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Creamy Cranberry Celery Salad

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16 ounce package fresh cranberries
4-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1-1/4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Creamy Cranberry Celery Salad

This gorgeous salad is packed with tart cranberries, crunchy celery, and creamy marshmallows.

  • Serves 9
  • Medium

About This Recipe

Creamy Cranberry Celery Salad is an old family recipe that we have been making for years. It’s delicious for Thanksgiving or Christmas or just when you want to have a wonderful salad in the fridge for snacking. It’s different from any other salad around.

You must use fresh cranberries and unflavored gelatin when making this recipe. The cranberries are ground, not chopped. My parents used to use an old-fashioned hand-cranked grinder to make this recipe, but you can grind the cranberries, in small batches, in a food processor as long as you are careful not to grind them to a pulp. The cranberries should be in tiny pieces.

The only tricky thing about this recipe is dissolving the gelatin. The gelatin must first be softened in cold water. The sugar is added, then boiling water is poured over the mixture, then you stir it until the sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved.

Oh, and don’t try to use flavored gelatin in this recipe – it won’t work and will add unnecessary flavors to the dish.

The salad must be chilled for at least four hours after it’s done so it sets to the proper texture. You cut it into squares and serve it on lettuce leaves.

So enjoy this old-fashioned recipe. It’s creamy, tart, sweet, and crunchy – the best of all worlds!

How to make the best Creamy Cranberry Celery Salad

  • Make sure that the sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved before you proceed with the recipe.
  • Be careful when grinding the cranberries that they aren’t ground to a mush. You should see little discrete pieces of cranberries. And grind in batches for better control.
  • You can use chopped walnuts or pecans in this salad; your choice!

Why this recipe works

  • The tart cranberries combine with the creamy and slightly sweetened gelatin for the perfect taste sensation. The marshmallows add a pop of sweetness that is necessary against the sharp berries.
  • The celery and nuts add great crunch and contrast.

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First grind the cranberries. It will help with the grinding if you add about a teaspoon of sugar to each batch. Place in a large bowl.


Now place the gelatin in a medium bowl. Add the cold water and let stand for 5 minutes.


Pour the sugar on top of the gelatin, then pour the boiling water over all. Stir until you can't see the grains of sugar or gelatin in a metal spoon.


Add the marshmallows, celery, and nuts to the cranberries and mix.


In a small bowl, beat the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.


Add the gelatin mixture to the cranberry mixture and stir, then fold in the whipped cream.


Spoon the mixture into a 9-inch square glass baking dish. Cover and chill for 4 to 6 hours before cutting into squares to serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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