This orange fluff salad recipe is packed with flavors, marshmallows, and mandarin oranges. You're sure to make an impression at the next BBQ or get-together if you bring this tasty dessert salad along!
Creamy Orange Fluff Salad is a delightful dessert salad that's incredibly refreshing and bursting with citrusy goodness.
The first time I presented my daughter with this fluff salad, she wouldn't stop raving about it and asked to eat it every day. While that's a bit much, I do try to make it for special occasions.
What makes this version even more appealing is that it skips the use of cottage cheese, making it a perfect choice for those who aren't fond of this ingredient.
We love this orange creamsicle fluff not just because it's cheap and easy but also because it tastes a lot like Orange Sherbert ice cream- which is delicious. It's always a crowd-pleaser!
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's great for any occasion. This orange jello salad is perfect for family gatherings like family reunions, Easter Sunday, BBQs, baby showers, and more. It's always a crowd favorite so bring it to the next potluck and enjoy!
- You only need a handful of ingredients. If you include water as an ingredient (most people don't), you only need 6 things to make this recipe from start to finish.
- It's very affordable! Last I checked, this recipe cost less than $5 to make, and even with price inflation, it should still be a relatively frugal dish to bring to the table.
Orange jello- You will need a box of orange flavored jello. Use any brand, but or even sugar free (see tips on that below).
Vanilla pudding- You will need a box of vanilla pudding mix (just the dry stuff, do NOT prepare it.) We use vanilla pudding instead of cottage cheese (which is what you see in other recipes).
Mini marshmallows- Use white or pastel marshmallows. Both turn out wonderfully!
Mandarin oranges- You will need a can of Mandarin oranges for this recipe. Canned is better than fresh, but you can use fresh mandarin as a garnish if desired.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
🐄Homemade Whipped Topping
Whipping cream. If desired, you can swap out the whipped topping for homemade whipped cream. To do this, beat 1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Use in place of the whipped topping.
📖 Jello Salad Variations
- You can add in or use crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits.
- Use a different flavored pudding mix like cheesecake or white chocolate pudding.
- Use pastel-colored mini marshmallows instead of white.
- Sugar free jello can be used instead of regular jello. I recommend doubling the jello boxes due to the size difference.
- Chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts would be great for added crunch.
- If desired, you can add in a drained can of fruit cocktail.
🔪 Instructions for Creamy Orange Fluff Salad
Step 1: Combine 1 cup of boiling water with the dry mix from the box of orange jello in a mixing bowl. Whisk until dissolved, and add in one cup of cold water. Stir again.
Step 2: Add in the packet of dry vanilla pudding mix and whisk until dissolved and no chunks remain. Let rest 10-15 minutes.
Step 3: Add in the whipped topping.
Step 4: Whisk until well blended.
Step 5: Stir in the mandarin oranges and marshmallows. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Step 6: Stir to mix everything before serving.
Serve chilled. Enjoy!
🍴 Recipe Tips
We make this orange fluff without cottage cheese. Traditionally orange fluff is made with cottage cheese and not pudding. But, forcing picky eaters to eat cottage cheese can be difficult, especially with those who despise the texture. So instead, we use pudding.
Make sure that you use the INSTANT pudding mix, not the cook-and-serve variety as it will not set up properly.
By using a dry mix of pudding, we can create a thickener that helps to bind everything together while adding a fun flavor to enhance the dish. This is such an easy recipe and one with so many flavorful possibilities.
⏲️Make Ahead Instructions
This salad is best when served chilled so making it a few hours in advance or the night before is ideal. Make sure to keep it well covered and stored in the fridge. Stir right before serving to distribute the contents evenly.
You can keep this orange jello fluff salad in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days if kept well covered.
Do not store this salad at room temperature for more than 2 hours at a time for food safety reasons.
While you could freeze this salad, the textures will change once thawed, and it may not be considered pleasant so freezing is not recommended.
💭 Recipe FAQs
You can reduce the sugar content in this orange fluff jello salad by using mandarin oranges that are low or no sugar content in the syrup and by using low sugar options for the pudding, jello mix, and whipped topping.
Most boxes of pudding mix are naturally dairy free, just double-check the ingredients and then use a dairy free whipped topping. With those simple steps, you should be able to enjoy a tasty summer fluff salad without milk.
While you could use them for garnishing, canned mandarin oranges go better inside this dish as the flavor and texture are sweeter and softer.
❤️ More Delicious Summer Recipes
If you tried this Creamy Orange Fluff Salad, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Creamy Orange Fluff Salad
- 1 box (3oz) Orange jello ($0.83)
- 1 box (3.4oz) Vanilla pudding *See Note ($0.83)
- 1 ½ cup Mini marshmallows ($0.32)
- 1 can (15oz) Mandarin oranges, drained ($1.34)
- 2 cups Water, divided ($0.00)
- 1 tub (8oz) Whipped topping, thawed ($1.07)
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together 1 cup of boiling water and the dry packet of orange jello mix until dissolved.
- Stir in one cup of cold water.
- Stir in the dry packet of pudding mix and whisk until well blended.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes to cool and rest.
- Add the whipped topping to the cooled mixture using a whisk until well blended.
- Stir in the mandarin oranges and marshmallows.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then set in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
- When ready to serve, stir the contents of the bowl to evenly distribute everything as the marshmallows will be at the top and the pudding-like mixture will be at the bottom.
- Serve chilled.
- Pudding Mix: Opt for instant pudding mix (not cook and serve) as it helps bind the salad and adds flavor. You can use different flavors like cheesecake or white chocolate for unique tastes.
- Pineapple Addition: Enhance the salad with crushed or tidbits of pineapple for a tropical touch.
- Marshmallow Varieties: Use colorful mini marshmallows for a vibrant twist.
- Sugar-Free Option: Reduce sugar content by choosing sugar-free Jello mix and low/no sugar mandarin oranges. Opt for low-sugar pudding, Jello mix, and whipped topping.
- Nutty Crunch: Add chopped pecans or walnuts for extra texture.
- Fruit Cocktail: Mix in a drained can of fruit cocktail for a diverse fruit combination.
- Dairy-Free Option: Select dairy-free pudding mixes (verify ingredients) and use dairy-free whipped topping for a non-dairy version. Tailor your orange fluff jello salad to your liking and dietary needs.