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Cranberry Fluff Salad starts with fresh cranberry sauce made from scratch, combined with mini marshmallows, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, and creamy whipped topping.
It’s the perfect combination of creamy, sweet, and tart, and it makes a great side dish or dessert for the holidays.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
Our Thanksgiving meal usually includes a bunch of savory sides, like Homemade Stuffing, Frozen Dinner Rolls, and Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. But we always include some kind of sweet side to offset all the savory, like this creamy, delicious Cranberry Fluff Salad.
There are variations of cranberry salad that include ground up whole cranberries, but I find that I just don’t like the texture, so I came up with a variation all my own that is sweeter, creamier, and my personal favorite!
How to Make Cranberry Fluff Salad
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Make the cranberry sauce. Add cranberries, sugar, and water to a pan and simmer for 10 minutes. The berries should begin to gently burst. Transfer to the fridge – the sauce must be chilled before adding it to the salad.
Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, gently fold the chilled cranberry sauce and Cool Whip together (the cranberry sauce will be fairly solid; gently press with your spatula to break up). Gently mix in the mandarin oranges, pineapple, and mini marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Garnish. Just before serving, roll some fresh cranberries in granulated sugar and carefully place on top of the salad.
Proper Storage of Leftovers: Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. It may get a little watery, but you can either drain that off or stir it in.
Can you freeze it? You can freeze it for up to 6 months, but keep in mind that the texture of the marshmallows and the whipped topping will change when thawed.
Can you make it ahead and store it? Yes, this salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Any more than that it may become watery. Be sure to give it a quick stir before serving.
- Chill for best results – This salad is best when it’s been hanging out in the fridge for at least a few hours, or even overnight. When it gets warm, the whipped cream begins to melt and it’s not a pretty picture. Don’t let it sit out for more than 2 hours.
- Drain the canned fruit really well – Dump the oranges and pineapple into a colander and set over a bowl so the juices can drain. Give them at least 30 minutes to drain.
- Customize – You can customize the fruit in the salad if you like. Use fruit cocktail, or skip the pineapple. Your call. Just know that we think the fruits play really nicely together and we love this fluff so much.
- Add nuts – Some chopped pecans would make a lovely addition.
More Cranberry Recipes You’ll Love
- Cranberry Chicken Puffs
- Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Cranberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Cranberry Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 101+ Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- 60 Best Christmas Side Dishes
Cranberry Fluff Salad
- 12 ounce package whole cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 10 ounce container non-dairy whipped topping like Cool Whip
- 8 ounce can mandarin oranges drained well
- 8 ounce can crushed pineapple drained well
- 1 cup Mini marshmallows
- Sugared Cranberries for garnish if desired
- Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add cranberries, granulated sugar and water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until berries begin to burst. Remove from heat and pour cranberries into a bowl to cool.
- Cover with plastic wrap and cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, gently fold chilled cranberry sauce and non-dairy whipped topping together (the cranberry sauce will be fairly solid; gently press with your spatula to break up).
- Fold in mandarin oranges, pineapple and mini marshmallows until well combined.
- Pour into a serving dish, cover and chill until ready to serve.
- If desired, top with sugared cranberries. Simply roll some cranberries in granulated sugar and carefully place on top of the salad.