Fresh Cranberry Salad Recipe

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I am updating and reposting one of my favorite holiday recipes! Mark and I had some really special friends invite us over for lunch a few years ago. I brought some rolls and she cooked a ham, cheesy potatoes, and a delicious jello salad. As soon as she pulled this cranberry salad out of the refrigerator, it brought back many wonderful memories. Yay!! My mom used to make this one! Don’t you love it when that happens?

Besides all the great food we get to enjoy during the holidays, I cherish this time of year for the memories, past and present, that are brought to mind. We have such a great family, I’m sure, much like yours. Being with them during the holidays just makes activities so special! That’s why I decided to update this post from a few years ago, it is a memory I don’t ever want to forget.

I helped her fill the glasses with ice and water, then we started putting the food on the table. Next, we placed the cut jello onto pieces of lettuce with a dollop of whip cream and my heart melted with joy! I love this salad.

She started telling me the ingredients and I said, “I’m going to name this salad Judith’s Cranberry Salad.” I hope you love it as much as Mark and I do.

I remember seeing recipes where you could substitute whole berry cranberry sauce for the fresh cranberries. My mom had my sisters and me cut the fresh cranberries in half for her recipe. Today I used my “salsa maker” to chop them. You’ll see that chopper at the bottom of the post. This is what I call my Salsa Maker

Fresh Cranberry Salad Recipe

Ingredients – Fresh Cranberry Salad

  • Raspberry Gelatin: Raspberry Jell-O brand gelatin is the best for this recipe! Gelatin is made from animal collagen. When boiled water is added, it breaks the bonds that hold the collagen together. When cooled, the collagen is then reformed into a more solid jiggly state.
  • Water: Used to dissolve the gelatin
  • Fresh Cranberries: A small, hard, round red fruit. Known to be sour and bitter. High in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Use fresh cranberries in this recipe!
  • Celery: Adds a delicious crunch to this fresh cranberry salad recipe! Celery is a great source of antioxidants, reduces inflammation, aids in digestion, rich in vitamins and minerals, and provides an alkalizing effect when eaten.
  • Apple: This recipe works great with any apple variety! High in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Pineapple Tidbits (drained): Juicy pineapple cut into bite-sized pieces! High in vitamin C, carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, calcium, sugar and vitamin B6.
  • Nuts (optional): Add chopped pecan or walnuts, if desired.
  • Whipping cream (to serve with finished gelatin): A delicious topping made of cream, sugar, and vanilla that gives this salad an extra sweetness we long for!
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What You May Need In The Kitchen:

Fresh Cranberry Salad

Step One: Gather Ingredients – Chop Celery & Apples

Here’s the deal, I knew I had to chop everything really small. I confess, I’m not very patient, I want it chopped quickly. So, I got out my really good sharp knife and started chopping away on the celery and apples. I thought to myself, I’m not going to cut every cranberry in half. That’s not going to happen. 

That’s when I grabbed my salsa maker chopper. It worked like a charm. I chopped the apples and the celery on the wood chopping board.

The pineapple tidbits I just drained and left as tidbits. I do not recommend using crushed pineapple. It will add too much liquid to the final product.

Cranberry Salad

Step Two: Chop Cranberries

Then I used this awesome salsa maker, like I said, to chop the fresh cranberries. I highly recommend using one of these. It’s quick to use and easy to clean up afterward. A food processor would also work really well. Just remember to gently pulse the cranberries so that they will not be too small or turn to mush.

Cranberry Salad is perfect for any party or get together. It's crunchy with a little taste of sweetness added into the salad.

Step Three: Place Mixture in Cake Pan

Then I placed all the celery, chopped apples, pineapple tidbits, and chopped fresh cranberries in the 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan. Then, I ever so carefully poured the dissolved jello over the fruit and vegetables in the cake pan. Then I slowly stirred them around so the gelatin wouldn’t splash. I didn’t add any cold water. Just giving you the heads up here.

Cranberry Salad

Step Four: Place Mixture in Fridge – Serve

Then I placed the pan with the gelatin mixture in the refrigerator to set up and serve it with whipping cream over a few pieces of chopped lettuce. It was delicious!

5 from 1 vote
Fresh Cranberry Salad Recipe
Judith’s Cranberry Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Refrigerator Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins

A delicious cranberry jello salad made with fresh cranberries, raspberry gelatin, apples, celery, and pineapple on a bed of lettuce with a dollop of whip cream on top.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Author: Linda Loosli
  • 3 packages 3-ounces each raspberry gelatin
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped apple
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits (drained)
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)
  • Whipping cream (to serve with finished gelatin)
  1. Gather all of the ingredients. Chop the apples and celery and set them aside.

  2. Use a 'salsa maker' or a food processor to chop up the fresh cranberries.

  3. In a saucepan, boil the water. Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and stir for about 2 minutes. Place the celery, chopped apples, pineapple tidbits and chopped fresh cranberries in the 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan.

    Then, ever so carefully pour the dissolved jello over the fruit and vegetables in the cake pan. Then slowly stir them around so the gelatin doesn't splash. I didn't add any cold water. Just giving you the heads up here.

  4. Let the fresh cranberry gelatin mixture set up in the refrigerator and serve on a lettuce leaf with a dollop of whipping cream on top, if desired.

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How do I store this fresh cranberry salad?

Store it in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.

How long can I store this fresh cranberry salad in the refrigerator safely?

If you store it covered in an airtight container it will keep for 4-5 days. You can make it the day before you need to serve it.

Can I freeze cranberries?

Yes, you can. They are typically only available for a short period of time around November and December. Store them tightly wrapped in the freezer for 8-12 months for optimal flavor.

How long will cranberries keep in the refrigerator?

I love that cranberries will keep for 3-4 weeks in a plastic airtight container or baggie in the refrigerator. Be sure and look for any “bad ones” in the bag when you purchase them. Discard any that look questionable. Keep an eye on your containers to remove any cranberries that go bad.

Can I use any other ingredients to add or change the flavor of this fresh cranberry salad?

It may sound strange, but we’ve tried pomegranate seeds and they really add a unique flavor and texture. Both the cranberries and pomegranate seeds are a little tart, so they complement each other in the salad.

Don’t be afraid to use other fruits too. Cut-up strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are all likely choices you’ll enjoy. Adding cut up oranges would give it a delicious orange zest flavor! I’m sure there are others too.

I think it would be kind of fun to add some mini-marshmallows! There are so many fun ways you can serve this salad. It really is the perfect side dish or dessert for Thanksgiving dinner or on Christmas Day!

What nuts do you recommend adding to this fresh cranberry salad?

If you decide that you would like to add nuts, I would highly recommend either pecans or walnuts. I think either would add a delicious crunch and flavor to this fresh cranberry salad along with some additional protein.

What can I serve with this fresh cranberry salad?

Final Word

It’s that time of year we get together with friends and family to create awesome meals and participate together in fun activities. Let me know if you try making my fresh cranberry salad recipe, and if so, did you try anything new and different. I really love how the fresh cranberries, raspberry gelatin, apples, celery, and pineapple come together to make this delicious side dish or dessert! Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God Bless this world, Linda

5 thoughts on “Fresh Cranberry Salad Recipe

  • November 19, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    I view many websites daily…so this isn’t about cranberries…BUT..
    this is a food storage site.
    A manager of a chicken plant explained the critical situation of FDA food inspectors.
    35% are going to quit rather than take the shot(kill themselves)
    She explained that the workload of 3plants was typical and was already stretched to 7 plants each inspector–that 2200 nation wide will be lost.
    I have a lot of chicken breasts in the freezer, but bought more chicken tenders today. I slow cook overnight BBQ chicken and it is the most tender ever….I freeze in one serving containers for m

    Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud today…buy them chicken!!!

    • November 19, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      Hi JayJay, wow, great tip on buying up some chicken. Things are crazy right now, we must be prepared. Thank you, Linda

  • November 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    5 stars
    I like the idea of the recipe but I have always eaten the cranberry jelly at the holidays. My dad did not like Cranberry’s themselves so we never ate them and I never got the taste for the whole cranberry salad. ‘

    • November 19, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Jackie, I totally understand the taste of the cranberry salad. You either like it or you don’t! Stay safe. Linda

    • November 19, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend, I forgot to tell you!! Linda


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