Fresh Cranberry Salad With Oranges

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I love fresh cranberry salad with oranges. This is a really easy and quick recipe and can be made in advance. If you have time, you can add walnuts to the dish. The salad tastes best if it is kept in the fridge for a day or two before serving. Cranberries are highly antioxidant and oranges are rich in vitamin C which makes the fruit salad an excellent choice for both healthy individuals as well as those having health problems related to vitamin deficiency (such as scurvy). 

Classic Cranberry Salad Recipe

This crunchy cranberry salad is a riff on the traditional Thanksgiving staple.

Recipe Summary

Active:

25 mins

Total:

4 hrs 55 mins

Yield:

Serves 12

You’ll never go back to congealed cranberry salad once you try one Test Kitchen professional’s “riff on the traditional cranberry salad.” This cranberry salad has sliced celery and chopped toasted pecans (walnuts work, too), which give it a surprising crunch that most cranberry salads lack. This version of cranberry salad is both sweet and tart for balanced flavor, and one Test Kitchen professional said it’s “so much better than the canned stuff.” Although we always recommend using fresh ingredients, this colorful salad works just as well with frozen cranberries, which will be easy to find around the holidays. Not only is this cranberry salad delicious on its own, it will taste amazing over turkey or any other protein you might serve, like ham, pork chops, or chicken. One test kitchen professional suggested that leftovers of this crunchy cranberry salad would be “great over vanilla ice cream for dessert or with Greek yogurt for breakfast.” We love the idea of making your Thanksgiving leftovers into something more than a sandwich. If you’ll be overwhelmed the day you’re serving, you can prepare this salad up to three days in advance, just cover and store it in the refrigerator. Cranberries are often thought of only around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but you can make this recipe any time to serve with a great protein or eat as snack during the later fall and winter months.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (14 oz.)
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped Bartlett pears (about 2 small pears)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple (from 1 pineapple)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery (from 2 stalks)
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Bring the cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • Step 2Stir in the Bartlett pears, pineapple, celery, and pecans. Transfer to a serving bowl; cover and chill salad 4 to 24 hours.

Tips

Make It Ahead: The cranberry salads can be made 3 days in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Cranberry Citrus Salad with Pecans

The perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner, this Cranberry Salad recipe is flavorful and delicious!  Mandarin oranges, fresh cranberries, goat cheese crumbles and pecans make this Cranberry Salad with pecans incredible.

This Cranberry Salad recipe is the perfect Thanksgiving Side Dish!

Thanksgiving often means lots of “beige” on your plate – turkey, stuffing & mashed potatoes and gravy to name a few. Adding a side dish with some color and crunch is a must.

This fresh, cranberry citrus salad is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Loaded with lots of goodies like mandarin oranges, pecans and cranberries, it brings the perfect complimentary flavors to your turkey dinner!

HERE’S A QUICK-REFERENCE SHOPPING LIST OF THE INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS CRANBERRY SALAD RECIPE:

  • 2 Bags (about 5 oz. each) of Spring Mix, or a mix of your favorite greens
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Green Onions
  • Celery
  • Toasted Pecans
  • Goat Cheese

For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions, be sure to reference the recipe at the bottom of this page.

WHAT OTHER NUTS CAN I USE INSTEAD OF PECANS FOR THIS FRESH CRANBERRY SALAD?

You can use a variety of nuts – walnuts, pistachios and almonds are all great options!

FOR THE HONEY BALSAMIC DRESSING, YOU’LL NEED:

  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Orange (for juice and zest)

(Please reference the recipe below for exact ingredient amounts and full directions.)

HOW DO I MAKE DRESSING FOR FRESH CRANBERRY SALAD RECIPE?

Simply whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, orange juice & zest and garlic.

The dressing for this salad is delightful! Not overly heavy, the balsamic dressing is great to toss on the salad just before serving or serve on the side and have your guests dress themselves.

How to prepare fresh cranberries for a salad:

Fresh cranberries can be rather tart when consumed raw. To soften and sweeten, you can do something very simple: sweeten and cook in the microwave.

Steps to cooking cranberries:

  1. Start by adding the fresh cranberries to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the sweetener of your choice along with fresh-squeezed orange juice. I like granular monk fruit sweetener, like Lakanto or Whole Earth.
  2. Stir together the cranberries, juice and sweetener. Then, microwave on 1 minute increments, stopping to stir. You’ll likely just need 2 minutes total to cook the cranberries.
  3. Let the cranberries cool to room temperature, or refrigerate before adding them to the salad.

Want to use dried cranberries without all the refined sugar?

Not only are these dried cranberries great in salads, they are also wonderful in cookies, bars, homemade granola & granola bars, and stirring into yogurt and oatmeal.

CAN I PREPARE A SALAD THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING DINNER?

Yes. This cranberry salad recipe can be made the day before. Assemble all of the ingredients, and place right in the serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Do NOT add the dressing. You can mix the dressing in advance, but keep it separate. Store in an airtight jar at room temperature. Dress the salad before serving, or serve the dressing on the side.

SHOULD I DRESS THE SALAD BEFORE SERVING FOR DINNER?

Some people like to dress their own salad to control how much dressing they have. I would recommend serving the dressing on the side of the salad for your guests. Serve the dressing on the side, especially if you know there will be leftover salad. 

You can also dress the entire salad just before dinner is served. 

How do you make fresh cranberries edible?

Cranberries can be ate raw. However, if they are too tart for your liking, you can cook down in the microwave. Use 2 Tbsp. of fresh squeezed orange juice and 2 Tbsp. of granular sweetener. Stir together and microwave on 1 minute increments until the cranberries burst. Two minutes of microwaving should be all that’s needed.

What can I do with raw cranberries?

Raw cranberries can be diced and made into a relish, added to salads, dried and added to cookies and bars, roasted with butternut squash, and added to baked oatmeal.

How long does cranberry salad last in the fridge?

Undressed, cranberry salad will last 2-3 days when refrigerated in an air-tight container.

What is the healthiest way to eat cranberries?

The less sugar the better! Cranberries are wonderfully healthy, as they contain anti-oxidants and are considered an anti-inflammatory food. Try fresh cranberries in a salad, in baked oatmeal or blended into a smoothie.

WANT TO ENJOY THIS SALAD AS LEFTOVERS THE NEXT DAY? HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:

  1. If you’re expecting leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner, serve your dressing on the side. This will help keep your leftover salad from becoming soggy. This cranberry salad will keep 2-3 days refrigerated if it is NOT dressed.
  2. Top the salad with your leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken! Adding protein to your salad makes a fantastic, healthy lunch and will keep you full and satiated for hours.

Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

Fresh cranberries, oranges and apples fill this Cranberry Orange Jello Salad with a raspberry Jello base. It makes a beautiful holiday dessert or fruit side dish.

Cranberry Orange Jello Salad Recipe

Nothing says the holidays like jello salads! I grew up eating Jello salads not only on the holidays but also for family dinners and church potlucks. Jello salads are some of my favorite desserts because there are just so many varieties! This Jello salad is unique because it has fresh oranges, apples and cranberries, making it perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Fresh vs Frozen Cranberries

We call for frozen cranberries in this recipe. Can you use fresh? Yes! Cranberries freeze really well. There won’t be any difference in flavor whichever you use. We choose frozen just because they are easy to keep on hand and pull out exactly you need them.

Can you use fresh fruit in Jello salads?

This recipe calls for using fresh apples and oranges. These fruits work perfectly in Jello.  There are some fresh fruits that you want to steer clear of in Jello salads. Some of those include fresh pineapple, kiwi, mango and guava. These fruits have have an enzyme that makes the gelatin not set. If you want to use these fruits, use the canned version.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

Let’s talk about some hints to make this delicious fruit salad:

  • Prepare the fruit by peeling the oranges and apples, then cutting them in small pieces. Run the whole cranberries through a food processor to grind them up.
  • Make the raspberry Jello according to the recipe, then stir in the sugar while the water is still hot so it dissolves.
  • Add the cold water and fruit and mix well.
  • This makes quite a bit of Jello salad so be sure to use a bowl or baking dish that holds at least 4 quarts. We used a large glass bowl. If you use a 9×13 baking pan, make sure it has deep sides. And if you need to, you can use two smaller pans or bowls.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. The time it takes for the Jello to set will depend on how deep your bowl is.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Mmmm!

Can you freeze Jello salad?

No, you can’t freeze Jello salad. If you freeze Jello, it will lose its texture after it has thawed.

How far in advance can you make Jello salad?

No Jello salad can’t be frozen, but thankfully, you can make this dish up several days in advance and keep it refrigerated.

How long does Jello salad last?

Cranberry Orange Jello Salad should stay fresh for about 5 days in the fridge. Be sure it is covered tightly so it doesn’t absorb odors from the refrigerator.

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