Orange Fluff Jello Salad

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With only five ingredients, Orange Fluff Jello Salad is the go to dish for potlucks and easy family dinners. Your family will beg you to make it!

How to Make Orange Fluff Jello Salad

When I got married this Orange Fluff Salad was one of the first recipes I requested. Known only to me as “Orange Salad,” this dish didn’t have a fancy title or special ingredients (only a color distinction!)

It’s obvious I’ve enjoyed making this tried and true recipe. Cookbooks don’t lie! The messier the pages, the more loved the recipes!

Old cookbook page with green and orange salad recipes

When I was growing up my mom always made sure there was a home cooked meal waiting for us each and every Sunday. Saturday nights were spent preparing the dishes for the oven the next morning.

I never really thought of these weekly rituals as traditions, and I’m sure I didn’t appreciate the effort and time that went into the preparations.

After I became an adult and started a family of my own my mom would gather all our extended family together to create new memories. We all squished into my parents’ small dining room with our contributions to the meal all crammed into her small kitchen. 

She would set out the good china and glasses, with plastic plates for the grandkids. I always wondered why she went to such efforts when it was “just” family. 

Just a taste from my mama’s kitchen, made with love and handed down through the years. 

After my mom passed away I discovered her handmade recipe book, filled with yellowed clippings from newspapers and notes written in her shaky cursive handwriting.

Orange jello salad in glass bowl with fresh oranges on plate

Her recipes are precious reminders that memories are created when we gather around the table, sharing stories and life together.

This is the secret my mom understood about family.

My own family is now scattered, miles apart from the home they were raised in. Unfortunately my husband and I are also now divorced which adds even more difficulty for gathering together.

Yet any opportunity for all of us to share a meal together brings such joy to my heart. Although it doesn’t matter what we eat, I’m pretty fond of this Orange Fluff Jello Salad!

Is Orange Fluff a dessert or a salad?

Good question! There’s certainly nothing green in here but you can call it a fruit salad or side dish. Plus it’s so delicious you could serve it for dessert!

How many ingredients are in this Mandarin Orange Marshmallow Salad?

This is such a simple fruit recipe with only five ingredients! Some people may balk at the cottage cheese but I promise the texture isn’t bad!

Can you make this recipe ahead of time?

This is the perfect recipe for making ahead of time the day before an event. Just take the time to stir it all together before serving and store in the fridge.

Variations and Tips

Try using raspberry jello mix and fresh raspberries for a delightful variation. Pineapple jello mixed with fresh pineapple bits (or canned pineapple tidbits) would also be delicious.

Sugar free gelatin powder can be used to make it a little less sweet. Or go the other direction and add mini marshmallows for an additional treat! (I personally love the tiny marshmallows!)

Orange jello salad in glass bowl with fresh oranges on blue plate


  • cottage cheese
  • orange jello mix
  • crushed pineapple (or pineapple tidbits)
  • mandarin oranges
  • whipped cream
  • mini marshmallows (optional)

See the recipe card for quantities.


Drain pineapple well and add to bowl.

Drain canned pineapple into glass bowl

Add drained mandarin oranges and stir together

Drain canned mandarin oranges into glass bowl
Mix pineapple and mandarin oranges together

In separate large bowl mix together cottage cheese and powdered orange jell-o mix.

Pour cottage cheese into blue bowl
Mix jello and cottage cheese with fruit

Stir both bowls together with rubber spatula or whisk.

Pour fruit and cottage cheese mixture together

Fold in cool whip.

Fold in whipped topping to fruit mixture

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate your orange fluff salad recipe until ready to serve.

Just like my mom, I always prepared a big Sunday lunch for my family as my kids were growing up. A couple of my favorite resources for make ahead recipes were Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook and Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipes.

More fun side dishes:

Orange Fluff Jello Salad Printable Recipe and Video

Orange Fluff Jello Salad - Marty's Musings

Orange Fluff Jello Salad

With only five ingredients, Orange Fluff Jello Salad is the go to dish for potlucks and family dinners.
Course Fruit Salad
Cuisine American
Author Marty’s Musings


  • 1 12- oz carton cottage cheese
  • 2 3- oz pkgs orange jello
  • 1 20- oz can crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 11- oz can mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 12- oz carton whipped topping


  • Drain pineapple and mandarin oranges well and stir together.
  • In separate bowl mix together cottage cheese and powdered jello.
  • Mix both bowls together and stir well.
  • Fold whipped topping into mixture.


What is your favorite family memory as you shared meals together?

Orange fluff jello salad in glass bowl with fresh oranges

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  1. Your handwritten recipe card says box of jello 16 oz, your print-able ingredients says 2 – 3 oz packets 🤔

  2. 5 stars
    A cousin shared this recipe with me many years ago (1974). When I made it I had mixed fruit jello , no orange. It came out pink. The only difference is I added chopped pecans. My Grandma Annie expecially loved it. From then on she would always ask for me to make that Pink Stuff. Now it’s a family recipe & I still make it today for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  3. This looks really good. I love anything orange. I love your mom’s recipe. I have one from my mom that I can barely read anymore but I still use it when I am making her baked eggs. She is still alive so I hope to gather more from her in the next few years.

  4. Mom did the same, preparing Sunday meals for us growing up. i have done the same that took different twist depending on where we lived and our kids’ ages. Mom never made this one but I remember it from pot lucks. I had n o idea it had cottage cheese. thanks fo sharing the backstory about your mom.

  5. 5 stars
    My grandma used to make fluff salads. I stumbled on your recipe a year ago and I’ve made it for my family on many occasions. Thank you for sharing it. It makes me feel closer to my grandma.

  6. I make this as well only we use green Jello and we do not use Mandarin oranges. We call it Sin Salad. My daughter says it’s a must during the holidays!

    1. Hi, Collette. I have a pistachio salad that I make as well and I just used to call it green or orange salad. No fancy names! Yours sounds delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    Please spend the time to section and cut up a real orange. The flavor is more intense and no tin can flavor. I have a type 1 diabetic nephew and he loves these types of jello salads but cannot eat them until I thought to use unflavored gelatin and unsweetened Kool Aid packets for color and flavor, no extra sugar. I let him choose the flavor and one time we had grape flavored salad. Very unusual. Thanks for posting a family favorite.

  8. Growing up in our family, we called this “Granny’s Orange Salad.” She’s been in heaven quite a few years now but I always think of her when I have it.

    It’s yummy and refreshing!

  9. I made this today for a dinner tomorrow night. I also want to take part of it to a friend’s house next week. How long will it last in the refrigerator?

  10. I can’t understand how the jello would devolve unless you use hot water wouldn’t the jello be gritty.

    1. Hi, Cheryl. The jello doesn’t dissolve. It’s kinda like adding a fruit flavoring and it all gets mixed together. It’s a family favorite for us!

  11. Pingback: Orange Fluff Jello Salad. - Zuzi Cooks
  12. My mom still makes this, especially when any of us are returning from somewhere or coming home for a holiday. We’ve always called it “Orange Stuff” and the funny thing is, my son Josh is also “of an age” but he can’t seem to get a ring on the girl’s finger, though we all know, including the girl, that it’s pretty much a done deal. My sister will doubtless giver her a shower; I wonder if she’ll serve Orange Stuff……

    1. Love this, Jackie! We called it “Orange Stuff” too and then there was the “Green Stuff” (Watergate Salad or Pistachio Fluff on my blog!) It’s a great family recipe.

    2. Thank you so much for sharing this. My mom used to make this with pecans on top; she called it Silly Salad. I ate so much of this growing up! She lives with us now but has dementia and no longer recalls what Silly Salad is. I’ve been looking for the recipe and I’m certain this is it. I can’t wait to make it! Thanks again.???

  13. This recipe has also been passed down in my family! For some reason, it’s always on the Thanksgiving table! I always look forward to it

  14. This recipe brings back memories. My friends and I used to make this for bridal showers and brunches . You have encouraged me to make this again! Thanks!

  15. My Mom makes this too!! All of the grandchildren love it! In fact, I think it’s been served at all of their wedding receptions. 🙂
    Love you! Cindy

        1. Hi, Michelle. I substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese in lasagna recipes so that might be an option. The only other thing I can think of would be cream cheese but it would change the texture and taste of the recipe. Sorry!

    1. My Grandma made this for every family holiday get together, and made it different flavors (colors of Jell-O) depending on the season. In the summer she added coconut and all the other seasons she added chopped pecans. Mmmm!