An easy Cranberry Salad made with fresh cranberries, pineapple, cream cheese, and whipped cream. It’s a fluffy holiday side dish or dessert that people go CRAZY for! 

There isn’t anything on my Thanksgiving menu that my kids love more than this Cranberry Salad.  Let’s be honest, I LOVE it too; almost as much as homemade stuffing and sweet potato casserole.

A clear cup full of cranberry salad fluff with three fresh cranberries on top.

Did your Grandma ever make this Cranberry Salad for Thanksgiving? Or maybe another relative? This is kind of an old-school recipe that I secretly really, really love.  I sometimes pretend I’m too good for the fluff marshmallow “salads,” but I absolutely love them. It’s like eating dessert during your meal, but it’s acceptable!

We affectionately refer to this salad as “cranberry fluff”. I friend made the recipe years ago from here and it’s been a family favorite ever since!

Only SIX simple ingredients!

  1. Fresh cranberries
  2. Sugar
  3. Crushed pineapple
  4. Mini marshmallows
  5. Cream cheese
  6. Whipping cream

Fluffy Cranberry Salad in a bowl with a spoon.

Cranberry Salad in 5 steps:

1. Chop cranberries. Add the cranberries to a food processor and pulse until they are well chopped, but not mushy.

2. Mix fruit and sugar. Pour the cranberries into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and pineapple and mix well.

A food processor with chopped cranberries and a mixing bowl with the cranberries, crushed pineapple and sugar.

3. Refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Drain most of the juice.

4. Whip cream and cream cheese.  In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Pour in the cream and whip until stiff peaks.

Crushed cranberry mixture in a bowl and then whipped cream added on top.

5. Combine and refrigerate.  Fold the creamy mixture into the salad. Fold in marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Marshmallows added to the top of a cranberry salad in a mixing bowl.

Tips for Success:

  1. Stiff peaks. Before folding in the whipped cream, make sure to beat it to very stiff peaks. The cream cheese also helps to stabilize the mixture.
  2. Refrigerate cranberry salad for several hours (or overnight) before serving to allow it to set up.

Cranberry fluff salad in a cup with a handle.

Make ahead and storing cranberry salad:

To make ahead: I definitely recommend making cranberry salad ahead of time.  In fact, for best results, make it 1 day before serving.

To store: Store cranberry salad covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Recipe

A clear cup full of cranberry salad fluff with three fresh cranberries on top.
Prep 3 hrs
Total 3 hrs
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounce can crushed pineapple , undrained
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

  • Add the cranberries to a food processor and pulse until they are well chopped, but not mushy.
  • Pour the cranberries into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and pineapple and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Drain most of the juice.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Pour in the cream and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold the creamy mixture into the salad. Fold in marshmallows.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Notes

To Store: Store cranberry salad covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Make ahead Instructions: I definitely recommend making cranberry salad ahead of time.  In fact, for best results, make it 1 day before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 569kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 3gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 105mgPotassium: 180mgFiber: 3gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 1475IUVitamin C: 11.6mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 0.4mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe November 2015. Updated November 2019 with new process photos and improved instructions and tips.

Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Cranberry Fluff Salad is an easy holiday side dish that's always a crowd favorite! It's creamy, sweet and delicious! | Tastes Better From Scratch

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We’ve been making this recipe for the 3 years. My kids look forward to eating it on Thanksgiving now. We’re now reserving the juice to splash in some seltzer with lime.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious base for the salad. We add diced apples, quartered grapes, and sometimes pecans. Any way you make it, everyone will love it.

  3. Lauren, can you use Half & Half in place of the whipping cream? 3 stores later and still can’t find whipping cream.

    1. I’m sorry, half and half wont whip sturdy enough. You could use a container of cool whip from the freezer section, if you’re in a pinch.

  4. don’t throw away the juice you drain off. Fill a shaker with ice cubes, add 2 oz vodka, 1 oz peach schnapps, and the juice from the cranberries/Pineapple. You have a delicious “sex on the beach” cocktail

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