Easy Ambrosia Salad – Spend With Pennies

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Looking for a sweet and refreshing side dish or dessert? You’ll love Ambrosia Salad!

This classic recipe has a blend of pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges, and mini marshmallows all mixed together in a creamy base.

Perfect for parties, holidays, and potlucks, with just 5 ingredients, this Ambrosia Salad is as yummy as it is easy!

ambrosia salad in a bowl topped with a cherry

What is Ambrosia Salad?

Despite its name, this dish is more like a dessert than a salad. Ambrosia Salad is a classic recipe that’s often served as a side dish during special occasions like Easter and Thanksgiving. Ambrosia literally means ‘food of the gods,’ but this salad is also called 5-cup salad or even just known as fruit salad with marshmallows.

It starts with a creamy base that’s mixed with mandarin oranges, sweet pineapple tidbits, fluffy mini marshmallows, and coconut shreds.

ingredients for ambrosia salad on the counter

Ambrosia Salad Ingredients

The possibilities for ingredients in this recipe are endless.

  • Yogurt/Sour Cream – To make the base of this Ambrosia Salad recipe, you’ll need either sour cream or Greek yogurt. Our family has always used sour cream, which becomes sweet from the marshmallows, but feel free to try vanilla yogurt, cream cheese, whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), or even whipped cream. Just keep in mind that different bases will produce different textures and flavors.
  • Fruit – Our family’s recipe for Ambrosia Salad uses mandarin oranges and pineapple, but you can mix things up by using canned fruit cocktail or peaches instead. If you prefer, you can even stir in fresh fruit like grapes, bananas, blueberries, or strawberries.
  • Additions – While this recipe is delicious on its own, you can add other ingredients. Try adding maraschino cherries or nuts like walnuts or pecans to give it a bit of extra crunch and flavor.
ingredients for ambrosia salad in a glass bowl

How to Make Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Fruit Salad is a great side to whip up if you are short on time!

  1. Drain all pineapple and oranges (per the recipe below).
  2. Add all ingredients except oranges and mix well. Gently fold in oranges.
  3. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Tips for Ambrosia Salad

  • 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.
Mixed ingredients for ambrosia salad in a bowl

More Dessert Salads

Perfect for Thanksgiving or Easter, a summer barbecue, Christmas dinner, or even as a no-bake dessert!

What are your favorite Ambrosia Salad ingredients? Let us know in a comment below!

ambrosia salad in a bowl topped with a cherry

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Easy Ambrosia Salad

This ambrosia salad recipe is so easy to make, perfectly fluffy and a great holiday side dish!

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Chill Time 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

  • In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, marshmallows, coconut, and pineapple tidbits.

  • Gently fold in mandarin oranges.

  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.

  • 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, they can be fragile and break apart.
  • Use Greek yogurt or plain yogurt, or sour cream for the base. I prefer sour cream.

Calories: 150 | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
ambrosia salad in a bowl topped with a cherry with marshmallows shown with a title
top view of Easy Ambrosia Salad in a bowl with writing
Easy Ambrosia Saladin a bowl with writing




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