Cranberry Jello Salad

12 Servings
Prep Time 12 minutes
refrigerate 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 12 minutes

Cranberry Jello Salad is a holiday favorite! Easy jello salad recipe made with raspberry jello, cranberry sauce, pineapple, and orange zest.

This old fashioned jellied cranberry salad is the perfect holiday recipe that can be an Appetizer, a Side Dish, or even a Dessert. Fresh Cranberry Jello Salad is extremely easy to prepare and you can even use your favorite homemade Cranberry Sauce in the recipe!

This Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, spruce up your holiday table with a festive and beautiful dessert. Cranberry Jello Salad is as impressive to eat as it is to look at, adding a pop of holiday color and a whole lot of holiday flavor. Cranberry Jello Salad may just end up being one of your family’s favorite way to enjoy the festive berry.

About our Cranberry Jello Salad Recipe

An old-fashioned Cranberry Jello Salad is a showstopping way to turn your favorite cranberry sauce recipe into a versatile dessert, appetizer, or side. It’s just sweet enough that with a dollop of whipped cream, it’s an instant dessert, but still has plenty of tart flavor to top your turkey and stuffing.

This Cranberry Jello Salad recipe is incredibly easy to make and you don’t even need your stove top! It is perfect for the holidays because you aren’t taking up a much needed burner or pan. All you need is 5 simple ingredients, and if you feel like skipping homemade cranberry sauce, they are all packaged for almost no prep work.

You can also change up the flavors and add ins based off of the general flavors of what you’re serving it with. Feel free to experiment with it to come up with your family’s perfect recipe that will become a tradition for years to come. If you add a few more spices to the mix you can even use this as a sauce in place of cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Jello Salad Ingredients

  • Jell-O: The tart, sweet fruity flavor of raspberry Jell-O goes perfectly with the tart cranberry, and using raspberry gelatin means you skip the hassle of dissolving a gelatin mixture correctly. You’ll need one 6 ounce package raspberry flavored jello for each can of cranberry sauce if you plan on adjusting the recipe size.
  • Water: Don’t worry about taking up a needed burner or a saucepan to make this cranberry sauce recipe. Just boil the 1 cup water in the microwave, but be sure to use a microwave safe glass cup or bowl and oven mitts so you don’t burn yourself.
  • Cranberry Sauce: You want to use whole berry cranberry sauce, NOT the jellied cranberry sauce, for a couple reasons. First, the jellied sauce and the raspberry flavored gelatin mixture will not combine or set well. Also, the whole cranberry pieces add such a delicious texture. You can use homemade Cranberry Sauce or use the canned.
  • Pineapple: You want to use a can of crushed pineapple in juice, and don’t drain the juice. The little pineapple tidbits add more texture to the jello mixture plus the pineapple juice adds some more fruity flavor and sweetness.
  • Orange: Cranberry and orange are a favorite holiday flavor combination! The citric acid in the orange balances out the bitterness of the berries, so you are left with delicious sweet and tart flavor.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Bundt Pan: There’s no need to go out and buy a special gelatin mold to make this cranberry gelatin salad. Use a bundt pan to set the jellied cranberry sauce look gorgeous, but it also makes this cranberry side dish easy to serve at your holiday meal. 
  • Cake Plate: Another cake tool that can pull double duty during the holidays is your cake plate or cake stand! You are probably serving pies for dessert, so re-purpose your cake plate to show off your beautiful Cranberry Jell-O Salad.

How to Make Cranberry Jello Salad

Time needed: 4 hours and 15 minutes.

  1. Prep Work

    Spray your bundt pan with baking spray if it is not made of silicone. Microwave 1 cup of water in a microwave safe measuring cup until it boils.

  2. Dissolve the Jello

    In a large bowl, add your raspberry jello powder. Whisk in the boiling water, stirring constantly until the jello is fully dissolved.

  3. Make the Cranberry Sauce

    Stir in the remaining ½ cup water, then add the crushed pineapple and juice, cranberry sauce, and ½ cup orange juice and zest. Whisk the mixture until combined.

  4. Chill

    Carefully pour the mixture into your prepared bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours until the jello is fully set.

  5. Plate and Serve

    Dip the bottom of the mold pan into a pan with hot water for about 10 seconds to help loosen it. Place a plate top side against the top of the pan. Holding the pan against the plate, carefully flip so the plate is right side up. Allow the jello to sink out of the pan onto the plate. Slice to serve.Cranberry Jello Salad on plate with cranberries, top down view.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Jello Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 108mg3%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 67IU1%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cranberry Jello Salad Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Use Homemade Cranberry Sauce
    • The best thing about this recipe is that if you feel like spending the additional time to make this more homemade, you can make the cranberry sauce. Making fresh Cranberry Jello Salad with your own homemade Cranberry Sauce will take this recipe up a notch.
  • Use a Silicone Bundt Cake Pan
    • If you haven’t started switching over to silicone baking pans and baking mats, this recipe might just convince you! Not only does a silicone pan cook more evenly for your cake recipe, it is much easier to remove your baked and no-bake desserts than other pans. 

How to Store Cranberry Jello Salad

Serve: This jello salad is best served chilled, both because it tastes better and also because it stays together better this way. Don’t leave the Cranberry Jello Salad out for longer than about 2 hours.

Store: You can keep your Cranberry Jello Salad in the fridge for up to a week before it starts to fall apart. Wrap the plate with plastic wrap or store in the mold until you are ready to serve.

Freeze: Cranberry Jello Salad is best eaten fresh or as chilled leftovers, but Jello loses its texture and will crumble apart if frozen and then thawed.

Ideas to Serve Cranberry Jello Salad

Toppings: Serve your Cranberry Jello Salad with a dollop of fresh Homemade Whipped Cream that takes just minutes to make or some Cool Whip you have on hand.

Parfaits: For a delicious cranberry dessert, you can layer jellied cranberry pieces into a glass dessert cups with some vanilla pudding, pieces of sponge cake, and whipped topping.

FAQ for Cranberry Jello Salad

Can I use fresh pineapple for this salad?

It’s not recommended to use fresh pineapple because the fresh juice has natural chemical properties that will break down the gelatin. When the pineapples go through the canning process, that chemical is neutralized which is why you can use canned pineapple in jello but not fresh.

Do you spray jello molds?

It depends on the type of jello mold you are using. If you are using a regular gelatin mold or metal baking pan, you need to spray it with cooking spray. However, you should not use cooking oil spray on silicone baking pans or molds, as it will leave a residue.

How do you get jello out of a mold without breaking it?

Put a plate or cake stand over the open part of the mold, turn it plate side down. Place the bottom of the mold pan in a shallow dish with hot water that comes up about an inch up the sides of the mold. Let it sit in the water for 10-15 seconds to help steam and release the jello.

Recipe Card

Cranberry Jello Salad

Cranberry Jello Salad is a holiday favorite! Easy jello salad recipe made with raspberry jello, cranberry sauce, pineapple, and orange zest.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 12 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 12 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 ounces raspberry jello
  • 1 cup water
  • 14 ounces whole cranberry sauce
  • 20  ounces crushed pineapple , (do not drain)
  • 1 orange , juiced and zested


  • Use a silicone bundt pan or spray a metal one with vegetable oil spray.
  • Microwave ½ cup of water until it boils, about 90 seconds.
  • Add your raspberry jello to a large bowl and add the boiling water to it, whisking well until jello is fully dissolved.
  • Add in the rest of the water (½ cup), crushed pineapple (with juice), cranberry sauce and orange juice and zest (if your orange juice doesn't make ½ cup add water to reach ½ cup) and whisk well to combine.
  • Add to your bundt pan, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until it has become firm.
  • To remove from the mold, dip the mold in hot water for about 10 seconds then put a plate upside down over the mold and flip carefully.


Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Cranberry Jello Salad

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Cranberry Jello Salad Variations

Add Ins: You can stir in all sorts of fresh fruit to experiment with the overall flavor, or add some chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or cashews to give the salad an extra crunch. Other fun ideas to try out are Cranberry Jello Salad with apples, Cranberry Jello Salad with celery, or Cranberry Jello Salad with mandarin oranges.

Flavor: Feel free to experiment with the flavor of the Jello, or even layer two kinds of Jello together. Try Raspberry-Cranberry Jello Salad or Strawberry-Cranberry Jello Salad to start. Strawberry and raspberry compliment the cranberry flavor extremely well due to their natural sweetness.

More Cranberry Recipes for Your Holiday Meal

Cranberry jello salad collage

The following images were used in previous versions of this post:

Cranberry Jello Salad
Cranberry Jello Mold with Pineapple and Orange
Cranberry Jello Salad

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I am trying to make this but the recipe says one cup water. So it says to add in 1 cup of boiling water and then later it says add rest of water? That is confusing how much water total am I adding? Help I’m trying to make this for tomorrow’s meal.

    1. Hi Desiree sorry I missed the question. It was a typo in the recipe, only a half cup is boiling, the rest is room temperature. I’m sorry for the delay I know it is beyond the timing for when you made the recipe.

  2. My box of jello says 0.3 ounces. Recipe says 6 ounces, Did you mean 0.6 ounces or 2 small boxes? Also again in step 3 do you add 1 cup boiling water followed by another 1/2 cup in step 4 OR 1/2 cup in steps 3 and 4. Thanks for the clarifications

    1. I’m so sorry, but I’ve never seen a box of jello that size. Are you sure? The only boxes I’ve seen are in 3 ounces or 6 ounces.

      The water issue was corrected.

  3. I’m curious as to why you don’t use Cranberry flavored Jell-O?
    My Mother always used it, I use it, albeit is a chore to find now-a-days, but …
    Search the ‘Net, you can find it and it tastes sooooooooo much better!

  4. I made this for Thanksgiving. It was very tasty!! I did add a little bit of orange juice to it to make up for only getting half the juice from the orange. It had a nice raspberry, cranberry, pineapple and orange flavor to it. I highly recommend this recipe!! You won’t regret it!!

    1. My recipe didn’t set it either. It was delicious, but I had to serve it as a “chutney” with our baked ham for Christmas. I’m thinking the extra 1/2 cup of orange juice was too much liquid???

      1. Make sure the boiling water dissolves all the jello powder, if it’s not fully dissolved then you’re going to have trouble with setting.

      1. Yikes! Jumping in on your conversation Linda and Regi.
        A couple things can cause jello not to set. Did you happen to use any of these fruits? The enzymes in these fruits will not allow jello to set.

        fresh pineapple – bromelain. Note: Canned Pineapple will work with jello because the process the canning process changes the enzyme ratios.
        kiwi – actinidin.
        figs – ficain.
        papaya – papain.
        pawpaw – papain.
        ginger root.

        Another possible problem is covering the jello with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Liquid condensates and causes too much liquid so the jello won’t set. And finally, some jello simply takes a bit longer to set. Some even up to 6 hours! I’m so sorry the jello didn’t set for you.

  5. Question. In ingredients list is 1 c water. But in the directions say to add 1/2 c water and 1/2 c. Orange juice adding enough water to make 1/2 c. So to be clear, you add a total 1 1/2 c water and 1/2 c orange juice? I think you need to clarify your directions.

  6. What holiday is complete without the jello salad? This is great and looks so festive. It’s a great addition to any holiday table.

  7. My mother-in-law makes this Jello salad every year. It’s delicious. Always a crowd favorite, she never has any leftovers.