Thanksgiving Orange Jello Salad


Do you have a Thanksgiving Orange Jello Salad? I love Thanksgiving and one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the food! This year, I decided to make this fun, festive orange jello salad. It’s pretty easy to make and really delicious. You’ll find most of the ingredients in your pantry or fridge, you just need some time to let it sit in the fridge for several hours until it sets into a nice firm orange jello layer.

5 Minute Orange Jello Salad Recipe

This Orange Jello Salad is ready in 5 minutes! It’s the perfect sweet side dish for any meal but we especially love it for Thanksgiving!

If you ever need a last minute side dish, we’ve got you covered. You’ll love this 5 Minute Orange Jello Salad!

5 Minute Orange Jello Salad in glass serving dishes

This salad is ready in 5 minutes! It’s the perfect sweet side dish any time of year but we especially love it for Thanksgiving!


8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed

3 ounce package orange jello

12 ounces cottage cheese (we prefer small curd)

11 ounces canned mandarin oranges, well drained

20 ounces pineapple tidbits, well drained

5 ounces mini marshmallows (about half of a 10 ounce bag)


Orange jello and cool whip in a glass mixing bowl
  • In a large bowl, mix together Cool Whip and the package of unprepared powdered jello. Whisk together until they are well blended and most of the jello is dissolved into the Cool Whip.
  • Fold in the cottage cheese, oranges, and pineapples. Add in the marshmallows and mix.
  • Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat (I like to chill it for an hour or so before serving).

Orange Fluff Jello Salad Recipe

When we were growing up, Orange Jello Salad or Orange Stuff was always on the table at potlucks, parties, Thanksgiving – you name it! Now it’s time to share this orange jello salad with pineapple with the rest of the world!

If you’re from the Midwest, you know this jello salad recipe.

orange fluff jello salad

It’s the one that my family calls orange fluff. My husband’s family calls it Orange Junk Salad and the neighbor calls it Orange Stuff. My great Aunt calls it Mandarin Orange Fluff Jello Salad.

Yet we all know what fruit salad we’re talking about.

I mean, let’s face it – when we devoured this sweet treat as kids, we didn’t know what was in it. We just knew it was delicious.

What is orange jello fluff?

I’d rank this orange fluff salad recipe along with other famous American desserts. Think of ambrosia salad, watergate salad, and all those fluff-style desserts.

ingredients for orange fluff jello salad

This is an orange fluff jello salad with tapioca, crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges. This easy dessert is all blended together with a creamy Cool Whip, otherwise known as whipped topping.

It kinda tastes like an orange pineapple creamsicle, except – fluff. Dreamy, right???

It’s also listed as a Weight Watchers Dessert. If you figure that one out, let me know…

Why I love Orange Fluff Salad

It’s sweet and creamy, light and fluffy. The jello with tapioca pudding adds body and texture and of course, there’s a hint of the tropics from the fruit.

As you can see, this is an epicurean delight. And delish.

There are many variations of this recipe, but mine is an orange fluff jello salad without cottage cheese. In my opinion, it’s the best!

orange fluff jello salad

While generations before called this orange fluff recipe a salad – let’s be honest. Recipes like this are really just an excuse to serve dessert along with the main dish.

Here’s how to make orange fluff dessert:

Okay, let’s do this! In a large bowl, add one package of orange jello and two packages of tapioca pudding to three cups of boiling water.

Stir well until all the jello mix dissolves. In case you’d like to know, this was my job as a child and it took it very seriously. Moving on…

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

I’m gonna repeat that. Refrigerate overnight. This means don’t wait until the last minute to make this like I may have done the very first time I made it. Ehem…

Add Cool Whip to the jello mixture. Now, you can 100 percent do this by hand but just know your arm muscles may feel the burn in the process. I like to use a hand mixer to break up the jello a bit to make the job easier.

You want your jello to be broken into little pieces. Stir in the Cool Whip.

Drain your canned fruit and fold it gently into the mixture. And that’s it!

You may want to transfer it to a serving bowl, or maybe not. Your call.

jello salad


  • Use pineapple tidbits instead of crushed pineapple for a chunkier jello salad.
  • Substitute canned and drained fruit cocktail
  • Top with mini marshmallows as a fun, playful garnish.

Can I use Sugar Free Options?

Sure, you can use sugar free jello and light whipped topping when you make orange fluff.

Oh, and make sure you lick the spoon when you’re finished.

Orange Sherbet Jello Salad

It’s time to bring jello salads back in style:  Orange Sherbet Jello Salad

Remember jello salads from the 70’s?  Wait, maybe you don’t!  You’ve certainly seen them in TV shows or read about them.  Well, they have been around a long time, and here is one that you need to try!

Serving Orange Sherbet Jello Salad

Orange Sherbet Jello Salad

My mom used to make this jello salad all the time when I was little.  It showed up on every single Thanksgiving table, it showed up at potlucks, and it made an appearance as a special treat for us kids once in a while too.

Jello salads have gotten a bad rap over the years because people try to put too much stuff in them.  This one is simply made with orange jello and mandarin oranges.  And it has orange sherbet in it too, so that makes it the best jello salad ever!!!

My little nieces and nephews are visiting this Thanksgiving.  I told them I was making a jello salad with ice cream in it, and they’re SUPER EXCITED!

Orange Sherbet

By the way, when is the last time you had a scoop of orange sherbet?  I’m pretty sure I was under 20.  It seems to be one of those frozen desserts that you only buy for the kids, doesn’t it?  Well let me tell you… orange sherbet is incredible.  I opened up the container and it had softened up perfectly… and I ate a spoonful and just about fell over.

Why have I ignored orange sherbet all my life?  You seriously need to get some sherbet and enjoy it all over again.  It’s not just for kids! And it’s wonderful when you turn it into an Orange Sherbet Jello Salad.

Orange Sherbet Jello Salad

How to make Orange Sherbet Jello Salad:

The orange sherbet is stirred into the jello mixture until it’s completely melted, and it gives this jello salad a wonderful flavor and velvety texture.  Yes, that makes it more like dessert… but that’s perfectly okay when you’re making jello.  It’s a treat! That mixture is poured into a jello mold, and then mandarin oranges are added in last before chilling.

Tip:  Do you have a jello mold pan in your kitchen?  Probably not.  Not many people have those around any more.  You can certainly make this recipe without a jello mold.  Just put it in a square pyrex or casserole dish and scoop it out to serve.

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