Cranberry Salad (also called Cranberry Fluff) is a holiday staple at our house! In the Midwest, this is a dish we serve alongside dinner, but it could easily double as dessert! Loaded with fresh cranberries, apples, pineapples, and pecans and then mixed up with whipped topping.
I look forward to cranberry season all year.
I love fresh cranberries in desserts, but I can never seem to stop myself from just popping a couple of cranberries in my mouth whole every year. And every year I instantly have regrets…they’re so bitter and gross raw and without any added sugar. Still have to try it every year. 🤷♀️
This cranberry salad recipe is a staple at our holiday dinner every year. Much like my Snickers Apple Salad, it’s more of a dessert than an actual salad, but we eat it as a side dish just the same. It’s the holidays after all. 😉
Cranberries – You’ll want to use fresh cranberries for this recipe.
Sugar – Cranberries tend to be both bitter and tart, but adding sugar will sweeten them up and make them hard to resist!
Mix-Ins – You’ll be adding a chopped tart apple (such as Granny Smith), crushed pineapple (from a can), mini marshmallows, and chopped pecans.
Whipped Topping – We use Cool Whip because it’s easy and it holds up well. You can use homemade whipped cream, but the salad won’t last quite as long in the fridge.
How to make Cranberry Fluff Salad:
Cranberries: Add fresh cranberries to a food processor or blender and process them until they’re finely chopped.
Sugar: Fresh cranberries are both bitter and tart on their own, so you’ll want to sweeten them up by stirring in some sugar. This bit will need to chill in the fridge for 2 hours to let those berries soften up a bit, release some juices, and really sweeten up.
Mix-Ins: In the Midwest, we use the term ‘salad’ quite loosely. There are no greens in this recipe – instead you’ll find chopped apples, crushed pineapples, mini marshmallows, pecans, and whipped topping. I’m not sure what makes this cranberry salad recipe a salad, but I’m here for it.
Serve: Once you’ve stirred everything together, spoon this into a pretty dish, top it with a few of the mix-ins, and serve! We serve this on the dinner table, but it could easily double as a dessert.
This cranberry salad recipe is so easy and it turns out such a pretty pink color. It’s really impossible to resist and kids love it thanks to the little bits of marshmallows hiding throughout.
Reminds me a bit of Ambrosia Salad!
How long will Cranberry Fluff keep?
This should last for a couple of days in the fridge, though it might get a bit more liquid-y as the cranberries release juice.
Just give it a gentle stir before serving and then dig in!
Cool Whip Substitute:
If you don’t like Cool Whip, you may use homemade whipped cream. The salad will not keep as well though and will be best served fresh.
More Thanksgiving recipes:
Twice Baked Potato Casserole: Cheesy and decadent!
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Always a hit in my family.
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole: We make this one every single year.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole: Literally the best and it’s low carb too!
Green Bean Casserole with Bacon: Bacon makes everything better.
Jiffy Corn Casserole: Another recipe that makes an appearance at every holiday dinner.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 medium tart apple chopped
- 8 ounces canned crushed pineapple
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- Add the cranberries to a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped.
- Add the cranberries to a large glass mixing bowl along with the sugar. Toss to coat.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Add the apple, pineapple, marshmallows, pecans, and whipped topping to the bowl with the cranberries and stir well to combine.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe was originally published in 2019. Original photos below: