How-To: Cranberry Jello Salad

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How-To: Cranberry Jello Salad

By Sarah Komisky

One year, my aunt brought this salad that was a dessert when I was a kid to a family party. It was passed onto her from a cousin and now passed on to my other aunt (Zelda), who carries on the tradition. Instead of bringing it in the summer, our family thought it would be best for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, we all look forward to this one-a-year treat. This year, I asked my aunt if she would like to contribute a recipe and she told me her secret on a new twist from old favorite. This year, we’re going super holiday-mode by substituting tart cranberries for sweet strawberries. Love it! Hope you enjoy this super festive and zesty salad from our home to yours! AND, we hope it’s a new favorite on the menu at your house this year!


Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins


  • 2 (3 oz.) pkgs. cherry Jell-O (or raspberry or cranberry, if you can find it)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple (do not drain the juice)
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce (a little less than 2 cups homemade cranberry sauce)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 3/4 cup cranberry or apple juice


  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream


Add both packets of Jell-O to the boiling water in a large bowl, stirring until completely dissolved. Stir in the crushed pineapple (juice and all) and whole cranberry sauce, using the back of the stirring spoon to break up any chunks of cranberry sauce a bit against the side of the bowl. Add in 3/4 cup of the chopped pecans and the cranberry or apple juice and stir to combine, then carefully pour into a 9×13-inch glass dish or jello mold and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Topping Directions:

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and sour cream and mix well until completely combined, then spread over the top of the set Jell-O. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, then serve.