This Cranberry JELLO salad recipe is a great side dish to have on your next holiday table. Made with raspberry JELL-O, pineapple, cranberry sauce and topped with a delicious creamy layer.
JELLO salads are a classic, holiday favorite you might remember from your Grandma’s house. It’s often served as a side dish but could also be a delicious dessert.
Here is what you will learn in this post:
- The ingredients you will need to make this cranberry salad recipe.
- Instructions for making this tasty side dish.
- Tips for getting a smooth, creamy topping and recipe variations of the salad.
This easy cranberry JELLO recipe needs just a few simple ingredients. Scroll to the bottom for the full list and directions.
JELL-O – I use raspberry gelatin but feel free to use cranberry or cherry flavored gelatin.
Cranberry sauce – Use canned, whole berry cranberry sauce. You can substitute with the jellied cranberry sauce but the whole berry adds to the texture.
Crushed pineapple – Use the whole can of crushed pineapple, including the pineapple juice. It adds a wonderful sweet taste and texture to the salad.
Cream cheese – The tangy cream cheese pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the JELLO. Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.
Cool Whip – You can use full fat or light Cool Whip.
Sugar – Sugar is used to sweeten the JELLO topping.
How to make cranberry JELLO salad with cream cheese topping
No need for a gelatin mold, this can be made in a 9 x 9-inch dish or a 9 x 13-inch dish. The square dish will make for a thicker salad. If you prefer yours a little thinner, use the 9 x 13 dish.
Step one: Pour JELLO powder into a large bowl. Stir in boiling water. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add in cold water and stir.
Step two: Mix in crushed pineapple and the can of cranberry sauce. Lightly spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour in JELLO mixture.
Step three: Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. I recommend letting is chill overnight.
Step four: Make the cream cheese topping. To make this creamy topping, mix together cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in the Cool Whip.
Step five: Spread cream cheese topping over the JELLO layer. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Love cranberries? Be sure to check out these other cranberry recipes:
- Place the plastic wrap right on top of the JELLO mixture when covering. This helps to keep out any refrigerator smells.
- If you would like to use a JELLO mold, this recipe works for a 6 cup mold.
- Don’t use fresh pineapple because there is an enzyme in fresh pineapple that will prevent the gelatin from setting up.
- If the cream cheese in the topping gets lumpy, microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds. Use a whisk or spoon and stir until lumps are gone.
- I recommend making this at least 1-2 days in advance of serving it. That will give it enough time to set up.
Nuts – If you would like to add a bit of crunch, sprinkle on chopped pecans or walnuts.
Fruit – Feel free to add extra fruit like mandarin oranges or diced apples.
Flavor – This recipe uses raspberry jello but you can use cherry, cranberry, strawberry, or even orange jello.
How long does JELLO salad last?
This cranberry salad will last about 5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store any leftovers in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze? I would not recommend freezing because the texture will change and not hold up once it’s thawed.
More holiday side dish recipes
Cranberry JELLO Salad
- 2 3 oz raspberry JELL-O
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
- 1 14 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 16 oz Cool Whip
- Place JELL-O in large bowl. Pour in boiling water. Whisk for about 2 minutes then whisk in the cold water.
- Pour in the whole can, including juice, of crushed pineapple. Stir in can of whole cranberry sauce. Stir to combine.
- Lightly spray either a 9 x 9-inch or 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Carefully pour mixture into baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours.
Cream cheese topping
- Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in Cool Whip. (If cream cheese becomes lumpy, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds and then whisk until lumps are gone.)
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over jello salad. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.