Why this glorious concoction is called a salad, I don’t know. Basically, it’s an excuse to eat marshmallows for dinner. But what better time to eat marshmallows for dinner than Christmas?!
The fact is, cranberry fluff salad is not health food, and I don’t think it could be farther from it if it tried. I mean, it’s got a ton of sugar (granulated sugar + marshmallows) and let’s not even get started on the amount of fat from the coconut cream.
Another fact? TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Cranberry fluff salad normally contains cranberries, sugar, whipped cream, crushed pineapple, marshmallows, and pecans. Unfortunately, the whipped cream makes it a no-go for vegans and non-dairy folks. And the marshmallows, with their gelatin, mean vegetarians can’t indulge either.
And I tell you, it’s just sad to look upon a bowl of the magenta magnificence of cranberry fluff salad on your holiday table and not be able to have a scoop.
But no more! Because I’ve created a vegan version. And it is equally magenta. And equally marshmallowy-good.
First, we finely chop fresh cranberries with granulated sugar, then let them macerate for several hours. The juicier the result, my dear!
Then, we stir in some crushed pineapple and pecans. THEN … we whip up some coconut whipped cream and fold that glorious stuff right in there along with an obscene amount of vegan mini marshmallows.
I like to sprinkle a few extra pecans on top for good measure.
Retro-licious vegan cranberry fluff salad right here baby. Because I’m dreaming of a pink – and a bit more plant-based – Christmas.
Vegan Cranberry Fluff Salad
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar*
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, drained well
- 2 1/2 cups coconut whipped cream (from about 3 cans full-fat coconut milk**)
- 2 cups vegan mini marshmallows (I like Dandies)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons raw or toasted unsalted pecans (chopped)
- Place the cranberries and the sugar into a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Add your cans of coconut milk to the refrigerator at the same time. The coconut cream needs to be chilled in order to make the coconut whipped cream.
- The next day, add cranberries to a large bowl. Drain the pineapple by pouring into a fine-mesh strainer and press gently on the pineapple with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Pour drained pineapple into bowl with cranberries. Add 1/2 cup pecans. Stir until combined.
- To make the coconut whipped cream, scoop the coconut cream off of the top of the cans of coconut milk. Save the liquid for smoothies or discard. Add the coconut cream to a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream until smooth and fluffy. Add 2 1/2 cups of the coconut whipped cream to the salad along with the marshmallows. Use a spatula to fold the whipped cream into the salad.
- Serve topped with remaining pecans. You can serve this immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days (stir again before serving). Can also be frozen but I recommend thawing and stirring before serving (some cranberry fluff can be served frozen but we didn't think the vegan version was great frozen).