Frozen Cranberry Salad

Frozen Cranberry Salad

I’ve been making this frozen cranberry salad for over 40 years. I just can’t escape this sweet, creamy frozen concoction that’s filled with nuts and pineapple!


A long time ago when food processors became a staple in one’s kitchen, I found the recipe for this frozen cranberry salad recipe in a food processor cookbook.

I’ve been making this super simple cranberry salad for a very long time.

In fact, I believe I started making it in college when I had an inexpensive food processor from Sear’s.

A food processor is essential in this cranberry recipe unless you prefer chopping walnuts or pecans and cranberries by hand!

Now way back when I’m not sure if I owned a portable hand mixer, but I’m guessing I didn’t.

As you can see this recipe calls for Cool Whip and whether I did that to save money or just because it was easier, well, I don’t remember.

Yes, I usually cook with very fresh, wholesome ingredients but way back when Cool Whip was cheaper than heavy cream, and still is.

(You could whip your own heavy cream and add a touch more sugar to taste if you prefer.)

But not being one to change a tradition, I buy my annual plastic tub of Cool Whip and use it in this recipe.

When the kids were little they made sure that not a spoonful went to waste.

Frozen Cranberry Salad


I have made this cranberry concoction in almost every container you could think of.

It’s easy to do in a loaf pan or if you want individual servings, I also make it in paper lined muffin cups.

Either way, this stuff disappears fast.

I think I’ve given out this recipe to everyone who’s eaten at our Thanksgiving table!

Now that’s not to say that I don’t make traditional cranberry relish.

OR that I don’t love cranberries in the can. OMG. I love cranberries from the can and each summer when I just can’t stand it anymore, I buy a can of cranberries.

But this recipe? Well, there’s nothing like a melty pink cranberry salad that combines so well with the stuffing on your plate.

This is about as easy as it gets, as long as you have the mentioned food processor.

Frozen Cranberry Salad

Keep in mind this frozen salad does need to be made ahead of time in order to have time to freeze-which is a good thing because it means one thing out of the way in preparation for turkey day.

I make it several weeks in advance and sometimes if I’m lucky I have a few extra muffin cups to eat after the feast!

I did have the pleasure of making this yesterday for the Thanksgiving dinner for the older CASA kids. They had a great time feasting, though I did notice that cranberries didn’t grace many plates.

Mac and cheese seemed to be the star food for them. But that’s OK-because I just took my cranberries home and put them back in the freezer and now there are some for me!

I’m supposed to be cleaning the house today.

Needless to say my day just isn’t working out as planned. Instead of cleaning, I’m thinking about cranberries, which makes me think about Thanksgiving, and then my brain wanders off to thoughts of the Macy’s Thanksgiving’s Day Parade.

Then I remember about how quiet my house will be this year. Yeah, I know some years are like that, but it just doesn’t make it any easier now does it?

So, back to cranberries. Our home has been featuring these cranberries since I wandered off to college a long, time ago.

Like I said, I found this recipe in a food processor cookbook but that cookbook fell apart some years back.

In fact, I can’t even find the original recipe. I suppose I could if I searched long enough; after all I am supposed to be cleaning house.

Frozen Cranberry Salad

I suppose you could serve this pink glorious frozen cranberry salad as dessert but why save the best for last? 

Truly, these cranberries are our family’s special tradition. 

it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them!

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Frozen Cranberry Salad


This is an updated post from 2011.
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Frozen Cranberry Salad

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: American


This frozen cranberry salad has been a staple on our Thanksgiving table for over 40 years. This creamy, frozen concoction made with crushed pineapple, cream cheese and walnuts, is that good!


Units Scale

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 1/2 c sugar

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 c walnuts or pecans, chopped

8 oz can crushed pineapple-drained

1/2 of a regular sized container Cool Whip or about 3 cups, though this is personal preference. If you want it creamier you can add more. Or about 3 c sweetened whipped cream.


Chop cranberries finely in food processor.  Empty into a big bowl.  Add sugar to cranberries and stir well.

 Chop nuts in processor. Add to cranberries.

Whip cream cheese in processor and add to bowl. Stir in drained, crushed pineapple. Fold in Cool Whip or whipped cream.

Freeze in lightly greased pans that have been greased with Pam or canola oil.

I use 1- 9 x 5  or 2- 8 x 4 loaf pans, or muffin tins that have been line with paper liners.

When ready to serve, let thaw for about 10 minutes before unmolding. Slice into pretty slices OR just serve the individual ones from the muffin pan on a rimmed tray.


It is easiest to have a food processor to make this recipe. I have not tried it with a blender.

Keywords: frozen cranberry salad, cranberry salad recipes, recipes for cranberry salad, cranberry salad with pineapple


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  • Reply
    November 20, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    My grandma used to make this and it was my favorite Thanksgiving food that I looked forward to every year when I was kid (though she only made it a few times and not every year – I was always disappointed when it wasn’t on the table). Now that I’m and adult I wanted to recreate the dish but didn’t quite know what it was. My mom just sent me this recipe and said this is it! I’m so excited to try making this.

    • Reply
      November 21, 2021 at 10:38 pm

      I’m so happy she found this for you! Now you can have it every year!

      • Reply
        December 4, 2021 at 12:47 pm

        We made it for Thanksgiving and only made a few changes. We added the zest and juice of one large orange and toasted the pecans prior to folding them in. We also tried to do something with whole cranberries for decoration but it didn’t work out, however was a great success regardless! (The whole frozen cranberries were kind of nice in there actually.) It’s a wonderful, fresh and tart palette cleanser after eating sodium heavy stuffing, turkey, etc. I prefer it to eating pie for desert, tbh! I’m making some this weekend even though it’s not even a holiday. Great stuff.

        • Reply
          December 5, 2021 at 1:47 pm

          I love your additions and thanks so much for telling me about them. So glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Talk about taking me back to my childhood! My MIL used to make this, BUT she didn’t freeze it. Now that I see yours, I think I would have like it much better if it had been frozen. What a beautiful complement for the turkey. Canned cranberries – not my favorite. 🙂

    • Reply
      November 16, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Only way I’ve ever had it. And it is so, so good!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    I also have made this for the last 40 years or so. My dad was diabetic so I could make it with no sugar added. Back in the day I used aspartame. Now I use erythritol. I also use some fat free plain Greek yogurt instead of all cream cheese. I have found a sugar free whipped cream that is actually made with mostly fat free milk. And no, it’s not as wonderful as the original recipe but it meets the dietary restrictions I have to follow!

    • Reply
      November 14, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks for letting me know. So glad you made it work for you! Bet your dad was happy!

      • Reply
        November 16, 2021 at 5:19 pm

        What a wonderful surprise. I was surfing for a cranberry recipe and came upon this. I would give you 10 stars out of five. It is easy to make and the flavor is to die for. I haven’t tasted the frozen version but I know that I could eat a lot of this room temperature mixture without wanting to stop. I will be trying some of your other recipes.

        • Reply
          November 16, 2021 at 5:28 pm

          Thanks so much Becki! We have been loving this for a very long time and the frozen is always the way we’ve had it. But you are right, it is so, so good! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2021 at 4:29 am

    What a fun way to serve salad! And I love how festive and beautiful it looks too.

  • Reply
    Lorinda McKinnon
    November 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    This looks amazing – so pretty and festive, and hey – there’s a time and place for Cool Whip, and I’m going to say the healthy cranberries balance it out. Yum.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Lorinda. I so totally agree!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    November 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Liz, I have to say that these are awesome. I've made them every year for over thirty years and now my friends are making them, too! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    November 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Oh, yeah! This is the salad I'm making this year. My mom made it, too, but with whipped cream (though she'd use CW, too). My MIL will be visiting so I have an excuse to make something with the cranberries that Bill won't touch 🙂

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    You know I've never seen one before like it either. I also have a frozen fruit salad recipe from way back and my guess is that it was a take on that. And everyone should check out your cranberry relish and your beautiful site.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    November 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Interesting. I haven't seen this cranberry variation before. Interesting that you say it could be served as a dessert – after reading through the recipe, that would be my take on it (although I can certainly see it as a side dish, too). Thanks for the post!

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