Easy Ambrosia Salad (3-Step Recipe)


This Ambrosia Salad recipe was a staple at my Grandma’s holiday dinner table. 

A fluffy ‘salad’ that really isn’t a salad at all, this side dish recipe (also known as 5-Cup salad) has a creamy base with coconut shreds, pineapple, oranges, and miniature marshmallows.

What is Ambrosia Salad?

A classic ambrosia salad has a place on the table at potlucks, for Easter, or even thanksgiving dinner! So, what exactly is that fruit salad with marshmallows?

Ambrosia literally means ‘food of the gods’ but it also a tasty side dish. While it’s called a salad, this is more like a dessert recipe.

It starts with a creamy base and the addition of:

  • mandarin oranges
  • pineapple tidbits
  • mini marshmallows
  • coconut

Ambrosia Salad Ingredients

Ambrosia Recipe Variations

The possibilities for ingredients in this recipe are endless.

  • The base in this recipe is sour cream or Greek yogurt (both of which sweeten from the marshmallows) but you can use vanilla yogurt, cream cheese or even whipped topping (like Cool Whip) or whipped cream. I have also seen cottage cheese in some versions but we prefer a smooth texture.
  • Try other goodies including maraschino cherries or nuts like walnuts or pecans.
  • Trade the mandarin oranges and pineapple for canned fruit cocktail or peaches.
  • If you’d prefer, skip the cans and fold in fresh fruit like grapes, bananas, blueberries, and/or strawberries!

unmixed ambrosia salad

How to Make Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Fruit Salad is a great side to whip up if you are short on time!

  1. Drain all pineapple and oranges (per recipe below).
  2. Add to a large bowl and stir.
  3. Let chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.

Notes & Tips

  • Be sure to make this salad ahead of time so it has a chance to sit, this helps blend the flavors and makes the marshmallows soften which sweetens the recipe.
  • Drain all fruit ingredients well so the dish isn’t watery.
  • Gently fold in the mandarin oranges last as they can be fragile and break apart.
  • Sour cream can be substituted with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt.

ambrosia salad in bowl

More Dessert Salads

Perfect for a summer barbecue, Christmas dinner or even as a no bake dessert!

What are your favorite Ambrosia Salad ingredients? Let us know in a comment below!

Easy Ambrosia Salad

This is the best ambrosia salad recipe!  It’s pretty simple, not overly sweet and is something that can always be found at our holiday dinners!


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Calories: 150, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 29mg, Potassium: 225mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 296IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Ambrosia Salad

Course Dessert, Side Dish

Cuisine American

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Ambrosia Salad with writting

 

ambrosia salad ingredients and finished salad with text





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