Mandarin Orange Jello Salad With Vanilla Pudding


This Mandarin Orange Jello Salad With Vanilla Pudding is one of our favorites! It is a great side dish for dinners this time of year–especially picnics, potlucks and cookouts. I would like to share this recipe for jello salad with you. This recipe is very different from any other one you have tried. It has a delicious flavor and so beautiful, it can be a perfect dish to bring to a potluck or barbecue lunch. It will be your favorite.

Creamsicle Mandarin Orange Salad with Vanilla Pudding

Sometimes you want something that is semi-homemade but feels like it’s homemade. This creamsicle mandarin orange salad with vanilla pudding is that recipe for me. I grew up with a slightly different variation but discovered this recently and love it as well. This basic creamy salad is full of vitamin C and feels decadent while actually being pretty simple and easy to prepare. It’s a great side or a simple dessert for any weekend barbecue!

White and gray bowl on white table filled with cream salad topped with mandarin and pineapple

Mandarin Orange Salad with Vanilla Pudding

Somehow, I struggle to call anything that doesn’t have greens a salad. However, the invention of Jello and the many instant puddings and gelatin dishes of the 1950s-1970s used the term “salad” rather generously. This simple recipe is one of the few from that era that sounds delicious and looks delicious. A package of pudding, simple canned fruits, and that handy dandy whipped topping come together to create a sweet treat that is simply put, hard to resist.

Step by Step Recipe Tutorial

Creamsicle Mandarin Orange Salad with Vanilla Pudding

If you like a nice fruit salad as a side dish, then you have probably checked out some of the ones shared here before. I personally love the simple orange pomegranate salad with strawberries but my son loves the fresh summer berry salad the best. Whichever one you choose, these “salads” make it so easy to add fresh fruits to your menu.

Do I Prepare the Pudding According to Package Directions?

You do not make this instant pudding like you normally would. Instead, it is combined with the other ingredients. There is no milk added to this recipe. The creaminess of the whipped topping is the carrier you use to make this salad fluffy and creamy without preparing the pudding as usual.

Do I Drain the Fruit for This Salad?

Yes! It’s important that you drain the mandarin oranges and the pineapple well before mixing into this dish. You can use chunk or crushed pineapple, but I prefer the crushed most often. However, it can be tough to get it completely drained.

If not drained well, it will end up separating and not be as nice visually. It still tastes delicious either way, but I highly recommend using a small sieve to drain if you choose crushed pineapple for this recipe.

Can I Use Different Fruit For This Recipe?

It wouldn’t be mandarin orange salad if you don’t use mandarin oranges! Ha! But, yes, the answer is you can use any number of fruits along with the base of vanilla pudding and whipped topping. Below are some other combinations that are popular and tasty with this creamy vanilla base.

  • Stir in canned cherry, blueberry, or strawberry pie filling.
  • Use canned diced mangos that have been drained instead of the pineapple or oranges.
  • Stir in fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries in place of the oranges and pineapple.
  • Use canned peaches, pears, or fruit cocktail instead of the mandarin and pineapple combination.

What Mix-In’s Go in Mandarin Orange Salad?

You may also be familiar with fruit salads having other additions in the mixture. Below are a few common choices that could be mixed into this salad recipe with great results. Some of these ideas work better with different flavors but can still work in the same vanilla pudding base.

  • Chopped pecans, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts.
  • Mini marshmallows.
  • Mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or butterscotch chips.
  • Shredded coconut flakes.

How Long is This Good For?

In our house, this mandarin orange salad typically doesn’t even last a day! It’s usually served up as a side or dessert when we have a cookout, potluck, or barbecue. On the occasion I make it just for our little family, it’s usually gone within 48 hours.

I would recommend, however, that it be eaten within 5 days of preparing Mostly because the fruit will release more liquid and cause the mixture to separate. This is a bit unpleasant visually, as mentioned above. Overall, the best flavor is in the first 1-2 days.


  • Vanilla instant pudding mix
  • Cool Whip
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks

How to Make Mandarin Orange Salad

In a large bowl, combine the Cool Whip and instant pudding mix. You can use a mixer or do this by hand.

Add the drained mandarin oranges to the cream mixture.

Fold in the pineapple and stir to combine all well.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Orange Jello Salad with Pudding Whipped Cream

This Orange Jello Salad is a retro throwback dessert that tastes like creamsicles in Jello form with a sweet, creamy topping and a sweet-tart layer of orange gelatin, mandarin oranges, and orange juice concentrate! Orange Jello Salad is one of our favorite summer treats (even though we eat it year round!) and everybody loves when you show up at a potluck or picnic or reunion carrying it!

It’s no secret that I love a good Jello. I mean, how can you resist these delicious, kitschy, vintage desserts! I’ve already posted about Lemon Pineapple Jello with Pineapple Whipped Cream Topping and my Triple Layer Christmas Jello Salad.

But today I’m coming at you with another fantastic Jello concoction that has been one of my favorite treats since I was a kid. It’s this perfectly delightful Orange Jello Salad with Pudding Whipped Cream that is reminiscent of the creamsicles that were always in my grandparent’s freezer, and summertime and potlucks!

Calling it a salad serves no other purpose that I’m aware of other than to justify serving this sweet, citrusy stuff at the same time as the rest of dinner. It’s basically the only time I remember being allowed to eat dessert first if I wanted to as a kid.

Annnnnd as an adult. Just sayin’. The tart & tangy orange layer on the bottom is made with orange gelatin, orange juice concentrate, mandarin oranges, and some of the juice from the cans of mandarin oranges in place of some of the water called for on the package of Jello.

The top layer is a fluffy, dreamy pudding and whipped cream concoction that is sweet and light and pairs perfectly with the tart and tangy bottom layer. You can use vanilla or french vanilla pudding, but just make sure that it is the instant kind, not the cook and serve variety.

The whole thing is cool and refreshing and just the perfect treat year round, but especially in the summertime. And anyway, there’s always room for Jello!


This creamsicle orange fluff salad is the perfect side for any party or gathering. Filled with mandarin oranges and marshmallows this orange dreamsicle salad is full of flavor and will have everyone asking for the recipe! 


This creamsicle fluff has a few steps but it’s well worth the time put into it.  You only need a few simple ingredients and you may already have the stuff on hand.


Let’s get down to business! Here’s how you make this delicious fluff salad. 


  • 3 oz box of Orange Jello
  • 3 oz box of Vanilla Pudding
  • Water
  • Cool Whip
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Mini Marshmallows

*This post contains affiliate links. 

I like to use this white pot for serving! 

In a large bowl combine orange Jell-O and boiling water. Whisk until Jell-o is dissolved. Add cold water and allow to chill for 15 minutes in refrigerator. Slowly whisk in vanilla pudding mix until smooth and chill for another 15-20 minutes or until it becomes slightly thickened.

Fold in Cool Whip, mandarin oranges and marshmallows. Chill for at least 1 hour.


  • I like to let this orange fluff sit for at least one hour before serving. You can most certainly make this recipe the day before a gathering. I brought this creamsicle fluff to a morning playdate and everyone loved the recipe!
  • You can top individual servings in ramekins with a little mandarin orange and mini marshmallows to make a perfect Easter or Mothers Day brunch place setting.

If you make this orange dreamsicle salad recipe and like it we would love for you to leave a positive comment and rating! They mean so much to us.

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