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.
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!
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!)
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.
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)
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)
Mean while back at the farm…fast forward a few hours or a couple of days….
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!
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.
Stir until well combined. Add one cup of cold water.
Slowly pour the gelatin mixture over the chilled cream cheese layer.
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)
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.
Make sure to check back over the next couple of weeks for more of our family favorites. Remember that I will be “trying” to do a follow along in my stories on Instagram Thanksgiving week.
So you can cook alongside me if you want to! It will be like having me in the kitchen with you. (Which may be really annoying! lol) So if you’re not following me on Instagram be sure to do that!
Have a GREAT week friends and Happy Nesting!
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