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Our Famous Ambrosia Salad Recipe

This ambrosia salad with cool whip is one of our favorite vintage desserts.

Updated April 21, 2021
Our Famous Ambrosia Salad Recipe
Our Famous Ambrosia Salad Recipe
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Our Famous Ambrosia Salad Recipe is one for the ages. This old-fashioned dessert salad recipe is creamy, delicious and something different from all the cakes and pies at the dessert table. This is a great dessert recipe to bring to a potluck. Made with canned fruit and Cool Whip, this creamy dessert is easy to whip up in a matter of minutes. Just throw it in the fridge for a few hours so that everything sets up, and then take it out and serve. This fruity treat will remind you of the good old days at Grandma's house.



  • 1 (10-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 (5-ounce) can maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 container whipped topping

Ambrosia Salad Recipe


  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

  2. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

History of Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia salad has had an interesting journey to becoming the Southern classic that it is today. Early versions of "ambrosia salad" are simply a combination of coconut, sugar, and other tropical fruits. Marshmallows weren't introduced to the dessert until the 1920s, when a company that made marshmallow whip published a version of ambrosia salad that included their product. Whipped topping and pudding followed soon after in some versions, creating the creamy concoction that we know and love today. Learn more here!

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What size container of whipped topping is supposed to be used?

I love this recipe. It's fruity, creamy, and easy to make... just the best!

My mother loved her Ambrosia salad, right along with her Watergate salad recipe. It has been a few years since I have made either one of those recipes now. Seeing this recipe is making me a nostalgic and I think I give this new recipe a go.

This Ambrosia salad is the perfect way to place a spin on dessert. Although this recipe calls for all can fruits, it is a nice departure on the surgar heavy laden desserts of cake, pie or ice cream. I have not made Ambrosia in a long time and I am considering it for this Sundays dessert.

Growing up my family has made this salad a part of every holiday since I was a kid and I had no clue it was called Ambrosia salad. I've always just considered it a no-name marshmallow salad. The version I make now includes pistachio pudding mix, the coconut is toasted and I like to grill fresh pineapple to bring out its natural really does make a difference and is so delicious.

I understand what you're saying "vcragain", every time I make a fruit salad like this, I want to have seconds and thirds. It's fun to call this a fruit salad, and then see it has marshmallows and Cool Whip in it. This makes a great Spring or Easter dish.

I first discovered this when we came to the US from UK in 1979 - had never met it before - was totally in love with it, and ate far too much for my waistline ! I very occasionally make it in recent years, but always have trouble with portion I tell anyone who listens....I stay away from ice cream ambrosia, my 2 most devastating diet fails - but such a treat !

I love no fuss make ahead desserts like this one. Since it requires no heat or sharp knives, it is such a wonderful way to let the little ones help out in the kitchen. A canned tropical fruit medley with papaya and mango would be nice in this ambrosia too. So quick and simple! My four year old loves when we make this together.

Ambrosia Salad, is amazing. It's so light, sweet, delicate, and tropical. There's something so wonderful about it on a summer day. If you've never had it, give it a try. I grew up with this and usually forget all about it when I need a dessert. I'll have to keep in on top of the recipe pile, I don't think anyone else remembers it either.


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