Cranberry Jello Salad is a beautiful retro recipe that deserves a spot on your Christmas table! It’s sweet, tart, and made with all kinds of fun and fruity ingredients. Grab your favorite gelatin mold and let’s get to work on this easy jello recipe!

Real cranberries are placed all around a jello salad.

Cranberry Jello Salad

‘Tis the season – cranberry season, that is! As soon as Halloween passes, I whip out both fresh and dried cranberries to make all of my favorite seasonal recipes. It’s one of those Christmas ingredients that I just cannot get enough of. And while I’m pretty obsessed with homemade cranberry sauce (I may or may not have made it during the summer because the craving struck), this jello salad has my full attention this year.

Serve it as a dessert or Christmas side dish in place of your typical sauce. You can’t go wrong either way! It’s fun, jiggly, and is rich with that signature sweet and tart fresh cranberry flavor. I feel like too often, jello dishes are given a bad rap. Just ignore all of those retro recipes that seem unappetizing, because this fruity cranberry gelatin mold recipe is seriously worth dusting off the gelatin mold for.

Cranberries aren’t the only fruit in this Christmas jello salad! There’s also mandarin oranges, apples, and crushed pineapple. All of the various fruits come together in a beautiful bouquet of flavors and textures that all compliment each other in the very best way! Of course, they’re all held together by cranberry jello that’s jiggly as can be.

A gelatin mold is placed on a white plate.

How to Make Cranberry Jello Salad

Make this Christmas jello salad recipe the day before you plan on serving it – it’s such a great make ahead recipe to make your holiday a little less stressful!

  1. Process the fruit. Add the cranberries, mandarin oranges, apples and crushed pineapple to a food processor. Pulse to finely chop. Then, scrape it all out of the food processor and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Make the gelatin. Whisk together the gelatin, sugar, and boiling water until combined and the sugar is dissolved. Then, stir in the cold water.
  3. Assemble. Pour the gelatin mixture all over the fruits and give a stir. Coat your favorite mold with cooking spray, then pour the jello mixture into it.
  4. Chill. Place the mold into the fridge and chill for 8 hours.
  5. Remove from the mold. Time to serve your beautiful jello salad! Turn the mold out onto a serving plate. If the gelatin sticks to the mold, don’t panic. Simply run it under hot water for just a few seconds to loosen it. It should flip just fine.

PRO TIP: Make sure to keep your cranberry jello salad chilled until it’s time to eat!

We love this Bundt Pan for gelatin molds and smaller size cakes. The nonstick coating makes releasing baked goods a breeze and also doubles as an ice cube tray for punch bowls.

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Whipped cream garnished a serving of jello salad.

Tips for the Best Cranberry Jello Salad

Check out these helpful tips and tricks before you start the process:

  • Water temperature matters. This is crucial to making gelatin/jello! The water needs to be boiling when you first combine it with the sugar and gelatin. Once that’s all combined, stir in the cold water. The water MUST be boiling, then it MUST be cold!
  • Pulse until finely ground. This is really dependent on what you like best. However, I like the fruit to be ground into a pretty fine mixture so they sit nicely in the gelatin and make for great bites that aren’t too chunky.
  • Don’t forget to garnish! Serving cranberry jello salad with some fresh cranberries and whipped cream is a must. The simple garnishes make it look even prettier! Fresh herbs always add a nice touch as well.
A cranberry jello salad is garnished with herbs and berries.

Enjoy more of the best cranberry recipes this holiday season!

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A cranberry jello salad is garnished with herbs and berries.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Jello Salad Recipe (Cranberry Gelatin Mold)

Dust off your gelatin mold and make this easy Cranberry Jello Salad recipe for the holidays. Chock full of fresh fruit in a sweet gelatin, a great addition to any holiday table.
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  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 apple, seeded and chopped
  • 15 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 3 ounce packages cranberry Jell-o mix
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water


  • 1 gelatin mold or bundt pan


  • Add the cranberries, oranges, apples and pineapple to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. Process until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the gelatin, sugar and boiling water together until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cold water.
  • Pour the gelatin over the cranberry and stir.
  • Coat a gelatin mold with cooking spray and pour the mixture into the mold.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator and chill 8 hours or overnight.
  • To remove from the mold, turn out onto a serving platter. If the gelatin sticks to the mold, run under hot water for 5-10 seconds to loosen and then turn out onto a plater.
  • Chill until ready to serve.


Cranberry jello salad is a great make ahead holiday option. Mix it up with adding your favorite fruit or nut combination.
Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 0.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 57mg, Potassium: 184mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 43g, Vitamin A: 751IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 0.4mg