Mandarin Orange Tapioca Salad


This Mandarin Orange Tapioca Salad is also called Saier Tang. Meaning, in Cantonese, ”Salad soup” or “Vinegar salad.” The oil-rich Tapioca balls that snack on are traditionally made with pork broth and sometimes shrimp and century eggs. For this Vegan version of the dish, I replaced the meat stock with gluten free vegetable broth and the century eggs with tofu.


Orange Jello Salad is light, refreshing and makes the perfect side dish or dessert! Made with orange jello, tapioca pudding, whipped topping, mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple.

I grew up eating this Orange Jello Salad on a pretty regular basis. It was a family favorite recipe that I have made dozens and dozens of times. Easy enough to make for a family dinner, but yummy enough to bring to parties or to serve on holidays and other special occasions!


Orange Jello Salad is made by cooking orange jello and tapioca pudding together on the stove. Then you fold in Cool Whip, mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple. The jello is chilled in a 9X13 pan and then you can cut and slice the individual servings when ready to serve. If you’ve never used tapioca before…don’t worry! I have never used it in anything else either, but it really does make this jello salad amazing!


The best part about this recipe (and many other Jello recipes), is that you can use any flavor of Jello you want! I really like strawberry jello mixed with the strawberries and crushed pineapple, but raspberry works really well too! In my family we almost always made it with orange jello – that seemed to be the favorite flavor and it’s easy to keep mandarin oranges on hand.

Ingredients in Orange Jello Salad


Tapioca pudding – You will need 6 ounces of tapioca pudding mix. This can be found near the Jello and the other pudding mixes at the store. It usually comes in 3 oz boxes, so you will need two of them.

Orange jello – You will need one small box of orange jello. The small boxes are 3 ounces.

Water – You will need 2 cups of water to boil and cook the tapioca and jello in.

Cool Whip – You will need a large container of Cool Whip (16 oz). Make sure it is completely thawed before folding it into the jello mixture.

Mandarin oranges – You will need a 15 ounce can of mandarin oranges to fold into the salad. Make sure to drain them well. I usually get another can of mandarin oranges so that I can use some to decorate the top – that’s totally up to you!

Crushed pineapple – Use a small (8 oz) can of crushed pineapple and make sure to drain it well. I’ve often made the salad without the pineapple, so if you don’t love pineapple, you can definitely leave it out!


Add jello and pudding to boiling water, continue to boil, stirring constantly for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Fold in Cool Whip, mandarin oranges and pineapple and chill overnight. Pour into a 9X13 and then slice the Jello to serve. Once the jello salad is set, you can garnish with whipped cream and/or more mandarin oranges if desired.


With just a few ingredients, this light and fluffy Orange Jello Salad is super easy, kid-friendly and perfect for any gathering

jar of orange jello salad

Wanna know what I love about living in the midwest?? First off, I love the wide open spaces – it means room for the kids to run, room for a garden, and clear skies for miles and miles. Being in the midwest also means we live in the heart of animal agriculture – an industry made up of hard-working, respectful farmers (my family included!) who care for the land and the quality of food they produce.

And on a less serious note, living in the midwest means that when we say “salad”, it could be a leafy green salad or a “salad” full of cool whip, pudding and jello!! I mean think about it….strawberry pretzel salad, Snickers salad and this Orange Jello Salad I’m sharing today! Whether you call it “salad” or “dessert,” I’m sure of one thing – it’s SO darned tasty and hope you think so too! 🙂


  • Cook & Serve Vanilla Tapioca Pudding
  • Orange Jello – regular or sugar free with work
  • Water
  • Mandarin Oranges – I use the oranges in light syrup or juice (though it gets drained either way!)
  • Whipped Topping – You can use “light” or regular


Though I love the original recipe, here are a few fun variations!

Add marshmallows – My daughter loves marshmallows so I often add 1-2 cups of mini marshmallows in the mixture.
Strawberry – Use strawberry Jello instead of orange, then use 1 lb fresh strawberries (quartered) instead of the mandarin oranges.
Lots of Fruit – Instead of the two cans of mandarin oranges, use one can of mandarin oranges, 1 can of drained peach slices and two sliced bananas.

overhead view of a spoon in a jar with orange jello salad

Orange Tapioca Salad

Wow it was a ‘speedy’ trip back to Northeast Missouri over the weekend. Along my journey I gathered flowers for our home. I also managed a trip to the local Mennonite store where I was finally able to acquire pint & quart jar flats. As many canners know these have been a bit challenging to acquire, over the past couple of years.

My dad told me his refrigerator would hardly shut when I called to tell him I was home again. Of course, like any good cook I left him with a couple of salads, one sauce, and fried chicken! It was too busy to go out for Mother’s Day so we ate in!
We can always go out another time when it’s not so busy, right?

Last week I honored my friend, Mary Freiling, from Hannibal, Missouri, with her yummy peach cake. This week I’ve prepared another of her delicious dishes, Orange Tapioca Salad. Again we see a very simple salad in time and prep. It’s also a bit unique and will have a few people wondering what is in it. Feeds quite a few people and hold nicely in the refrigerator.

Mary makes one important note in the recipe. She has indicated that when doubling the recipe she doubles everything except the cool whip. You can test it and see what your opinion is with only 1 container of whipped cream.

This weekend there’s a great deal going on it’s a good thing I live by my day timer.
Which I might say I lost about 4 weeks ago. Talk about one lost soul, I was a mess.
My colleague at work walked in last week and laid a brand new one on my desk. I kept thinking it would surface, but never did. I still think it’s in a client’s folder!!

I finally got the rhubarb sauce made last week, canned a few jars and kept some out to put on toast, bagels & ice cream. The week is certainly going to be sunny, perhaps it will dry out the fields so the farmers can get going with their planting.
I age a bit this coming week and I’m planning an afternoon of fishing to celebrate!
Going to pack a simple sandwich, beverages, and sunscreen and I’ll bask in an afternoon of relaxation. I can hardly wait.

Enjoy the simplicity of the salad and find some time for self this week. I know, I know, it is not easy, but ‘try’ it will be worth it. Eat outside at the office, bring lunch for a friend. Reap the energies coming our way with the sunshine!
Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Orange Tapioca Salad

2 (3 oz.) pkgs. of tapioca pudding
1 (3 oz.) pkg. orange jello
3 1/2 cups water
1 (8-12 oz.) carton whipped cream or fresh whipped cream
1 (10 oz.) can drained mandarin oranges

Combine pudding, orange jello and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until you have a boil, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and cool in refrigerator for 3 hours or more. You might consider cooling the mixture in a pan of ice water, before refrigerating. Whisk to keep smooth. When the cream is cooled add the mandarin oranges and fold in the whipped cream. Mix well and chill.

Double for a crowd. When Mary makes this a double she does not double the whipped cream. (Wow that was 3 ‘doubles’ in a row!) Enjoy. Debbie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.