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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frozen Cranberry Pineapple Salad
- 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.
- Stir in remaining ingredients.
- 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.