Whether you’re making this for holiday guests or a family potluck, you’ll love this Taffy Apple Salad recipe. It’s full of chopped apples, peanuts, pineapple and whipped topping and it’s downright delicious and easy to make!
This is basically an apple salad with marshmallows and pineapple which combine to make a gooey but delicious sauce for chopped apples.
Why I love this Taffy Apple Salad
When I took home economics class in high school - back in the dark ages as my kids would say - we always made Taffy Apple Salad. It’s one of the first recipes I mastered and as you can imagine, it’s 100% kid approved.
Because let’s be honest. This “salad” isn’t really a salad at all.
I have a theory that back in the day, home cooks and housewives were exhausted at the end of the day. Well, I think we still are...
But anyway, to compensate, they made up an excuse to eat their dessert first.
I think we'll agree the "salad" course is debatable.
Nevertheless, these ladies all banned together, labeled these recipes desserts “salads” and the rest is tasty history that has been gracing many a church picnic and family gatherings!
It’s been a staple in our family potluck and holiday dinner repertoire for years, though it seems every family has their own varied recipes for taffy apple salad.
Today I'm happy to share our family favorite!
- pineapple tidbits - I like using the chunks or tidbits for smaller bites and added texture. Drain pineapple over a bowl because you'll need the juice!
- miniature marshmallows: they mix in with the pineapple pieces. You'll see what I mean when you make it.
- sugar: because this recipe is a little over the top sweet.
- flour: helps thicken the "taffy" mixture
- egg: another binder ingredient
- vinegar: I use plain white vinegar but you can also use apple cider vinegar
- whipped topping: The stuff we're looking for is not whipped cream. Cool Whip is a name brand you may know. It's usually in the dessert freezer case; something I always seem to forget as I wander the grocery store aisles.
- fresh apples: You can use whatever kind you have on hand, with the exception of Red Delicious which can sometimes be a little bitter.
I really like tart apples like Granny Smith, or you can use a green and a blush colored apple. These are pretty in the salad because they're unpeeled.
- peanuts: roasted, Spanish peanuts, salted, or plain. Use your favorite but a little touch of salt is a nice contrast to all the sweetness!
How to Make Taffy Apple Salad
Full instructions are in the recipe below, but here's the cliffnotes version! Please note: this recipe requires overnight refrigeration.
The day before: combine pineapple and marshmallows and make the taffy sauce.
Make the sauce, then refrigerate overnight again.
On the day you are serving: combine the pineapple marshmallow mixture, the prepared sauce, and whipped topping. Stir to combine.
Chop and add your apples and peanuts (if using).
Mix and refrigerate before serving.
Use crushed pineapple instead of tidbits.
Drizzle with a caramel sauce if you're feeling fancy
Add chopped up Snickers brand candy bars to alter it to become a Snickers Taffy Apple Salad. Oooh, think of the Halloween candy you could put to use!
My kids would applaud if I served this!
What apples should I use when making taffy apple salad?
Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples are great because they add a tart flavor, but really any apple you'd munch on is delicious.
Can I make taffy apple salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can! In fact, please allow for the recipe to be started one day before you plan to serve it. The steps are broken down for you in the recipe card below about what to do the next day.
Other old fashioned desserts
When you make this caramel apple salad, leave a recipe review or comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Taffy Apple Salad
- 20 ounces pineapple tidbits juice reserved
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 large egg well beaten
- 1 ½ Tablespoons vinegar
- 8 ounces whipped topping Cool Whip is a name brand you may know
- 4 cups diced apples unpeeled
- 1 ½ cups peanuts
- In a medium bowl, mix the pineapple tidbits and marshmallows. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- After refrigerating overnight: In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved pineapple juice, sugar, flour, egg and vinegar. Cook over medium to medium high heat, stirring frequently until thick.
- Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate overnight.
- In a large bowl, combine the whipped topping (aka Cool Whip) and prepared taffy apple sauce. Add the pineapple and marshmallow mixture. Stir to combine.
- Fold in diced apples and peanuts making sure to incorporate throughout.
Refrigerate until it's time to serve.