Easy Cherry Salad

This easy Cherry Salad recipe, made with cherry pie filling and whipped topping, is a sweet addition to your table. And, it has only six ingredients!

cherry salad in mini parfait dishes, topped with cherries and pecans.

I LOVE an old fashioned, sweet and creamy salad. And this old fashioned Cherry Salad is one of the best!

Similar to Pistachio Salad and 5 Cup Salad, it’s fluffy and sweet, with lots of mix-ins to keep it interesting.

While I’ve come across many recipes for “cherry fluff salad” in vintage recipe books, this one has become my favorite. It has just six ingredients: cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, whipped topping, and sweetened condensed milk, plus sour cream to balance the sweetness and pecans for crunch.

I love serving it on a holiday table, whether it’s for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. It’s also a nice side dish for a cookout in the summer.

It’s a great way to use up a can of cherry pie filling, too (then again, so is this recipe for Easy Mini Cherry Cheesecakes!).

However you serve it, make sure you have enough to share—it goes fast!

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cherry salad in a large low bowl, topped with pecans and cherries.

Top tips

  • This is a great make-ahead recipe. Stir it together the night before, then let it sit in the refrigerator (covered) until you’re ready to serve it.
  • Make sure to drain the pineapple well, otherwise you’ll have a watery salad.
  • Reserve a few cherries from the pie filling, plus some chopped pecans for garnishing the top.


whipped topping, cherry pie filling, sour cream, and other ingredients on a white table.
  • Cherry pie filling provides lots of cherry flavor (and the gorgeous pink hue)
  • Crushed pineapple adds a nice tartness
  • Sweetened condensed milk keeps it sweet and creamy
  • Sour cream contrasts nicely with the sweetness
  • Pecans add lots of crunch—I used toasted pecans
  • Whipped topping (such as Cool Whip) adds the “fluff” to cherry fluff salad!

How to make easy cherry salad with Cool Whip

Start by draining the crushed pineapple in a colander. Press on it with a spatula to get all of the juice out.

spatula pressing on crushed pineapple in a mesh colander.

Place the drained pineapple in a large bowl, and stir in the cherry pie filling.

cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple mixed in a white bowl with a spatula.

Add the sweetened condensed milk, pecans, sour cream, and Cool Whip. Stir everything until combined.

cherry fluff salad in a white bowl with a spatula sticking out.

You can serve the cherry salad right away, or refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it. I think it tastes best after a little time in the fridge!

You can serve it straight from the serving bowl, or spoon it into mini glass parfait dishes.

Make it ahead

Cherry Salad is perfect for making ahead! Make it up to 24 hours in advance for best results. Keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.

mini glass parfait dish filled with cherry salad, topped with pecans and a cherry.


There are a number of recipes for cherry salad, cherry fluff salad, and cherry pie filling salad out there! Here are a few of the most common variations that I’ve seen in recipe books:

  • Add 2 cups of mini marshmallows along with the whipped topping.
  • Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries.
  • Omit the nuts or add chopped walnuts instead.
  • Use pineapple chunks instead of crushed pineapple.
  • Leave out the sour cream entirely for an even sweeter salad.
  • Substitute fresh whipped cream (from 2 cups of heavy cream) in place of the Cool Whip.
  • Add a can of (drained) mandarin oranges.
  • Add 1 cup of shredded coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened).

Can cherry salad be frozen?

Cherry salad will not freeze well. The texture will end up icy and may separate after defrosting. Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

large bowl of cherry salad topped with chopped pecans and cherries.

More sweet salad recipes

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

cherry salad topped with a cherry and chopped pecans in a mini glass parfait dish.

Easy Cherry Salad

Published by Kate
This light and fluffy Cherry Salad has just six ingredients. Just dump everything into a bowl and stir!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 386 kcal


  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 (12 oz) container Cool Whip, defrosted


  • Drain pineapple well. Mix pineapple with cherry pie filling and sweetened condensed milk. Fold in the nuts, sour cream, and Cool Whip.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Make it ahead: cover and refrigerate the salad after making it. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving. 
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing the salad—it will negatively affect the texture. 
Garnish: reserve a few chopped pecans and a few cherries from the pie filling (rinse and drain them) for the top. 
Variations: add 2 cups of mini marshmallows, 1 cup of fresh blueberries, 1 cup of shredded coconut, or 1 (drained) can of mandarin oranges. 
Substitutions: replace the pecans with walnuts, substitute 2 cups of heavy cream (whipped) for the whipped topping, use pineapple chunks instead of crushed pineapple. 


Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 83mgPotassium: 343mgFiber: 2gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 474IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cherry salad
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I always make this without the sour cream, and I use chopped walnuts. I had this first as a frozen dessert at a baby shower. It was so good I have made this for all special occasions for years.

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