Ambrosia salad recipe with with cool whip, fruit and marshmallows is the perfect for your upcoming picnic. Kid friendly with just the right amount of sweet, this is a classic recipe that will remind you of what grandma used to make! The mandarin oranges, pineapple and sweet cherries make such a fun and festive fruit salad!
Salad Side Dishes
It’s so easy to get caught up with side salads during the spring. Salads remind everyone of spring and healthy food and picnics. And it’s true, I do love me some cucumber tomato feta salad, Caprese, and even zesty Italian pasta salad pretty much any day of the week.
But I can always remember ambrosia salad for all the holidays as well.
I had it every Thanksgiving and every Christmas as long as I can remember. Between that and Watergate salad, it was a real treat for us kids. So while the adults started on all the turkey and ham, we ran to the other side for the marshmallows, fluffs, and fruit!
Ambrosia Salad Video
Make sure you watch my Ambrosia Salad Video recipe and check out the cool whip options. YUM!
Plus it shows how EASY it is to make and a few recipe alterations we made to make this ambrosia salad totally the BEST version of itself.But if you can pry yourself away from the pretty savory side dish veggies, you can open up a whole world of fruits!
This ambrosia salad with cool whip is just the tip of the iceberg with our upcoming fruit salad features. (update: Watergate salad is now live, do not miss this retro dessert!)
The cherries, oranges and pineapples allow the citrus of the fruits to mix in gently with the cool whip topping and vanilla yogurt.
While I wouldn’t call this Ambrosia fruit salad with cool whip a summer salad that is overly healthy, it is a perfect mixture of all things spring and summer and will probably remind you of your childhood holidays like it does mine.
Ambrosia Salad Recipe
Classic ambrosia is often up to the maker, from jello and sour cream additives to the original pistachio and Watergate salad feel, its an old fashioned salad rooted in huge pot lucks that you would find at your church.
I love ambrosia because the truth is I could eat anything wrapped up in cool whip. Its more of a dessert salad but I try to convince myself the fruits make it “healthy.”
Hint: It’s not healthy, but Ambrosia salad is worth it.
Also, in this classic recipe I leave the normal and traditionally iconic whipped topping in the recipe below, but I have also used the Birthday Cake Cool Whip and its SO GOOD!! So if you see flavored cool whips, feel free to branch out on that. The birthday cake cool whip is slightly pink too which is a lot of fun.
Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this post, including all measurements and instructions, so you can follow along in your kitchen without being on your phone.
Here is what you need to gather to get started:
- Mandarin Oranges, drained
- pineapple chunks, drained
- maraschino cherries, drained
- vanilla Greek yogurt
- shredded coconut
- mini marshmallows
- chopped pecans (Optional)
- whipped topping
TIP: I like the consistency and flavor in vanilla yogurts, but its OK to experiment and try flavors like strawberry and cherry yogurts as well!
Ambrosia Fruit Salad with Cool Whip
What I love about this recipe is that it’s minutes, I mean minutes, until its done! I think it can be so stressful to have to prep meals and this ambrosia salad is basically a dump and mix scenario.
You just want to make sure you have enough time to let this salad sit in the fridge and get cold.
The flavors need a chance to blend and solidify and it just tastes better this way.
Try to make it at least an hour a head of time but up to four hours for best case.
To get started on your Ambrosia Salad recipe, make sure your fruit is all drained and prepped.
Then mix your oranges, pineapple and cherries together in a mixing bowl.
Add vanilla Greek yogurt, shredded coconut and mini marshmallows (you can also use fruit filled marshmallows) and mix well.
In this ambrosia salad recipe we used a Vanilla Greek yogurt, but you could change up the flavors and make a different version.
Try strawberry or Lemon!
Do not feel married to this recipe if you know that you love a flavor of something else.
Half the fun in the kitchen is making it your own.
Fold in whipped topping slowly, making sure you cover all your fruit and marshmallows.
I am also showing a picture of the Birthday Cake Cool Whip so you know what to look for in the store if you choose that.
You can serve immediately or you can refrigerate your salad with the bowl covered for at least 4 hours or overnight if you can to really solidify the flavors.
Because this salad has dairy in it, putting and leaving it in the heat outside for long periods of time is not recommended because it will melt down.
Stir Ambrosia Salad Well before serving to ensure equal flavoring.
Fruit Salad with Marshmallows
I think fruit can be a personal thing and I really love my salad this way, as my grandmother used to make it that way, but you can also try adding:
- Peeled Grapes
- Fresh Sliced Bananas (add right before serving so they don’t turn brown)
- Crunchy toppings like pecans or walnuts – in this ambrosia salad I left them out as I didn’t have them in my pantry at the time but they are super common to use and I do prefer them
Easy Sweet Dessert Salads
Need more recipes that are perfect for holiday tables?
- 1 can, 15 oz, Mandarin Oranges, drained
- 1 can, 20 oz, pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 jar, 12 oz, maraschino cherries, drained
- 3/4 cup, 6 oz container, vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 tub, 8 oz, whipped topping, thawed
- pecans, chopped / optional
- Mix drained oranges, drained pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries together in a mixing bowl.
- Add Vanilla Greek yogurt, shredded coconut and mini marshmallows and mix well.
- Fold in whipped topping. NOTE: There are flavored toppings out in the fall and feel free to use flavored cool whips for an extra treat. I love the Birthday Cake one!
- Serve Ambrosia Salad immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 4 hours or overnight.
- Stir well before serving to prevent any settling.
Like crunch? Add some chopped pecans or walnuts as a top layer.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 254Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 39gProtein: 3g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated with ingredients and serving size and may not be accurate. Please always double check with your own nutritional apps as well.