Cranberry Salad

CRANBERRY SALAD is a holiday staple at our house! It could be served as a dessert or side, but we usually eat it as a side dish. It’s loaded with fresh cranberries, apples, pineapples, and pecans and then mixed up with whipped topping. 

Cranberry Salad - this is a holiday staple in our family! #cranberry #thanksgiving #christmas

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 when they’re totally plain. 

Once you’ve sugared them up and mixed up with some good stuff, though…yum. Bring on the cranberries! Especially in my Christmas Sangria!

This cranberry salad 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. 😉 

cranberry fluff recipe

How to make cranberry fluff salad: 

This cranberry salad is super easy to prepare, but it does need a bit of time to chill in the fridge, so be sure to get it started a few hours in advance.

chopped cranberries with sugar in bowl

Add some fresh cranberries to a food processor or blender and process them until they’re nice and chopped.

Add the cranberries to a large bowl along with some sugar and give it a good stir.

Pop that mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours. The cranberries will get sweet and juicy as they set in the sugar.

ingredients for cranberry salad in glass bowl

Chop up an apple and some pecans and then add that to the cranberry mixture along with some mini marshmallows and crushed pineapple. 

Stir in your Cool Whip until everything is combined and then you’re ready to dig in!

This 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. 

cranberry salad recipe

How long will cranberry salad 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.

cranberry fluff in serving dish

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.


Cranberry Salad

Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 12
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy side dish recipes, easy Thanksgiving recipes
Calories: 168 kcal

Sweet, tart, and perfect for serving at your next 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 frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Add the cranberries to a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add the cranberries to a large glass mixing bowl along with the sugar. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Add the apple, pineapple, marshmallows, pecans, and whipped topping to the bowl with the cranberries and stir well to combine.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

You may substitute homemade whipped cream for the Cool Whip, but the salad will not keep as well. 

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 168 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 18mg1%
Potassium 101mg3%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 49IU1%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.