Creamy, citrus-y and studded with tender, sweet pearls of tapioca, Mandarin Orange Salad is a light, refreshing and luscious family tradition on our holiday tables, as well as at summer gatherings. It’s a fantastic make-ahead orange jello salad with mandarin oranges. One of my most simple and delicious recipes for a gathering.
- 1 (3 oz) box orange jello mix
- 1 (3 oz) box vanilla pudding (cook & serve, NOT instant pudding)
- 1 (3 oz) box tapioca pudding powder (IMPORTANT: Plain pearl tapioca will NOT work. It must be cook & serve powdered tapioca mix and the only brand I have ever seen is Jell-O.)
- 2 cups water
- 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 cup non-dairy whipped topping (I have never tried homemade whipped cream in this salad, but my suspicion is that it would not hold up in this recipe, changing the texture dramatically.)
- Combine the orange jello mix, vanilla pudding package contents and tapioca pudding package contents with the water in a medium sauce pan.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and scorching.
- Cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
- Pour the thickened gelatin mixture into a container to cool and leave on the counter to come to room temperature before refrigerating.
- When cooled to room temperature, cover the gelatin mixture and refrigerate until completely set.
- After the gelatin is firmly set (minimum of 4 to 6 hours), stir in the non-dairy whipped topping and mandarin oranges. Stir until thoroughly integrated into the mandarin orange salad. The jello salad will be thick, but light and fluffy.
- Refrigerate Mandarin Orange Jello Salad until ready to serve.
This orange jello salad will need to be made at least 4 to 6 hours ahead. Mandarin Orange Salad can also be made up to 36 hours ahead to save time on the day of a big get-together.
If preferred, you could peel fresh mandarins and use those, or even chopped fresh orange pieces. If you do choose to use fresh, I recommend you cut them into supremes.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Salads, Side Dishes
- Method: Stovetop and Fridge
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: orange, mandarin, salad, side dish