Grandma’s Cranberry Salad Recipe

Delightful Nostalgia: Grandma’s Cranberry Salad Recipe

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Indulge in a taste of cherished memories with Grandma’s Cranberry Salad Recipe. This beloved family favorite is a delightful combination of sweet and tart flavors, perfectly balanced with the freshness of cranberries and oranges. Whether served as a side dish or a light dessert, this colorful salad is sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth. Join us as we journey back in time to recreate this beloved recipe that has been passed down through generations.


  • 3 ounces cherry Jell-o
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup each of ground cranberries and orange
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces drained crushed pineapple, save the juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (use the reserved juice and add water to make 1/2 cup)


1. Prepare the Jell-o Mixture:

  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the cherry Jell-o in hot water according to package instructions.
  • Stir in the sugar and lemon juice until completely dissolved.

2. Add the Fruits and Nuts:

  • Fold in the ground cranberries, chopped oranges, chopped pecans, and drained crushed pineapple into the Jell-o mixture. Mix until well combined.

3. Chill and Set:

  • Transfer the cranberry salad mixture into a serving dish or mold.
  • Refrigerate the salad for at least 4 hours, or until firm and set.

4. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Once set, remove the cranberry salad from the refrigerator and serve chilled.
  • Garnish with additional chopped pecans or a sprig of fresh mint if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Texture Preference: Adjust the texture of the salad by finely chopping or coarsely chopping the cranberries, oranges, and pecans according to your preference.
  • Sweetness Level: Customize the sweetness of the salad by adjusting the amount of sugar added to the Jell-o mixture. For a less sweet option, reduce the sugar quantity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use fresh cranberries instead of ground cranberries? A: Yes, fresh cranberries can be used in place of ground cranberries. Simply pulse the fresh cranberries in a food processor until finely ground.

Q: Can I use other flavors of Jell-o for this recipe? A: While cherry Jell-o is traditional for this recipe, you can experiment with other flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, or even lime for a unique twist on the classic.

Q: Is it necessary to drain the crushed pineapple? A: Yes, draining the crushed pineapple ensures that the salad maintains the proper texture and consistency. Excess liquid from the pineapple can result in a watery salad.

Q: Can I make this salad ahead of time? A: Yes, Grandma’s Cranberry Salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It actually tastes even better after the flavors have had time to meld together.

Q: Can I add other fruits or nuts to the salad? A: Feel free to customize the salad by adding your favorite fruits or nuts such as chopped apples, shredded coconut, or chopped walnuts for extra texture and flavor.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:


  • Sugar-Free Jell-o: Use sugar-free cherry Jell-o to reduce the carb content of the salad while still enjoying the same fruity flavor.


  • Alternative Sweeteners: Substitute the sugar with a low-carb sweetener such as erythritol or stevia to reduce the carb content of the salad without sacrificing sweetness.
  • Fresh Cranberries: Increase the proportion of fresh cranberries and decrease the amount of sugar to further reduce the carb count.

Experience the timeless charm of Grandma’s Cranberry Salad, a cherished recipe that has stood the test of time. With its vibrant colors, refreshing flavors, and nostalgic appeal, this salad is more than just a dish—it’s a cherished tradition that brings families together. Whether enjoyed during holiday gatherings or everyday meals, this delightful salad is sure to evoke fond memories and create new ones with each bite. So gather your loved ones, share stories of days gone by, and savor the simple pleasures of homemade goodness with Grandma’s Cranberry Salad.

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