Creamy Cranberry Salad with Fruit and Nuts

published Sep 27, 2022
christmas
Cranberry Salad Recipe

Cranberry salad is holiday nostalgia at its finest, complete with fruit, mini marshmallows and nuts, all tied together with heaps of soft whipped cream.

Serves6 to 8

Prep15 seconds

Cook5 seconds

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A photo of a bowl of sweet cranberry salad tossed with whipped cream and walnuts, with another bowl with more cranberry salad in the background.
Credit: Kristina Vanni

Cranberry salad is the retro dish you’ll want to add to your holiday lineup this year. It’s recipe nostalgia at its finest, complete with fruit, mini marshmallows, and nuts, all tied together with heaps of soft whipped cream. At first I was skeptical about the merits of this cranberry fluff salad, but in all honesty, after the first bite, I was hooked. The tart cranberries are balanced by the sugar and other ingredients in the salad, but the salad isn’t overly sweet. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with copious amounts of whipped cream. I especially love that while it’s called a salad, it’s really a dessert in disguise that you get a free pass to add to your plate during the main course.

What’s in Cranberry Salad?

Cranberry salad is made with fresh or frozen cranberries, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, nuts, and whipped cream. Sometimes other fruit is added, such as halved grapes or diced apple. In some versions, whipped cream is substituted with Cool Whip.

Credit: Kristina Vanni

What Do Cranberries Taste Good With?

Tart cranberries taste good with sweet additions. Granulated sugar helps balance the tart flavor, as well as marshmallows, pineapple, or other sweet fruits such as grapes or apple.

What Else Can I Do with a Bag of Cranberries?

A bag of cranberries is a holiday staple. Besides making this cranberry salad, a bag of cranberries can be used to make a homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberries can also be added to pies, cakes, crisps, muffins, or cocktails.

Cranberry Salad Recipe

Cranberry salad is holiday nostalgia at its finest, complete with fruit, mini marshmallows and nuts, all tied together with heaps of soft whipped cream.

Prep time 15 seconds

Cook time 5 seconds

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag

    fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (about 3 cups)

  • 1 (about 8-ounce) can

    crushed pineapple in juice

  • 6 ounces

    seedless green grapes (1 small bunch)

  • 3 cups

    miniature marshmallows

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup

    raw pecan halves

  • 1 1/2 cups

    cold heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Coarsely chop 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries. (Alternatively, pulse in a food processor with the blade attachment until coarsely chopped, about 6 (1-second) pulses.) Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of cranberries as it is completed: Drain 1 (about 8-ounce) can crushed pineapple through a fine-mesh strainer. Halve 6 ounces green seedless grapes until you have 1 cup.

  3. Add 3 cups miniature marshmallows and 3/4 cup granulated sugar to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until the sugar is dissolved, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1 cup raw pecan halves. Place in a medium frying pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool completely.

  4. When ready to serve, place 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer or whisking by hand). Beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

  5. Add the whipped cream and 3/4 cup of the pecans to the cranberry mixture and fold until combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup pecans before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.