★★★★★

Ambrosia Salad Recipe

Bring extra sweetness to your holiday table with this Ambrosia Salad recipe! Canned fruit gets tossed with whipped cream and marshmallows for an easy and irresistible side dish.

No holiday meal is complete without a cold, fruity salad. This Frozen Cranberry Salad is another must-try! Readers love this Pistachio Salad too!

Ambrosia salad in a bowl topped with maraschino cherry.

What is Ambrosia

Ambrosia is a fruit salad with sweet creamy dressing. With origins in the American south, this sweet side dish has become a staple of holiday meals across the United States.

There are as many variations on Ambrosia as there are cooks who make it.

  • Virtually all Ambrosia Salad recipes include canned fruit, a creamy dressing and coconut, marshmallows, or both.
  • Some include nuts, chocolate or other mix-ins too.
  • This dish is the kind of “salad” that makes you question the meaning of the word. Because Ambrosia is undeniably decadent and rich–more similar to a dessert than a typical dinner salad.

There’s just something about the festive and sweet combination of fruits, cream and coconut that makes it irresistible on a holiday dinner plate.

Whether you grew up eating Ambrosia Salad or are trying it for the first time, this recipe is the perfect easy Christmas side dish! Paired with your classic sweet potato casserole, and of course some cheesy hashbrown casserole, your family and friends will love it.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for ambrosia salad.

Whipped Cream – My homemade whipped cream is delicious in today’s recipe, but Cool Whip works too.

Fruit Flavored Mini-Marshmallows – I love the color and flavor these add! Of course, regular miniature marshmallows are a fine substitute.

Sour Cream – For a sweeter twist, substitute vanilla pudding instead.

Maraschino Cherries – Make sure to remove the stems first.

Pineapple Chunks – Crushed pineapple works well in this Ambrosia Salad recipe too.

Coconut – Use the sweetened flakes to add some crunchy texture and delicious flavor to the fruit salad.

Tips and Tricks

Step by step photos showing how to make ambrosia salad.
  • Mix together the whipped cream and sour cream first. Then fold in the fruits and marshmallows.
  • You could also use vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream if preferred.
  • Cover and chill Ambrosia Salad for at least an hour before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Recipe FAQs

How far ahead of time can I make Ambrosia?

Ambrosia Salad is best enjoyed within about a day of assembly. It’s a perfect option for prepping in the morning and letting chill until dinner time!

Can I freeze Ambrosia Salad?

I don’t recommend freezing Ambrosia.

Can I use different fruits in this Ambrosia recipe? What about nuts?

Yes, this recipe is perfect for adapting with whatever fruit or mix-ins you have on hand! It’s delicious with a can of fruit cocktail in place of the oranges or pineapple. Quartered grapes and apple chunks taste great in Ambrosia too. If you like Ambrosia Salad with nuts, feel free to toss in a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts too.

Ambrosia salad in a bowl with spoon for serving.

More Easy Desserts

Yield: 8 servings

Ambrosia Salad Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Bring extra sweetness to your holiday table with this Ambrosia Salad recipe! Canned fruit gets tossed with whipped cream and marshmallows for an easy and irresistible side dish.

Ingredients

  • 8 Ounces Whipped Cream
  • 2 Cups Fruit Flavored Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 Cup Sweetened Coconut
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Can Pineapple Chunks (20 ounces), drained
  • 1 Jar Maraschino Cherries (10 ounces), drained
  • 1 Can Mandarin Oranges (11 ounces), drained

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly mix together the sour cream and whipped cream in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Remove any stems from the cherries. Add all remaining ingredients and fold in until evenly distributed.
  3. Cover and chill for about an hour before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

    • You could also use vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream if preferred.
    • Cover and chill Ambrosia Salad for at least an hour before serving.
    • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

½ cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Creamy, cold and sweet Ambrosia Salad never goes out of style! Our version of the nostalgic holiday side dish is easy to make and full of fruity flavor.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on December 4, 2021

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