Ambrosia Salad

5 from 3 votes
4 Comments

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This Ambrosia Salad recipe is sweet, creamy, and delicious. Find out how to make this Ambrosia Salad here.

Three cups of Ambrosia salad topped with pecans and cherries

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a traditional American fruit salad. The word “ambrosia” is found in Greek mythology and refers to a food the gods eat. According to authors like Homer, ambrosia is what gave the gods longevity and immortality. Now, I can’t make those kind of promises about this recipe, but it is a delicious salad that kids and adults will love! It is one of those “salads” that is really more like a dessert. It is creamy, sweet, and bursting with flavor! Depending on where you are from it might be one of your Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas classics. You might have also seen it pop up at potlucks as a side dish.

Ingredients

Ambrosia Salad has a unique list of ingredients, but they all come together to create a sweet treat!

  • Fruit: Mandarin Oranges, Pineapple Tidbits, Maraschino Cherries – These three fruits create the base of the Ambrosia fruit salad. 
  • Fruit-flavored Mini Marshmallows – You’ll definitely want to use the colorful, fruit-flavored mini marshmallows for this recipe. Not only does it add flavor, but it add such fun color as well! 
  • Chopped Pecans – The nuts add a nice crunch to an otherwise soft and creamy dish. 
  • Sour Cream – Some people may be tempted to use something sweeter like Cool Whip or homemade whipped topping, but the sour cream gives it a tangy flavor that compliments the sweetness of the fruit. If you are just dying for some more sweetness, you can stir in some vanilla extract as well. 
  • Optional: Sweetened Coconut Shreds – Almost every Ambrosia salad recipe you will find has coconut, but we have some coconut haters in the family so I usually have to leave it out.
Three cups of Ambrosia salad topped with pecans and cherries

Preparing the Fruit

The most important step in this recipe is to drain the fruit. If you leave too much liquid in, the sour cream won’t stick to the fruit and you’ll have a mess on your hands. Pour the fruit into a strainer and really let the liquid run off. If using fresh fruit, let it sit in a bowl for about 10 minutes and then drain off any excess liquid.

A large bowl of ambrosia salad topped with orange slices, maraschino cherries, and pecans

Possible Variations for Ambrosia Salad

Since Ambrosia Salad is such a simple recipe, but there are many ways to make it your own! Below are some ideas, but if you have any of your own, let us know in the comments below! 

  • Fruits: Add banana, strawberries, or peeled grapes. You can also use fresh fruit as opposed to canned. Use sliced tangerines and sliced fresh pineapple. 
  • Nuts: Instead of pecans, you can use walnuts or pistachios. 
  • Sour Cream: If the sour cream just isn’t working for you, you can try Greek yogurt or whipped cream.

More Sweet Salad Recipes

These recipes, like Ambrosia Salad, are more of a dessert than a salad, but we don’t care! They are delicious and both adults and kids love them!

Three cups of Ambrosia salad topped with pecans and cherries

Ambrosia Salad

5 from 3 votes
This Ambrosia Salad recipe is sweet, creamy, and delicious. Find out how to make this Ambrosia Salad here.
Prep Time 15 mins
Chill Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix everything except the sour cream together in a large bowl.
    A glass bowl full of marshmallows, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cherries
  • Fold in sour cream.
    A bowl full of fruit and marshmallows covered in a sugary sauce
  • Chill for 24 hours. Top with extra fruit and nuts if desired. Add a little pineapple juice if the salad is too dry.
    A large bowl of ambrosia salad topped with orange slices, maraschino cherries, and pecans

Nutrition Information

Calories: 391kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 3gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 77mgPotassium: 293mgFiber: 4gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 639IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 111mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We loved this side salad, it was so good! The kids ate it like they eat candy!! The best replacement for a healthier dessert!