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.

If you have leftovers or need to store the salad for a longer period, it can be frozen. To freeze, transfer the salad to an airtight container and place it in the freezer immediately. When you’re ready to serve it again, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, and then follow the reheating instructions below.

To reheat the salad, you can either use a microwave or an oven. For the microwave, simply transfer the salad to a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a damp paper towel, and microwave it on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Be sure to stir the salad halfway through the cooking time to ensure even heating.

For the oven, preheat it to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the salad to an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake it for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Again, be sure to stir the salad halfway through the cooking time to ensure even heating.

Overall, this salad is a great make-ahead dish that can be stored easily and reheated quickly. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or for when you need a quick and easy lunch on the go.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The combination of textures is simply irresistible
The combination of textures is simply irresistible

When it comes to making Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad recipe, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve a perfect result. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

Firstly, it’s important to properly drain the canned grapefruit and diced beets. You want to reserve the grapefruit juice and beet juice separately as they will be used in the recipe. By doing this, you’ll prevent your salad from becoming too watery.

Secondly, when preparing the lemon and orange gelatin, it’s important to follow the instructions on the package. Be sure to dissolve the gelatin in hot water before adding in the cold grapefruit juice and beet juice. This will ensure that your gelatin sets properly.

Thirdly, when it comes to the chicken, it’s best to use cooked chicken that has been cut into small chunks. This will make the chicken easier to eat and will distribute the chicken evenly throughout the salad.

Fourthly, don’t be afraid to get creative with the salad dressing. While Patricia Nixon’s original recipe calls for a mixture of mayonnaise, cream cheese, and grapefruit juice, you can experiment with different dressings to suit your taste. A tangy Asian dressing or a zesty vinaigrette would be great alternatives.

Lastly, when serving the salad, be sure to sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top for added crunch and flavor. Not only will they add a pop of texture, but they’ll also complement the citrus flavors in the salad.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and refreshing Continental Salad that would make even Patricia Nixon proud.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe is a delicious and refreshing dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its unique combination of flavors and textures, this salad is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Whether you are hosting a summer barbecue, a dinner party, or just looking for a healthy and tasty lunch option, this recipe is a must-try. So, grab your ingredients and get cooking! I promise you won’t be disappointed. And remember, always feel free to experiment with different variations and substitutions to make this recipe your own. Happy cooking!

Patricia Nixon’s Continental Salad Recipe

This came from a very old Recipes on Parade cook book…so old that President Nixon was still in office! This recipe was donated by his wife, Pat. (Cook time is chill time and serving size as well as prep time is approximate)


  • 1 (3 ounce) package lemon gelatin or (3 ounce) package orange gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups canned grapefruit juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar diced beets, drained,reserve juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • salad greens


  • 1 tablespoon canned grapefruit juice
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. SALAD:
  2. Dissolve gelatin in hot grapefruit juice.
  3. Add 1/2 cup liquid drained from beets.
  4. Chill until partially thickened.
  5. Fold in drained beets and celery.
  6. Pour into a large salad mold.
  7. Chill until firm.
  9. Gradually blend 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice into 1 package of cream cheese; beating until fluffy.
  10. Fold in 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.
  12. Unmold salad onto salad greens and top with dressing.
< 4 Hours, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein

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