Orange Dreamsicle Salad


Orange Dreamsicle Salad is a nostalgic, crowd-pleasing dessert that combines the delightful flavors of orange and creamy vanilla. Perfect for potlucks, family gatherings, or a sweet treat, this easy-to-make salad brings a burst of citrusy goodness to your table. In this article, we’ll guide you through the simple steps to create this dreamy dessert and offer tips for variations to suit any palate.


  • 1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 package (3 oz) orange gelatin mix (Jell-O)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 container (8 oz) whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (optional for added creaminess)


Step 1: Prepare the Gelatin

  1. In a large bowl, combine the orange gelatin mix and boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the cold water to the gelatin mixture and stir well. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Step 2: Mix in the Pudding

  1. Once the gelatin mixture has cooled, stir in the instant vanilla pudding mix until well combined. The mixture will thicken as you stir.

Step 3: Fold in the Whipped Topping

  1. Gently fold in the whipped topping (Cool Whip) until the mixture is smooth and creamy. This will give the salad its signature light and fluffy texture.

Step 4: Add the Fruit and Marshmallows

  1. Carefully fold in the drained crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges. Ensure they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  2. Add the mini marshmallows and fold them into the salad.

Step 5: Chill and Serve

  1. Transfer the Orange Dreamsicle Salad to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the salad is fully set and chilled.
  2. Serve chilled, and enjoy the refreshing taste of this classic dessert.

Serving and Storage Tips for Orange Dreamsicle Salad:

Serving Tips:

  1. Chill Before Serving: For the best texture and flavor, ensure the Orange Dreamsicle Salad is well-chilled before serving. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  2. Garnish for Extra Flair: Add a touch of flair by garnishing with a few extra mandarin orange slices, a sprinkle of shredded coconut, or a dollop of whipped cream on top.
  3. Individual Portions: Serve the salad in individual cups or bowls for a more elegant presentation. This also makes it easier for guests to enjoy without needing to scoop from a large bowl.
  4. Accompanying Dishes: Pair this sweet and creamy salad with a light, savory main course such as grilled chicken or a fresh, leafy green salad to balance the meal.
  5. Temperature Maintenance: If serving outdoors or at a picnic, keep the salad in a cooler with ice packs to maintain its refreshing chill and prevent it from becoming too warm.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Promptly: After serving, promptly return any leftover Orange Dreamsicle Salad to the refrigerator to keep it fresh and safe to eat.
  2. Airtight Container: Store the salad in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
  3. Shelf Life: Orange Dreamsicle Salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Beyond this, the texture may start to degrade, and the salad might become watery.
  4. Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as it can affect the texture of the whipped topping and gelatin, leading to a less desirable consistency once thawed.
  5. Stir Before Serving Again: If the salad has been stored for a day or two, give it a gentle stir before serving to redistribute any settled ingredients and refresh its appearance and texture.

Variations for Orange Dreamsicle Salad:

1. Tropical Dreamsicle Salad

  • Ingredients: Replace the mandarin oranges with a combination of diced mango and pineapple chunks. Add shredded coconut for a tropical twist.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, substituting the mandarin oranges with the tropical fruits and mixing in the shredded coconut along with the other ingredients.

2. Berry Dreamsicle Salad

  • Ingredients: Swap the mandarin oranges for fresh or frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries).
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, substituting the mandarin oranges with the mixed berries. For an added touch, use a berry-flavored gelatin mix instead of orange.

3. Creamy Lemon Dreamsicle Salad

  • Ingredients: Use lemon gelatin mix instead of orange and add a teaspoon of lemon zest for extra zing.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, substituting the orange gelatin with lemon gelatin and adding the lemon zest when mixing in the pudding.

4. Chocolate Dreamsicle Salad

  • Ingredients: Substitute the vanilla pudding mix with chocolate pudding mix. Add mini chocolate chips or shaved chocolate for garnish.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, substituting the vanilla pudding with chocolate pudding and adding the chocolate garnish on top.

5. Orange Dreamsicle Cheesecake Salad

  • Ingredients: Add 8 oz of softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to the mixture.
  • Instructions: Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Mix into the prepared gelatin and pudding mixture before folding in the whipped topping and other ingredients.


Orange Dreamsicle Salad is a delightful and easy-to-make dessert that brings a touch of nostalgia and a burst of flavor to any occasion. With its creamy texture and refreshing citrus taste, it’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. Try out the variations to keep things interesting and enjoy this classic treat in new and exciting ways.

FAQ’s about Orange Dreamsicle Salad:

1. Can I make Orange Dreamsicle Salad ahead of time?

Yes, Orange Dreamsicle Salad can be made ahead of time. In fact, preparing it a few hours or even a day before serving allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Just be sure to store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

2. Can I use homemade whipped cream instead of store-bought whipped topping?

Absolutely! You can substitute store-bought whipped topping with homemade whipped cream. Just whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form and use it in place of the whipped topping.

3. Is it possible to make a sugar-free version of Orange Dreamsicle Salad?

Yes, you can make a sugar-free version by using sugar-free gelatin and pudding mixes, as well as a sugar-free whipped topping. This will reduce the overall sugar content while still delivering great flavor.

4. Can I use fresh oranges instead of canned mandarin oranges?

Yes, fresh oranges can be used. Simply peel and segment the oranges, removing any seeds and membrane. Ensure they are well-drained before mixing them into the salad.

5. What can I use as a substitute for cottage cheese?

If you’re not a fan of cottage cheese or don’t have it on hand, you can substitute it with an equal amount of Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese for a similar creamy texture.

6. Can I add other fruits to the Orange Dreamsicle Salad?

Definitely! You can customize the salad by adding other fruits such as pineapple chunks, diced mango, or berries. Just be sure to drain any canned fruits to prevent the salad from becoming too watery.

7. How long does Orange Dreamsicle Salad last in the refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Orange Dreamsicle Salad can last for up to 3 days. However, it’s best enjoyed within the first 1-2 days for optimal freshness and texture.

8. Can I freeze Orange Dreamsicle Salad?

Freezing is not recommended as it can affect the texture of the whipped topping and gelatin, resulting in a less desirable consistency once thawed.

9. What can I do if my salad is too runny?

If your salad is too runny, it might be due to excess liquid from the fruits or not allowing the gelatin to set properly. To fix this, you can gently fold in additional whipped topping or refrigerate the salad longer to help it firm up.

10. Can I use different flavors of gelatin and pudding mix?

Yes, you can experiment with different flavors of gelatin and pudding mix to create variations of the salad. For example, try using lemon gelatin and cheesecake pudding for a lemon cheesecake variation, or lime gelatin with coconut pudding for a tropical twist.

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