This creamy 5 Minute Mandarin Orange Jello Salad is such a light refreshing side dish or dessert. And it’s so easy to make too- all you need is 5 minutes!
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The one evening I can guarantee enthusiastic cheers from all 3 kids at dinner time is pizza night. In fact, if I happen to not put it on our $200 a Month Menu Plan that week, I know that I’ll have at least one child complaining because they miss pizza and wish we were having it!
I typically make our pizza from scratch, but when life gets busy and I’m pushed for time, I definitely don’t have a problem reaching for store bought pre-made pizza! In fact, sometimes as busy moms, we just need to be okay with taking advantage of those little “cheats” to keep our sanity!
And this past week definitely felt like a “cheat” was in order. I’m nesting like crazy and besides trying to get things cleaned up and organized, I’ve also been slowly working at putting some meals in the freezer before this baby arrives.
As if that wasn’t making things busy enough, we ended up being gone all day Saturday to look at houses in Philly in preparation for our move there this fall. So I was super glad Saturday evening that I had grabbed a couple of Freschetta pizzas at Walmart earlier in the week!
They definitely were a lifesaver since I was beyond exhausted. And because they are made with high-quality ingredients, including a sauce crafted with sun-ripened tomatoes, a crust that contains no chemical leaveners and 100% real provolone and mozzarella cheese, I can feel good about feeding them to my family too!
I often serve salad with our pizza, but since I was out of lettuce, I was forced to come up with an alternative. That’s when I remembered this refreshing cottage cheese jello salad that my Mom has made for years.
It combines canned mandarin oranges, Jello, cottage cheese and Cool Whip into a light side dish that is absolutely perfect for summer weather.
And, of course, the fact that it can be made in about 5 minutes was definitely a big win!
I’m not really a fan of cottage cheese, other than in my favorite No Boil Oven Ready Lasagna, so for years, I avoided eating this mandarin orange salad when Mom would make it.
Then one day, for whatever reason I got brave, tried a bite and was surprised to discover that it was actually quite delicious, cottage cheese and all!
I think the creaminess of the salad kind of won me over. Well, that and the juicy bites of mandarin oranges. Yum!
If you need a quick dish to pair with your pizza dinner or just want something light and refreshing to serve at your next cookout, I highly recommend this easy mandarin orange salad! It’s definitely a winner!
5 Minute Mandarin Orange Salad with Jello
5 Minute Mandarin Orange Jello Salad
- 3 oz. package orange gelatin
- 16 oz. cottage cheese (we prefer the small curd)
- 11 oz. or 15 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained*
- 2 cups Cool Whip or Homemade Real Whipped Cream** (link for Homemade Real Whipped Cream in Notes below)
- Mix powdered jello with cottage cheese. Add mandarin oranges and combine.
- Fold in Cool Whip (or Real Whipped Cream).
- Best if refrigerated for several hours before serving, but it’s definitely good right after it’s made too! The chilling just helps it set up better.
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I’ve made this for years. One of my favorites. I like to add very well drained crushed pineapple to it. Love the Fruit combination.
It’s so easy and delicious, isn’t it? I’ve had others say they like to add pineapple too. I keep meaning to try it to see what we think.
This was so good, though I made some adjustments based on what I had on hand. I added softened cream cheese and plain yogurt (equal ratios) instead of cottage cheese, and used fresh mandarin oranges and canned pineapple. Thank you for the simple and refreshing recipe!
I love how you worked with the ingredients that you had, Sofia! And that sounds like a really delicious swap. Glad you enjoyed it!
AMANDA BENTLEY ESCAREÑO
This is the exact recipe I learned after years of eating it at Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. I really don’t like cottage cheese alone , but this recipe will certainly make you say ‘WOW!’ , There’s Cottage Cheese In This?!’ . Truly , is you use small curd and allow it a nice overnight “curing” , the cottage cheese will act like “tofu” and absorb every little orange flavor and mandarin orange flavor and it gives texture. It’s absolutely delicious and very refreshing after meals as a palate cleanser and it’s light on your tummy after a big meal , scrumptious!
This is a great description of this recipe, Amanda! And I love your description of how letting it “cure” makes it even tastier. I totally agree!
Absolutely delicious. I was craving a good dessert and this definitely did the trick.
It’s so delicious, isn’t it, Lani? Glad you enjoyed it. And now you have me hungry for it!
I absolutely HATE cottage cheese because it has no taste, but I absolutely love this recipe. I used light cottage cheese, sugar free jello, and sugar free cool whip! The only danger I have with this dish is that I might eat too much!
I have the same danger, Rosalie! 🙂 Happy to hear that another person that dislikes cottage cheese also enjoys this easy salad. It really just makes the cottage cheese taste and seem nothing like cottage cheese, doesn’t it?
I love this recipe, but has anyone substituted the cottage cheese for cream cheese?
Will it turn out ok if you omit the cottage cheese? I really hat3 cottage cheese.
No, you really need the cottage cheese for this recipe- it’s one of the main ingredients of the recipe and it just won’t be any good without it. That being said, I used to really not like cottage cheese either, but I didn’t mind it in this recipe. So you may surprise yourself and actually enjoy it!
I hate cottage cheese, too, but it doesn’t taste the same in this recipe. I love this stuff! Please try it… I do make sure I get the small curd cottage cheese.
I have never tried it with cottage cheese. I’ve always used 8 oz of sour cream.
Great to know, Jennifer!