Jello With Mandarin Oranges


This is the recipe for jello with mandarin orange. The texture of the jello and the sweet taste of mandarin oranges make this dish a winner in my book! I hope you like it as much as I do! Have you ever tried to eat jello with mandarin oranges? If the answer is “yes”, then you probably didn’t enjoy it very much. So what’s the big deal about a jello-mandarin orange combo? What makes it so gross?

Mandarin Orange Jello Salad Recipe

Quick easy Mandarin Orange Jello Salad Recipe. Simple gelatin dessert for summer parties! Kid Friendly Recipe on Mini Chef Mondays, Jello salad with pudding

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 355kcal


  • 1 package simply good orange jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 package simply good vanilla pudding


  • In a bowl mix together the boiling water and orange jello.
  • Once the jello is dissolved add in the cup of cold water and mix.
  • Place the fruit into container for jello salad.
  • Pour the jello mixture over the fruit and refrigerate until solid.
  • When your mandarin orange jello salad recipe is done start working on the whipped topping.
  • In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer start whisking the heavy cream, milk and pudding packet until it forms a whipped cream.
  • Pipe the whipped cream pudding onto the jello salad and serve.


Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1375IU | Vitamin C: 26.6mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 0.5mg


Easy 4 Ingredient Mandarin Orange Jello Salad is the perfect holiday side dish, family dessert salad, perfect for potlucks and barbecues, and oh so easy to make.


Our Mandarin Orange Jello Salad does not include cottage cheese or pudding mix. It does include four easy ingredients that pair together to make a great holiday side dish.

This is one of those side dishes that everyone enjoys but maybe doesn’t admit they love it as much as they do. I always laugh when the bowl of Mandarin Orange Salad is empty before other side dishes. You can look around the room and see all the adults savoring this childhood classic.

I love that it only takes a few pantry basic ingredients and a couple of minutes to whip up this holiday side dish. Ok, it isn’t just for the holidays we enjoy it year-round and love bringing it to potlucks and barbecues.

We serve this with the regular meal not just at dessert. I figure it has fruit in it so it can be called a fruit salad. lol!

This orange fluff salad is a true family favorite for holiday dinners! So dang easy to make and you can make it ahead of time in the morning so you don’t have to stress about getting it on the table when everything else is done.


  • Orange Jello
  • Cool Whip
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Water

Orange Jello – You can change this recipe up a bit and use different flavors of Jello if you want to try something different. You can use regular or sugar-free jello

Cool Whip – Feel free to use regular, light, or any variety of Cool Whip. Just make sure to set the Cool Whip in the fridge so it thaws by the time you need it.

Mandarin Oranges – I buy a 2nd can of Mandarin Oranges so I can to individual servings of this orange fluff jello salad with a dollop of cool whip and mandarin orange.

Optional Add-ins – You can add in pineapple chunks if you want another fruit in this jello salad.

You can top this salad with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, coconut, crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges, or more fresh fruit. For a bit of crunch you can add in a few chopped nuts.

Cottage Cheese – There are a few variations of this Orange Fluff Salad and many of them include mixing in a 12 oz container of cottage cheese. If you grew up with cottage cheese in your orange jello salad feel free to mix it in! We did not have cottage cheese mixed in growing up so I tend to make it without cottage cheese. It is totally up to you.

Equipment needed

Large Bowl – You will want to use a bowl large enough to handle all of the ingredients.

Whisk – A whisk works great for breaking up the orange jello before adding in the cool whip. You can also do this with a large spoon.

Serving Dishes – You can serve this in a large bowl or individual serving dishes.

Recipe Tips

This Mandarin Orange Jello Salad can be customized to your favorite flavors.

There are a ton of variations to this Mandarin Orange Jello Salad. Some families love making the orange jello and letting it almost set before mixing in the cool whip and mandarin oranges. Other families love adding in cottage cheese and pineapple pieces. This is one of those childhood recipes we all grew up with that has changed and adapted over time.

Lemon Mandarin Orange Jello Salad

orange jello salad on glass plate

What is Jello Salad?

Jello salad (also called gelatin salad, jelly salad, congealed salad, or molded salad) is a salad made with flavored gelatin, fruit, and sometimes grated carrots or, more rarely, other vegetables. Other ingredients may include cottage cheese, cream cheese, marshmallows, nuts, or pretzels.

My favorite part of this Jello fruit salad is the lemon topping, which is just a lemon pudding mixture. My second favorite part of this Jello recipe is the little mandarin oranges floating around. Our kids love mandarin oranges, so this orange Jello salad is now one of their favorite recipes as well.

I’m curious, how many of you grew up with Jello on your dinner table or at holiday meals?

Lemon Mandarin Orange Jello Salad Ingredients

Unlike most Thanksgiving desserts, this Jello fruit salad recipe requires very few ingredients to make. Here’s what you’ll need to make this mandarin orange salad: 

  • Orange Jello
  • Boiling water
  • Frozen orange juice concentrate 
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Instant lemon pudding mix
  • Milk
  • Cool Whip

How to Make Jello Salad

This mandarin orange Jello salad couldn’t be easier to make! It takes quite a while for the salad to set, but the hands on prep work is minimal. Here’s how to make Jello salad: 

  1. Mix the boiling water with the orange Jello in a 9×13-inch pan. 
  2. Add the frozen orange juice concentrate and drained mandarin oranges. Stir to combine. 
  3. Let chill in the fridge until set. 
  4. Near the end of the chill time, combine pudding and milk and mix until thick. 
  5. Stir the Cool Whip into the pudding, then spread it evenly atop the set orange Jello salad. 
  6. Garnish with more mandarin oranges, then place back into the fridge to set. 

Is Jello Salad a Dessert or a Side?

Do you think of Jello recipes as desserts or salads? Whenever it is served with whipped cream and marshmallows, it is a dessert. If it is served with tons of fruit added, it can be called a “fruit salad.” Yes, I realize this mandarin orange Jello salad should probably be a dessert, but my family always served it as a side dish when I was little so I serve it as a side today as well. 

Can I Add More Fruit to the Jello Salad? 

Of course! If there’s a specific fruit you grew up eating in your Jello salad, you’re welcome to include it. Just make sure to drain any canned fruits before adding them to the mandarin orange Jello salad. 

Can I Make This Jello Salad Sugar-Free? 

If you can find sugar-free versions of the lemon instant pudding and orange Jello mix, then yes, you can definitely make this Jello salad sugar-free if desired. Note that sugar-free pudding and Jello mixes typically tend to be smaller than the regular versions, so you may need to buy multiple packs to make enough Jello salad to fill a 9×13-inch baking dish. 

Can I Prep Jello Salad in Advance? 

Absolutely! This Jello fruit salad is a great make-ahead Thanksgiving recipe. You can assemble the salad up to a day in advance. Place plastic wrap on top and refrigerate it until ready to serve. 

slice of jello fruit salad on glass plat with spoon

Tips for Making Lemon Mandarin Orange Jello Salad

It’s so important that you remember to use instant pudding powder and not the cook and serve kind. It won’t set up the same, so make sure you buy the correct box.

Also, you want to use mandarin oranges packed in water and not the kind packed in syrup. Mandarin oranges packed in syrup would make this Jello salad recipe far too sweet. 

If you don’t have Cool Whip where you live, you can use another whipped topping or make a batch of homemade whipped cream if needed. Homemade whipped cream will deflate quicker than Cool Whip, but otherwise it’ll work just fine. 

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