Cranberry Jello Salad is a classic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish made with fresh cranberries, fruit, and pecans.

a plate with Cranberry Jello Salad

This Cranberry Jello Salad recipe is one of our favorite side dishes and it always makes an appearance at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Cranberry desserts are always a hit at the holidays, but if you want to try a cranberry appetizer, we recommend our fresh cranberry salsa. It’s always a hit! 

We actually have two cranberry salad recipes, this cranberry jello salad and our Cranberry Fluff. Cranberry jello salad is the less sweet and more tart version. The combination of tart cranberries, sweet apples, oranges, crunchy pecans, and jiggly Jello is absolutely perfect! 

This dessert is delicious and easy to make! You can make it a day or two ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator which makes it a great dish to serve along with turkey for your holiday meal.

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ingredients for Cranberry Jello Salad

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cranberries – Fresh and chopped, this is why we call the dish cranberry salad. Some versions just a whole cranberry sauce but we prefer this fresh version.
  • Sugar – To sweeten the cranberries.
  • Apple – The crisp apple chunks give not only texture and crunch to your dish but also a sweetness to off-set the tart of the cranberries.
  • Orange – Gives a delicious citrus flavor and texture to the dish. You can use clementine, navel, or mandarin oranges, whichever you prefer. You can also substitute with crushed pineapple or fresh pineapple if you wish.
  • Pecans – Chopped to give a good crunch to your dish. You can sub this with walnuts, almonds, or any nuts you wish.
  • Cherry Jello – Cherry jello compliments the raspberry for a delicious blend of flavor. Some people like to use strawberry jello instead, but we really like the way the cherry mingles with the raspberry.
  • Raspberry Jello – The tartness of the raspberry gelatin blends well with the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Cranberry Jello Salad made with fresh cranberries

How to Make Cranberry Jell-o Salad

Step 1 – Chop cranberries, orange, and apple – In a food processor, pulse cranberries with orange and apple until finely chopped. Remove mixture and place in a large bowl.

Step 2 – Chop pecans – Pulse pecans in food processor until finely chopped. 

Step 3 – Sugar cranberry mixture – Stir pecans into cranberry mixture, add sugar and mix thoroughly.

Step 4 – Let mixture sit – Let mixture sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight. This allows the sugar to sweeten the cranberries similar to our recipe for cranberry fluff.

Step 5 – Boil water and mix Jello – Bring water to a boil. Add both boxes of gelatin to the boiling water and whisk until completely dissolved. You won’t need cold water for this recipe the cranberry mixture will take it’s place.

Step 6 – Mix ingredients – Pour the jello mixture into a large bowl with cranberry mixture and mix well. Pour mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish (11×7 inches) or gelatin mold.

Step 7 – Cover and refrigerate – Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to serve cut it into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top!

Cranberry Jello Salad in a pyrex dish

Using a Jello Mold

You have a couple of options for how to serve your Cranberry Jello Salad. If you are making it for a very large group, you can use a casserole dish. If you want to get a little fancier, you can use a Jello mold . However, if you’re like me and don’t have a Jello mold, you can use a Bundt cake pan. See below for instructions on how to use the Bundt pan.

Cranberry Jello Salad in mini bundt pan

How to Use a Bundt Pan as a Jello Mold

  1. Spray a small amount of non-stick cooking spray on the inside and pour in your cranberry jello salad.
  2. Let it set in the fridge.
  3. Once set, place the Bundt pan in a hot water bath for 30 seconds or so.  Don’t let water get on top of the pan!
  4. Then place a large cutting board on top of the pan and flip it over. You may have to gently press on the cranberry jello salad to help it release but they will come out!

Make It Ahead of Time

Making a large Thanksgiving dinner? Good news! You can make this dish ahead of time!

You can make this dish up to one week in advance. However, we recommend making it no more than 2 days in advance. Leave your jello salad in the mold until you’re ready to serve.

If you aren’t using a mold, make sure to cover your jello salad tightly until ready to serve. 

Cranberry Jello Salad on two plates and glass dish

Can Cranberry Jello Salad be Frozen?

We do not recommend freezing Cranberry Jello Salad. When Jello starts to thaw, it gets watery and runny and it ruins the texture of this dish.

How Long Does Cranberry Salad Last in the Fridge?

Cranberry salad is good for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover the dish with plastic wrap or in an airtight container and keep it chilled until ready to eat.

Cranberry Jello Salad on a plate

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Servings: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Set Time:: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

Cranberry Jello Salad

This delicious cranberry jello salad is made with fresh cranberries, apples, oranges and pecans. Great for a dessert, side or snack.
a plate with Cranberry Jello Salad
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Orange, peeled
  • 2 ounces Pecans, chopped
  • 3 ounces Cherry gelatin, 1 packet
  • 3 ounces Raspberry gelatin, 1 packet
  • 2 cup Water, boiled

Instructions

  • In a food processor, pulse cranberries with orange and apple until finely chopped.
  • Remove mixture and place in a bowl.
  • Pulse pecans in food processor until finely chopped.
  • Stir pecans into cranberry mixture, add sugar and mix thoroughly.
  • Let mixture sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add both boxes of gelatin to the hot water and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Pour gelatin into bowl with cranberry mixture and mix well.
  • Pour gelatin mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish (11×17 inches) or a gelatin mold.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 136kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 68mg, Potassium: 64mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 41IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry jello, cranberry salad