Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours 55 Mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1/2 cup)

You’ll never go back to congealed cranberry salad once you try one Test Kitchen professional’s “riff on the traditional cranberry salad.” This cranberry salad has sliced celery and chopped toasted pecans (walnuts work, too), which give it a surprising crunch that most cranberry salads lack. This version of cranberry salad is both sweet and tart for balanced flavor, and one Test Kitchen professional said it’s “so much better than the canned stuff.” Although we always recommend using fresh ingredients, this colorful salad works just as well with frozen cranberries, which will be easy to find around the holidays. Not only is this cranberry salad delicious on its own, it will taste amazing over turkey or any other protein you might serve, like ham, pork chops, or chicken. One test kitchen professional suggested that leftovers of this crunchy cranberry salad would be “great over vanilla ice cream for dessert or with Greek yogurt for breakfast.” We love the idea of making your Thanksgiving leftovers into something more than a sandwich. If you’ll be overwhelmed the day you’re serving, you can prepare this salad up to three days in advance, just cover and store it in the refrigerator. Cranberries are often thought of only around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but you can make this recipe any time to serve with a great protein or eat as snack during the later fall and winter months.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring the cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Stir in the Bartlett pears, pineapple, celery, and pecans. Transfer to a serving bowl; cover and chill salad 4 to 24 hours.