Cranberry Apple Pineapple Salad (aka Cranberry Jello Salad) is the perfect holiday side! Full of fruit and delicious flavors, you can’t go wrong with serving this up for Thanksgiving or Christmas! Is it even a holiday meal without a Jell-O salad?! 😉 In a family with strong Midwest roots, the answer is no. But despite any negative connotation a Jell-O salad may have, I promise this one is worth your while! If you’re looking for a great Thanksgiving (or Christmas) side dish that is easy to make and something just about everyone will like, then look no further.
Holiday Meal Tradition
Some sort of fruity or Jell-O salad really is a tradition at our family meals and this one is extra special for me. This cranberry apple pineapple salad was the first dish I brought to a family holiday gathering as a married woman.. My grandma is actually the one that shared the recipe with me and I’ve made it for nearly every Thanksgiving and Christmas since then.
I have no idea where the original recipe came from, but since it involves Jell-o, that could very well be the source. My grandma shared it with me as something that was easy to make (some perfect for a young twenty-something cook) and was she right. It’s easy and SO so good!
Cranberry Jello Salad Ingredients
- whole berry cranberry sauce
- raspberry jello
- crushed pineapple
- granny smith apple
Making Cranberry Apple Pineapple Salad
Putting the Jell-O salad together is super easy. In fact, I even just boil the liquids in the microwave so I don’t even need to heat up the stove. The whole process really just starts out like making normal Jell-O. But, before you put the Jell-O in the fridge to cool, you’ll add a can of whole berry cranberry sauce to the mix!
While that cools and just begins to set, you’ll chop up the apple and the pecans. Then, you’ll mix the pineapple, apple, and pecans together so they’re all ready to add to the cranberry raspberry Jell-O mixture.
A few notes:
I usually add the rest of the fruit about 45 minutes – one hour after it’s been in the fridge. You want the mixture to be cooled and starting to set just a bit, but not fully set-up yet. Putting it in then helps make sure the fruit mixture is suspended throughout. Then, you get delicious goodness in every bite! Also, I almost always make this the day/night before to let set completely & let the flavors combine. And, I highly recommend doubling the recipe if your gathering is larger than 6-8 people. In fact, when I make it for our larger holiday meals, I usually serve it in my trifle bowl which holds a double batch perfectly. For a single bath (which is the recipe shown below), you’ll want a serving bowl that holds at least about 2.5 quarts/liters.
Additional Cranberry Recipes:
Obviously, this side dish is a special one for us. But if you’re looking for more cranberry recipes, here’s a bunch of other excellent options:
- Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
- Butternut Apple Cranberry Salad
- Easy Cranberry Salsa
- Cranberry & Cheese Pastry Bites
- Sparkling Apple Cranberry Tea
- Holiday Cranberry Orange Punch
Cranberry Apple Pineapple Salad Recipe
Here’s the simple printable recipe:
- 1 can (14oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 large box (6oz) raspberry jello
- 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1C chopped pecans (optional)
- Drain juice from crushed pineapple into a large glass measuring cup (set aside the pineapple in a medium bowl). Add water to the juice to get 3 cups. Heat liquids in microwave until almost boiling.
- Pour hot liquids into serving dish and dissolve the Jello in the hot liquid. Add can of whole berry sauce and break up in the jello. Place in fridge to cool and start setting.
- While the mixture cools, chop apple & pecans (I leave the skin on the apples - you can peel if you prefer).
- Once chopped, mix apples, pineapple, and pineapple in the measuring glass.
- After approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (the Jello mixture should be cool and just starting to set), stir in the fruit & nut mixture. Make sure ingredients are well-mixed throughout the dish.
- Return to the fridge to set completely. Serve cold & enjoy!
Enjoy diving into this fruity deliciousness! For best consistency, you’ll want to finish it up within 5-7 days of making it. But we usually don’t have too much leftover because everyone loves it so much!