A colorful blend of fresh cranberries, fluffy mini marshmallows, crunchy nuts, and juicy pineapple in one salad. We love making Millionaire Cranberry Salad for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and special occasions. Especially if we want to wow our guests with an extra fantastic dish.
It is almost like Ambrosia Salad, but with a few substitutions and add-ons. Oh, and in terms of flavor, it’s nothing like Ambrosia, it’s better!
Although some folks can find those ingredients uncommon to be mixed in one dish, the sweet and tart combination simply ''works'' in this recipe. And no cool whip or cream cheese is needed!
I would describe this millionaire salad as ultra fluffy, cool, creamy, fruity, and refreshing with a little crunch here and there.
Easy to make ahead and a good candidate for meal prep. You’ll need to combine all the ingredients and let them chill for 3 hours before ready to serve. Don’t skip this step, this is what makes this salad that remarkable. You’ll see!
This may be not the healthiest salad recipe on this blog, but let me tell you, it tastes spectacular (and looks too!)
There are so many of you, different readers, here at the Yummy Bowl - some of you like to get straight to the recipe ingredients and instructions, and some of you love reading the full information with tips and tricks that I provide for the recipe.
There is a skip to recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
Colorful salads are totally my jam. From Mediterranean Cucumber Salad, Chickpea Salad to Cucumber Strawberry Salad - those readers' favorites have been our go-to salads for any occasion.
Today we are going to make something insanely delicious by combining fruit instead of veggies, and marshmallows, and topping up with tangy-sweet homemade cranberry sauce.
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Yogurt - can sub with sour cream at least 20% fat. This can be also substituted with the cool whip but the texture will be different and the recipe will have more calories in it.
- Pineapple - if you can get a plain, with no-sugar-added canned pineapple, is better. But even a fresh one could work. Substitute with sweet fruit, mandarin oranges, apples, and even bananas. We sometimes love to use grapes instead or in addition to pineapples.
- The more fruit, the merrier - the star of the show here is obviously cranberry. The sauce is based on cranberries, orange juice with a touch of cinnamon. The tangy and tart flavor of these berries helps to balance the sweetness from other ingredients. However you can substitute with: mixed berries, blueberries, lingonberries, blackcurrants or red currants (very close flavor to cranberries but sweeter, if you can find those of course). Fresh is better but as we are going to make a sauce out of berries, you can also use frozen.
- Coconut is a refreshing tropical add on, but it can be left out entirely.
- Crunchy nuts - Pecans, walnut or almonds add the needed crunch here and help to balance the sweet ingredients with their bitter flavor.
This recipe has become one of our favorite desserts to serve on our holiday menu. It's different, fluffy, and creamy with bursting sweet and fruity flavors.
Make the homemade Cranberry sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 12 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely. The sauce will thicken upon cooling).
In a large bowl add yogurt, juicy pineapple, marshmallows, walnuts, coconut.
Pour in the cooled cranberry mixture (only about 1 ½ cups) and mix to combine. Let sit for 3 hours in the fridge.
In the end, you’ll be left with some extra cranberry sauce which you can use for pancakes, waffles, and cereals.
Serve the salad any time of year but it's more commonly enjoyed during the holiday season, at Christmas dinners.
It's the perfect dish from the traditional classics, with a twist.
- It’s a great meal prep - it takes only 15 minutes to whip up and some chill time. Which is perfect because you’ll have enough time for casual entertaining and enjoying eating dinner.
- We like to complete any festive dinner with this fruit dessert salad (which it actually is) but I know some folks just like to serve this as a side dish together with main course. This is however not my vibe at all and I would still call it a dessert salad.
Chilling time is necessary. It helps the soft marshmallows to increase in size and absorb the sauce. After cooling the salad becomes fluffy and more delicious. Just don’t ‘’over chill’’ this.
- For this creamy cranberry salad, I like to keep the cranberries whole, but you can puree the sauce once it’s cooked in a food processor or an immersion blender. If you gonna puree this, use more cranberries or reduce the orange juice so the sauce is not too runny in the end.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Properly sealed and stored his salad will be good in the fridge for 1-2 days.
No freezing is recommended. Fruit and creamy dressing just don’t freeze well. Fruit will become soggy, flavor will be off and yogurt become runny.
More Cranberry Recipes
For more festive recipes be sure to take a look at our Christmas recipes.
- Cranberry Orange Mini Loaves
- Cranberry Sauce With Mandarin Oranges
- Roasted Butternut Squash With Cranberries
- Almond Cranberry Tart
Easy Dessert Recipes
We also love making these chewy delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookies with peppermint during holidays (and not only!).
ALL DESSERT recipes.
I hope you'll enjoy this millionaire cranberry salad recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
Thank you for reading,
Millionaire Cranberry Salad Recipe
- 2 cups plain greek yogurt
- 2 cups canned pineapple
- 2 cups mini marshmallows I used tri-color
- 1 cup walnuts chopped or pecans, almonds
- 2 cups coconut flakes
For Cranberry Sauce
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Homemade Cranberry sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 12 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely. The sauce will thicken upon cooling).
- In a large bowl add yogurt, juicy pineapple, marshmallows, nuts, coconut. Pour in the cooled cranberry mixture (only about 1 ½ cups) and mix to combine. Let sit 3 hours in the fridge.
- In the end you’ll be left with some extra cranberry sauce which you can use for pancakes, waffles, and cereals.
- Serve the salad any time of year but it's more commonly enjoyed during the holiday season, at Christmas dinners. It's the perfect dish from the traditional classics, with a twist.