Mandarin Fluff Salad

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Mandarin Fluff Salad is one of the most popular Asian-inspired salad recipes among Cantonese. Mandarin Fluff Salad is a cool, refreshing and sweet dish with an intoxicating aroma. This salad recipe is really easy to prepare and make which makes it perfect for last-minute parties and potlucks.

Orange Fluff Salad (without Cottage Cheese)

Orange Fluff Salad is the a refreshing side dish for holidays or potlucks but also makes a great dessert option! This fluff salad with no cottage cheese features tropical canned fruit including mandarin oranges and pineapple along with mini marshmallows. You only need a few minutes to whip up this orange fluff recipe and it is sure to be a hit with any crowd.

Jello salads are a holiday and celebration staple with my extended family. Growing up there wasn’t a holiday, birthday or potluck without at least one or two Jello side dishes to choose from, like this fluff salad recipe or this Cranberry Jello Salad. While Jello with layers can be a time consuming process, this orange fluff is the easiest and doesn’t require a lot of chill time. 

ORANGE FLUFF INGREDIENTS

This orange fluff salad requires minimal ingredients. Since it is loaded with canned fruit, it is easy to have all the ingredients on hand to make this refreshing fruit salad whenever the mood strikes!

  • orange JELLO gelatin
  • sour cream or plain yogurt
  • can of mandarin oranges
  • can of pineapple tidbits
  • can of diced mango or peaches
  • mini marshmallows
  • whipped topping

As you can see, this is a orange fluff recipe with no cottage cheese. While many love that style of fluff salad, if the texture or flavor turns you off, look no further than this recipe. You can also substitute different canned fruit. Don’t like mangos? No problem! Diced peaches or an additional can of mandarin oranges would still be great! Want to use fruit cocktail instead? Sounds delicious to me. Fluff salad in general is very forgiving and different gelatin or fruit flavors can be substituted to suit your tastes or accommodate what you already have on hand.

HOW TO MAKE ORANGE FLUFF SALAD

In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream and gelatin powder until well combined.

Add mini marshmallows and canned fruit including mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits and diced mangoes or peaches. Be sure to drain your fruit very well.

Fold in whipped topping until while combined. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Serve with shredded coconut, fresh orange slices, maraschino cherries, additional mini marshmallows or chopped nuts for garnish. Easy, right? This really takes only a few minutes to prepare and leaves you more time for other things!

ORANGE FLUFF VIDEO WITH STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

HOW LONG DOES FLUFF SALAD LAST?

For best results, consume within 24 hours. The canned fruit in this recipe will make this orange pineapple fluff watery over time. Need something that lasts longer? Give this Cherry Jello Marshmallow Salad a try instead. It lasts for several days and while it has some similar ingredients, it is prepared much differently and holds up well over several days. It is great for feeding a crowd.

Orange Fluff

This orange fluff is as light as air, and heaven on the tongue. Tastes just like an orange creamsicle with none of the sticky mess!

Serve with ,ribs corn on the cob, and burger for the perfect summer picnic.

I love cold salads like cheesecake fruit salad, and frog eye salad. Have you been craving an old fashioned orange salad just like you ate growing up? This mandarin orange salad with cool whip is going to become your new favorite for ever occasion. I’ve made it so many times I can practically make it in my sleep!

It is great for potlucks, picnics, and holiday dinners.

It is called a salad but everything that goes into it screams dessert.  Plus let’s be real. We all know my favorite salads include fruit instead of veggies, and cool whip instead of olive oil. 😉

Of course, you can have it anytime you want it and it is still going to taste amazing. One bite and you’ll learn why my family calls it orange dreamiscle salad.

Ingredien Notes

  • Orange Jello: You can use regular or sugar free. I used regular.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding: Again you can use regular or sugar free. I used regular french vanilla.
  • Boiling Water and Cold Water
  • Cool Whip: I used the extra creamy variety, but any will work fine.
  • Mandarin Oranges: The mandarin orange is a small citrus fruit that is similar in appearance and flavor to the tangerine. It is sweet and juicy.Be sure to drain before adding to the salad.
  • Mini Marshmallows

How To Make Orange Fluff Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine jello and boiling water.   Add cold water, and place in the fridge.
  2. Stir in vanilla pudding, and chill again.
  3. Fold in oranges, cool whip and mini marshmallows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Freeze It??

This can technically be frozen. It will taste great even after it has been frozen. However, since there is Jello in it, the texture will change after it is frozen. Jello has a different consistency when it is frozen.

How Long Does It Last?

This salad will last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can You Make It Ahead?

Yes, you can make it up to a day in advance. I would not make it too far ahead though. The longer it sits the the more the oranges will release their juice which can change the consistency.

Tips

  1. This dish can be made diabetic or Weight Watchers friendly by using sugar free jello, pudding, and Cool Whip.
  2. This recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd at a picnic, family reunion, or church potluck. It is always quick to disappear!
  3. Chill before serving to allow everything to come together. It tastes even better the next day.

Fun Variations

You can adapt this recipe to fit your favorite flavors, or the colors of the season. Other fun varieties to try:

  • Peach: Use peach jello and canned peaches.
  • Strawberry Banana: Use strawberry jello and sliced bananas.
  • Patriotic: Use blue jello with fresh strawberries.
  • Pineapple: Use pineapple jello, with pineapple tidbits.
  • Strawberry Kiwi: Use strawberry jello and diced kiwi.

Mandarin Orange Fluff

Creamy, Mandarin Orange Fluff is made with Greek yogurt, whipped topping, Jell-O, fruit, and marshmallows. This easy recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare!

Because Mandarin Orange Fluff is both a salad and a dessert, it is not too sweet to go with main dishes, and yet it is sweet enough to be a dessert. This makes it a perfect dish for your next potluck, get-together, bar-be-que, or picnic.

About Fluff Recipes

To me a fluff salad is an amuse-bouche for your meal, a small dab on a dinner plate to add fun and novelty. Think… ham dinner… and it then makes sense to serve it alongside the ham to complement the saltiness of the meat.

But then again, it is a lovely soft cloud of a dessert with just the right amount of fruit and sweetness. I love making it for picnics, barbecues, and get-togethers because there is no crust to make and no baking or cooking to do.

No doubt the versatility of fluff salads and desserts is what has made them popular for decades. But they definitely gained in popularity with the introduction of Cool Whip whipped topping in 1966. The convenience of a ready-made whipped cream product, plus the sweet flavor and creamy texture of Cool Whip is perfect for fluffs.

In the late eighties, I was told by a food marketing specialist that Cool Whip was the most successful, newly launched food product ever. It was so popular that stores could not keep it in stock!

So, enough history… let’s take a closer look at what might be called a perfect side dish.

The general recipe for a fluff salad contains five ingredients:

Dairy (cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream).
Frozen Whipped Topping.
Fruit Flavored Jell-O.
Fruit (canned, fresh, or thawed frozen).
Mini-Marshmallows or Large Marshmallows cut into bits.

From this list you can see that all you have to do is change the flavor of the gelatin and pair it with a fruit and your fluff has an entirely different flavor!

About This Orange Fluff Recipe

If you do a little research, you will find that most versions of orange fluff contain cottage cheese for the dairy ingredient and include canned pineapple in addition to the mandarin orange segments.

I personally don’t care for cottage cheese in this recipe, and I don’t think the canned pineapple adds anything other than to make the fluff sweeter.

So, my version uses Greek yogurt for the dairy ingredient. I like it for its creamy texture plus it is lower in calories and sodium than cottage cheese.

I also do not add the canned pineapple. To me, orange fluff should only contain oranges and orange flavors. I promise you will not miss the pineapple at all!

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for this Mandarin Orange Fluff:

  • Plain Greek Yogurt – Naturally low in sugar this adds more creaminess and a tartness that keeps this orange fluff from being too sweet.
  • Frozen Whipped Topping – Any version as long as it is plain or vanilla flavored.
  • Mandarin Oranges – Drained from a Can.
  • Orange Gelatin – I prefer the Jell-O brand of gelatin to Royal or store brands. The flavor tends to better and the large package size of 6 ounces is what is called for in this recipe. The large box of some brands is not 6 ounces.
  • Fruit Flavored Mini-Marshmallows – The fruit flavored marshmallows have a nice flavor and add visual appeal with their pastel colors.

Instructions

Before you begin to make the orange fluff, be sure to take the frozen whipped topping out of the freezer and let it thaw. You can thaw it on your countertop for about an hour or place it in the refrigerator the night before you make the fluff.

Next, drain the mandarin oranges and gather all of the ingredients and your tools. I have found that a dry measuring cup is handy to measure the Greek yogurt and a liquid measuring cup is great for the mini marshmallows.

Step 1 – Use a wire whisk to mix the Greek yogurt and orange gelatin in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2 – Whisk in the thawed whipped topping and beat well until all is well combined.

No streaks of orange or white should show, when the yogurt, gelatin, and whipped topping are well combined.

Step 3 – Fold in the drained mandarin oranges and pastel mini marshmallows.

Step 4 – Cover the bowl and refrigerate the orange fluff dessert at least 2 hours.

After chilling the Mandarin Orange Fluff can be served in a bowl for buffets or casual dinners or portioned out in small cups and garnished with whipped topping, a mandarin orange, and a sprig of mint.

Substitutions

I think the Greek yogurt gives just the right amount of tartness to offset the sweetness of the orange gelatin. But you might like your orange fluff to be a bit sweeter or you might like it even less sweet.

Substitute Cottage Cheese – for the Greek yogurt for a sweeter flavor and an increase in texture. If you want a smoother texture, put the cottage cheese in a food processor and pulse until the cottage cheese is smooth.

Substitute Sour Cream – for the Greek yogurt for a less sweet flavor.

Substitute Plain Mini-Marshmallows – for the pastel-colored fruit-flavored mini-marshmallows.

Variations

Change the Jello Flavor and the Fruit – you can make fluff salads with any Jell-O flavor and coordinate the fruit with it. Great combinations are:

  • Cherry Jell-O and Fresh or Canned Cherries or Cherry Pie Filling
  • Lime Jell-O and Canned Pineapple
  • Strawberry Jell-O and Strawberries

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