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Mandarin Orange Salad

Mandarin Orange Salad

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 servings 1x


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.


Units Scale
  • 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.)


  1. Combine the orange jello mix, vanilla pudding package contents and tapioca pudding package contents with the water in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and scorching.
  3. Cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
  4. Pour the thickened gelatin mixture into a container to cool and leave on the counter to come to room temperature before refrigerating. 
  5. When cooled to room temperature, cover the gelatin mixture and refrigerate until completely set.
  6. 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.
  7. 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