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Ambrosia Salad

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Embark on a delightful journey of taste and nostalgia with our irresistible Ambrosia Salad recipe. A beloved classic that has graced family gatherings and holiday tables for generations, this creamy and fruity concoction is a true crowd-pleaser. Bursting with vibrant colors and refreshing flavors, our ambrosia salad recipe offers a modern twist on this timeless favorite, guaranteed to evoke fond memories and create new ones with each heavenly spoonful. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, a festive potluck, or simply craving a taste of nostalgia, our easy-to-follow recipe promises to tantalize your taste buds and brighten any occasion. Join us as we unveil the secrets to creating this beloved dessert, sure to become a cherished addition to your culinary repertoire.

In our Ambrosia Salad recipe, we’ve carefully curated a blend of juicy fruits, fluffy marshmallows, and creamy goodness to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and texture. With a medley of pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, and coconut flakes, each bite bursts with tropical flavors and delightful crunch. Our creamy dressing, made with whipped cream or Cool Whip, sour cream, and a hint of vanilla extract, adds a luscious richness that ties all the ingredients together beautifully. Whether served as a side dish, a light dessert, or a sweet accompaniment to any meal, our Ambrosia Salad is sure to impress both young and old alike with its irresistible taste and charming presentation.

ambrosia salad

Ambrosia Salad

If you are looking for an easy classic dessert that everyone loves then you will want to make this super easy Ambrosia salad. I remember my grandma making this for every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is one of those dishes that brings back a flood of memories just like our watergate salad does every time I eat it. 

Ambrosia Salad

What Is The Origin Of Ambrosia Salad

The exact origin of Ambrosia Salad is not definitively known, but its roots can be traced back to the Southern United States. The term “ambrosia” itself comes from Greek mythology, where it referred to the food or drink of the gods, often associated with immortality and divine power. However, the modern interpretation of Ambrosia Salad is believed to have emerged in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Ambrosia Salad likely evolved from earlier fruit salads popular in American cuisine, with variations emerging over time. Early versions of Ambrosia Salad typically consisted of citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits mixed with shredded coconut. As the recipe spread across the Southern states, additional ingredients such as pineapple, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, and sometimes nuts were incorporated, creating the familiar dish we know today.

Ambrosia Salad gained popularity during the mid-20th century, particularly as a staple at potlucks, picnics, and holiday gatherings. Its sweet, creamy, and fruity flavors made it a hit with both children and adults, and it became firmly entrenched in American culinary tradition.

While Ambrosia Salad has undergone various adaptations and interpretations over the years, its association with nostalgia, comfort, and simplicity remains strong, making it a beloved classic in many households across the United States.

ambrosia salad

You will love Ambrosia salad for so many reasons:

* It is easy!
* Everyone loves it!
* Super versatile! Swap out ingredients, add in extras to get the perfect version of Ambrosia salad your family loves!

Ambrosia Salad

How to Make Ambrosia Salad

  • In a large bowl, stir together the pineapple, oranges, coconut, and marshmallows.
  • Fold in the sour cream until completely blended.
Ambrosia Salad
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours or until the moisture is absorbed by the coconut. 
Ambrosia Salad

Tips & Tricks

  1. Use Fresh Fruit When Possible: While canned fruit is convenient, using fresh fruit when it’s in season can elevate the flavor and texture of your Ambrosia Salad. If using canned fruit, drain them well to prevent the salad from becoming too watery.
  2. Add Variety: Feel free to customize your Ambrosia Salad with your favorite fruits. Common additions include grapes, strawberries, bananas, and diced apples. Just make sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces for easy eating.
  3. Add Some Crunch: Adding chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts can provide a satisfying crunch to your Ambrosia Salad. Toasting the nuts beforehand can enhance their flavor even more.
  4. Adjust the Sweetness: Depending on your preference and the sweetness of your fruits, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar or sweetened whipped cream in the dressing. Taste as you go and add more sweetness if desired.
  5. Chill Before Serving: Allow your Ambrosia Salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and gives the salad a refreshing coolness.
  6. Don’t Overmix: Gently fold the fruit and marshmallows into the dressing to avoid crushing the ingredients. Overmixing can result in a mushy texture and loss of individual flavors.
  7. Add Citrus Zest: For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding some citrus zest, such as orange or lemon, to the dressing. This can enhance the fruity flavors and add a subtle brightness to the salad.
  8. Garnish Creatively: Before serving, garnish your Ambrosia Salad with additional fruit slices, maraschino cherries, or a sprinkle of toasted coconut for an attractive presentation.
  9. Serve in a Chilled Bowl: To keep your Ambrosia Salad cool during your gathering, serve it in a chilled glass or ceramic bowl placed over ice or a larger bowl filled with ice.
  10. Enjoy Fresh: Ambrosia Salad is best enjoyed fresh on the day it’s made. However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just note that the marshmallows may become softer over time.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create a delicious and visually appealing Ambrosia Salad that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Ambrosia Salad


  1. Can I use different fruits in Ambrosia Salad?
    • Absolutely! Ambrosia Salad is versatile, and you can customize it with your favorite fruits. Common choices include pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, strawberries, bananas, and apples.
  2. Can I use fresh fruit instead of canned fruit?
    • Yes, you can use fresh fruit instead of canned fruit in Ambrosia Salad. Just make sure to cut the fresh fruit into bite-sized pieces and adjust the sweetness of the salad accordingly.
  3. How do I prevent the salad from becoming too watery?
    • To prevent the salad from becoming too watery, make sure to drain the canned fruit well before adding them to the salad. You can also pat them dry with paper towels if necessary.
  4. What can I use instead of marshmallows?
    • If you prefer to skip the marshmallows or are looking for a healthier alternative, you can use Greek yogurt, whipped cream, or coconut whipped cream for added creaminess and sweetness.
  5. Can I make Ambrosia Salad ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can make Ambrosia Salad ahead of time. However, it’s best to add the marshmallows just before serving to prevent them from becoming too soft. Store the salad covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. How long does Ambrosia Salad last in the refrigerator?
    • Ambrosia Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, keep in mind that the texture of the marshmallows may change over time.
  7. Can I freeze Ambrosia Salad?
    • It’s not recommended to freeze Ambrosia Salad as the texture of the fruits and marshmallows may become mushy upon thawing.
  8. Can I add nuts to Ambrosia Salad?
    • Yes, you can add chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts to Ambrosia Salad for added crunch and flavor. Just make sure to toast the nuts beforehand for enhanced flavor.
  9. Is Ambrosia Salad gluten-free?
    • Ambrosia Salad can be made gluten-free by ensuring that all the ingredients used, including the marshmallows and other additives, are certified gluten-free.
  10. Can I make a dairy-free version of Ambrosia Salad?
    • Yes, you can make a dairy-free version of Ambrosia Salad by using dairy-free alternatives for the whipped cream or sour cream, such as coconut whipped cream or almond milk yogurt.

These FAQs should help address common concerns and provide guidance for making delicious Ambrosia Salad.

Ambrosia Salad

How do you prevent Ambrosia salad from browning?

If you want to prevent your salad from browning you can toss all your fruit in the pineapple juice from the can prior to making the salad. Once tossed, discard extra juice. 

ambrosia salad
Ambrosia Salad
Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ambrosia salad is a creamy fluffy salad loaded with pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut, and mini-marshmallows. With just 5 ingredients you will create this classic dessert loved by everyone.


  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup sour cream or vanilla yogurt


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the pineapple, oranges, coconut, and marshmallows.
  2. Fold in the sour cream until completely blended.
  3. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours or until the moisture is absorbed by the coconut.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

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