Cranberry Jell-O Salad

Cranberry Jell-O Salad

3 hrs 15 mins
Vadim Rachok
On this page:
Recipe Ingredients Video Nutrition
8 / 10
Health score
Dairy FreeEgg free dishGluten free dishLow Carb DishLow FatVegan DishVegetarian Dish

Cranberry Jell-O Salad is a versatile dish that can be served as a side or dessert. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make for Thanksgiving because the combination of cranberries and turkey is simply divine. The best part is, that it doesn’t require many ingredients or much time to prepare, and you can store it for more than a day. Although to be honest, this salad is so delicious that there’s rarely any left over.

Cranberry Jell-O Salad, a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, is a culinary masterpiece that adds a burst of vibrancy to any Thanksgiving feast. The marriage of tart cranberries and succulent turkey in this dish is a match made in culinary heaven. What I love most is its simplicity – a few ingredients and minimal time investment create a dish that not only complements the holiday spread but often steals the show. The versatility of this salad, serving as both a side and dessert, makes it a must-have on the Thanksgiving table.

What is a Cranberry Jell-O Salad?

Cranberry Jell-O Salad is a classic holiday gelatin, cranberry, fruit, and sometimes nut dish. It usually has a jelly base made with cranberry juice or cranberry sauce, mixed with chopped cranberry, chopped pineapple, and sometimes other fruit like orange or apple. The result is a bright and cheerful salad that combines the tanginess of the cranberries with the sweetness of the fruit and the refreshing cool of the jelly. 

The origins of Cranberry Jell-O Salad date back to the mid-20th century in the United States. Jelly salads gained popularity in the post-war era. This was due to the rise of convenience foods. Cranberry Jell-O Salad probably originated as a variation of other gelatin-based salads popular at the time. It incorporated seasonal ingredients such as cranberries. Today, it is a staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Cranberry Jell-O Salad Ingredients

  • Boiling water: Serves as a base for the dissolution of the gelatin mix and ensures proper setting of the salad.
  • Packaged sugar-free cherry-flavored gelatin mix: Provides a burst of fruity sweetness and vibrant color to the dish and adds a delightful element of flavor to the salad.
  • Jellied Cranberry Sauce: Adds tang and depth of flavor that complements the sweetness of the gelatin and adds a tangy twist to the salad.
  • Drained Pineapple: Balances the sweetness of the gelatin and adds a refreshing tropical flavor and texture to the salad.
  • Pecans: Provide a crunchy contrast to the smooth texture of the salad and add a nutty flavor that enhances the overall flavor profile, providing a delightful crunch in every bite.


  1. Before you begin cooking, it’s important to prepare all the recipe’s ingredients. “This will assist you in saving time and guarantee that you do not overlook anything.”
  2. After mixing gelatin and water in a bowl, stir well until the mixture is smooth and the gelatin is dissolved completely.
  3. The next step is to add the cranberry sauce and crushed pineapple to this mass and mix again so that the sauce and fruit fill the jelly substance.
  4. Almost done! Transfer everything to a serving bowl and garnish with pecans.
  5. To solidify the Cranberry Salad, you need to wait for your refrigerator to do the job. Soak it in a large bowl for a minimum of 4 hours, or better yet, keep it all night to make sure it sets properly. If you’re serving the salad in separate dishes for each person, a soaking time of 3-4 hours should be sufficient.
  6. Great news! Your dish is ready to be shown off on the table. Enjoy your meal and don’t forget to share the recipe with your friends and family!


I believe that if you can add something to a dish or replace the ingredients with something, you shouldn’t keep it a secret. So here are some tips for making Cranberry Jell-O Salad that you might find useful.


When buying jelly, it is not necessary to limit yourself to a single flavor. Cherry, cranberry, raspberry, and even orange can all be used to create a delicious dish. The key is to choose a flavor that has a sourness that complements the other ingredients. So, don’t hesitate to experiment and try out new flavors.


To make sure that all the fruit in your Cranberry Jell-O Salad is visible, dissolve the gelatin by adding hot water first and then cool water. If you add cool water directly, the fruit may sink and only a layer of jelly will be visible on top.


You can use either pecans, walnuts, or a combination of both nuts. For the best flavor, it is recommended that you roast the fresh nuts yourself. Once roasted, allow them to cool before incorporating them into your dish. If you prefer not to have whole pieces of nuts in your dish, chop them up for an even more delicious flavor.”


“This dish complements any kind of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. You can also serve it as a dessert by preparing a cream to suit your taste. Alternatively, you could serve it alongside a pie, and your guests could add Cranberry Jell-O Salad to it. The choice is entirely up to your preferences.”


Sometimes we don’t finish our meals and wonder whether we can keep the leftovers for another day. The good news is that you can store them in your fridge for up to three days without worrying about the food going bad.


The first known reference to Cranberry Salad came about in 1904, when it was referred to as “perfection salad.” It was created by Mrs. John E. Cook of New Castle, Pennsylvania, who was the winner of the Better Homes and Gardens recipe contest. Interestingly, in Utah, this dish has been designated as the official state snack.


This is one of the dessert recipes that I can recommend as a snack or dessert even on a weight loss program. Cranberry Jell-O Salad is characterized by low carbohydrate content and low total calories, so you can easily fit it into your daily calorie allowance. Additionally, the gelatin in this dessert contributes to replenishing collagen reserves in the body, which has a positive impact on skin health as well as joints and ligaments.

Jenny Dobrynina
Jenny Dobrynina
Nutrition Editor
Health score:
8 / 10
Cranberry Jell-O Salad
Author:Vadim Rachok
The perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey, this Jell-O salad is not only delicious but also adds a beautiful touch to your table.
Cranberry Jell-O Salad
Prep Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
The ingredients you need
2 cups boiling water
2 (0.3 ounce) packages sugar-free cherry-flavored gelatin mix (such as Jell-O)
1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup chopped pecans
Let’s start !

To begin cooking, make sure you have all your ingredients ready.


To make the gelatin mixture, pour boiling water into a bowl and add the gelatin. Stir the mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved.


Mix the cranberry sauce and crushed pineapple with the gelatin mixture.


Please take the dish and transfer the mixture to it. Then, decorate the top of the mixture with pecans.


Put it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. If you choose individual dishes for a person, leave them for 3-4 hours.



Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 12 Calories: 123
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g4%
Saturated Fat 0g2%
Sodium 62mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 23g8%
Dietary Fiber1g4%
Total Sugars 21g 
Protein 1g 
Vitamin C 5mg26%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 0mg2%
Potassium 86mg2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Watch How To Make It

Preparation is key! Ensure all ingredients are ready before you embark on creating this Cranberry Jell-O Salad. This not only streamlines the cooking process but also guarantees that no essential element is overlooked. When selecting jelly flavors, don't shy away from experimenting; cherry, cranberry, raspberry, or even orange can bring exciting variations to your dish. When dissolving the gelatin, start with hot water first and then add cool water to prevent the fruit from sinking. For added richness, roast fresh pecans or walnuts before incorporating them into the salad. Roasting enhances the nuts' flavor, bringing a delightful crunch to the dish. Serve this versatile salad alongside meat, potatoes, and vegetables, or treat it as a dessert by pairing it with a customized cream. The story behind Cranberry Jell-O Salad adds a charming touch to its history, rooted in a 1904 recipe contest, making it a delightful part of culinary heritage. Don't hesitate to store any leftovers in the fridge; this Cranberry Jell-O Salad can be enjoyed for up to three days, offering a delightful encore to your Thanksgiving festivities. Share the joy of this timeless recipe with friends and family – a true celebration of flavors and traditions!

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