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!
I LOVE an old fashioned, sweet and creamy salad. And this old fashioned Cherry Salad is one of the best!
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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- 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.
- 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.
Place the drained pineapple in a large bowl, and stir in the cherry pie filling.
Add the sweetened condensed milk, pecans, sour cream, and Cool Whip. Stir everything until combined.
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.
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.
More sweet salad recipes
- 5 Cup Salad (Ambrosia Salad)
- Pistachio Salad
- Snickers Salad
- Taffy Apple Salad
- Mango Salad
- Cranberry Jell-O Salad
- Orange Dreamsicle Salad
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Easy Cherry Salad
- 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.