Ambrosia Fruit Salad

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  • This Ambrosia Fruit Salad recipe is a creamy salad bursting with fruit, marshmallows and fluffy cream. Added bonus: it comes together in minutes and can be served as a festival of colors as a side or dessert! 

    overhead close up of ambrosia salad

    I remember the first time I had ambrosia salad. It was served as a side dish with Thanksgiving dinner and I couldn’t believe this fluffy, marshmallowy bowl of heaven was part of the main meal.

    It is a tradition in our family and is served with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner as a side dish, but I usually steal an extra bowl for dessert and I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast the next morning too.

    angle view of ambrosia salad in a glass bowl

    What is Ambrosia Salad?

    Ambrosia salad is a mixed fruit salad with marshmallows and some sort of cream. It’s commonly made with a combination of sour cream and whipped topping (not too be confused with real whipped cream), but can also contain yogurt or mayonnaise. Cool Whip is my go-to.

    Sour cream adds a nice contrast of flavor between the sweet fruit and miniature marshmallows.

    ingredients for ambrosia fruit salad

    Ambrosia is technically considered a fruit salad and almost always contains pineapple tidbits (or crushed pineapple) and mandarin oranges, but you can add almost any fruit you like.

    I always add a can of fruit cocktail and a handful of fresh grapes, but you could add chopped apple, pears, or even banana. Sometimes I even add extra maraschino cherries.

    Fresh fruit is also an option, but requires a lot more chopping taking away from the time-saving advantages. Adding nuts is optional, but adds a bit of crunch and texture.

    chopped fruits in a glass bowl

    Common add-ins are:

    • Chopped pecans
    • Chopped walnuts
    • Shredded coconut
    • Vanilla extract
    • Sour cream

    Why is it called Ambrosia Salad?

    The name Ambrosia salad comes from the Greek word Ambrosia which translates to immortality.

    In Greek mythology, only the Gods were permitted to eat Ambrosia, where it gets the definition “food of the Gods.”

    overhead of dressed fruit salad with whipped cream

    It is easy to see why this fluffy, fruit filled dish was given the name. Its cloud-like texture is like heaven in a bowl. 

    How to Make Ambrosia

    Mixing in stages is the key to keepings your juicy ingredients whole and not juiced. Gently strokes with a spatula are best and do not over mix.

    First, toss the fruits. Then add nuts, if using and mini marshmallows. I like these tri-colored ones because it just adds to the party.

    how to make ambrosia fruit salad

    Fold together whipped topping and sour cream until fully combined, then fold into mixture and chilling.

    creamy ambrosia fruit salad

    Making Ahead & Freezing

    Yes! In fact, this salad is better when it is made ahead of time.

    You can eat Ambrosia salad right away, and I have, but the longer it rests the fluffier it will become.

    angle view of ambrosia fruit salad

    I recommend making this salad at least 4 hours ahead of time, but making it the day before you want to serve it is even better.

    I’m sorry to tell you that this salad will not freeze well. Not at all, in fact.

    If you try to put this in the freezer you will be left with nothing but a puddle of mushy fruit when it thaws. The best way to store this salad is in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

    ambrosia fruit salad for pinterest

    More Fruity Salads:

    Fruit Fluff Salad with Cranberry, Cherry and Pineapple
    Fruit Fluff Salad is a classic side dish for the holidays combining Cherry Fluff, Pineapple Fluff and Cranberry Fluff Salad into one! #fruitfluffsalad #fluffsaladrecipe www.savoryexperiments.com
    Fruit Fluff Salad is a classic side dish for the holidays combining Cherry Fluff, Pineapple Fluff and Cranberry Fluff Salad into one! 
    Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
    Overhead of cream cheese fruit dip with fresh fruit and mint
    This Fruit Dip recipe combines both a cream cheese fruit dip and a yogurt fruit dip for the most amazing dessert dip for any summer party!
    Peach Salad
    Peach Salad is a scrumptious summer salad filled with delicious peaches, gorgonzola cheese, shallots, candied walnuts and a tangy peach dressing. The perfect summer salad! #peachsalad #summersalads www.savoryexperiments.com
    Peach Salad is a scrumptious summer salad filled with delicious peaches, gorgonzola cheese, shallots, candied walnuts and a tangy peach dressing. The perfect summer salad!
    close up overhead of ambrosia salad for pinterest

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    overhead of ambrosia salad
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    5 from 5 votes

    Ambrosia Fruit Salad

    Bursting with fruit, marshmallows and fluffy cream, this Ambrosia Salad comes together in minutes and can be served as a side or dessert!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Chilling Time4 hrs
    Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: American, Greek
    Keyword: ambrosia fruit salad, ambrosia salad, creamy fruit salad, fruit salads
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 168kcal
    Author: Deanna Hill

    Ingredients

    • 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges , drained
    • 1 14-ounce can pineapple tidbits , drained
    • 1 15-ounce can fruit cocktail , drained
    • ½ cup grapes , halved
    • ½ cup pecans , chopped and optional
    • 3 cups mini marshmallows , rainbow or plain
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • 1 ½ cups frozen whipped topping , thawed (such as Cool Whip)

    Instructions

    • In a large bowl, mix the oranges, pineapples and fruit salad. Then stir in the marshmallows and pecans.
      how to make creamy fruit salad
    • In a small bowl fold together the sour cream and the whipped topping. Folded blended mixture into the salad.
      mix cool whip into fruit salad
    • Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
    how to make ambrosia fruit salad

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