The Cozy Cook

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Ambrosia Salad

This Ambrosia Salad recipe is easy to make with fluffy Cool Whip, Pineapples, Cherries, Mandarin Oranges, Fruit Cocktail, and more! It’s the best side dish recipe that everyone loves.

Be sure to try my super refreshing Fruit Dip recipe next!

Ambrosia Salad in a white bowl with cherries, mandarin oranges, and fresh mint on top.

Ambrosia Salad

This Ambrosia Salad is a simple, refreshing, and nostalgic side dish recipe that is so easy to prepare. It’s perfect for summer potlucks and BBQs, but it has a special place at the holiday table well!

It’s got juicy mandarin oranges, pineapples, and fruit cocktail, and maraschino cherries.

You’ll also find varying textures with every bite, ranging from creamy Cool Whip and vanilla yogurt, to crunchy chopped pecans, fluffy mini marshmallows, and sweet coconut flakes! 

You can’t beat this recipe, there’s a place for it at just about every occasion! 

Ingredients for making Ambrosia Salad on a white surface with labels.

How to Make It

Note: This is an overview. See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Use paper towels to remove as much moisture from the fruit as possible. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir the ingredients together in a large bowl until well-combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

A glass bowl with ingredients for Ambrosia Salad before and after being mixed.

Pro Tips

  • Be sure to use paper towels to remove as much moisture from the fruit as possible so that the consistency remains creamy and not watery.
  • Coconut Flakes: Feel free to toast the coconut flakes in a skillet over medium for a few minutes to add more depth of flavor! Stir frequently and watch them closely.
  • Yogurt: 1/2 cup sour cream + 1 tsp. vanilla extract can be used instead of yogurt if needed or preferred.
  • Mint: Fresh mint makes a beautiful garnish to this dish!
  • Feel free to add a little cottage cheese to the mix as well! 
  • Make Ahead: Feel free to make this dish hours ahead of time and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It can also be stored overnight until ready to serve.
  • Ambrosia: This word comes from Greek mythology and translates to “the food of the Gods“. It implies that the food is delicious and life giving, providing eternal youth or immortality. (Wouldn’t that be nice!?)

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Leftovers don’t freeze well.)

Creamy Ambrosia Salad in a white bowl with cherries and mandarin oranges on top.

Tools For This Recipe

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Creamy Ambrosia Salad in a white bowl with cherries and mandarin oranges on top.

Ambrosia Salad

5 from 3 ratings
This Creamy Ambrosia Salad is easy to make with juicy pineapples, mandarin oranges, cherries, and fruit cocktail! It's accompanied by fluffy cool whip, yogurt, marshmallows, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans!

Ingredients

  • 20 oz. pineapple chunks, drained and patted dry
  • 15 oz. mandarin oranges, drained and patted dry
  • 15 oz. fruit cocktail, drained and patted dry
  • 10 oz. maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt, full fat. See notes
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 8 oz. cool whip, thawed
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

Instructions

  • Use paper towels to remove excess from the fruit so that the texture remains creamy (vs. watery).
  • Set aside a few mandarin oranges, cherries, coconut flakes, and nuts to decorate the top of the salad.
  • Add salad ingredients to a large bowl and use a silicone spatula to gently combine. Transfer to a serving dish and top with reserved fruit, coconut flakes, and nuts.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Be sure to use paper towels to remove as much moisture from the fruit as possible so that the consistency remains creamy and not watery.
  • Coconut Flakes: Feel free to toast the coconut flakes in a skillet over medium for a few minutes to add more depth of flavor! Stir frequently and watch them closely.
  • Yogurt: 1/2 cup sour cream + 1 tsp. vanilla extract can be used instead of yogurt if needed or preferred.
  • Mint: Fresh mint makes a beautiful garnish to this dish!
  • Feel free to add a little cottage cheese to the mix as well! 
  • Make Ahead: Feel free to make this dish hours ahead of time and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It can also be stored overnight until ready to serve.
  • Ambrosia: This word comes from Greek mythology and translates to "the food of the Gods". It implies that the food is delicious and life giving, providing eternal youth or immortality. (Wouldn't that be nice!?)

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Leftovers don't freeze well.)

Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. This recipe has 8 servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 61mg, Potassium: 346mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 50g, Vitamin A: 585IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 124mg, Iron: 1mg
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8 comments on “Ambrosia Salad”

  1. Hi Stephanie
    Brooklyn and I are enjoying your cookbook so much. It has a permanent space on my countertop! I’m still doing PT so we look to your recipes as a source of comfort! Thank you! I have a question about the Ambrosia salad. I’m going to a Celebration of life and would like to make this. I’m not sure if it’s an inside or outside event. Will it be ok to make this if it’s an outside event? Here in Florida the heat is unbearable. I don’t want it getting spoiled. Thank you for sharing such great recipes. Blessings.

    • Hi Donna! I’m so happy to hear that you’re loving the cookbook!!! I just sent my second cookbook to the printer this week which I’m SO excited about!! As far as the ambrosia salad and unbearable heat, whipped cream and yogurt can only withstand that heat for so long, maybe you could find a way to place the serving bowl in another bowl of ice to help keep it chill? Otherwise, it may not hold up too long. Perhaps a pasta salad would work better?

  2. I made this for a cool summer desert. The cool whip with vanilla yogurt is a tasty base. Using paper towels to get excess water off of fruit is an appreciated tip! Next time I think I’ll used a diced apple instead of fruit cocktail to have some crunch and freshness in it. I didn’t add the coconut (too cheap to buy) and pecans (nut allergy), and it was fine w/o those.

  3. Looks great – but nix on the coconut and pecans – my family would never eat this with those in it. Other than those 2 ingredients – this is the perfect salad. Thank you for posting it.

  4. I decided to make some of this after seeing your post on Instagram since it looked delicious! My eyes did not deceive me…it was fabulous! I just love the consistency and the mixture of fruit complimented by yogurt and the fluffy cool whip. Surprisingly, I haven’t had ambrosia salad before but now I’m going make it and munch on it in the evenings when I want a little something sweet. It’s perfect for Summer! I brought a little bit to my neighbor as well and she was thrilled. Thank you!

    • I’m so happy that you loved it Barbara! You’re just like me- I love snacking on this at night for some reason. We’re going through a heat wave so it’s extra refreshing. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! 🙂 -Stephanie

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