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Ambrosia Salad is creamy, fruity, and colorful. Literally meaning “food of the gods,” this recipe has earned its place as a side dish for many holiday and family meals.
The only similarity Ambrosia Salad has to any other salad is that it has many ingredients “tossed” together. It may seem an anomaly to serve this sweet side dish with the main course, but that’s the tradition. You may have also seen it arrive at a church function via a grandmother. Many grandmothers have handwritten this recipe on a card, and most have their own unique additions. Likewise, you can make this recipe your own.
This salad is creamy, whipped and laden with fruits, marshmallows, coconut, and nuts. Crunchy, creamy, fruity, and nutty: Ambrosia Salad has it all. Most recipes include citrus fruit and coconut mixed into a creamy base.
Ambrosia Salad Ingredients
- Cream cheese
- Whipped topping
- Mandarin oranges
- Crushed pineapple
- Maraschino cherries
- Shredded coconut
- Chopped walnuts
This Ambrosia Salad recipe has it all. Tangy cream cheese and fluffy whipped topping make the base that carries both mandarin oranges and pineapple. Mini marshmallows, maraschino cherries, shredded coconut, and chopped walnuts all combine in this yummy salad.
Some versions call for cottage cheese or sour cream to get that characteristic tangy flavor. Mix instant vanilla pudding into your whipped topping for a twist! (This also makes a delicious fruit dip!) Leave out the coconut or chopped nuts depending on your preferences. However you mix it, let the salad chill before serving.
How to Make Ambrosia Salad
FIRST STEP: In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese on low until smooth.
SECOND STEP: Add the whipped topping, a third at a time, mixing on low speed.
THIRD STEP: Stir in oranges, pineapple, cherries, coconut, and marshmallows.
FOURTH STEP: Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped walnuts and cherries if desired.
Use softened cream cheese and thawed whipped topping.
Use multicolored mini marshmallows for an even more colorful salad! These are also fruit-flavored.
Fold the additions in gently with a spatula to keep everything intact and fluffy.
Ambrosia Salad is easy to make a day ahead of time and keep chilled.
Storing this Recipe
Keep Ambrosia Salad covered and chilled in the refrigerator prior to serving and refrigerate any leftovers.
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- cream cheese (room temp) 8 ounces
- container whipped topping 8 oz
- can mandarin oranges (drained) 1 15 ounce
- can crushed pineapple (drained) 1 20 ounce
- jar maraschino cherries ( drained and cut in half (plus more for garnish)) 1 12 ounce
- marshmallows 1 cup
- shredded coconut 1 cup
- chopped walnuts (for garnish)
- In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese on low until smooth.
- Add the whipped topping, a third at a time, mixing on low speed.
- Stir in oranges, pineapple, cherries, coconut and marshmallows.
- Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with chopped walnuts and cherries if desired.