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Orange Dreamsicle Salad Recipe – How to Make it in 7 Simple Steps

While modern minds think of salad as something that is largely made up of vegetables or fruits with a light dressing, back in the 1950s, sensibilities were different. Somehow, in the 1950s the word “salad” began to mean something entirely different. Due to the invention and marketing of commercial gelatin products, salads began to consist of a variety of different offerings, generally featuring a flavor of gelatin as a main ingredient in the recipe.

This is an orange dreamsicle salad in a mason jar.

Orange Dreamsicle Salad Recipe

April Freeman
With a light, fluffy texture, our recipe for Orange Dreamsicle Salad can add bright color and fruity sweetness to your next potluck dinner. This recipe makes an enormous bowl of creamy salad, so it is a perfect choice for when you are hosting guests in your home as well.
Prep Time 20 mins
Chilling Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 20 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings


  • Medium-Sized Saucepan
  • Wire whisk
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Mixer
  • Rubber Spatula


  • 1 box Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding Mix do not use instant pudding
  • 6 ounces Orange-Flavored Gelatin Mix
  • 3 cups Water
  • 16 ounces Thawed Whipped Topping
  • 1 cup Miniature Marshmallows
  • 30 ounces Mandarin Oranges


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, mix together the gelatin mix and the vanilla pudding mix.
    The pudding mix and gelatin mix are mixed in a saucepan.
  • Add the three cups of water to the mixes and use a whisk to combine them. Put the pot on the stove and heat it over medium heat until it boils, whisking it occasionally. Let it come to a full rolling boil and then remove the pot from the stove.
    The two mixes are cooked on a stove.
  • Pour the gelatin and pudding mixture into a very large mixing bowl. You will want to use your largest bowl, even though the gelatin will not fill it up. Later on, you will be adding plenty of ingredients to the mixture to make a very large dish of orangey fluff. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate the gelatin mixture for three or four hours.
  • After the time is up, use an electric mixer to beat the gelatin mixture. The mixture will go from a dull orange color to bright cheerful orange as you whip air into the gelatin. Beat it for about two minutes, moving the beaters around to ensure that all of it is whipped into a creamy mixture.
  • Open the cans of mandarin oranges and drain all of the liquid from the fruit.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped topping, marshmallows, and mandarin oranges into the gelatin and pudding mixture. Chill the Orange Dreamscicle Salad for about an hour before you serve it in bowls with spoons.
    The dreamsicle mix is ready to be refrigerated.
  • For best quality, make the salad the day that you intend to eat it. Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Sometimes the oranges will continue to release juices when it is stored for very long. The salad is still edible, but will simply be less appealing.
    This is a bowl of orange dreamsicle salad with chunks of marshmallow.


Frequently, the fruit was stirred into these recipes and they were generally made in intricate molds. Home cooks learned how to unmold these elaborate gelatin salads, and they were often used as a fancy, edible centerpiece on the buffet table. While salads still included beds of fresh greens with dressings, the term also included fancy gelatins that were more like a dessert.
Our recipe for Orange Dreamsicle Salad hearkens back to the days when gelatin was considered a salad. Modern sensibilities will certainly categorize this dish as a dessert or sweet snack rather than a delicious and nutritious salad. However you categorize it, though, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a tasty treat that will be a favorite of kids and most likely, some adults as well.
Our recipe makes an enormous bowl of Orange Dreamsicle Salad. Don’t be fooled by the first step of the recipe. After you have cooked the orange-flavored gelatin and the cook and serve pudding mix together, you may be tempted to put it in a smaller bowl to refrigerate it. The problem that you will encounter later, is that you’ll be adding lots of ingredients to the recipe after it is chilled. It’s worth your while to go ahead and let the gelatin/pudding mixture to chill in the largest salad bowl that you own.
This recipe is designed to be made with a cooked pudding mix. Do not try to substitute instant pudding mix for this recipe. It won’t work the way that it should. The pudding mix and the gelatin mix are both chemically designed by the manufacturer to need to be cooked. Our recipe combines both of them in the same saucepan. You will need to whisk them both together as you bring the pot up to boiling. Allow the mixture to come to a full rolling boil before you remove it from the heat.
You’ll also need an electric mixer to whip the set gelatin into a light, airy froth. Then, use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped topping and other ingredients into the salad. Be sure that you scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure that you have incorporated all of the gelatin.
Keyword Dessert, Orange Dreamsicle Salad, Recipe

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