Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Cranberry gelatin salad recipe

​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 9 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
262 Calories
15g Fat
19g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 262
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 13g
Calcium 42mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You'll find this cranberry salad on many Thanksgiving menus throughout the South. The "salad" is actually made with a layer of cranberry-flavored gelatin topped with a fluffy, lightly-sweetened cream cheese, and whipped cream. If you like an unsweetened topping, omit the sugar.


  • 1 large or 2 small packages (6 ounces total) cherry or raspberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water (divided)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce (or about 2 cups ​homemade)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cranberry gelatin salad
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  2. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    Lightly oil pan
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  3. Put the gelatin powder in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the boiling water and stir until dissolved.

    Gelatin in bowl
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  4. Add the remaining water, the jellied and whole cranberry sauce, and the lemon juice. Stir until well blended.

    Add water
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until firm.

    Pour mixture into a prepared pan
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar (if using) until fluffy. 

    Beat cream cheese
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  7. In another bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. With the mixer on low speed, blend about half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

    Beat whipping cream
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  8. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula.

    Fold whipping cream
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  9. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the chilled cranberry gelatin mixture. Sprinkle with the nuts.

    Spread cream cheese over gelatin
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  10. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.

    Cover and chill
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  11. To serve, cut into squares and lift out with a flexible spatula.

    Cut gelatin square
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic