The BEST Cherry Fluff salad recipe ever! Perfectly creamy, not too sweet with tons of bright, cherry flavor. HALF the calories, done in a matter of minutes & ready to serve immediately!
What is Cherry Fluff?
Cherry Fluff dessert salad is a sweet & creamy recipe that is made with fruit and whipped topping. It’s a popular Cool Whip dessert that you can likely find in one of your mom’s old cookbooks! There are a variety of additional ingredients like mini marshmallows, nuts, and even coconut. It’s often served as a side dish for a holiday meal, a special occasion or as a fun treat. We love to serve it for Sunday family dinners! Some people call it a classic ambrosia salad. Nana calls this dish “Pink Stuff” or “Pink Fluff” because of the fun pink color. It’s a family favorite that is served often at our house!
Why is this Cherry Fluff the Best?
Most other Cherry Fluff recipes call for sweetened condensed milk. I opted to leave it out and use Greek yogurt instead for a lighter, less sweet version of the salad. The result is amazing! You can taste the fruit so much better and the salad is about HALF THE CALORIES! It’s also more stable, meaning the other version of the salad can get runny. My version is even great the next day! Boom, it’s the perfect recipe on all accounts.
Cherry Fluff recipe Ingredient List
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Cherry Pie Filling Dessert / fruit salad side dish:
–Crushed pineapple: You’ll need a standard 20-oz can of crushed pineapple. Drain it, but no need to get every bit of pineapple juice out.
–Instant vanilla dry pudding mix: You’ll only use half of a small 3.4oz box of instant vanilla pudding mix. It adds flavor and serves as a thickener for the salad.
–Greek yogurt: 12 oz is needed for the salad. I used 3 small 4-oz cups of strawberry yogurt. You can also use cherry or vanilla flavors.
–Cherry pie filling: One 21-oz can of cherry pie filling is used. I opted for “Extra Cherry” pie filling with no high fructose corn syrup or added coloring.
–Mini marshmallows: We added in 1.5 cups mini marshmallows, because, why not?!
–Whipped topping: One 8-oz container of Whipped Topping adds the light, creamy texture to the salad.
–1/4 tsp almond extract, optional but oh my word it adds a wonderful flavor!
— OPTIONAL: You can also add in 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, 2 sliced bananas- or just about any other fruit you’d like!
How to Make Cherry Pie Fluff
Lightly drain crushed pineapple by transferring it to a mesh strainer and letting the juice drain for about 1 minute. Pour pineapple in a large bowl.
Sprinkle pudding mix on top of pineapple. Stir to incorporate. Add in yogurt & stir again.
Add cherry pie filling; stir. Finally, stir in marshmallows and whipped topping. Add almond extract, if desired. Stir & serve immediately, topped with maraschino cherries. Salad can also be made several hours ahead & stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
Best Cherry Fluff Recipe
- 20 oz crushed pineapple drained
- 3 TBSP instant vanilla dry pudding mix
- 12 oz greek yogurt cherry, strawberry or vanilla flavors
- 21 oz cherry pie filling
- 1½ cups mini marshmallows
- 8 oz whipped topping
- ¼ tsp almond extract optional
- Lightly drain crushed pineapple by transferring it to a mesh strainer and letting the juice drain for about 1 minute. Pour pineapple in medium sized mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle pudding mix on top of pineapple. Stir to incorporate. Add in yogurt & stir again.
- Add cherry pie filling; stir. Finally, stir in marshmallows and whipped topping. Add almond extract, if desired. Stir & serve immediately. Salad can also be made several hours ahead & stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
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What else Can I add to Cherry Salad?
You can also add in 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, 2 sliced bananas, a can of drained mandarin oranges- or just about any other fresh fruit you’d like! It also tastes great with a small can of pineapple tidbits added to it. Diced apple or pear would also add a nice texture too!
Can I use a different type of pie filling?
Yes, you can use whatever type of pie filling you’d like! I think blueberry, peach, raspberry or strawberry pie filling are all great options.
Can I make this Cherry Creamy Salad ahead of time?
Yes, my version holds up better than most, so you can make it several hours ahead of time. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s a perfect make-ahead recipe!
CAN YOU REPLACE THE COOL WHIP?
Cool Whip is the best “whipped topping” to use in this recipe. However, if you can’t find Cool Whip where you live or you prefer not to use it in recipes, you can use stabilized whipped cream instead. If you just use regular whipped cream, the consistency will be too light and the cream will not hold up very well. It’s very simple to make your own stabilized whipped cream and it just takes a few minutes!
HOW DO YOU MAKE STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM?
If you want to make whipped cream ahead of time, you can, but you have to stabilize it. To make stabilized whipped cream, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 ounces of cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Beat the whipping cream just until soft peaks form.
Add in the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip on high until mixture is smooth.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days.
A little tip for making whipped cream faster: use a metal bowl and place the bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you make the whipped cream. This will significantly decrease the amount of time that you will need to beat the whipped cream – the process will go much faster!
More Easy Recipes for No-Bake Desserts / Side Dishes:
- NO BAKE MINI OREO CHEESECAKES
- COOKIES AND CREAM FLUFF
- BANANA CREAM FLUFF SALAD
- CREAMY RASPBERRY JELLO
- STRAWBERRY JELLO PARFAITS
- NO BAKE PEACHES AND CREAM PIE
- NO BAKE MINI LEMON CHEESECAKES
- CARAMEL NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
- CHERRY CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE PIE
- WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY CHEESECAKES
The BEST Cherry Dump salad recipe ever! Perfectly creamy, not too sweet with tons of bright, cherry flavor. HALF the calories, takes just 5 minutes to make & ready to serve immediately!
Can I omit the marshmallows?
Yep, you can definitely leave those out if you prefer!