This cranberry jello salad combines raspberry gelatin with cranberry sauce, pineapple and orange zest for a delicious side dish or dessert that’s perfect for the holidays.
Jello is a classic side dish at my Thanksgiving dinner and this cranberry version is fun, festive and elegant.
Ah, the gelatin mold. Such an old school classic that has the ability to be super delicious or not-so-appealing depending on how you make it. My husband’s grandmother used to make a red jello mold with celery and mayonnaise. No thank you! When I was a teenager we spent Thanksgiving at a family friend’s house and they served this amazing cranberry jello salad. My mom asked for the recipe and we’ve been making it ever since.
This recipe starts with raspberry flavored gelatin. After the gelatin is melted cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and crushed pineapple are stirred in. The final touch is the zest from one orange, then the whole mixture goes into a gelatin mold to set up. Don’t have a gelatin mold? A 9 inch square pan will work just fine, or you could put it in a pretty glass bowl like a trifle dish. I love all of the flavors and textures going on here – most of the cranberry sauce melts into the jello but you end up with plenty of whole cranberries and pineapple in each bite.
You can serve this cranberry jello salad plain as a side dish or dress it up with a little whipped cream to transform it into an impressive looking dessert.
How pretty is that? It’s fun, festive and quite easy to make. The hardest part is getting it out of the mold. It took me a few tries, but after a couple of brief dips in hot water I was able to safely get the gelatin out of the pan and onto the serving platter. Your guests will be delighted to see this treat on your holiday table, and they’ll be even more delighted to find out that it doesn’t contain any celery!
Cranberry Jello Salad
- 6 ounces of raspberry gelatin 2 small boxes or 1 large
- 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in its own juice
- 1 14 ounce can of whole berry cranberry sauce not jellied
- the zest of 1 orange
- Cooking spray
- Optional Garnishes:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- fresh cranberries mint sprigs and orange zest for garnish
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