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Close up of Cranberry Fruit Salad

Cranberry Fruit Salad

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side, Salad
  • Cuisine: American


There’s a new Cranberry Fruit Salad in town, and wow o wow is it delicious. Loaded with healthy fruit and toasted walnuts, it is sure to convert you to a cranberry sauce lover. Tart cranberries are the star of the show with chopped sweet apples, mandarin oranges, pineapple and toasted walnuts in a lightly sweet and zingy cranberry sauce. It is the perfect vibrant holiday table centerpiece.  After one bite, you will find yourself making this delightful salad every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.



Cranberry Sauce Ingredients: 

  • 1 – [ 16 oz. package ] frozen cranberries (or fresh)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup organic maple syrup (+/-) *
  • 1 teaspoon allspice *
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon *
  • ¼ teaspoon clove *

Add-In Ingredients: 

  • 1 gala apple, peeled, chopped into small pieces (or similarly flavored apple) *
  • 1 cup (+/-) mandarin oranges, fresh or canned – liquid drained (no sugar added) *
  • 1 cup (+/-) pineapple tidbits, fresh or canned – liquid drained (no sugar added) *
  • 1 cup (+/-) walnuts, toasted and chopped

Alternative Ingredients:

  • Pecans, toasted and chopped (in place of walnuts)
  • Pear, peeled, chopped into small pieces (in place of the apple)


  1. Place the frozen (or fresh) cranberries with one cup of water into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil, add the maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and clove, stir to mix well, and boil for 4 to 5 minutes (or longer until the sauce thickens), stirring occasionally. The cranberries will begin to burst. You want the cranberries to burst and soften. If there are a few unburst cranberries left, that is perfectly fine. Taste the cranberry sauce, add more maple syrup and spices, if needed, at this time. Be careful, it’s hot.
  2. When the cranberry sauce has thickened (after about 4 to 5 minutes), remove from the heat and allow to cool. (Note: The natural pectin in cranberries will thicken the sauce).
  3. In the meantime, toast the walnuts (or pecans) in dry pan over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful they burn easily. Coarsely chop after they have been toasted, set aside to cool.
  4. Then core, peel and chop a gala apple into small pieces, then place the chopped apple into the cooled cranberry sauce. The sauce does not have to be completely cooled. It can still be warm when you add the apple.
  5. Add the drained pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, and chopped walnuts (or pecans), stir to combine. Add any other ingredients, if desired.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


*Organic Maple Syrup:  Keep in mind that the grade of organic maple syrup you are using has different levels of sweetness. Additionally, we kept our amount on the lower end keeping in mind that the fresh fruit adds another level of sweetness, it creates a delightful sweet and tart combination. If you do not like a tart zing or you do not plan to add a lot of fruit, then you may wish to increase the amount of maple syrup used.

*Spices (allspice, cinnamon, clove):  The beauty of this dish is that the spices can be easily adjusted to suit your own personal preferences.  We strongly suggest starting on the low-end of the cinnamon amount and building up.  There is a wide variation in cinnamons on the market.  Some are intensely flavorful while others are mild and sweet.

*Canned Fruit: Select canned/jarred fruit that has no added sugar. When adding the fruit, drain the liquid before adding.

*Fruit/Nuts Amounts: You can easily increase or decrease the amount of fruit/nuts as desired.  We added additional fruit as we really love a lot of fruit in our Cranberry Fruit Salad. The beauty of this dish, is you can easily add more or use less. We liked adding the amount as indicated in the recipe, refrigerated it overnight, then added additional fruit right before serving so you could see the fruit, as the fruit added prior to refrigerating gets completely stained red from the cranberry sauce.  It just makes for a pretty presentation to see the colors. So, to recap, we made the recipe with the indicated fruit/nut amounts indicated in the recipe, refrigerate it, then right before serving, we added an additional chopped apple, 1 cup more mandarin oranges, ½ cup more pineapple tidbits, ¼ cup more chopped walnuts, stirred it in, and then sprinkled chopped walnuts over top and a few pieces of mandarins and pineapple tidbits on top for decoration.

*Fresh Mandarin Oranges: If using fresh mandarin oranges, be sure to completely peel off any pith and membrane. You may want to section them for textural purposes.  We used jarred mandarins in their own juices (no sugar added).

HOLIDAY TIPS: We like to make the sauce ahead of time (usually one to two days before), refrigerate it, then add the fruit and nuts the next morning, then right before serving it we add more fruit and nuts, stirred it in.  Then we added some addition pieces on top for a pretty presentation.

*Serving:  Makes 8 to 10 servings

*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.