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Grandma’s Famous Cranberry Salad Recipe

This Cranberry Salad Recipe is a sure hit with everyone. It’s the perfect side for the holidays. With bits of fresh cranberry, oranges, apples, and pineapple, it has the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Come on in and I’ll share my Grandmother’s Recipe for an Old Fashioned Cranberry Salad…

old-fashioned cranberry salad

This is an old-fashioned recipe, from my grandmother. Boy does this take me back to her 1950-style kitchen, and the old hand grinder hanging over the kitchen sink! I loved grinding the apples and other ingredients for this delicious holiday side as a kid. Now, even after all of these years, I still don’t think any other cranberry salad holds a candle to this delicious flavor. Sometimes the old-fashioned recipes are truly the best!

Delicious homemade cranberry salad recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

It’s not only yummy, but it’s also so festive looking. I love the bits of orange peel and the chunks of cranberry.

Here is a quick video showing you how I make this Cranberry Salad…



Grandma’s Famous Cranberry Salad

Grandma’s cranberry salad is the perfect side for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: refrigerate 2+ hours
  • Total Time: 16 minute
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x


  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 2 Apples, Cored – (quartered or cut into large pieces) Get a sweet variety, like Empire, or Gala
  • 2 Seedless Oranges (quartered) – Don’t peel these, either.
  • 1 (about 12 oz.) A small bottle of stemless Maraschino Cherries – Drain the juice
  • 1 (6 oz.) Large box of Raspberry Jello
  • 2 Cups of Heated Water
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Can of Crushed Pineapple – (about 15 0z.) Drain the juice


  1. Using a food processor or blender – grind the cranberries, apples, oranges, and cherries
  2. *Just so the blender or food processor doesn’t get bogged down – You may want to grind a small amount at a time.
  3. The mixture should be a little course for texture. Don’t grind it too fine
  4. In the meantime, heat the water in a saucepan
  5. Add the jello and sugar to the heated water
  6. In a large bowl, combine the ground mixture, and the liquid
  7. Add the drained crushed pineapple, and stir
  8. Chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, or even 1 day in advance
  9. Serve and enjoy!


  • The older recipes paid no attention to the number of calories in recipes. This recipe has 2 whopping cups of sugar! The sweetness is a big hit with my kids, and us. I like the balance of tart and sweet. But, if you would like the tartness of the cranberry to show through a little more, just cut back on the sugar. I’d start with 1 cup and add more if it needs it. If, after tasting it, you think you’d like to add more sugar to the salad, just dissolve more sugar in a small amount of hot water, and fold in before refrigerating. 🙂

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My grandmother's delicious cranberry salad!

~Melissa KidFriendlyThingsToDo.Com


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Susan Urben

    Thanks Melissa for this recipe. I omitted the sugar altogether and used the pineapple juice as part of the water, it was about 3/4s of a cup, so 1 1/4 cup water and 3/4s juice from the can . I topped with vanilla yogurt and pecans.

    1. Melissa

      That sounds delicious, Susan. Thank you for telling us how you modified the recipe without sugar. I’m sure several people will find that information very helpful. 🙂

  2. Vickie

    Would be nice to include the number of servings

  3. Misty

    Love this recipe, its so good! I was wondering if you can freeze the leftovers?

    1. Melissa

      Thank you! You know, I’ve never tried to freeze this recipe before, but that’s a great question. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like you can freeze this salad successfully because the Jell-O won’t freeze all the way and some of the fruit will lose their texture. You can, however, store it in the fridge for up to 10 days.

    2. Melissa

      Strike my last reply. I’ve been corrected. My mom says she freezes it every year and it holds well in the freezer. That would be a great time saver for Christmas!

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