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Holiday Ambrosia Salad is cool, sweet, and over-the-top delicious! It’s a retro recipe that can be served as a salad, side dish, or dessert for Christmas, Easter, or just about any holiday or family get-together.
No matter the time of year or the special occasion, this easy-to-make Ambrosia Salad is sure to be the star of any meal! Whether you serve this recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or even Sunday Suppers, it’s a tried and true family favorite that everyone will love.
Not only is Ambrosia Salad delicious, it’s also one of the best make-ahead recipes to serve for special occasions since it’s a chilled dish anyway. Additionally, you can customize this salad to fit your family’s tastes by adding extra whipped cream or taking out the cherries.
Filled with pineapple, orange, coconut, pecan, and grape flavors, this southern classic recipe is hard to resist. Ambrosia Salad is also super versatile; you can serve it as a sweet side salad or bring it out for dessert with pound cake or cookies. With all our favorite flavors wrapped up into one bite, this recipe has earned a spot on any potluck or holiday table.
Make This Recipe For…
- Block Parties
- Graduation Parties
- Birthday Celebrations
- Baby Showers
Ingredients Needed To Make Ambrosia Salad
- Canned Pineapple chunks
- Canned Mandarin oranges
- Maraschino cherries
- Green grapes – halved
- Pecans – chopped
- Mini marshmallows
- Sweetened Coconut flakes
- Sour Cream
- Heavy cream
PRO TIP: I recommend using powdered sugar in your homemade whipped cream because it’ll dissolve into the heavy cream. Using granulated sugar will also work, just make sure it’s very finely granulated.
How To Make Ambrosia Salad
- Place pineapple chunks and oranges in a strainer and set aside for approximately 30-45 minutes to completely drain. Drain cherries, rinse in cold water and set aside with other fruit to drain.
- Add heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Fold half the sour cream using a spatula, then fold in the remaining sour cream, careful not to deflate the whipped cream.
- Gently stir coconut and marshmallows into the whipped cream mixture. Add in drained fruits, sliced grapes, and nuts, stirring gently to incorporate. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
How Healthy Is Ambrosia Salad?
For a healthier version, you can use low-fat sour cream, fresh pineapple, fresh orange or clementine slices, fresh cherries, and low-sugar marshmallows. If you substitute these fresh ingredients for the canned versions, this essential recipe becomes a healthy, light, creamy fruit salad. Personally, I love the bright flavors in the original version of this recipe, with all the canned ingredients, but it’s totally up to you!
Can Ambrosia Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can absolutely prepare this recipe ahead of time! This recipe will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, so you can prepare it in advance without any worries. Making this salad ahead of time is a particularly good idea for the holidays, so you don’t have to worry about it the day of.
Delicious Additions To Ambrosia Salad
This is a super versatile recipe so you can make all kinds of delicious additions to it. Here are a couple of my favorite add-ins…
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Candied Pecans
- Fresh Mint
- Cool Whip
- Lucky Charms Marshmallows
What To Serve With This Recipe
There are so many delicious ways to serve this salad! You can serve it alongside classic savory recipes or serve it on a dessert table with other sweet treats; it’s up to you! Here are a couple of my favorite sweet and savory dishes to pair it with…
More Recipes For Entertaining You’ll Love…
- Easy Beef and Cheddar Sliders
- Baked Brie In Puffed Pastry
- Stuffed Party Mushrooms
- Best Cream Cheese Sausage Balls
- Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
Holiday Ambrosia Salad
- Mixing Bowls
- Hand Mixer
- 1 20 oz can Pineapple Chunks
- 1 15 oz can Mandarin Oranges
- 1 cup Maraschino Cherries
- 1 cup Green Grapes – halved
- 1 cup Pecans – chopped
- 3 cups Mini Marshmallows
- 1 cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 to 1.5 tablespoons Sugar – powdered or granulated white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Place pineapple chunks and oranges in a strainer and set aside, approximately 30-45 minutes to completely drain. Drain cherries, rinse in cold water and set aside with other fruit to drain.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks of whipped cream form, about 3-5 minutes. Fold in half of sour cream using a spatula, then fold in remaining sour cream being careful not to deflate whipped cream.
- Gently stir coconut and marshmallows into the whipped cream mixture. Add in drained fruits, sliced grapes and nuts, stirring gently to incorporate. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.