Mandarin Orange Cookie Dessert Salad

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Over a year ago, we posted our Orange Jello Fluff Salad and while it is still one of our most popular posts, we received some very angry emails from people who were so upset that we used the word “salad” in the title. Some even told us that it was recipes such as that one that were to blame for obesity in our world today because we trick people into thinking it’s healthy. :) Sorry about that- we had no intentions of tricking anyone!

So I googled the word “salad” and discovered that the first definition talked about vegetables and green lettuce, but that there were two definitions that work for salads such as this one:
1. a mixture or assortment
2. any dish of cold vegetables or fruit (i.e. fruit salad)
We completely agree that this isn’t the most healthy you could ever eat, but we also believe that the healthiest attitude to have when it comes to food is “moderation in all things.” You can have a yummy “salad” like this every once in a while . . . that is one of life’s real pleasures! :) 
(PS Every time I make this salad, it receives rave reviews!)
Mandarin Orange Cookie Dessert Salad
2 (3.4 oz) packages vanilla instant pudding
2 cups buttermilk*
2 (8 oz) containers Cool-Whip non-dairy frozen whipped topping
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained well
2 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained well
3/4 (11.5 oz) package fudge-striped cookies (I used Keebler brand)
*I have substituted milk before and I think it still tastes delicious!
In a large bowl, mix together the dry pudding mixes and buttermilk. Fold in the Cool-Whip. Stir in the pineapple and mandarin oranges until incorporated. Break cookies into bite-size pieces and gently fold into salad mixture. Serve immediately. (If you want to make this ahead of time, just wait to add the cookie pieces until right before you serve it because the cookies tend to go soggy . . . unless you like them that way!)
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  1. says

    It’s YOUR blog — people who don’t like the recipes are welcome to click on the “Next Blog” button at the top. Back in the day (I’m only in my 40’s), this was a free country. I’m tired of Food Police and Thought Police and Organic Police and Baby Police and Recycling Police and Carbon Footprint Police and who-knows-how-many-other-kinds-of-Police. They can start their own blogs, if they can find enough people interested enough to read their recipes for Cardboard-on-a-Stick. I like YOUR recipes!

  2. says

    I laughed when I read your post. I feel sorry for anyone who would take the time to complain about you calling a dessert type dish a salad. I’ve seen dishes like that all my life called “salads”. These are just angry people & they took it out on you. There were 4 kids in my family & my mother made a pie or cake every other day. We ate chicken fried in Crisco. All of us are very thin & healthy.

  3. says

    This “salad” would be so easy to lighten up by swapping out the ingredients for lower fat/lower sugar versions and I’m sure would still be delicious. I guess SOME people would really get pissed at my Snickers “salad” :-) SOME people need to get a life! Keep up the great work!

  4. says

    I have been a Weight Watchers lifetime member for several years now. I take the recipes and if there is no Magic button, I will change them to reduce the calories or fat. I enjoy them bery much and take them as they are or tweak them for my family. No one is forced to eat or make any of the recipes. Thank you for all your hard work!!

  5. says

    This is one our family favorites. One day I needed the salad to be more filling to make up for extra dinner guests and my husband kids loved it, my husband told me that it was so much better.
    I also have used Whipping Cream with gelatin for a Rich creamy moose flavor.

    I am glad to see this recipe here because if this recipe gets how we can find this at more ward parties and neighborhood pot lucks.
    With Love,

  6. Diane says

    I can’t believe that some people were upset by the name of this salad. By looking at the picture you know this is a dessert salad. I’m looking forward to making this salad this week.

  7. Laura B says

    My MIL gave me this recipe a looong time ago. I was skeptical, but I tried it and it is a great addition to any family reunion or pot luck. Really a fun recipe. I don’t worry about the calories, etc. You take a spoonful or two… It’s great!

  8. Courtney Jensen says

    Looks like a yummy salad. I don’t want to be rude to the people that emailed you saying that this ‘salad’ is decieving ha ha but they are being dumb! Each of us are responsible for our own health. If you look at the picture or read the recipe you know it’s not a healthy salad and so if that isn’t what you’re looking for than move on ha ha. I think of a ton of other salad recipes that are just as
    unhealthy’ as this one. I will be making this salad this weekend, I am currently losing weight and this won’t set me back because I will eat other things with it and eat in moderation! Thanks for posting! People can and will complain about anything!

  9. Mariane Richardson says

    I have made this salad many times. I also put sliced bananas in it just before serving. And, an easy way to break the cookies up, is to crush them in the package BEFORE opening it. It is less messy that way. I have also added cut up green apples. Most everyone in our town knows this salad by, “Aunt Lola Salad”. My husband’s aunt made this about 32 years ago and the name has stuck since. Everyone loves Aunt Lola Salad. It is a favorite at Church Dinners.

  10. Rachel says

    I’ve never made this salad with the striped cookies before. I always use chocolate covered graham cookies. Today I will be trying with Oreos (since that is all that I have). I also like serving this with fresh strawberries and pineapple chunks. Very delicious.

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