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Frozen Cranberry Pineapple Salad

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Vintage frozen cranberry pineapple salad is a perfect side dish or light dessert. It only takes 4 simple ingredients and a few minutes to make, the hardest part is waiting for it to freeze.

Spoon in small glass bowl filled with creamy frozen cranberry pineapple salad.

Cranberries are a traditional addition to holiday meals, but don’t feel like you have to reserve this fun dish just for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It makes for a fun fruity addition to any meal. In fact, it would be a refreshing addition to a summer meal as well.

If you are looking for a fun way to change up your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu, you are in the right place. This easy recipe is just slightly sweet and is a great make ahead cranberry option that will add great textural and flavor variety to your meal plan.

Ingredients: bowl of crushed pineapple, cranberry sauce, pecans and sour cream ready to be made into creamy frozen salad.

My grandma recently gave me her recipe boxes to look through. They are a treasure trove of hand written recipe cards and newspaper clippings yellowed with age.

This recipe happens to come from one of those newspaper clippings. The paper is now fragile and the fact that referred to the woman who submitted it as Mrs. and then her husband’s name rather than her own name shows how times and conventions have changed.

But one thing that does not change with the passing of time is good food. In fact, some of those old recipes are our favorites.

Mixing bowl filled with creamy cranberry salad mixture.

Not that we need to keep all of the old recipes. Some of those savory Jello salads are a little too much for me.

The may be tasty, but the thought and look of them makes it hard to want to make them. Maybe I am missing out.

I suppose you should let me know if you have a favorite recipe for me to try that will change my mind. I am not so closed minded that I wouldn’t take a genuine recommendation.

This recipe was easy to get on board for though. It is just 4 simple ingredients and almost no effort to put together.

Ramekins filled with creamy cranberry pineapple salad mixture next to yellowed newspaper clipping with the recipe on it.

It is a lot like cranberry fluff, but less sweet and of course colder. There is no added sugar, just that already in the cranberry sauce and the natural sugars from the pineapple.

The sour cream not only makes it creamy, but it helps to balance out the sweetness that is present. The pecans add a nice bit of texture, but you can easily leave them out if you prefer.

Tips and Tricks

As written, there are chunks of pineapple and cranberries throughout the salad. For a smoother texture, pulse the cranberry sauce and crushed pineapple in a food processor for a bit before stirring in the sour cream.

Scoop the mixture into ramekins, small bowls or even lined cupcake tins for single serve treats. Or scoop it into a square baking dish to slice and serve in pieces like we do our frozen fruit salad, another vintage classic.

Spoonful of frozen cranberry pineapple salad showing creamy texture with small chunks.

For another fun presentation, line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spoon the mixture into it. Before serving, unmold the mixture and cut into slices.

Some people fold in Cool Whip or lightly sweetened whipped cream to make it sweeter. Then you could certainly serve this as a light dessert if you want.

The salad freezes pretty solid, so you will want to let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving. Even a little longer is okay, it will stay at its peak frozen creaminess for quite a while.

Frequently Asked Questions

What goes into frozen cranberry salad?

This old fashioned recipe only uses 4 simple ingredients: sour cream, cranberry sauce, pineapple and pecans. You can leave the pecans out if you prefer.

How far in advance can I make frozen cranberry salad?

If you cover the dishes or put them in an airtight container, frozen cranberry salad can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Cranberry Side Dish Ideas:

Fresh cranberry orange relish is another simple make ahead dish that is perfect for the holidays. It only takes 3 ingredients and a few minutes in the food processor to prepare.

Cranberry Jello salad is a great vintage classic. It uses a lot of these same flavors, but in a fun jiggly package.

Side view of small glass bowls filled with frozen cranberry salad showing texture.

Or make cranberry applesauce for the holidays or any day. The pretty crimson color draws you in and the sweet tart flavor keeps you coming back for more.

Check out my full collection of cranberry recipes for more inspiration.

Spoon in small glass bowl filled with creamy frozen cranberry pineapple salad.

Frozen Cranberry Pineapple Salad

Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Carlee
Vintage frozen cranberry pineapple salad is a perfect side dish or light dessert. It only takes 4 simple ingredients and a few minutes to make, the hardest part is waiting for it to freeze.
4.94 from 15 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes


  • 8-Inch Square Glass Baking Dish with Lid 
  • Libbey Small Glass Bowls with Lids


  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple drained
  • 14 oz can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans


  • In large mixing bowl, chop up cranberry sauce.
    14 oz can whole cranberry sauce
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
    20 oz can crushed pineapple, 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • Spoon into ramekins, square baking dish or loaf pan.
  • Freeze for at least 3-6 hours, but up to several days.
  • Allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.


This recipe works best with full fat sour cream.
For a smoother texture, use a food processor and pulse the ingredients together until you get the texture you want.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 13mgFiber: 2gSugar: 31g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.94 from 15 votes (15 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Andrea Nine

Monday 10th of October 2022

Oh my goodness, Yum! I made cranberry salad but I’ve never made it frozen and with the pineapples, so good!


Monday 10th of October 2022

It's so easy and refreshing. It would be a great addition to Thanksgiving among all the hot and heavy side dishes.