Cranberry Salad for an Amish Thanksgiving
Cranberry salad is one of those special dishes that most of us probably don’t eat a lot throughout the year. But it is so refreshingly delicious, and I sure would miss not having Amish cranberry salad with my Thanksgiving dinner.
Recently I saw a post on Facebook asking, “What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?” I honestly could not answer that question. Because I love all the sides: the stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry salad. They all go together so well with the turkey and mashed potatoes that I am not willing to give up any one of them. I didn’t mention the coleslaw, green beans, and buns (I could give up these). So I guess I have three favorites, and cranberry salad is definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides. Especially this Amish cranberry salad, it’s amazing!
Cranberry Apple Pineapple Jello Salad
This delicious Amish cranberry salad is packed full of apples and fresh cranberries, along with jello and pineapples. It is quite yummy all by itself, or as a side with the turkey and dressing for your Thanksgiving feast.
As a teenager, I worked in the kitchen at our local grocery store. A whole group of Amish and Mennonite girls ran that place. And we made all the delicious homemade soups and salads for the deli. We sold a lot of cranberry salad and potato stuffing over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And I used to think that a small batch of cranberry salad was too time-consuming and difficult to bother making. So we often just bought a quart of it from the deli.
But after I moved away and no longer had access to that deli, I started making my own. And I figured out that it does not take long to make Amish cranberry salad. And it is so totally worth it! I make it every year once the cranberries are in season. And my kids always get excited about this apple cranberry salad.
Do Amish Celebrate Thanksgiving?
I honestly do not have many memories of Thanksgiving as a child. I know we got together with extended family for Christmas. But what did we do for an Amish Thanksgiving? I’m not sure. But I do know that this is wedding season for the Old Order Amish. (Most of my extended family is with the Old Order Amish.)
In our church, couples got married at any time of the year. But most of the Old Order Amish couples (at least in Lancaster County, not sure about all the other areas?) get married in October, November, or early December. They only get married on Tuesdays or Thursdays, and their weddings last all day. So if you have a lot of friends or young people in your church getting married that year, then you probably won’t get much else done for a few months.
Some of the Amish families will be attending a wedding on Thanksgiving Day. And if they don’t have a wedding that day, they may just feel like staying at home and relaxing. So, I don’t think that all of the Amish celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional American style. But they do recognize Thanksgiving as a day to give thanks for all their blessings.
As I got older and my brothers were getting married, we had a more traditional Thanksgiving feast and they came home to celebrate with the family.
Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad – How to make Cranberry Jello Salad
Making Amish Cranberry Salad requires some chopping, But it does not actually take very long and is easy if you have a handy little chopper. I love my Ninja and use it all the time.
Here is an affiliate link in case you need to buy one…
Chop the apples and fresh cranberries, leaving little chunks. Dissolve the jello in boiling water, and dissolve the unflavored gelatin in cold water. Mix everything together and refrigerate overnight to allow jello to set. Stir before serving.
This recipe can also be called a Christmas cranberry salad. Not only does Amish cranberry salad go great with the turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving; it also pairs perfectly with a ham dinner for Christmas as well.
More Amish Thanksgiving Recipes you may want to try…
Amish Cranberry Salad Recipe
- 1 qt. fresh cranberries
- 6 apples I often use gala, and only peel half of them
- 1 c. crushed pineapple
- 1 – 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 c. strawberry gelatin
- 2 c. cold water or fruit juice I add the pineapple juice to make the 2 c.
- 2 c. boiling water
- 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 c. chopped pecans, optional
- Chop cranberries. I use my small Ninja chopper, and I have to do it in several batches. Just pulse it a few times, leaving little chunks remaining, so they aren't complete mush. Pour into a large bowl.
- Core apples and peel half of them. Cut into chunks small enough to fit into your chopper and chop, leaving little chunks. Add to cranberries.
- Meanwhile heat your water to boiling. Add strawberry gelatin and sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the cold water/fruit juice. Let it rest for a few minutes. Stir and add to strawberry gelatin mixture.
- Pour gelatin mixture, along with pineapple, into your fruit and stir to mix.
- Add nuts , if desired.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, allowing gelatin to set.
- Stir it before dishing it into a serving bowl, as the fruit tends to rise to the top.