This Ambrosia salad is a timeless classic! This fresh and flavorful recipe is a delicious combination of tropical fruits, marshmallows, and creamy goodness. Bursting with vibrant colors and flavors, this delightful concoction has earned its place as a cherished dessert for generations. It takes only 10 minutes from start to finish. This classic Southern dish is great for holidays, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, and more!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This Ambrosia salad is quick and easy to make!
- Only 10 minutes needed.
- Everything comes together quickly and easily.
- This recipe can be served in many different ways! Serve it as a side dish, sweet treat, or snack.
- The creamy sauce is sweet and flavorful.
- The fruits add a pop of juiciness and sweetness!
- This recipe is no bake! No need to turn on the oven, stovetop, or microwave.
- It is classic and timeless.
- This recipe is equally stunning and tasty.
- The blend of juicy fruits, fluffy marshmallows, and smooth cream result in a divine medley of textures and flavors!
- Check out this Fruit Pizza for another fruity favorite!
What is Ambrosia Salad?
Ambrosia salad is a delightful dessert that combines various fruits, usually including oranges, pineapples, and cherries, with miniature marshmallows, shredded coconut, and a creamy dressing.
The fruits are typically canned, ensuring their juiciness and preserving their natural sweetness.
This combination of ingredients creates a harmonious balance of sweet, tangy, and creamy flavors that will leave you craving more!
It can be served as a side dish or dessert. Growing up, my grandmother made this for every Easter and Christmas. Thankfully, she was kind enough to pass down her recipe to me. I can assure you that this recipe is beloved, nostalgic, and family friendly!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.
Canned pineapple chunks are naturally sweet and juicy! You can use fresh pineapple if needed.
Mandarin oranges add a burst of fruit juice and sweet flavor.
Shredded coconut adds a distinct flavor and texture.
Minimature marshmallows add a fun fluffy element. Use colored marshmallows for a fun and festive treat.
Sour cream adds a creamy texture and tangy flavor. I do not recommend replacing this. If in dire need, yogurt can be used.
Whipped cream or cool whip adds more creaminess and sweetness. Feel free to use store bought or homemade whipped cream.
Maraschino cherries are bold, bright, and delicious.
Feel free to garnish with some chopped nuts on top before serving! Pecans and walnuts are a great garnish.
Taste & Texture
Ambrosia salad offers a perfect blend of textures and tastes. The fruits provide a juicy and refreshing bite, while the marshmallows add a soft and chewy element.
The shredded coconut imparts a subtle crunch and a hint of tropical flavor.
The creamy dressing brings it all together, coating each ingredient with a silky smoothness. The combination of flavors results in a dessert that is simultaneously sweet, tangy, and wonderfully creamy!
How to Make
In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained pineapple chunks, mandarin orange segments, sweetened shredded coconut, miniature marshmallows, and halved maraschino cherries. Gently toss the ingredients together.
Add the sour cream to the bowl and fold it into the fruit mixture until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whip the whipped cream until it forms soft peaks. If using whipped topping, you can skip this step and proceed to the next.
Then, gently fold the whipped cream into the fruit mixture, ensuring that it is evenly incorporated.
Transfer the ambrosia salad to a serving bowl or individual serving dishes.
If desired, sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of the salad as a garnish.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld and the salad to chill.
Finally, serve the ambrosia salad chilled. Enjoy it as a refreshing and sweet side dish or dessert!
Tips & Tricks for Success
To elevate your ambrosia salad, consider these expert tips and tricks.
Use fresh fruit when available for a more vibrant and natural flavor.
Drain the canned fruits thoroughly to avoid excess liquid in the salad.
Use full-fat whipped cream or a combination of whipped cream and Greek yogurt for a richer and creamier dressing.
For a more pronounced coconut flavor, toast the shredded coconut before adding it to the salad.
Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marinate together.
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
While ambrosia salad is already a delightful treat, you can experiment with different flavor variations and add-ins to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ideas.
Add a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts to introduce a tasty crunch and a nutty undertone.
Incorporate diced mangoes, papayas, or bananas to infuse the salad with a tropical taste.
Squeeze some fresh lime or lemon juice into the creamy dressing for a tangy kick that balances the sweetness.
For an added textural element, mix in some granola just before serving.
How to Serve & Store
Ambrosia salad is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed on various occasions.
It is commonly served as a side dish or a dessert at family gatherings, potlucks, or barbecues.
The salad is best served chilled to enhance its refreshing qualities.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store for up to 3 days.
It can become mushy after 3 days. In addition, the marshmallows will taste stale.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is named for the food of the Greek and Roman gods. Some believe that it originated in New England, but it is a classic Southern dish.
Ambrosia salad was first popular in the 1800s.
Make this salad up to 2 days in advance. For the best results, make it the same day. Place in the fridge until ready to serve. Then, top with the chopped nuts.
This salad will still fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: These glass mixing bowls are great for cooking and baking.
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups: Use these glass cups to measure out all of the ingredients.
You May Also Enjoy
- Oreo Ice Cream Cake
- Grasshopper Pie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
- Banana Pudding
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshakes
This homemade Ambrosia Salad is a Southern classic! It features fruit, whipped cream, a creamy sauce, and fresh flavors. Serve it as a side dish, dessert, sweet treat, or fun snack. Everyone who tries it loves it!
- 2 cups canned pineapple chunks, drained
- 2 cups mandarin orange segments, drained
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and halved
- Optional: chopped nuts (e.g., pecans, walnuts) for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained pineapple chunks, mandarin orange segments, sweetened shredded coconut, miniature marshmallows, and halved maraschino cherries. Gently toss the ingredients together.
- Add the sour cream to the bowl and fold it into the fruit mixture until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip the whipped cream until it forms soft peaks. If using whipped topping, you can skip this step and proceed to the next.
- Then, gently fold the whipped cream into the fruit mixture, ensuring that it is evenly incorporated.
- Transfer the ambrosia salad to a serving bowl or individual serving dishes.
- Optional: Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of the salad as a garnish.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld and the salad to chill.
- Finally, serve the ambrosia salad chilled. Enjoy it as a refreshing and sweet side dish or dessert!
- This recipe is very forgiving and can be mixed and matched.
- Feel free to replace the whipped cream with cool whip.
- Use colorful mini marshmallows for a fun option.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Keywords: ambrosia salad, fruit, whipped cream, no bake, dessert, Southern, classic
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