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Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad – Indulge in this heavenly, creamy salad loaded with fruit, marshmallows, grated coconut, and crunchy nuts. Light and refreshing, it comes together in less than 10 minutes. Sweet, tangy, and fruity, oh my! 

A bowl of decandent ambrosia salad

I love how every spoonful of this delicious ambrosia salad takes me to heaven and back with its luscious dressing and wonderful fruit medley. And the distinct creamy coconut flavor will give you relaxing tropical vibes. Truly a fabulous dessert fit for the gods! 

Why Is It Called Ambrosia Salad?

Before, you could only find Ambrosia salad on special occasions because the ingredients were considered a rare luxury. Hence, the name Ambrosia, or the food of the gods. In Greek and Roman mythology, only the immortal gods and goddesses were allowed to enjoy this delicacy.

Individual servings of the best ambrosia salad

Ambrosia Salad vs. Watergate Salad

Although they both have marshmallows, nuts, pineapple, and whipped cream, you can quickly tell them apart. Ambrosia salad has fruity, tropical flavors from coconut, mandarins, oranges, and pineapples. On the other hand, Watergate salad includes pistachio green pudding and nuts for a completely different look and taste.

Ingredient List

Recipe ingredients
The dressing ingredients
  • Whipped and Sour Cream – The tangy creaminess perfectly complements the fresh fruits’ sweetness and balances the overall flavor. You can also use yogurt and cream cheese as substitutes. 
  • Fruit – There are no rules in choosing fruit for this recipe. You can use either fresh or canned fruits. And most versions include fruits like tangerine, mandarin oranges, pineapples, cherries, and grapes. 
  • Coconut – What differentiates Ambrosia salad from fruit salad are coconut flakes (or shredded coconut) and marshmallows.
  • Marshmallows – These beauties complete the salad’s distinguishing marks. 😉 I prefer the colorful mini marshmallows as they’re fun for the kids.
  • Pecans – This is optional, but the pecans add a remarkable crunchy texture to your fruit salad. 

How to Make Ambrosia Salad

Easy steps for the creamy dressing and fruit salad
  1. The Dressing – Whisk the heavy whipped cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract using a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Gently fold in the sour cream using a spatula until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. The Fruit – Combine tangerines, pineapple, grapes, coconut flakes, maraschino cherries, and marshmallows in a large bowl.
  3. Combine – Gently fold in whipped cream mixture until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle with toasted pecans. 
  4. Serve – Cover with transparent plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until ready to serve.
Individual servings of delicious ambrosia salad

Recipe Tips

  • Drain all the syrup if using canned fruit so your salad doesn’t get watery.
  • Splash some fresh lemon, lime, or pineapple juice, into your fresh fruit to prevent it from browning. 
  • Add the mandarins last so they don’t fall apart. 
  • Always serve it chilled for the best experience. 

Make-Ahead Tips

If you want to make this salad and chill it for the next day, go for it. However, wait to add the marshmallows an hour or less before serving. That way, they won’t get soggy.

How to Store Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia salad will stay good in the fridge for five days. If stored properly in a freezer-safe container, you can freeze it for six months. But it will affect the texture when it thaws. Don’t tell, but I’ve served it frozen just like ice cream.

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Ambrosia Salad

Indulge in this heavenly, creamy salad loaded with fruit, marshmallows, grated coconut, and crunchy nuts. Light and refreshing, it comes together in less than 10 minutes. Sweet, tangy, and fruity, oh my! 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 355kcal

Ingredients

Ambrosia Salad Dressing

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup light sour cream

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

  • 1 cup tangerine or mandarin segments
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • cup fresh pineapple, diced (or canned)
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained
  • 2-3 cups mini rainbow marshmallows
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions

  • Whisk the heavy whipped cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract using a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Gently fold in the sour cream using a spatula until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • Combine tangerines, grapes, pineapple, coconut flakes, maraschino cherries, and marshmallows in a large bowl.
  • Gently fold in the whipped cream mixture until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
  • Cover the bowl with transparent plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Drain all the syrup if using canned fruit so your salad doesn’t get watery.
  • Splash some fresh lemon, lime, or pineapple juice, into your fresh fruit to prevent it from browning. 
  • Add the mandarins last so they don’t fall apart. 
  • Always serve it chilled for the best experience. 
  • Please remember that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 58mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 47g
Recipe Rating