Orange Fluff Salad

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This retro Orange Fluff Salad combines orange Jell-O with vanilla pudding, whipped cream, mandarin oranges, and miniature marshmallows.

Try some of our other fluff “salad recipes” like this Raspberry FluffCreamy Fruit SaladGrape Salad, Watergate Salad, or Ambrosia Salad!

Image of the Orange Fluff Salad

Orange Fluff Salad

True story: This orange salad was my favorite Thanksgiving side dish growing up. Hand to heart, it just wasn’t Thanksgiving without it.

We all loved this “salad” so much that my mom made it every time we had a big family gathering or celebrated a birthday/holiday. Nowadays, my salads typically consist of quinoa, farro, or loads of kale, but retro fluff salads will always hold a special place in my heart and continue to be made for big holiday meals!

Yes, this isn’t really a salad–more a dessert than anything. But as a native Utahn, to do it “right”, we pile it high on our dinner plates right alongside the green beans and mashed potatoes! Why are Utahns so obsessed with Jell-O? Well, give this recipe a try and let me know if it all makes sense :). 

Process shots-- images of the Jell-O packets used in this recipe

Orange Fluff  Salad Ingredients

This recipe only requires five ingredients (plus some water) — it’s hard to beat that! We like this Orange Fluff Salad with instant pudding best–no cottage cheese in this recipe!

  1. Vanilla pudding mix: I recommend Jell-O® brand here. Make sure to get the smaller (3.4 ounces) box, not the 5.6-ounce package. Stick to the regular vanilla pudding mix instead of the sugar-free and use the instant pudding, not the cook-and-serve type.
  2. Orange Jell-O mix: Again, use the smaller (3-ounce) package and avoid sugar-free here.
  3. Frozen whipped topping: Whatever frozen whipped topping you get (lite, sugar-free, or original) be sure it’s fully thawed before making this salad. If it is still frozen in its entirety or in part, it won’t incorporate with other ingredients the way it’s supposed to. Want to make your own whipped topping? Check out the section of text below!
  4. Mandarin oranges: We like to use the “no sugar added” canned mandarins. The salad is plenty sweet without extra sugar here.
  5. Miniature marshmallows: We like Orange Fluff Salad without cottage cheese, so miniature marshmallows take their place. Choose the freshest, softest marshmallows possible for this recipe.

Note: Jell-O is a trademarked gelatin dessert product made by the Kraft company. For this recipe, any brand of gelatin and pudding can be used.

Process shots of Orange Fluff Salad-- images of the Jell-O being cooked and then the pudding mix being added

Homemade whipped topping

If you want an alternative to frozen whipped topping for this Orange Fluff Salad, we have a recipe to make your own topping instead.

To make homemade whipped topping using heavy cream: Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat to combine, and then increase the speed and whip until firm peaks form, about 2-4 minutes. With a spatula, fold the homemade topping into the pudding and Jell-O mixture. 

QUICK TIP

If you don’t want to make your own homemade whipped topping, but would prefer a product with fewer processed ingredients, it’s worth looking into Truwhip. This alternative frozen whipped topping uses all real ingredients without artificial flavors or colors. (Not sponsored)

Process shots-- images of the marshmallows being added followed by whipped cream and mandarin oranges

How To Make Orange Fluff Salad (Tips)

  • Dissolve the Jell-O mix completely. When adding boiling and then cold water to the Jell-O, take time to whisk until Jell-O is fully dissolved, especially when adding the boiling water. If you cut corners on this part, you may have a gummy undissolved Jell-O on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Thoroughly drain the oranges. To avoid a watery salad, make sure the oranges are well drained before mixing through.
  • Mix gently. To avoid “deflating” the salad, gently fold ingredients together with a spatula instead of vigorously stirring.

QUICK TIP

When using the orange Jell-O and instant vanilla pudding, ignore the package preparation directions and follow the instructions in our recipe.

Process shots-- images of the Orange Fluff Salad in a bowl, being mixed together

VARIATIONS

Variations

We love Orange Fluff as the recipe is written, but here are some ideas to change it up and personalize it.

  • Cheesecake version: Use cheesecake pudding mix instead of vanilla.
  • White chocolate version: Try white chocolate pudding instead of vanilla.
  • As a dip: Leave out the marshmallows and use this salad as a dip instead! Try dipping with vanilla sandwich cookies, graham crackers, or vanilla wafers.
  • Make Orange Fluff Salad with coconut: Mix in 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut along with the marshmallows.

Overhead image of the dessert salad in a bowl ready to be enjoyed

STORAGE

Can You Freeze Orange Fluff Salad?

This salad does not freeze and thaw very well because of the dairy in it. The whole salad tends to break and become watery, losing texture. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy for up to 3-4 days.

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Orange Fluff Salad

5 from 6 votes
This retro Orange Fluff Salad combines orange Jell-O with vanilla pudding, whipped cream, mandarin oranges, and miniature marshmallows.
Print Recipe

Orange Fluff Salad

5 from 6 votes
This retro Orange Fluff Salad combines orange Jell-O with vanilla pudding, whipped cream, mandarin oranges, and miniature marshmallows.
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Orange Fluff Jello Salad, Orange Fluff Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings, as a side
Chelsea Lords
Calories 218kcal
Cost $6.12

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) regular orange Jell-O gelatin mix (Note 1)
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup boiling & 1/2 cup cold water one cup boiling water, 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed (Note 2)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

Instructions

  • JELL-O: Place the dry orange Jell-O mix in a large bowl. Pour in 1 cup boiling water and use a whisk to briskly whisk until all the mix is dissolved. Once fully dissolved, pour in 1/2 cup cold water. Use a spatula to scrape around the sides of the bowl so no Jell-O granules are sticking there. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • PUDDING: After 15 minutes, remove Jell-O from the fridge. Add in vanilla pudding mix and use a whisk to briskly whisk together until well combined. Use a spatula again to scrape along the sides. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • FINISH SALAD: After 20 minutes, remove salad and use a spatula to gently fold in the marshmallows and thawed whipped topping. Once incorporated fully, add in the well-drained oranges. Gently fold through. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour or until completely chilled through and nicely thickened. Enjoy right out of the fridge and return leftovers promptly to the fridge.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Mixes: For pudding mix, get the smaller (3.4 ounces) box, not the 5.6-ounce package. Stick to the regular vanilla pudding mix instead of the sugar-free and choose the instant pudding, not the cook-and-serve type. For Jell-O, use the smaller (3-ounce) package and avoid sugar-free here.
Note 2: Frozen whipped topping: Be sure it's fully thawed before making this salad. If it is still frozen in its entirety or in part, it won't incorporate with other ingredients how it's supposed to. Want to make your own whipped topping? Here's how:
  • Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat to combine, and then increase the speed and whip until firm peaks form, about 2-4 minutes. With a spatula, fold the homemade topping into the pudding and Jell-o mixture. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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5 from 6 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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7 Comments

  1. Next time I make this recipe, I am going to use the juice from the oranges instead of water when mixing the jello.

  2. 5 stars
    I like your recipe for Orange Fluff. It is delicious! I just noticed that it says vegetarian. Nothing made with Jello is vegetarian. Gelatin is made from animal bones.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank-you for sharing this recipe for!
    I made it today and I’m eating it now.
    It is delicious! Your instructions and
    pictures are a winner!

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