Orange Dreamsicle Salad

Transport yourself to a world of sweet nostalgia with a delightful dessert that combines the tangy zest of oranges with the creamy goodness of vanilla. The Orange Dreamsicle Salad is not just a treat for your taste buds but also a feast for the eyes, with its vibrant colors and inviting texture. In this article, we’ll dive into the simple steps to create this heavenly dessert that’s perfect for any occasion.


  • 1 box of orange Jell-O
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 container of Cool Whip (8 oz.)
  • 1 can of mandarin oranges (14 oz.), drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


  1. Prepare the Jell-O Mixture: In a large bowl, empty the contents of the orange Jell-O box. Pour in the boiling water and whisk until the Jell-O powder is completely dissolved.
  2. Add Cold Water: Once the Jell-O is dissolved, add the cold water to the mixture. This helps to cool down the mixture and sets the foundation for the salad’s texture.
  3. Chill in Refrigerator: Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow the Jell-O mixture to chill for about 15 minutes. This initial chilling helps to partially set the Jell-O.
  4. Incorporate Vanilla Pudding Mix: After the initial chilling period, slowly whisk in the instant vanilla pudding mix until it’s fully incorporated into the Jell-O mixture. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and uniform.
  5. Chill Again: Return the bowl to the refrigerator and let it chill for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. This step helps to enhance the creamy texture of the salad.
  6. Fold in Cool Whip: Once the mixture has thickened slightly, gently fold in the Cool Whip until it’s evenly distributed throughout the salad. The Cool Whip adds a fluffy, creamy texture that complements the flavors perfectly.
  7. Add Mandarin Oranges and Marshmallows: Finally, gently fold in the drained mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows. These add bursts of citrusy sweetness and delightful chewiness to the salad.
  8. Chill Before Serving: For best results, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the Orange Dreamsicle Salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures a refreshing, cool dessert experience.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve Chilled: For the best taste and texture, serve the Orange Dreamsicle Salad chilled. It’s most refreshing when enjoyed cold straight from the refrigerator.
  2. Garnish: Enhance the presentation by garnishing the salad with a few extra mandarin orange segments or a sprinkle of grated orange zest on top. This adds a burst of color and an extra hint of citrus flavor.
  3. Individual Servings: Consider serving the salad in individual dessert cups or bowls for a stylish presentation. It not only looks impressive but also makes portion control easier for guests.
  4. Make Ahead: You can prepare the Orange Dreamsicle Salad ahead of time, making it a convenient option for parties and gatherings. Simply store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Storage: Store any leftovers of the Orange Dreamsicle Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 2-3 days, although it’s best enjoyed fresh within the first day or two for optimal taste and texture.
  6. Avoid Freezing: Due to its creamy texture and the presence of gelatin, it’s not recommended to freeze the Orange Dreamsicle Salad. Freezing can alter the texture and consistency, resulting in a less desirable eating experience.
  7. Refreshing Twist: For an extra refreshing twist, you can serve the Orange Dreamsicle Salad with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It adds a luxurious touch and makes for a truly indulgent dessert experience.
  8. Enjoy with Complementary Desserts: Pair the Orange Dreamsicle Salad with complementary desserts such as citrus pound cake, shortbread cookies, or fruit tarts for a well-rounded dessert spread that’s sure to impress your guests.


  1. Fruit Medley: Experiment with different fruits to add variety to your Orange Dreamsicle Salad. Try incorporating diced pineapple, sliced strawberries, or fresh blueberries for a colorful and flavorful twist.
  2. Nutty Crunch: For an added crunch and nutty flavor, mix in chopped nuts such as pecans or almonds. Toast them lightly beforehand to enhance their flavor and texture.
  3. Creamsicle Twist: Embrace the classic creamsicle flavor by using orange-flavored gelatin and swapping the vanilla pudding for orange-flavored pudding. This variation intensifies the orange flavor and brings a nostalgic twist to the dessert.
  4. Citrus Zest: Enhance the citrusy flavor by adding zest from additional citrus fruits such as lemon or lime. A sprinkle of lemon or lime zest adds a bright, tangy kick that complements the sweetness of the salad.
  5. Layered Dessert: Create a visually stunning dessert by layering the Orange Dreamsicle Salad with other complementary flavors. Alternate layers of the Orange Dreamsicle Salad with layers of graham cracker crumbs or crushed vanilla wafers for a deliciously layered treat.
  6. Coconut Delight: Add a tropical flair by incorporating shredded coconut into the Orange Dreamsicle Salad. The coconut adds a subtle sweetness and chewy texture that pairs beautifully with the citrus and creamy flavors.
  7. Adult Twist: For a more sophisticated version, infuse the Orange Dreamsicle Salad with a splash of your favorite liqueur, such as orange liqueur or coconut rum. Just be sure to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly to maintain the desired consistency of the salad.
  8. Frozen Treat: Transform the Orange Dreamsicle Salad into a frozen dessert by pouring the mixture into popsicle molds instead of chilling it in a bowl. Once frozen, you’ll have refreshing Orange Dreamsicle popsicles that are perfect for hot summer days.

By exploring these variations, you can customize the Orange Dreamsicle Salad to suit your preferences and create a dessert that’s uniquely yours. Whether you prefer a classic combination or want to experiment with new flavors, the possibilities are endless with this versatile recipe.


  1. Can I use sugar-free Jell-O and pudding mix for a lighter version of the Orange Dreamsicle Salad? Yes, you can substitute sugar-free gelatin and pudding mix to reduce the calorie and sugar content of the salad while still enjoying its delicious flavors.
  2. Can I use fresh oranges instead of canned mandarin oranges? Absolutely! Fresh oranges can be a fantastic substitute for canned mandarin oranges. Simply peel and segment fresh oranges and add them to the salad for a burst of natural citrus flavor.
  3. Is there a dairy-free alternative to Cool Whip that I can use? Yes, you can use dairy-free whipped topping alternatives available in most grocery stores as a substitute for Cool Whip to accommodate dietary restrictions or preferences.
  4. How far in advance can I prepare the Orange Dreamsicle Salad? You can prepare the salad up to a day in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. However, it’s best to add the marshmallows just before serving to maintain their texture.
  5. Can I add additional mix-ins to the salad? Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with additional mix-ins such as shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or even chocolate chips to customize the salad to your liking.

With its vibrant colors, refreshing flavors, and creamy texture, the Orange Dreamsicle Salad is sure to become a favorite dessert among family and friends. Whether served at summer gatherings, potlucks, or simply as a sweet indulgence at home, this delightful treat is guaranteed to leave everyone craving for more. Try out this easy-to-follow recipe and treat yourself to a taste of citrusy paradise!