Get ready to dive spoon-first into a burst of tangy goodness with this cranberry jello salad recipe! This isn’t your grandma’s plain ol’ salad – oh no, we’re talking about a wobbly, jiggly delight that’s as vibrant as it is flavorful. It’s time to add a zing of cranberry magic to your holiday dinners and make every meal a colorful adventure.
This post is not sponsored and in no way affiliated with Jell-O or the Kraft Heinz brand.
Why You’ll Love This Dessert Jello Salad
- Easy To Make: If you can boil a pot of water you can make this simple dessert.
- Only Five Ingredients: Most are even shelf stable so you can purchase them far in advance!
- Perfect for a Crowd: This is a go-to treat to take to all of your parties and sure to be loved by all!
Jello salad is HUGE here in Utah. In fact, I had never even heard of the treat until I moved here out of high school I was shocked when I attended a friends Christmas dinner and saw not one, not two, but three different versions on the table. Some was green with pistachios, others container fruit pieces and cottage cheese, but my FAVORITE was this cranberry version.
Picture this: The jello brings its fruity flair, while the cranberry sauce adds that signature zing that’ll wake up your palate. The crushed pineapple brings a tropical twist and a touch of juiciness, and the pecans deliver a nutty richness that balances it all out. It’s a flavor that’s both familiar and exciting, making every bite a delightful adventure. This is one of the best Jello salad recipes and truly the perfect side to any holiday meal.
Cranberry Jello Ingredients
When I say this is super simple and budget friendly I’m not even kidding. You only need a handful of easy ingredients and about five minutes to get this ready to chill! The full list of ingredients can be found below in the recipe card.
- Jello: I made this a few different times during testing and find that we really love raspberry jello and cherry jello. You’ll also need boiling water, but we will get into that in the instructions.
- Cranberry Sauce: You know that can of jellied cranberry sauce that is split 50/50 with if it should be on the table at Thanksgiving (I’m pro jelly cranberry btw)? That’s the one you need! Fresh cranberries are not ideal for this specific recipe. However, you can opt for a canned whole cranberry sauce
- Pineapple: Specifically, crushed pineapple that you find in a can, not fresh pineapple. Don’t drain it! Optional, consider adding in some mandarin oranges to the jello mixture!
- Nuts: Can you leave these out? Yep. But they really do add a delightful crunch to the mix. A lot of people like to substitute, or add in addition to, celery. Yes, celery.
- Optional: Cool whip or whipped cream. A delightful addition. You can even try adding a little orange zest for a fresh citrus zing!
Cranberry Jell-O Salad Recipe
Remember, this recipe needs a couple of hours to chill and set up so you will need to plan to make this a few hours before or even the day before you are ready to serve. It’s best made in a casserole dish, not a jello mold, as it won’t set up quite like traditional jello would.
- PREP: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- MIX: Combine the water and the Jell-O packet into a large bowl, whisking until the powder mix has dissolved. Immediately add the cranberry sauce and stir until it has mostly dissolved into the jello mix. It’s ok to have some larger pieces, but it’s best if you can get it to mostly mix in.
- ADD-INS: Stir in the pineapple and chopped pecans.
- CHILL: Pour the mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Allow to come to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
- ENJOY: Serve chilled and optionally topped with cool whip or whipped cream.
- Electric Kettle: I really enjoy using my electric kettle (affiliate) almost daily in my kitchen. This version is inexpensive and incredibly convenient for hot water in a snap.
- 9×13 Dish: I looooove my Oxo Good Grips pan (affiliate). This comes with a lid which makes it super easy to store food.
- Silicone Spatulas: If I can only recommend one kitchen tool, it would be a set of silicone spatulas (affiliate). These are so versatile and used daily in our kitchen. Great for baking AND cooking.
- Airtight Container (affiliate): A tight seal prevents odors from other foods in your fridge from crashing the jello party. Imagine your lovely fruit-filled jello mingling with last night’s garlic stir-fry. Yeah, no thanks!
You bet! The delightful crunch comes from the addition of chopped pecans, adding a perfect contrast to the smooth jiggly texture making this the easiest festive side dish.
Absolutely, it’s a time-saving champion! Prepare it the night before, and you’ll be the party host who’s both relaxed and impressive.Try serving this at your Thanksgiving dinner for a fun addition to the meal and delicious side dish.
Oh, it’s a versatile star! From festive holiday gatherings to sunny summer picnics, this great side dish knows how to steal the spotlight.
Without a doubt! You can add fresh fruits or try raspberry gelatin in place of the cherry. It’s a recipe that’ll have your guests asking for seconds and your social media followers asking for the recipe. Get ready for a culinary triumph that is the perfect side dish!
It’s good in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. So enjoy those wobbly, fruity bites while they’re at their freshest!
Cranberry Jell-O Salad
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 (6oz) box cherry or raspberry Jell-O
- 1 (16oz) can cranberry sauce
- 1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts we like pecans
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Combine the water and the Jell-O packet into a large mixing bowl, whisking until the powder mix has dissolved. Immediately add the cranberry sauce and stir until it has mostly dissolved into the jello mix. It’s ok to have some larger pieces, but it’s best if you can get it to mostly mix in.
- Stir in the pineapple and chopped pecans.
- Pour the mixture into a 9×13 dish. Allow to come to room temperature then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Serve chilled and optionally topped with cool whip or whipped cream.