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Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

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Layers upon layers of yum combine in this Cranberry Orange Jello Salad. From the nut crumb crust, topped with a layer of cream cheese and a luscious layer of Cranberry Orange flavored jello. It’s a delicious salad and perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry orange jello salad

This time of year reminds me that I have a serious food obsession. (You’d think the fact that I write about it on a daily basis… would be a clue! lol) 

I love Thanksgiving. The smell of the Turkey cooking. The anticipation of all the side dishes…and the desserts! Those amazing decadent desserts.

We’re not talking desserts today though. We’re talking about the salads! They are unique and different from the dinner salads we have  the other 364 days of the year.

Last year I decided to change things up a bit from my traditional cranberry apple salad. (Whoa! Sorry Grandma! I may need back up in heaven for this one friends!) I was feeling brave!

Layered Cranberry Orange Salad

I can’t take the credit for this recipe. This beauty belongs to Miss Paula Deen. That woman knows her food! A big bonus to this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time. Like 2 days ahead of time!!! (I know! Awesome right?!)

It has a wonderful nutty crust, a layer of cream cheese and another layer of orange and cranberry jeweled jello. The triple combination is…in a word…Ah-mazing!!! 

It’s so “Ah-mazing” that I forgot to get the “perfect” shot. Ya know… the one where every layer is perfectly defined because some “cutting” guru has wielded their magical knife and every edge is pristine.  (I know that’s how my food comes to the table. Yours too? lol. Move over Martha!)

How To Make Cranberry Orange Layered Jello Salad

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 °. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, and add 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix to combine.

Nut crumb crust for layered cranberry orange salad

Press into the bottom of a 13-x 9 inch baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until it is lightly golden brown. (I love nutty crusts like this!) Let it cool completely before moving on to the next step. (Don’t stress…we all know we are multi-tasking for the “big meal”. Just move on to the next thing you need to do while this cools)

Cream Cheese Layer

In a medium bowl, beat 2 packages of softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar. Beat until smooth.

Add 1 container of whipped topping, beating until combined.  Spread mixture over cooled crust; cover and chill for at least 4 hours or refrigerate for up to 2 days! WHAT??????  That’s right friends…you can make this a couple of days ahead of time and finish the day before Thanksgiving so you have “less” to do the day your up to your elbows in Turkey brine and roll dough! (Do ya love me even more? lol)

cream cheese layer on top of crumb crust for cranberry orange salad

Mean while back at the farm…fast forward a few hours or a couple of days….

Cranberry Orange Jello Layer

In a large bowl! (Did ya catch that…I didn’t say “medium” bowl! Going crazy here…lol) stir together 2 (3 ounce) packages of orange gelatin.

This recipe makes me so happy for the poor overlooked orange gelatin! 

Orange jello mix in bowl

I digress…back to the recipe…. stir together that wonderful orange gelatin and 2 cups of boiling water.  Add 2 cans of whole-berry cranberry sauce. Please note it is WHOLE BERRY not the jellied cranberry sauce.  

adding cranberry sauce to orange jello

Stir until well combined. Add one cup of cold water.

whisking together cranberry sauce and orange jello

Slowly pour the gelatin mixture over the chilled cream cheese layer.

spreading cream cheese layer over crumb crust

Cover and chill again for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Cut into squares and garnish with whipped topping and cranberries, if desired.

I obviously didn’t “desire” to have the whipped cream and fresh cranberries. I liked it the way it was. Truth be told, I was trying to get a few other dishes on the table at the same time. (Face it…after 2 days cooking for one meal…our guests are lucky we aren’t hucking garnishes at them! Right? lol)

Layered Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

I loved the combination of flavors and textures in this salad. The cranberry isn’t overpowering. Just the opposite. Combined with the orange and the cream cheese layer it is “Oh so subtle” and absolutely fantastic.

I think we’ve found a new family favorite at this Nest! It pairs well with Turkey and Ham yet is unique enough to make a statement on its own.

If you like this recipe you may also love these other Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Make sure to check back over the next couple of weeks for more of our family favorites.

Have a GREAT week friends and Happy Nesting!

Norine's Nest Signature
Yield: 12 servings

Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

sliced cranberry orange salad

This is a delicious layered jello salad. A golden crispy nutty crust is topped with a creamy layer of cream cheese and then topped off with a delectable cranberry orange gelatin. This salad can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.

Prep Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 (8oz. packages cream cheese, softened)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages orange gelatin
  • 2 cup boiling water
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Garnish: whipped topping, chopped fresh cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, and brown sugar. Add melted butter. Stir to combine. Press mixture into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  4. Let Cool Completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Add whipped topping. Beat until completely combined.
  6. Spread mixture over cooled crust. Cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. In a large bowl, mix together gelatin and 2 cups of boiling water. Add in cranberry sauce, stir until well combined.
  8. Add in 1 cup cold water. Slowly pour gelatin mixture over chilled cream cheese layer.
  9. Cover and chill for another 4 hours or up to 2 days.
  10. Cut into squares to serve. Garnish with whipped topping and cranberries, if desired.

Nutrition Information:


12 servings

Serving Size:

1 square

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

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Sunday 9th of December 2018

Thank you Norine! I cut down the cold water by half and used 3 cups of homemade cranberry sauce instead of the canned and it was awesome!


Sunday 18th of November 2018

I made this last year with the canned cranberry sauce and it was a big hit. I would love to try it with homemade cranberry sauce and noticed from a previous post you did the same. How much did you use for the recipe?

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Sunday 18th of November 2018

Hi Mary! I believe when I made this with homemade whole cranberry sauce I did half and half because I was one can short of the canned. So I used one can and 1 cup of homemade cranberry sauce. Hope this helps. I worry if you used all homemade it might not set? Does that make sense? The jelled whole cranberry sauce is thicker than homemade. It's such a great salad though! Can't wait to make this again this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Hope I helped a little. Happy Nesting! Norine

Deborah Cox

Wednesday 4th of April 2018

Love your site and this awesome recipe..Trying it soon...Signed for your things you post ...That crust I'm also trying on a no cook cheesecake I make..I always use crunched up Graham crackers ..not like crumbs..but big ol chunks and small pieces lots of butter and sugar..but this crust looks soooooo good..God Bless you sweetie debb

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Wednesday 4th of April 2018

Hi Debb! Thanks so much for your sweet comments about my site. I am loving the idea of using this crust for a no-bake cheesecake! Brilliant! Please let me know how it turns out. This salad was a HUGE hit on our holiday table. My brother could not get enough of it. (That's how you know it's good...when brother's go back for thirds!) You made my day Debb! Sincerely...Thank you so much for your kind words. Have a GREAT week! Happy Nesting! ~Norine


Friday 22nd of December 2017

Have fresh cranberries, wondering how making my own sauce would work?

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Friday 22nd of December 2017

Hi! Yes it will. I made mine with fresh cranberry sauce. It needs to be a "thick" homemade cranberry sauce. works beautifully and is SO good! Have a Wonderful Christmas and Thanks so much for stopping by my Nest! Happy Nesting! ~Norine

The Better Baker

Thursday 21st of December 2017

I crave cranberry sauce this time of year and will be making this very soon!!!! MMMMM!! So glad you shared. ??

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Thursday 21st of December 2017

Hi Cutie! Thanks so much for stopping by. If you love cranberry sauce you will LOVE this salad. My brother was very skeptical when I set out at Thanksgiving...after his third piece he was sold on it's down home goodness! lol Have a WONDERFUL Christmas my friend. Happy Nesting! ~Norine

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