Ambrosia Salad is a creamy fruit salad filled with mini marshmallows, pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, maraschino cherries, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut in a fluffy whipped topping. A guaranteed crowd favorite and the perfect sweet side dish or dessert.
Coated in a fluffy whipped topping and bursting with beautiful pastel colors, this ambrosia salad is a year-round delight but particularly perfect for holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.
What is Ambrosia Salad?
Ambrosia salad is a sweet and creamy fruit-filled dessert with its roots in the American South. The name ambrosia comes from Greek mythology and means “food of the Gods.” Countless variations of ambrosia salad exist, with traditional recipes typically containing canned or fresh pineapple, oranges, miniature marshmallows, and shredded coconut.
Ambrosia Salad Ingredients
There are countless variations of the original ambrosia salad, so have fun and include the ingredients that you love and ditch the ones you don’t.
- Creamy Whipped Topping: In this recipe, the creamy topping is made with a mixture of store-bought whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), Greek yogurt, and powdered sugar. Some people include sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, jello pudding mix, or vanilla yogurt in their whipped topping. Some recipes are made with whipped cream from scratch rather than store-bought.
- Fruits: This recipe contains canned mandarin oranges and pineapple, fresh green grapes, maraschino cherries, and shredded coconut. If you prefer smaller chunks of pineapple, opt for canned crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits. You can even use canned fruit cocktail or mix things up with fresh fruit like bananas, kiwi, blueberries, or apples.
- Additions: This recipe includes chopped pecans and mini marshmallows. Roughly chopped pistachios would be another great addition.
How to Make Ambrosia Salad
1. Mix together the whipped topping until fully combined.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients, gently folding them into the whipped topping so they are completely coated. Tip: Set aside a few cherries and marshmallows for garnish just before serving.
3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours. Just before serving, garnish with the reserved cherries and marshmallows.
Given the nature of the ingredients in ambrosia salad, it’s best enjoyed within 24 hours; however, when stored properly, it can be enjoyed for up to two days. Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and keep them stored in the refrigerator. Stir before serving.
More Yummy Salads
- Watergate Salad
- Grape Salad Recipe
- Waldorf Salad Recipe
- Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
If you try making this Ambrosia Salad Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Ambrosia Salad Recipe
- 8 ounces whipped topping - like Cool Whip
- ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup powdered sugar - sifted
- 3 cups mini fruit marshmallows
- 1 cup green grapes - sliced in half
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks - drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges - drained
- 1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries - drained
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup sweetened coconut - shredded
- Stir together the whipped topping, full-fat Greek yogurt, and sugar in a large bowl until fully combined.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients, saving a few cherries and marshmallows for garnish later.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 to 4 hours before serving. Just before serving, garnish with the reserved cherries and marshmallows.
- Optional additions or substitutions: Ambrosia salad can be made using fresh or canned fruit. Sliced bananas, kiwi, and apples are popular additions. Greek yogurt can be swapped for sour cream.
- Store leftover ambrosia salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)