Creamy Cranberry Salad

Indulge your taste buds with this sweet and tart Creamy Cranberry Salad. It’s loaded with fresh cranberries, pineapple, marshmallows, pecans and coconut.

I’m from the Midwest which means that “salad” can be anywhere from a green Caesar salad to red jello filled with fruits and sugar. But you’ll always find a sweet fruit filled salad on our holiday dinner tables.

This Creamy Cranberry Salad is one of those sweet salads you’ll love. Have you ever heard of Millionaire Pie? This is very similar…just not in a pie shell. Think of it as a Millionaire Cranberry Salad!

bowl of creamy cranberry salad

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • sweet & tart flavor
  • loaded with fresh fruit and marshmallows
  • endless variations
  • gorgeous color for holiday dinners
ingredients for cranberry salad on a table

What you need to make Creamy Cranberry Salad:

  • Fresh cranberries: I have only used fresh cranberries, but you should be able to use frozen cranberries for this salad. Make sure to thaw the cranberries before cooking.
  • Pecans: You can also use walnuts.
  • Plain Greek yogurt: If you want a sweeter salad, use vanilla flavored yogurt.
  • Sour cream
  • Marshmallows
  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Pineapple bits: You can use canned or fresh pineapple chunks
  • Coconut flakes: Unsweetened coconut flakes may be used if you are looking for a less sweet salad.
  • Vanilla pudding mix: You can use another pudding mix here if you prefer. Vanilla is a good option, or you could go a bit inventive and try chocolate or something else instead.
  • Whipped topping
  • Lemon juice: The lemon juice helps cut through the sweetness and brighten the flavor. You can use fresh or from concentrate lemon juice.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon

How to Make Creamy Cranberry Salad:

Make the cranberry sauce.

It’s important to plan ahead for this salad. It starts with a homemade cranberry sauce and you’ll need to give it time to cool before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. Plan at least 30 minutes for it to cool. It will cool more quickly if you take it out of the saucepan and put it in another bowl.

  • In a saucepan, bring to boil cranberries, water, and sugar. Once boiling, reduce the heat, stir in and let simmer for 10 minutes. You should hear the cranberries pop as they cook down.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside to let the sauce thicken up and cool down.
cranberry sauce in a pan

Make the rest of the salad.

  • Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. This includes the marshmallows, pineapple bits, pecans, greek yogurt, coconut flakes, sour cream, cool whip, pudding mix, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  • Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, add it to the bowl and stir everything together.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

How to Store Cranberry Salad

Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. I don’t recommend freezing.

overhead view of a bowl of creamy fruit salad

Recipe Variations:

The cool thing about this recipe is that it is very versatile. For example, if you don’t like pecans, adding walnuts or cashews to it could also be an option. You could substitute the pineapple bits with mandarin oranges, pears, apples, or grapes.

Experiment with different types of yogurts, pudding mixes, or marshmallows. It’s a fun recipe, so enjoy it!

bowl of creamy fruit salad with cranberries
bowl of creamy fruit salad with cranberries

Creamy Cranberry Salad

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Indulge your taste buds with this sweet and tart Creamy Cranberry Salad. It's loaded with fresh cranberries, pineapple, marshmallows, pecans and coconut.
Servings 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups marshmallows
  • 2 cups pineapple bits drained
  • 1 ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup cool whip
  • 1 box vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 ounce package)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice ~½ of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
 

Plan ahead so the cranberry sauce has time to cool:

  • In a saucepan, bring to boil cranberries, water, and sugar. Once boiling, reduce the heat, stir in and let simmer for 10 minutes. You should hear the cranberries pop as they cook down. Remove from the heat and set aside to let the sauce thicken up and cool down.

Make the rest of the salad:

  • Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. This includes the marshmallows, pineapple bits, pecans, greek yogurt, coconut flakes, sour cream, cool whip, pudding mix, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  • Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, add it to the bowl and stir everything together.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Plate and serve.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 8, with 1 serving being ⅛ of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 424
Keyword carrot side dish, christmas, holiday, thanksgiving

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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