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Ambrosia Salad

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a close up shot of Ambrosia Salad in a clear bowl
The tropical, exotic flavors in this easy ambrosia salad will guarantee that it will get eaten up fast!
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Table of Contents
  1. Ambrosia Salad Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Ambrosia Salad Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Our classic ambrosia salad recipe is a tasty fluff salad that is packed with pineapple, sweet mandarin oranges, crunchy coconut, and miniature marshmallows. The simple ingredients are mixed with a creamy dressing, making this heavenly salad a delicious and refreshing choice for the perfect side dish.

a close up shot of Ambrosia Salad in a blue bowl

Ambrosia Salad Ingredients

Ambrosia Salad raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) container of whipped topping
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (20-ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar of maraschino cherries, drained and cut in half (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • chopped walnuts (optional, for garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

NUTS: If your family doesn’t like the walnuts, they can be left off. You could also replace them with slivered almonds or another nut, depending on your preference.

WHIPPED TOPPING: If you would prefer to use homemade whipped cream in this easy fruit salad, check out our own stabilized whipped cream recipe.

CREAM CHEESE: In place of the cream cheese, you could opt to use sour cream, vanilla yogurt, or plain Greek yogurt, and your dressing will still be nice and creamy.

FRUIT: If you prefer, you could add a can of fruit cocktail for a different variety of fruit in your ambrosia salad with cream cheese.

MARSHMALLOWS: You can choose to use white miniature marshmallows or, make your salad extra fun with rainbow mini marshmallows.

How To Make This Ambrosia Salad Recipe

STEP ONE: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low until smooth.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t end up with any lumps in your creamy mixture.

cream cheese blended in a bowl

STEP TWO: Add the whipped topping, a third at a time, mixing on low speed.

whipped topping added to the cream cheese and blended together

STEP THREE: Stir in the mandarin orange slices, pineapple, cherries, coconut, and marshmallows.

PRO TIP:

Stir all of the ingredients together carefully, as you don’t want to break apart the fruit pieces.

oranges, pineapple, cherries, coconut, and marshmallows stirred in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped walnuts and cherries if desired.

PRO TIP:

If you have the time, allow this marshmallow fruit salad with cream cheese to chill for several hours in the fridge. This will allow the flavors to mingle together in your salad.

How To Serve

This easy salad is refreshing and light, perfect for a simple side dish during the summer months. It would be yummy as part of a grilled meal such as grilled tilapia, grilled salmon, or grilled chicken. It is also a popular salad to be found on a holiday dinner table or other special occasions.

Check out this Watergate salad and orange creamsicle salad for other fun vintage fluff salad recipes we all love.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: If you don’t eat all the creamy fruit salad in one serving, just scoop it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will last for 2 to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: We do not recommend freezing this easy dessert. Neither the marshmallows nor the creamy dressing will do very well in the freezer.

a close up shot of Ambrosia Salad in a clear cup

This ambrosia with cream cheese is a classic salad, and the fresh fruit flavors are hard to resist. It is light, fluffy, and flavorful, with a unique mix of colorful fruit, marshmallows, and whipped topping. And those cherries! Make it to enjoy with your family soon… you won’t be disappointed.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I store ambrosia salad?

This classic salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Can I add other fruit to this ambrosia fruit salad recipe?

This delicious fruit salad is flexible, and you can easily add other fruits. Red or green grapes would be a perfect choice for this recipe.

Can I leave out the coconut?

You can certainly omit the coconut from this salad without it being missed.

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a close up shot of Ambrosia Salad in a clear bowl

Ambrosia Salad

5 from 55 votes
The tropical, exotic flavors in this easy ambrosia salad will guarantee that it will get eaten up fast!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • 15 ounces mandarin oranges, drained
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
  • 12 ounces maraschino cherries, drained and cut in half (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup marshmallows
  • chopped walnuts, for optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, beat 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.

Video

Notes

  • Substitute the walnuts for slivered almonds if you prefer.
  • Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t end up with any lumps in your cream mixture.
  • Stir all of the ingredients together carefully, as you don’t want to break apart the fruit pieces.
  • If you have the time, allow this salad to chill for several hours in the fridge. This will allow the flavors to mingle together in your salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 1538IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 1mg
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    Comments

  1. Treena says

    My kids are always happy when I make them Ambrosia salad. May have something to do with the mini marshmallows in it 😉

  2. Jen says

    5 stars
    I bought some pre-made Ambrosia salad because I was craving some. It was not very good. I made this recipe and WOW what a difference! My family loves it. Will definitely make this again.

  3. marcia says

    5 stars
    I love ambrosia salad but…why have I never made it? Seems like I forget this yummy treat even exists until I show up to the pot luck and someone has surprised me. I’m going to make this, and I will follow your recipe exactly. Thank you!

  4. Brenda Lippe says

    5 stars
    I love Ambrosia Salad. I have been eating it for years and making it for just as many years. I do not put cream cheese or coconut in it. I use sour cream and seedless grapes, I have not had a complaint yet 😉. It’s not summer around here until I make Ambrosia lol (per my grandson and today hes turning 8, time to make some).

  5. Andrea says

    I used to make ambrosia all the time! Idontknow what happened, I haven’t made it in a while! I didn’t use maraschino cherries, but love the color they add & I might just try rainbow marshmallows! I love these tips

  6. DianeMarie says

    5 stars
    I have always loved this salad. My mother did a slight variation by using sour cream instead of the cream cheese & whip topping/cream. (We used pineapple tidbits.)Give it a try as you will be pleasantly surprised:)

  7. Patty says

    5 stars
    Well it has been decades since I have eaten ambrosia salad. Will have to give it a try. Will change nuts to maybe pecans.

  8. Debbie says

    5 stars
    My mom made this for us when growing up. I now make it for holidays. We put Marciano cherries, bananas, grapes, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cool whip. It is so delicious!

  9. Debbie says

    5 stars
    My mom made this for us when growing up. I now make it for holidays. We put Marciano cherries, bananas, grapes, mandarin oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, and cool whip. It is so delicious!

  10. Millie Gardner says

    5 stars
    I used to have a recipe for something very similar but have not made for a very long time. Thanks for posting and bringing to my attention again. I will be making it soon now!

  11. Lori Pennington says

    5 stars
    We make a similar salad to this salad it’s called Waldorf salad my husband’s side of the family makes it at every holiday event he loves it

  12. Elizabeth M Heimlich says

    5 stars
    I grew up eating this salad, and loved it as a kid. Now, however, I prefer it without the marshmallows, so I guess it’s no longer Ambrosia…

  13. Claudia says

    5 stars
    I love that recipe of the salad , I always do it on Christmas festivities but I usually used a can of different fruits and dried grapes, cause my family don’t like walnut. Super deli thanks for the tips !

  14. Christina Crawford says

    Instead of walnuts (have a friend who is allergic), I use slivered almonds or sunflower seeds.

  15. Janice says

    I grew up eating ambrosia salad it was a fairly favourite! We always had it with pecans coloured marshmallows

  16. Meredith Leonard says

    5 stars
    My aunt made Ambrosia Salad for holidays and always put chopped walnuts in it. She used pastel-colored marshmallows at Easter. It’s a great memory from childhood.

  17. Charles says

    5 stars
    Sure love this delicious salad cold. Thank’s for the “quick” meals, I enjoy the time I save by using the fast meal recipes, Thanks again !!

  18. Chery says

    5 stars
    This recipe looks delicious, I didn’t grow up eating it, but when I got married 46 years ago my husbands grandmother taught me how to make it. The recipe I used back then was very different from this one, she used a can of fruit cocktail.

  19. Kim Findley says

    5 stars
    I grew up eating this salad. My grandma made it for family gatherings and put rainbow marshmallows in it.

  20. Kimberly C says

    5 stars
    Love making this salad, but not a fan of putting the nuts in it. And the kids tend to pick them out and leave them all around.

  21. Mary Beth Carr says

    5 stars
    I grew up with this recipe, even today I make sure it’s on Menu when Brother is around, his favorite!
    Add grapes too, if around Easter I will use colored marshmallows.

  22. Debra Casey says

    5 stars
    Great recipe. My mama made Ambrosia salad often while I was growing up. She always added coconut, Dad’s favorite part, and apples were a delicious plus.
    Great for a cool desert on a hot day.

  23. Deanna Gravius says

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I grew up eating this salad at most church functions. It is a special treat. I love the walnuts in the salad and always use white marshmallows. I don’t add any other fruit. It is like a salad and dessert in one!

  24. Sherry Skelton says

    My dad use to make a salad somthing like this ,he used fruitcoctail and cottage cheese instead of cream cheese and mandrin oranges .I loved it growing up and had been meaning to make some .Ill have to try this also sounds really good .

  25. Sharon says

    5 stars
    I grew up on Ambrosia AND Watergate salads. I’m not a nut fan so I was more of an Ambrosia fan! Fast forward to when my grandmother passed the party prepping down to my sister and cousins, I took over Ambrosia. I still omit the nuts but I use sour cream instead of the cream cheese! It’s a big family hit! I forgot to make it one holiday (I was sick a few days before and just didn’t make it). My family, especially my nephew, do not let me forget from then on. I usually just use the plain mallows, though colorful ones would be fun!

  26. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    I look forward to making this rainbow marshmallow’s for my girlfriends wedding of everyone bringing an item😋

  27. Kathe says

    I LOVED this salad growing up! It is fresh, beautiful, tasty, and I’m going to get the ingredients this week to make it as a fun summer salad for my friends! A little goes a long way, so you can be generous and share the recipe as well! It’s an oldie but a goodie-just like me❣️

  28. Sandy says

    5 stars
    Made this frequently for my kids when they were home & for holidays & potlucks!!
    Yummy using chopped pecans

  29. Beverly says

    5 stars
    One of my favorite salads. We didn’t add nuts, cream cheese or whipped topping, just the fruits and coconut.

  30. Solvei Røsok says

    5 stars
    I love a god fruite salad. I use whipped cream, cottage cheese, pinapple, apple, rasins, pear, banana and sunflower seeds in mine. This can be used with meat for lunch or dinner, as a midnight meal og just when you want something sweet.

  31. Randy says

    5 stars
    I haven’t seen a recipe for Ambrosia salad for a long time. My mom used white mini marshmallows, fruit cocktail, walnuts, and sometimes mandarin oranges. I also loved Watergate salad. Thanks for the post.

  32. Lori Rivera says

    5 stars
    This is a great easy recipe! I have never had it with any kinds of nuts. I am going to use rainbow marshmallows when I make it!!

  33. Laura Yarzebinski says

    5 stars
    Love this salad! Never tried it with cream cheese though. Can’t wait to try it since it goes with any summer supper!

  34. Shannon marie Perkins says

    5 stars
    Do not like it with nuts. My cousin made this for Father’s Day without nuts and it was very refreshing.

  35. Alison H says

    5 stars
    Did you grow up eating ambrosia salad? Yes I did I asked for this “salad” because I thought of it as desserts. That way when Mom would make it or buy it I got 2 desserts that night.

    Do you like this made with nuts? Never tried but now thinking pecans or cashews would be nice.

    Do you use white or rainbow marshmallows? Either or never had a preference

    Do you add any other fruits? Now I do as I kid I honestly don’t remember, Mom might have added what ever was handy or in season

  36. Eloisa Reyes says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this fruit salad many times but I’ve always added bananas also! Yummy! It’s so easy to make and everyone loves it!

  37. Karen says

    5 stars
    This recipe is delicious. I substitute cottage cheese instead of cream cheese and definitely add walnuts or pecans. At holiday time I mix in a pack of pistachio instant pudding for a pretty green look that doesn’t interfere with the taste.

  38. Carol Romack says

    5 stars
    I grew up eating this salad for holidays and special occasions. We always use white marshmallows. We also used chopped pecans if we had them. Thank you for the recipe again!

  39. Sonya Finch says

    5 stars
    Always loved Ambrosia Salad when Mom made it. I still get hungry for it, but it never tastes like hers did. With nuts(pecans) and white marshmallows is my preference.

  40. Patti says

    5 stars
    Love Ambrosia. We used to use a can of fruit cocktail as all the ingredients for fruit. Never put nuts in it. Loved the coconut in it. Had never thought about rainbow marshmallows. Next time I will.

  41. Patti says

    Love Ambrosia. We used a can of fruit cocktail since it had all different fruit including cherries. Never used nuts. Loved the coconut in it. Only used white marshmallows, but will try colored ones next time.

  42. Judy Harold says

    5 stars
    We also added apples, coconut & fruit cocktail. Love the nuts. We always had pecans (pecan trees), so we added pecans! Thanks!