If you’re a long time reader of IGE (first of all hi and I love you!) you might recognize today’s recipe for Fruit and Marshmallow Holiday Salad. Honestly it’s kind of an unfortunate recipe name but trust me, the original was even worse: Grandma’s Holiday Salad. Goo! One is a little 1985 church cookbook-y, while the other conjures up images of creamy green jello chock full of celery and walnuts. Talk about goo. Literally. Anyway, it doesn’t matter WHAT you call this yummy fluffy holiday salad, all that matters is that you make it for Thanksgiving!
We’ve been devouring Grandma’s Holi– whoops! Old habits die hard. Fruit and Marshmallow Holiday Salad as a sweet side dish/dessert with holiday meals for decades. I first shared the recipe on my blog six whole years ago and couldn’t wait another year to re-post it. This whippy side dish is beloved by everyone in my family, and I’d love for you to share it with yours too.
Not only is this gluten-free/dairy-free salad perfect for the holidays but it’s easy to assemble and make ahead too. 5-minute homemade custard (fancy talk for eggs, sugar and cornstarch simmered in a saucepan until thickened) is combined with store-bought whipped topping, red grapes, crushed pineapple, bananas, and mini marshmallows. Seriously – THE BEST. It’s always the first thing I dig into once I’m hungry enough for leftovers…1 hour after Thanksgiving dinner, give or take 30 minutes. You get it!
As I mentioned, you can assemble this salad a day ahead of time so you’re not having to chop, simmer, or assemble one more thing the day of Thanksgiving. More time for mimosas, right?
Start by making the custard base which again, is super easy – promise! In a medium-sized bowl whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt until smooth. In a small dish stir together 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon juice from an 8oz can crushed pineapple that’s been drained, then pour into the eggs and sugar and whisk to combine.
Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat then whisk constantly and quickly until the custard is just shy of bubbling. If the eggs begin to scramble (which they shouldn’t if you’re whisking quickly) remove the pan from the heat then stir stir stir before returning to the burner.
Turn the heat to low then switch to a spatula and continue stirring until it feels like the custard won’t thicken any more, 5 minutes. Pour the custard onto a plate with a rim and cool completely. You can make the custard up to several days ahead of time – place a piece of saran wrap directly on the custard to ensure a skin doesn’t form on top.
All that’s left to do is add the cooled custard to a large bowl with the drained crushed pineapple plus 2 cups whipped topping (I like SoDelicious CoCoWhip, which keeps this recipe dairy-free) and stir to combine. Fold in 2 cups red grapes and 3/4 cups gluten-free mini marshmallows then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Fold in 3 sliced bananas just before serving then dollop and devour! I hope you LOVE this fluffy Fruit and Marshmallow Holiday Salad, and it becomes as much of a staple at your holiday table as it is at ours. Enjoy!
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Fruit and Marshmallow Holiday Salad
Fruit and Marshmallow Holiday Salad is a staple on my family's holiday dinner table. Easy to assemble and loved by all. Enjoy for dessert or as special holiday side dish!
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained and juices reserved
- 2 cups whipped topping (I like SoDelicious CoCoWhip)
- 2 cups red grapes
- 3/4 cup gluten-free mini marshmallows
- 3 bananas, sliced
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon reserved pineapple juice until dissolved then add to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a small saucepan then turn heat to medium and whisk constantly and quickly until the custard is just about to bubble. If the eggs begin to scramble, remove pan from the heat then whisk quickly to smooth back out.
- Turn heat to low then switch to a spatula and continue stirring constantly until the custard feels like it won't thicken any more, 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate with a rim to cool. Can be done up to several days ahead of time - cool completely then refrigerate with a piece of saran wrap placed directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
- Add the cooled custard to a large bowl with the drained pineapple and whipped topping then stir to combine. Fold in grapes and marshmallows then refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight. Fold in bananas just before serving.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.