Check out my recipe for making Ambrosia Salad!
Ambrosia salad is a classic holiday side dish or dessert. Originally, Ambrosia salad was made of luxurious, hard-to-find, and expensive ingredients. It was considered a true luxury and was reserved for the holidays and very special occasions.
in It's a perfectly sweet, fruit salad...with a few extra additions. There are many different varieties, but almost all have canned fruit, maraschino cherries, coconut and some sort of whipped topping.
Not only is ambrosia salad incredibly easy to make, but it's a crowd-pleaser, you can make it ahead of time and it makes for great leftovers!
Traditionally, ambrosia salad has either sour cream or yogurt in it. My version has neither. You can add either option if you would like. It's a personal preference based on the overall taste and texture. I prefer to keep the ambrosia salad a little sweeter. By omitting the sour cream or yogurt, the flavor of the fruit and cool whip really stand out.
One of the nice things about ambrosia salad is that you can really make it any way that you want. We REALLY love the cherries, so we add more! Some like to add strawberries,green grapes, or bananas. I tend to stick to just the mandarin oranges, cherries, and pineapples. But, I do that because that's the way my family has always made it! Find out what you like and start your own traditions! You really can't mess this recipe up!
Tips for making Ambrosia Salad
Ambrosia salad is made of fruit, usually canned, maraschino cherries, sweetened, shredded coconut flakes, whipped topping, usually cool whip, and mini marshmallows. Many choose to add either sour cream or yogurt.
Ambrosia salad gets it's name "ambrosia" from the Greek Gods. Ambrosia means the "the food of the Gods." Due to the luxurious ingredients that were once used, this dish was considered very special and was reserved for special occasions. Now, you can find Ambrosia salad at many potlucks and on many holiday tables.
No, it is not recommended to freeze Ambrosia salad. The fruit, marshmallows, and whipped topping will not have the same texture or consistency after freezing.
Ambrosia salad will last for several days in the refrigerator. It actually tastes a little better after being in the fridge for a day or so. The ingredients do a nice job of combining all together after being refrigerated. But, you don't want the marshmallows to start to get really soggy and almost dissolve. So, don't refrigerate it for more than about a week.
Ambrosia salad is not a salad in the typical sense. There's no lettuce or vegetables. It's closer to a fruit salad which can be served as a side dish or dessert. Since there are so many sweet elements in Ambrosia salad, it's traditionally served as a dessert after a nice holiday meal.
No. Ambrosia does not have jello in it. ambrosia is a creamy fruit salad. The whipped topping makes it sweet and creamy. If you'd like to make the Ambrosia a little less sweet, you can add a little sour cream or yogurt.
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What you'll need to make Ambrosia Salad:
Ingredient substitutions and tips for making Ambrosia Salad:
The full ingredient list is found at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
Mandarin Oranges (Canned)- I prefer to use all canned fruit for this recipe. If you choose to use fresh, make sure that you remove the entire peel and cut the oranges into segments. You do not want any of the pith left on the orange segments. Be sure to drain all of the liquid from the can of mandarin orange slices.
Pineapple Chunks or Tidbits (Canned)- I choose to use canned pineapple chunks or pineapple tidbits. The pieces of pineapple should be quite small. You can use fresh pineapple, if preferred. Be sure to drain all of the liquid from the can of pineapples.
Maraschino Cherries (Cut in half.)- Fresh cherries will not work for this recipe as they are not as sweet as maraschino cherries. Cut the cherries in half. Add as many as you would like. The more the merrier!
Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Cool Whip (Thawed)-I recommend using cool whip or a similar brand. Lite or full fat will work. Thaw it in the refrigerator before using it. Homemade whipped cream (not canned) can be used. However, whipped cream does not stabilize very well and it tends to get runny very fast, especially when added to wet ingredients. If you are using homemade whipped cream, make sure that the you make stiff peaks in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, and then gently fold the whipped cream into the fruit, coconut, and marshmallow mixture.
Mini Marshmallows-No substitutes-you need marshmallows for this recipe. Get the small ones as the big ones will be too big in comparison to the other bite-sized ingredients.
Directions for making Ambrosia Salad:
1. Drain the oranges, pineapples, and cherries from the juice in the can/jar.
2. Combine all of the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
3. Add the coconut, cool whip, and marshmallows. Mix until well combined.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!
Pin Ambrosia Salad on Pinterest:
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- 15 Ounces (425.24 g) Mandarin Oranges (Canned)
- 15 Ounces (425.24 g) Pineapple Chunks or Tidbits (Canned)
- 16 Ounces (453.59 g) Maraschino Cherries (Cut in half.)
- 1½ Cup (135 g) Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- 8 Ounces (226.8 g) Cool Whip (Thawed)
- 1½ Cup (75 g) Mini Marshmallows
- Drain the oranges, pineapples, and cherries from the juice in the can/jar.
- Combine all of the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Add the coconut, cool whip, and marshmallows. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only.
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