The bright, zesty flavors of raspberry, cranberry, and orange come together in this delicious cranberry jello salad. Fancy this side dish up by molding it in a bundt pan or jello mold or simply mix it up and serve it in a bowl. Either way, this cranberry jello is going to take the place of that boring old can of cranberry sauce on your holiday table.
Raspberry and cranberry are such a perfect pairing and this recipe is a cinch to put together. It takes just a few minutes to mix everything and pop it in the fridge. The bright flavors are so nice to cut the heaviness between bites of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Serve this easy jello dish with your candied yams and granny’s famous dinner rolls. The fresh zesty flavors will also complement an orange and apricot infused brown sugar glazed ham.
What is Cranberry Jello Salad?
A jello side dish is a staple on the Thanksgiving table – and really, most holidays or group celebrations. This raspberry cranberry jello version makes a delicious stand in for cranberry sauce. We love the ease of using instant gelatin and the fancy convenience of the quintessential jello mold. If you’re interested in the history of jello salads, this read is super interesting!
How to Use a Jello Mold:
If you’ve never used a jello mold before, it is so simple. Prepare the mold with non-stick cooking spray to make it super easy to release the jello from the mold.
Be sure that you’re using a mold that is the right size for the recipe. If you try to fill a mold that’s gigantic, the jello will fill only a small portion and won’t look beautiful when you remove the jello. The jello won’t expand in size during molding, so you don’t have to worry about filling a mold too full, but you don’t want any of your ingredients to go to waste either! This recipe calls for a 6-cup jello mold or bundt pan – this is the mold I used (affiliate link).
Follow the recipe instructions to allow the jello enough time to set properly. This recipe requires at least 4 hours – you can whip everything up a day or two in advance and your jello salad will be ready to plate at dinnertime!
Simply turn the jello mold/pan upside down, centered on your serving plate and the cranberry jello salad will slip out of the mold and onto the plate. Some of the additional ingredients may settle in the pan and prevent the jello from a perfect molded shape. No worries! Garnish the molded jello with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or orange zest and no one will notice a little imperfection here or there.
- fresh cranberries – these are so beautiful for garnish – you can also use frozen or skip altogether if cranberries aren’t available
- walnuts – we love the bit of crunch and texture these add into the jello. My mom used to make two bowls of this cranberry jello – one with nuts and one without. If you don’t like walnuts, just leave them out!
- Whole berry cranberry sauce – the whole cranberries in the canned sauce also add some texture. If you’d like to use fresh cranberry sauce, that works too!
- raspberry gelatin – Instant gelatin makes this recipe so quick and easy to make.
- orange zest – the burst of flavor from just a little orange zest adds so much punch to this jello.
- sour cream – this adds a bit of creaminess and a bit of tartness as well.
How to Make Cranberry Jello Salad:
Step 1: Whisk together the boiling water and the raspberry gelatin until the gelatin dissolves.
Step 2: Stir in chopped walnuts, cranberry sauce, sour cream, and orange zest. Mix well.
Step 3: Pour jello into 6-cup mold or a serving bowl. Chill for at least 4 hours.
Step 4: Flip over the jello mold to release the jello and garnish with zest, fresh cranberries, maybe even a couple orange slices. Serve!
Didn’t this cranberry jello turn out just beautiful? Gorgeous and delicious are my two favorite things!
Cranberry Jello Salad
- 6-cup jello mold
- 3 oz. raspberry gelatin instant
- 1 ½ cup boiling water
- 8 oz. whole berry cranberry sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts plus more for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon orange zest plus more for garnish
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries for garnish
- Whisk together gelatin and boiling water until gelatin is dissolved. Chill/cool until thick and syrupy for the most even distribution of the additional ingredients.
- Stir in remaining ingredients and whisk to combine well.
- Pour jello mixture into a greased 6-cup jello mold or bundt pan. Alternately, you can just pour it into a serving bowl and skip the mold altogether!
- Refrigerate for 3-4 hours to allow jello to set. (You can prepare in advance and chill for up to 2 days before serving).
- Flip mold upside down on serving platter to release jello. Serve immediately garnished with fresh cranberries, more chopped walnuts, and orange zest.