simple Ambrosia Salad recipe

This is just one of several recipes for Ambrosia Salad, one of my all-time favorite sweets! Serve this salad at your next gathering—it’s perfect for gatherings of all ages because to its ease of preparation.

Here’s an oldie that still tastes good: Ambrosia Salad! A lot of people, including my Aunt Judie, love this simple dessert salad, and it never fails to be a success. Considering how simple it is to make this at home, there is no justification for buying it from the deli. Like me, you will like this traditional salad.

In my opinion, salads like these will always be in vogue…Would you want to discover the reason behind it? Since they have the most mouth-watering flavor! They’re simple. They’re entertaining. You can easily reach them. Their popularity among children is palpable. People in their adult years admire them. Good for picnics, barbecues, and other social gatherings. Are you still not convinced?

Ambrosia salad is something I’ve loved for a long time. Long ago, my Aunt Judie was the one who first showed it to me. On her list of favorites. The trouble is, if you want to get it from the supermarket, the prices are a little exorbitant. For example, $5 for a small container. For about $4, I can whip together this whole salad. That is all. (You, too, can do it now!)

In any case, what exactly is this Ambrosia salad made of? A plethora of delicious things, that’s what! Oh my goodness! Crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries, coconut, and mandarin oranges!
A few individuals like theirs with almonds. Still others don’t. Either way, I don’t pass judgment. If I’m feeling very indulgent, I’ll roast the nuts before adding them to this simple ambrosia salad. It makes all the difference in the world. In this salad, I opted for white small marshmallows, although my favorite are the multi-colored fruit flavored ones. I like the vibrancy they provide, and they’re always a lot of fun. How about you decide?

Though I don’t specifically add any sugar to this salad, the richness of the fruit makes up for it. There’s a lot of flavor here. Let me tell you about a tiny item that I have for my recipe: sour cream! The sour cream provides a subtle, creamy acidity that balances out all that sugar. It would also be absolutely perfect with Greek yogurt. To prevent this ambrosia salad from being sickly sweet, it works wonders.

Indulge in every mouthful for absolute joy. How enchanting!

I believe you’ll agree that this Ambrosia Salad is the BEST if you attempt it on a Tuesday night (since it’s so quick) and want to “wow” your friends or family.



  • 1 8 oz tub Cool Whip lite is fine
  • ½ cup sour cream light is fine
  • 1 11 oz can mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple drained
  • 10 oz jar maraschino cherries drained, halved, and patted dry
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts pecans, walnuts, cashews optional


  • Fold sour cream into Cool Whip in a large serving bowl.
  • Fold in remaining ingredients making sure the pineapple, oranges, and cherries have been properly drained.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving


  1. Fruit Choices:
    • Use canned fruit that is packed in juice rather than syrup to avoid excess sweetness.
    • Fresh fruit can also be used; consider using fresh pineapple or fresh mandarin segments if available.
  2. Marshmallows:
    • Mini marshmallows work best for even distribution throughout the salad.
    • For a fun twist, use fruit-flavored marshmallows.
  3. Coconut:
    • Shredded sweetened coconut is traditionally used, but if you prefer less sweetness, opt for unsweetened coconut flakes.
    • Toasting the coconut lightly before adding can enhance its flavor.
  4. Creamy Base:
    • Some variations use whipped topping (like Cool Whip) instead of whipped cream for a lighter texture.
    • Yogurt can be substituted for sour cream for a tangier flavor or to reduce calories.
  5. Cherries:
    • Maraschino cherries add a pop of color and sweetness; choose cherries without added coloring for a more natural dish.
    • You can also use fresh pitted cherries when in season.
  6. Nuts:
    • Pecans add a nice crunch, but walnuts or almonds are also great alternatives.
    • If allergies are a concern, omit nuts altogether.
  7. Chilling Time:
    • Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Overnight chilling is often best for optimal flavor.