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
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!
How to Make Ambrosia Salad
Ambrosia Fruit Salad is a great side to whip up if you are short on time!
- Drain all pineapple and oranges (per recipe below).
- Add to a large bowl and stir.
- 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.
More Dessert Salads
Perfect for a summer barbecue, Christmas dinner, or even as a no-bake dessert!
- Cranberry Waldorf Salad
- Berry Fluff Jello Salad
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Millionaire Cranberry Salad
- Strawberry Banana Salad
- Cherry Fluff Salad
What are your favorite Ambrosia Salad ingredients? Let us know in a comment below!
Easy Ambrosia Salad
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup mini marshmallows white or fruit flavored
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup canned pineapple tidbits well drained
- 1 cup canned mandarin orange segments drained
- Fold together all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Serve cold.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)