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Christmas Holiday Cranberry Salad Recipe

Christmas Holiday Cranberry Salad is a delicious recipe that makes a great dessert or side dish for your holiday meal.

The cranberry Jell-O salad recipe is easy to make and is the perfect addition to any table. 

A Family Tradition Fit For Any Special Occasion

Picture of cranberry salad

My husband absolutely loves this recipe. It came from my sister-in-law, Cindy, who has been making it for many years.

The dessert is full of holiday ingredients, including apples, fresh cranberries, oranges, marshmallows, and more that work for any gathering. 

We’ve spent many Thanksgivings and other holidays with her and my brother-in-law, and my husband is always excited to eat the Christmas holiday cranberry salad recipe.

Cindy is such a fun person to be around and always makes the most delicious recipes. So, I was excited to share this with y’all.

Grab the recipe here for another tasty and similar cranberry salad

This recipe is a great one, and Cindy gave me lots of good tips to make this easy recipe perfect.

Picture of cranberry salad in a christmas bowl. There are some christmas lights in the background.

Ingredients For Christmas Cranberry Salad

  • Lemon Jell-O
  • Orange
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Pecans or walnuts
  • Mini marshmallows (or more if you’d like)

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Picture of cranberries in a Cuisinart

Add the cranberries to a blender or a Cuisinart food processor.

I love the way these cranberries are so vibrant and red. It’s almost artwork, don’t ya think?

Picture of sugar and cranberries in a Cuisinart

Pour the sugar over the top. Grind the cranberries and sugar up and scoop them into another bowl. Let the ground cranberries and sugar sit to the side and marinate together. 

Picture of pineapple juice with orange slices.

Cut up the orange and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup or a glass container.

Squeeze out as much as you can. I’m a little wimpy, so I probably could have gotten more juice out than I did, but I gave it my best shot. 

Picture of orange and pineapple juice

Open a can of crushed pineapple and drain it into the cup.

You need to have about one cup of pineapple and orange juice combined. You can add a tad bit of water if you need to in order to get it to one cup. 

Picture of lemon Jell-O

Boil the pineapple and orange juice and add it to a packet of lemon Jell-O.

I placed the measuring glass in the microwave for a little over a minute until it started to boil. (Just make sure your glass is microwave-safe).

You can also boil it on the stovetop before adding it to the Jell-O. Mix it together and stick it in the freezer for a few minutes while you get the rest of the dessert prepared. 

Note: The Jell-O box calls for another cup of water. But don’t add that. You are only adding the one cup of boiling juice to the powdered Jell-O. 

Use a large bowl because once you add everything, it’s going to be quite a bit. I used the largest mixing bowl that I had. 

Picture of oranges in a Cuisinart

Add the slices of orange, along with the peel, to a Cuisinart or blender. Give it all a good grind. You can use whatever is going to chop it all up well. 

Picture of mixed up oranges in a Cuisinart

Picture of apples in a Cuisinart

Next, add the apple slices to the oranges and grind again.

My Cuisinart is not huge, so I had to add the slices a little bit at a time. I also cut up the apples into smaller pieces.

Cindy said not to grind it up into applesauce. You want to still have some chunks of apple. 

I might have ground mine up a little too much, but it still came out really yummy. 

Picture of cranberry and lemon Jell-O in a large bowl

Pull the Jell-O out of the freezer and add the cranberry and sugar mixture. The Jell-O is not going to be set up yet. 

Picture of apples, oranges, and cranberries in a bowl

Add the apple and orange mixture.

Picture of fruit, pecans, and cranberries in a bowl.

Next, add the crushed pineapple and pecans.

Cindy likes walnuts, and we like pecans, so it’s a matter of preference. You can add what you’d like. Either way, the dish will turn out delicious. 

Picture of marshmallows on a cranberry salad.

Finally, add the marshmallows.

I personally think this is one of the best steps. I love marshmallows. 

Picture of cranberry salad in a bowl

Mix everything together and place the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours. The Jell-O will not completely set up in this recipe, but it will thicken some. 

You can add a little whipped topping on top for an extra sweet treat. You can make it at home with some heavy cream and powdered sugar or buy some Cool Whip.

How To Store The Christmas Cranberry Salad

You can store the salad in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

Thank you, Cindy, for the wonderful recipe! 

Picture of cranberry salad

More Delicious Holiday Recipes

All of these recipes are perfect for Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving dinner, or any holiday table.

  • Cranberry fluff salad from Southern Living is another one of those cranberry desserts that we can’t get enough of. The creamy cranberry salad features cream cheese.
  • Pecan pie cobbler – this recipe is a great way to feed a crowd. It’s a vintage recipe, and everyone raves about it!
  • Million dollar fudge is a rich and decadent treat that is perfect for the holiday season. And the best part? It’s so easy to make.
  • Loaded mashed potatoes – holiday dinners will never be the same with this delicious and cheesy, bacon-filled side dish. The creamy mashed potatoes are easy to make, and everyone comes running for this recipe.
  • Southern sweet potato pie is a delicious recipe that has been around for generations. It’s easy to make and turns out smooth as silk.
  • If you love cranberry recipes, you will want this list of 25 canned cranberry sauce recipes.
  • Pineapple casserole brings sweet and savory together in this dish. Fresh pineapple, Ritz Crackers, and plenty of cheese and butter fill this dish.
  • Christmas salad recipe from Dinner At The Zoo – this easy recipe for green salad contains mandarin oranges, pomegranate seeds, and a few more mouthwateringly delicious ingredients.

Christmas Holiday Cranberry Salad Recipe

Next time you’re looking for the perfect sweet side dish for your holiday table, give the Christmas holiday cranberry salad recipe a try.

It’s perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas and goes along well with sweet potatoes, turkey, rolls, and more.

Picture of cranberry salad

Christmas Cranberry Salad

Yield: 20 cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes

Christmas Cranberry Salad is a delicious recipe that makes a great dessert or side dish for the holidays. The cranberry salad recipe is easy to make and is the perfect addition to any table. 


  • 3 ounces of powdered lemon Jell-O
  • 1 orange
  • 4 apples
  • 12 ounces of cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 5 ounces of mini marshmallows (or more if you'd like)


  1. Grind cranberries and sugar together. Add to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut up the orange and squeeze out the juice into a glass measuring cup. Add orange slices to a blender, including the peel, and grind up.
  3. Drain the pineapple juice into the glass measuring cup. You will need one cup of orange juice and pineapple juice combined. (Add a little water if you don't quite reach one cup).
  4. Add the powdered Jell-O to a large bowl.
  5. Boil the pineapple and orange juice and add to the Jell-O. Mix together and place in the freezer for a few minutes while you finish the rest of the recipe.
  6. Cut up the apples into small slices and add to the orange. Grind up. (Don't get to the point of applesauce, just big chunks).
  7. Take the Jell-O bowl out of the freezer and add the cranberry mixture. Add the apple and orange mixture. Mix everything together.
  8. Add the pecans (or walnuts) and the crushed pineapple.
  9. Add the marshmallows and mix together.
  10. Place in the refrigerator for several hours.


The Jell-O will not completely set up, but the salad will be a little thicker after several hours.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 cups Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

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