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Quick and Easy Cranberry Fluff Salad Recipe

This Cranberry Fluff Salad Recipe is the perfect holiday side dish. It has a fluffy texture with a bit of crunch. This classic dessert will become a favorite recipe to serve at your holiday dinner.

cranberry fluff salad in a white bowl

If you’ve never had a cranberry fluff salad before, it’s similar to an ambrosia salad or watergate salad. Like most fluff salads, it’s made with whipped topping and mini marshmallows to form stiff peaks.

This easy cranberry fluff salad is the perfect side dish for Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving dinner and I am sure will become a family favorite recipe.

white bowl filled with cranberry fluff salad

Looking for another fluffy salad recipe? Try this cherry fluff salad.

And if you’re looking for sweet dish, give our Little Debbie Christmas Tree Dip a try.

large white bowl full of cranberry fluff salad

Helpful Tips:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days. Do not freeze. You may have water buildup in the bottom of the bowl, sort of like what yogurt does, after storing for a day or two. If so, it’s not ruined! Simply stir it in or drain it off, whichever you choose works fine.
  • If your cream cheese is too cold and not easy to stir, simply place it in a separate bowl and stir it until creamy before adding it to the large mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
  • If you would like a stronger cranberry flavor, add more cranberry sauce or even a box of cranberry jello. Just the powder, not prepared.
  • If you don’t like the pecans (or have a nut allergy), you don’t have to add them. It won’t hurt the salad to leave them out.
  • If you want to use homemade cranberry sauce, that’s just fine, but be aware of how thin it is as this could make your salad soupy rather than fluffy.
  • You can use homemade whipped cream, but be sure to add a bit of sugar if you like the sweet factor of fluff salads because homemade whipped cream isn’t as sweet as store bought, unless you add sugar to it yourself. This will all depend on your preferences.
up close view of a large bowl of cranberry fluff salad

Ingredients Needed to Make Fluffy Cranberry Salad

You will also need:

How to Make This Cranberry Fluff Recipe

This homemade cranberry fluff salad recipe is so easy to make.

Simply prepare your ingredients, mix into a large bowl and allow the flavors to mix and settle together (preferably chill for several hours) before serving.

Serve and Enjoy!

collage of images showing step-by-step instructions for making cranberry fluff salad

Cranberry Fluff Salad Recipe

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Brittanie Pyper
This Cranberry Fluff Salad Recipe is the perfect holiday side dish. It has a fluffy texture with a bit of crunch. This classic dessert will become a favorite recipe to serve at your holiday dinner.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10


  • 1 Tub Cool Whip 8 ounces – more for optional garnish
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese room temp
  • 1 Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce 15 ounces
  • 1 Can of Mandarin Oranges drained (15 ounces)
  • 2 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • Fresh Cranberries optional garnish
  • Fresh Rosemary Sprigs optional garnish


  • Place the drained can of mandarin oranges in a food processor and do a couple short, choppy bursts until it resembles crushed pineapple. Drain the excess juice after chopping and set aside.
  • Place the can of whole cranberry sauce in a bowl and use a fork or other utensil to break it up so that it turns into a normal looking cranberry sauce, with no remaining big chunks.
  • Place the cranberry sauce, cool whip, and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and gently mix until well combined.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and fold together until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Technically, you can eat this immediately, but the most preferred way (my favorite) is to refrigerate it for at least 8 hours (overnight) so that the flavors have a bit to sit and meld together. So, this step is optional, and based on your preferences.
  • When you’re ready to serve the salad, if desired, you can garnish it with a dollop of cool whip, fresh cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 46mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate only; actual values will vary based on the exact ingredients used and amount of recipe prepared.

Keyword christmas salad, cranberry fluff, cranberry salad, fluff salad
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
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