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Best Cranberry Apple Salad

Cranberry Apple Salad in a small mason jar on a wooden table with cranberries, apple slices and pecans strewn around

Cran­ber­ry Apple Sal­ad is one of two sal­ads that are so much a part of our family’s Thanks­giv­ing tra­di­tion, it is unthink­able not to serve them. This jew­el-tone love­ly has been on our hol­i­day table for more than 30 years. 

Tart cran­ber­ries, crisp fall apples, cel­ery, orange zest and pecans are set in a tangy rasp­ber­ry gelatin mix­ture that makes this sal­ad a per­fect com­ple­ment to turkey, ham or roast chicken. 

Cran­ber­ry Apple Sal­ad not only hits all the best fla­vor notes, but it’s also burst­ing with tex­ture. It has the mouth­feel of a chunky rel­ish and all the sweet-tart notes to cut through the creamy, fat­ty dish­es it’s served alongside.

It’s so easy to make and can be made even a day or two ahead. Once you and your fam­i­ly taste it, it will become one of your hol­i­day tra­di­tions, too.

Cranberry Apple Salad in a small mason jar on a wooden table with cranberries, apple slices and pecans strewn around

The Ingredients

  • Fresh Cran­ber­ries (12 oz.) I grind these dry in my food proces­sor. If you are going to use a blender, put them in the blender pitch­er, cov­er with water and pulse to grind them. Then drain.
  • Apples : I use Hon­ey Crisp or Gala
  • Cel­ery: It sounds wrong, but trust me. It’s so good!
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Orange: 1 large one. You’ll use both the zest and the juice
  • Sug­ar
  • Rasp­ber­ry Gelatin: 2 (3 oz. boxes)

How to Make Cranberry Apple Salad

Grind the cran­ber­ries. You will want them to be about the size of real­ly coarse sand­ing sug­ar, which helps spreads the tart­ness through­out the sal­ad more evenly.

Peel and small dice the apples. Cut the cel­ery into thin slices. 

You can buy the pecans already chopped or chop pecan halves into pieces.

Zest the orange and set it aside. Juice the zest­ed orange and add just enough water to bring the juice to 2 cups.

In a medi­um (at least 2.5 quarts) bowl, mix the cran­ber­ries, apples, cel­ery, pecans and orange zest. Stir to dis­trib­ute every­thing evenly.

Heat the juice, sug­ar and water to boil­ing. Then add the rasp­ber­ry gelatin to the hot liq­uid and stir until the sug­ar and gelatin are dissolved.

Pour the gelatin mix­ture over the cran­ber­ry apple mix­ture and stir to coat all the ingredients. 

Refrig­er­ate until set. Once it is set, I usu­al­ly stir the sal­ad to redis­trib­ute any­thing that has float­ed to the top of the gelatin. There won’t be much, because the gelatin is fair­ly equal to the amount of oth­er ingre­di­ents, but gelatin should be bro­ken up and stirred through­out all the fruit. Cov­er the sal­ad with a lid or plas­tic wrap until ready to serve it. You can make it up to two days ahead.

The Recipe

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Cranberry Apple Salad in a small mason jar on a wooden table with cranberries, apple slices and pecans strewn around

Cranberry Apple Salad


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 4 hrs 15 min
  • Yield: 10-12 serv­ings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Cran­ber­ry Apple Sal­ad is a jew­el-tone love­ly that includes tart cran­ber­ries, crisp fall apples, cel­ery, orange zest and pecans.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cran­ber­ries, ground in food processor
  • 2 large (3 small) Gala or Hon­ey Crisp apples; peeled, cored & small diced
  • 3 stalks cel­ery, thin­ly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 (3 oz) box­es rasp­ber­ry jello
  • 1 lg. orange, juice and zest
  • water to bring juice lev­el to 2 cups
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Use a food proces­sor or blender to grind the cran­ber­ries. You will want them to be about the size of real­ly coarse sand­ing sug­ar.  That small size helps spreads the tart­ness through­out the sal­ad more even­ly.  I grind these dry in my food proces­sor. If you are going to use a blender, put them in the blender pitch­er, cov­er with water and pulse to grind them. Then drain.
  2. Peel and small dice the apples. Cut the cel­ery into thin slices. 
  3. You can buy the pecans already chopped or chop pecan halves into pieces.
  4. Zest the orange and set it aside. Juice the zest­ed orange and add just enough water to bring the juice to 2 cups.
  5. In a medi­um (at least 2.5 quarts) bowl, mix the cran­ber­ries, apples, cel­ery, pecans and orange zest. Stir to dis­trib­ute every­thing evenly.
  6. Heat the juice, sug­ar and water to boil­ing. Then add the rasp­ber­ry gelatin to the hot liq­uid and stir until the sug­ar and gelatin are dissolved.

  7. Pour the gelatin mix­ture over the cran­ber­ry apple mix­ture and stir to coat all the ingredients. 

  8. Refrig­er­ate until set. Once it is set, I usu­al­ly stir the sal­ad to redis­trib­ute any­thing that has float­ed to the top of the gelatin. There won’t be much, because the gelatin is fair­ly equal to the amount of oth­er ingre­di­ents, but gelatin should be bro­ken up and stirred through­out all the fruit. Cov­er the sal­ad with a lid or plas­tic wrap until ready to serve it. You can make it up to two days ahead.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Sal­ad, Side Dish
  • Method: Cold Prep
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

Key­words: cran­ber­ries, apples, pecans, salad

More Deliciously Simple Holiday Recipes

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Slow Cook­er Creamed Corn

Home­made Beef Sum­mer Sausage

16 thoughts on “Best Cranberry Apple Salad”

  1. Thanks a lot for this amaz­ing and super easy to make cran­ber­ry apple sal­ad recipe! It’s real­ly tasty and very fla­vor­ful! Will sure­ly have this again! High­ly recommended!

    Reply

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