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Mom’s Taffy Apple Salad

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. 

taffy apple salad

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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 mean, there are things like Orange Fluff Jello Salad… And Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

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!

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 ours.

Ingredients

  • pineapple tidbits – I like using the tidbits for smaller bites and added texture. Drain the can 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.
  • diced 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 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, or salted, or plain. Use your favorite but a little touch of salt is a nice contrast to all the sweetness!
taffy apple salad in a bowl

How to Make Taffy Apple Salad

Full instructions are below, but here’s the cliffnotes version!

The day before: combine the pineapple and marshmallows and make the taffy sauce. Refrigerate overnight.

On the day you are serving: combine the pinapple 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.

That’s it!

taffy apple salad

Variations

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 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 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.

Other old fashioned desserts

Yield: 12 servings

Taffy Apple Salad

taffy apple salad in a bowl

Taffy Apple Salad is full of chopped apples, peanuts, pineapple and whipped topping and it’s downright delicious and easy to make!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Overnight Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 26 minutes

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces pineapple tidbits (juice reserved)
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 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

Instructions

The Day Before

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the pineapple tidbits and marshmallows. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved pineapple juice, sugar, flour and egg.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently until thick. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate overnight.


Serving Day

  1. 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.
  2. Fold in diced apples and peanuts making sure to incorporate throughout.
  3. Refrigerate until it's time to serve.

Notes

Peanuts can be omitted completely and this still tastes delish!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 93mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 6g

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I may earn money as an affiliate from certain product links within posts. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe you will find helpful.

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