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Mardu’s make-ahead frozen salad recipe is a Thanksgiving tradition in Steve’s family. It has been served at most holiday gatherings as long as Steve can remember. This week, Steve’s mom, Gayle Teget, showed us how to make this family favorite during a Facebook live event. You can watch the video here:

Mardu’s make-ahead frozen salad if a great dish for family gatherings and holiday celebrations. We especially like it because you can prepare the salad up to a week before your meal and store it in the freezer. Just be sure to tell everyone in your household that you’re saving it for a specific meal.

make ahead frozen salad

When Steve and his brother, Paul, were kids, his great-grandmother (Mardu) had made this salad and stored it in the freezer for an upcoming ladies’ bridge club meeting at her house. Paul and his cousin, John, were playing at her house and she sent them to the kitchen to find a snack.

thanksgiving photo of mardu

Steve’s great-grandmother, Hazel (also known as Mardu) in the 1980’s.

They found the salad in the fridge and devoured the entire pan of make-ahead frozen salad. Needless to say, Mardu wasn’t too happy, but the boys had only found a good snack like she’d told them to. In any event, Paul and John were quickly dispatched to the store for ice cream for the ladies. While Mardu wasn’t too happy that day, the incident has become a fun, memorable story to tell every time we recreate the dish.

Mardu’s make-ahead frozen salad recipe is easy

This salad is not difficult to make and includes just a few ingredients that you should be able to easily find at your local grocery store. We’ve typically served it on a small salad plate or arranged the pieces on a serving platter on top of a bed of leaf lettuce. Either way, your guests are sure to rave about this frozen salad. Here’s the recipe.

Frozen Salad/Dessert (Mardu's Frozen Salad)

A frozen salad great for holidays, celebrations, bridge clubs and more.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 12


  • Mixing bowl
  • 13" x 9" baking dish


  • 16 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Spin Blend
  • 1/2 lb miniature marshmallows (can use whole marshmallows cut finely)
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple drained
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream whipped to soft peaks
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  • Beat cream cheese until smooth
  • Add Spin Blend, marshmallows and pineapple to beaten cream cheese.
  • Fold in whipped cream. If using nuts, fold in as well.


Gayle writes:  Hazel (also known as Mardu, Steve's great grandmother) said that she didn't always use a whole cup of cream, sometimes only 3/4 cup. It will last in the refrigerator up to a week, but can be frozen and partially thawed before serving. Either way is delicious.  Sometimes, when I have served this, I have used leaf lettuce underneath, and even large spinach leaves for color.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thanks so much to Steve’s mom, Gayle Teget, for showing us all how to make this delicious make-ahead frozen salad. And thanks to Mardu, as well, who created the recipe.

What are some of your favorite holiday salads? 


frozen salad pin

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