The Ultimate Junk Yard Salad Recipe: A Sweet Delight for Any Occasion

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, creamy, and utterly indulgent, look no further than our Junk Yard Salad recipe. This delightful concoction combines the irresistible flavors of cherry pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, pineapple, marshmallows, coconut, pecans, and cool whip to create a dessert salad that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Perfect for potlucks, picnics, or family gatherings, this easy-to-make dessert is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to indulge in the ultimate sweet treat!


  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 8-oz. container cool whip

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
    • Yes, you can prepare this Junk Yard Salad ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. In fact, it’s best to allow the flavors to meld together for a few hours before serving to enhance the taste.
  2. Can I Substitute Any Ingredients?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your taste preferences. You can swap out the cherry pie filling for other fruit pie fillings like blueberry or peach. Additionally, you can omit the nuts or coconut if you have allergies or simply prefer not to include them.
  3. Is This Salad Suitable for Special Diets?
    • While this salad is not suitable for vegan or dairy-free diets due to the presence of sweetened condensed milk and cool whip, you can make modifications to create a keto-friendly or low-carb version. See the variations section below for more details.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherry pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, crushed pineapple (with juice), mini-marshmallows, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans.
  2. Gently fold in the cool whip until all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld together.
  4. Before serving, give the salad a good stir and garnish with additional marshmallows, coconut, and pecans if desired.
  5. Serve chilled and enjoy the sweet, creamy goodness!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add a Crunchy Texture: For an extra crunchy texture, you can toast the chopped pecans in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until golden brown before adding them to the salad.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Get creative with the flavors by adding a splash of almond extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a unique twist.
  • Make it Boozy: For an adult version of this dessert, you can add a splash of rum or amaretto to the salad mixture for a boozy kick.

Keto/Low-Carb Version:

To make a keto or low-carb version of this Junk Yard Salad, you can make the following adjustments:

  • Use Sugar-Free Alternatives: Opt for sugar-free cherry pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, and cool whip to reduce the carb content of the salad.
  • Replace High-Carb Ingredients: Substitute the crushed pineapple and mini-marshmallows with low-carb options such as fresh berries or sugar-free jello cubes.
  • Add Healthy Fats: Incorporate chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts for added crunch and healthy fats without the added carbs.

In conclusion, our Junk Yard Salad is the ultimate dessert for anyone with a sweet tooth. With its irresistible combination of flavors and textures, this dessert salad is guaranteed to be a hit at any gathering. Whether you’re indulging in it on a hot summer day or serving it up at a holiday feast, this sweet treat is sure to bring smiles to the faces of everyone who tries it. So, why wait? Gather your ingredients and whip up a batch of this delicious dessert salad today

Additional Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Layered Variation: For a visually stunning presentation, consider layering the ingredients in a trifle dish or individual serving cups. Start with a layer of cherry pie filling, followed by a layer of sweetened condensed milk mixture, then add a layer of crushed pineapple, marshmallows, coconut, and pecans. Repeat the layers until you reach the top, finishing with a dollop of cool whip and a sprinkle of additional toppings.
  • Chocolate Twist: For chocolate lovers, you can add a chocolatey twist to this recipe by incorporating chocolate chips or chunks into the salad mixture. Simply fold in a cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips along with the other ingredients for a decadent treat.
  • Frozen Variation: Turn this dessert salad into a frozen delight by placing it in the freezer for a few hours until firm. Once frozen, slice it into squares or scoop it into bowls for a refreshing and creamy frozen dessert.
  • Seasonal Variation: Change up the flavors of this salad based on the season or occasion. For a festive touch during the holidays, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture. During the summer months, fresh berries like strawberries or raspberries can be added for a burst of freshness.
  • Dietary Restrictions: If you or your guests have dietary restrictions or preferences, feel free to make substitutions as needed. For a dairy-free version, you can use coconut whipped cream instead of cool whip, and omit the sweetened condensed milk or use a dairy-free alternative.

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