Chilled Cranberry Pineapple Marshmallow Salad Recipe

Fruit makes a delicious base for any dessert, especially one as creamy and rich as this cranberry pineapple marshmallow salad. The quick-prep recipe makes a perfect sweet treat, one that requires no cooking. The fact that this is a refrigerated no-bake dessert also means that this recipe is perfect for even the hottest days, when a fresh warm pie might not be as refreshing as chilled fruit and cream. 

This easy, marshmallow-filled recipe was created by food blogger and recipe developer Angela Latimer, who  knows that sometimes you can make a delicious dessert without turning on the oven. Even more, this fruit salad is a perfect accompaniment for any dinner. "It pairs with pretty much anything," says Latimer, "but I like it with poultry and pork dinners best."

Gather the ingredients for the cranberry pineapple marshmallow salad

Of course, the name of this salad gives away the ingredients. Start with fresh cranberries from the fruit section of your local store. For the pineapples, you'll want a can of pineapple that's already been crushed, juices included. "Hand-crushing the pineapple — which you can do 1 cup at a time in a food processor — is a bit more time-consuming," explains Latimer. "I opt for the canned crushed pineapple as I also feel like crushing fresh pineapple is a bit of a waste."

The rest of the ingredients are the glue that holds the salad together. This includes a small bag of granulated sugar, a bag of mini marshmallows, cream cheese, and a tub of whipped cream. (Cool Whip is recommended.) Make sure you also have some plastic wrap at home for refrigerating the mixture.

Chop the cranberries in a food processor

This recipe, just like its name, starts with the cranberries. First, make sure to rinse them. Drop your cranberries into a food processor and pulse. Make sure that the cranberries are getting chopped evenly, taking time to stop the processor and mix by hand if necessary. Be careful not to chop too finely, however, since you don't want this to turn into a liquid cranberry sauce. Once the cranberries are roughly chopped, move on to the next step.

Mix the cranberries, pineapple, and sugar

Now that the cranberries are all roughly chopped, pour them into a mixing bowl. Stir in the pineapple and sugar. Again, don't drain the pineapple! The juice makes a great addition to the salad. Keep stirring until well-combined. Leave the cranberry pineapple sugar combo in the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator. Leave the mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Next, place the cranberry mixture into a fine-mesh sieve. "I don't strain the juices off too much, I like the flavor and color," says Latimer. "However, if too much of the juices are left in the salad, it will be too runny and not set or present well." Once drained, return the sugared fruits to the mixing bowl and set aside.

Combine the cream cheese and whipped cream

Meanwhile, your cream cheese should be softened. Place it in a medium mixing bowl, and cream until smooth. If you're not familiar with "creaming," it's basically "mashing and smashing the cream cheese with a spatula until smooth," explains Latimer. "[The cream cheese] gets caught up in a hand blender or whisk, so the spatula can be a bit easier." 

Fold in the whipped cream and combine with the cream cheese. It's okay if this is still lumpy. Again, you want to use the spatula here. "I blend with a spatula as you should be folding the whipped cream into the cream cheese. You want to keep the 'fluff' from the whipped cream."

Finish the cranberry pineapple marshmallow salad

Finally, combine the two mixtures by folding the cream cheese mixture into the cranberry mixture. Use the spatula to keep folding in until the two mixtures are well-combined. Finally fold in the marshmallows and you're basically done.

Cover again with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours — Latimer advises even longer to let the flavors soak in. "The salad is actually best if made a day in advance. Keep it covered and refrigerated for up to three days."

When ready, scoop a serving of the chilled salad into a small bowl just as if it were a regular salad. But this salad is anything but regular. It's one of the best, coolest desserts you'll taste this year.  

Chilled Cranberry Pineapple Marshmallow Salad Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
Marshmallows and cream cheese take this fruit salad to the next level. It's a snap to make and the perfect refreshing dessert to end any meal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cranberry pineapple marshmallow salad
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 1 (12-ounce) container fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub of whipped cream
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  1. Add the rinsed cranberries to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. (Do not chop too finely as we don't want the cranberries to liquify.)
  2. Transfer the chopped cranberries into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the sugar and pineapple until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Next, drain the juice from the fruit mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and return the cranberry mixture to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the cream cheese to a medium mixing bowl and cream with a spatula until smooth.
  6. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese.
  7. Now, fold the cream cheese and whipped cream mixture into the cranberry mixture until well combined.
  8. Fold in the marshmallows.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (overnight is best).
  10. Spoon the chilled salad into serving bowls, or keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Calories per Serving 300
Total Fat 11.3 g
Saturated Fat 6.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 37.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Total Sugars 41.4 g
Sodium 65.4 mg
Protein 2.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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