Ambrosia salad is a fruit-based salad with a creamy dressing. Bright, tropical fruits, sweet marshmallows, and shredded coconut are folded into a sweet and slightly tangy base made by simply mixing whipped topping with either Greek yogurt or sour cream.
I absolutely love serving this salad at a summer barbecue. The colorful fruit is such a pretty contrast to the bright white dressing — and it’s always a big hit.
What makes this such an easy recipe is that it combines already prepared ingredients — like the whipped topping and yogurt — with canned fruit. There’s no slicing, dicing, or other heavy-duty prep work — all you need to do is combine the ingredients together.
If you’re looking for a great recipe for a classic salad, you’ve found it! Try taking this delicious side dish to summer potlucks or baby showers, or even think about making a place for it on your holiday table.
Common Questions about Ambrosia Salad
What is ambrosia salad?
Ambrosia salad is a fruit salad that incorporates tropical flavors like pineapple and coconut. It’s creamy thanks to the addition of whipped cream and yogurt or sour cream.
Is ambrosia salad still popular?
It is still a salad that many people enjoy. The salad is particularly popular in the southern United States where it’s often a staple at Christmas celebrations or special family gatherings.
Where did the salad get the name ambrosia?
The word ambrosia, from Roman and Greek mythology, means: food of the gods. Because the fruits weren’t prevalent yet in the United States, they were considered somewhat exotic which is why the salad was reserved for special occasions.
Making Ambrosia Salad Ahead of Time
Ambrosia salad is best made well ahead of serving so that it can chill and the flavors can develop.
Be sure to keep this salad refrigerated and covered.
Refrigerator: Store leftover ambrosia salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezing: You can freeze ambrosia salad for up to 3 months in an airtight container. However, once it is frozen it should be served that way – use a melon baller or ice cream scoop to serve.
Tips For The Best Ambrosia Salad
While this creamy fruit salad is a cinch to make, there are a few things to remember to get the best results.
- Make sure to refrigerate the salad for at least a few hours. Letting it sit overnight is even better — it will develop the best flavor by the next day.
- Be sure to buy unsweetened yogurt unless you want an even sweeter salad or prefer less tanginess.
Just a handful of simple ingredients make up this sweet salad.
- Whipped topping like Cool Whip (thawed)
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Pineapple tidbits or chunks (drained)
- Mandarin oranges drained
- Mini marshmallows (fruit flavored)
- Maraschino cherries (drained)
- Coconut flakes
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
There are only two basics you need to whip up ambrosia salad.
- Large wooden spoon
- Large bowl
How to Make Ambrosia Fruit Salad
There are only a few quick steps to put together this easy fruit salad.
- Add the thawed whipped topping and Greek yogurt to a large bowl.
- Using a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula, fold the two together.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the whipped topping mixture.
- Fold them in until all ingredients are combined. Be sure that all of the fruit and marshmallows are coated with the yogurt mixture.
- Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate to allow the salad to chill so the flavors can blend.
- Serve chilled.
What to Serve With Ambrosia Fruit Salad
This sweet treat is good all on its own but you can serve it with a few other things as well.
- Grilled foods – Serve this salad at your next cookout. It’s the perfect side dish for hot dogs and hamburgers.
- Pies or cake – Top a fruit pie or piece of cake with an ambrosia salad.
- Brownies – Scoop a dollop of this over a fudgy brownie.
- Fresh fruit – Serve the salad alongside other fruit.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
If you’ve never tried ambrosia salad before this may become a mainstay on your list of go-to recipes.
- Easy – There’s very little hands-on prep time required to make this quick sweet salad.
- Cost-effective – All of the ingredients are fairly affordable.
- Convenient – You can easily find all of the ingredients at the grocery store.
Variations and Add-ins
The flavor combination in ambrosia salad is pretty spot-on but you can make some swaps or additions, too.
- Nuts – Add nuts like pecans or walnuts for a crunchy texture.
- Dairy – If you’re avoiding dairy, use your favorite plant-based alternatives for the yogurt and whipped topping.
- Fruit – Use freshly sliced fruit to garnish.
- Vanilla yogurt – If you want more sweetness in your salad you can use flavored yogurt.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla brings out the sweetness in the ingredients it’s mixed with.
- Grapes – Cut either red or green grapes in half and add them to the salad.
If you love this easy Ambrosia Salad recipe, you’re going to love these other no-bake sides too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Fruity Recipes
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Ambrosia Salad Recipe
- 8 oz whipped topping thawed
- 8 oz plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 20 oz pineapple tidbits or chunks – drained
- 15 oz mandarin oranges drained
- 10 oz mini marshmallows – fruit flavored
- 10 oz maraschino cherries drained
- 1 ¼ cup shredded coconut
- In a large bowl, fold the whipped topping and Greek yogurt together using a large spoon or stiff rubber spatula.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients until evenly combined and all ingredients are coated in the creamy mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours for the flavors to intensify. You can even leave it overnight.
- Serve chilled.
- Large mixing bowl
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.