Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

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.

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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!)

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)

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….

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.

I’m sharing this fantastic recipe over on two of my favorite link parties. Click on the links to join the fun! Weekend Pot Luck and Meal Plan Monday!

Have a GREAT week friends and Happy Nesting!

Norine's Nest Signature

Yield: 12 servings

Cranberry Orange Jello Salad

Cranberry Orange Jello 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: 272 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 20mg Sodium: 69mg Carbohydrates: 34g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 22g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g


  1. Julia's Simply Southern | 10th Nov 17

    This salad is beautiful! I love the color and can’t wait to try it. Looks so delicious!!

    • | 10th Nov 17

      Thank you Miss Julia! You will LOVE this salad! I seriously wanted to sit down with a fork and just eat it all. It’s the perfect flavor combinations.
      Thanks for visiting me! You are the BEST! Loving that new home!
      Happy Nesting!

  2. Laura Hall | 14th Nov 17

    Thank you so much for bringing back an old favorite.

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Hi Laura…my friend!
      You are SO welcome! The classics are always the BEST! Thank you so much for your call on my birthday. I keep meaning to call you back and I get side tracked. You are always in my thoughts and in my heart. I love you!

  3. Janice | 23rd Nov 17

    I tried making it but the jello overflowed my 9×13 pan, help?

    • | 23rd Nov 17

      Hi Janice!
      I’m not sure why you had this issue. The only thing I can think of is if you added too much liquid. You do not make the jello as directed on the box. You only add the liquids in the instructions. I made it today for my family and had no issues? You should have had 2 packages of cream cheese with 1 8oz. container of cool whip. The jello was two of the small boxes of 3 ounces of orange jello, 2 cups of boiling water, 2 cans cranberry sauce and 1 cup of water. I suggest doubling checking these measurements.

      My daughter made two of these salads and had no issues at all. So I go back to thinking it was a measurement issue or the pan was smaller than 9 x 13? I’m so sorry you had a problem with this recipe. It’s so good so I feel badly. I do appreciate you visiting with me and I hope I have helped in some small way.
      Thank You~

  4. The Better Baker | 21st Dec 17

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

    • | 21st Dec 17

      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!

  5. Hanson | 22nd Dec 17

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

    • | 22nd Dec 17

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

  6. Deborah Cox | 4th Apr 18

    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

    • | 4th Apr 18

      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!

  7. Mary | 18th Nov 18

    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?

    • | 18th Nov 18

      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!

  8. Mary | 9th Dec 18

    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!

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