Old fashioned Cherry Salad, also called Pink Fluff, is a staple at potlucks and summer cookouts. This classic recipe has just 6 simple ingredients and takes only 5 minutes to make! It is the perfect make-ahead salad to beat the heat of summer!
While this is called a “salad” it is really a dessert. The way I look at it, anything that has Cool Whip as a main ingredient is a dessert! This refreshing summer dessert is sweet, creamy, and delicious, with an explosion of fruity flavors.
This is a classic family favorite dessert that my grandma used to make. It is especially popular in the midwest and is also called cherry dump salad, cherry fluff salad, and cherry pie salad. A can of cherry pie filling is the key ingredient that gives this easy summer salad its pretty pink color.
And it is a simple dump and chill recipe, which means I can make it even when I have no time or energy for cooking. All I have to do is open a few cans and stir everything together. So when you need a dessert for a family meal or a no-bake potluck dessert, give this easy recipe a try!
Only 6 Simple Ingredients
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
- Cherry Pie Filling
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Crushed Pineapple
- Mini Marshmallows
- Whipped Topping – Like Cool Whip
- Pecans – Use walnuts if you prefer, or leave out the nuts completely.
How to Make Cherry Salad
This is a simple dump-and-go recipe! Just open up all of the containers and get out a large salad bowl.
Mix the cherry filling, sweetened condensed milk, and pineapple together first. Then fold in the marshmallows, whipped topping, and pecans.
The side dish needs to chill for about an hour before serving.
Serving this is easy, just put the bowl of salad out on the table and let everyone enjoy. While this pink fluff is called a salad, it is more of a dessert. So add some whipped topping and more cherries to make it even sweeter!
I love to take this to a potluck or summer cookout, and I usually make a double batch to feed a crowd. It will also be a hit at family gatherings or a holiday dinner like Christmas.
How to Store
This creamy cherry salad needs to be refrigerated. If you take it to a cookout, keep it in a cooler until time to serve.
Tips for the Best Cherry Salad
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
You can change things up and leave out the mini marshmallows or nuts.
If you don’t like pineapple, then a can of mandarin oranges will work as a substitute.
Make sure you chill it for at least an hour before serving, so the flavors can deepen.
Garnish with whipped cream and fresh cherries for a beautiful presentation.
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Cherry Salad Recipe (Pink Fluff)
- 1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple drained well
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 container (8 oz) whipped topping thawed
- 1 cup pecans chopped roughly, optional
- Roughly chop the pecans. Drain the pineapple juice from the crushed pinapple.1 cup pecans, 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
- In a large bowl, stir together cherry pie filling, sweetened condensed milk and pineapple.1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling, 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk, 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
- Fold in the marshmallows, whipped topping and pecans.2 cups mini marshmallows, 1 container (8 oz) whipped topping, 1 cup pecans
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Overnight is fine. The dish will keep, refrigerated, for 2-3 days.
- You can change things up and leave out the mini marshmallows or nuts.
- If you want a chunkier texture use a can of pineapple chunks instead of crushed pineapple.
- If you don’t like pineapple, then a can of mandarin oranges will work as a substitute.
- Make sure you chill it for at least an hour before serving, so the flavors can deepen.
- Garnish with whipped cream and fresh cherries for a beautiful presentation.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.