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20 Best Ambrosia Salad Recipes (All Types)

A glass cup of creamy ambrosia salad.

You hear the word salad and think of some type of leafy greens. Depending on how you feel about salad, you may actually think of it with disdain and call it grass. For those of you out there that hate salad, this is just the salad for you. For those of you that love leafy green vegetables, if you have never seen ambrosia salad, this may be a shock to you. This is not your traditional salad. This is light and sweet and packed full of fruit. Before you say no way to this type of salad, check out these fantastic recipes and give it a try. 

1. Creamy and Light Ambrosia Salad

Creamy and Light Ambrosia Salad on a bowl.

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Ambrosia salad has been around for many generations. This is a classic ambrosia salad recipe. It features pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, grapes, coconut, pecans, and maraschino cherries. This recipe has a dressing that is creamy and a little tart.

It is made with sour cream and whipped cream. This recipe features heavy whipping cream and should not be substituted. If you can, let the ambrosia salad sit in the refrigerator for one to two hours before eating. This allows all the flavors to blend, making them extra tasty. 

2. Five Ingredient Ambrosia, So Quick and Easy

A bowl of creamy ambrosia salad.

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With only five ingredients, you can have simple ambrosia that is ready to eat. All you need is mandarin orange, pineapple, coconut, marshmallow, and sour cream. All you have to do is mix these ingredients together and refrigerate them for several hours.

You can prevent this ambrosia from browning by adding a small can of pineapple juice to your fruit. The juice prevents the fruit from browning, and bits of pineapple add a nice tropical flavor. If you prefer, you could use lemon, orange, or lime juice instead of pineapple juice. 

3. The Creamiest Ambrosia Salad

A bowl of Ambrosia Salad with cherry.

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This ambrosia salad recipe calls for frozen whipped topping, vanilla yogurt, shredded sweetened coconut, and mini fruit-flavored marshmallows. You can use plain white marshmallows, but the fruit-flavored version adds a nice color. As with all ambrosia salad, you want to ensure this chills before serving it.

You can make this ambrosia salad dish the night before you want to eat it. You want your whipped topping to thaw before mixing it. If you do not want to use frozen whipped topping, you can find natural versions or make your own. 

4. Cool Ambrosia with Cool Whip

A bowl of creamy ambrosia salad with marshmallows.

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Not only is this ambrosia tasty and delicious, but it is affordable to make. This recipe serves eight and costs about $0.96 per serving. This recipe adds sour cream to give it a touch of tangy flavor.

The marshmallows, coconut, mandarin oranges, pineapples, and cherries give this salad its sweet taste. The sweet and tangy ingredients pair well together. You can substitute segments of fresh oranges, like mandarins, cuties, and clementines, instead of canned mandarin oranges.

You can use canned or fresh pineapples. You can store ambrosia salad in the fridge, but you should not store it in the freezer. It will not freeze well because the texture changes as it defrosts. 

5. The Best Ambrosia Fruit Salad

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This ambrosia salad will be the most refreshing dessert you have ever eaten. You can put this recipe together in just about 15 minutes. This recipe makes suggestions to add peaches, bananas, grapes, and apples. If you want a little more flavor, you can add nutmeg or cinnamon.

When you mix the ingredients, you want to mix them, so they stay crunchy lightly. This recipe calls for sour cream. If you want it to be a lighter version, you can use reduced-fat sour cream. It is essential that you keep the marshmallows in this dessert because they provide a unique texture no other ingredient can add.

6. Classic Ambrosia Like Your Grandmother Made

A bowl of ambrosia salad and a cork sealed jar.

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This ambrosia is made from scratch and only takes about 10 minutes. If you do not want to make your own homemade whipped cream, you can use Cool Whip or some other pre-made whipped topping. For this recipe, you should use canned fruit because they come in their own juice.

You do drain most of the juice before you use it in your mix. This recipe also calls for vanilla, powdered sugar, and sweetened shredded coconut. If you are making the salad more than an hour before you eat it, you want to drain all of the juice from the fruit. 

7. Ambrosia For the Kids

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This recipe for ambrosia salad is great for kids and adults. This recipe calls for sour cream and cool ship. You must use both for this recipe, or it will not be as creamy or sweet. This recipe calls for nuts, but you can decide not to use them if you do not want them.

Even though there is no sugar in this recipe, the fruit ensures that it remains sweet. You want to use fruit-flavored and multi-color marshmallows. They are fun and add a lot of color to your salad. 

8. 5 Cup Ambrosia Salad

A bowl of ambrosia salad with fresh fruit.

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This ambrosia recipe is easy to remember and easy to make. It uses five ingredients, one cup of each one of the ingredients. Greek yogurt or sour cream is the base for this ambrosia. They are easy to sweeten with marshmallows. You could also use whipped topping, cream cheese, or vanilla yogurt.

You want to ensure that you drain all the ingredients well, so there is not too much water in the recipe. You want to use a large bowl and fold all the ingredients together in it. You want to ensure that you refrigerate your dessert for four hours before you eat it. Finally, you want to ensure that you serve and eat it cold. 

9. Sweet and Creamy Ambrosia to Jump Start Your Summer

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This ambrosia recipe, like many of them, calls for sour cream. Unfortunately, you cannot taste it. It does help to reduce the sweetness, but you cannot actually taste it. If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe, you can use sugar-free canned juice.

You can use whipped topping that is sugar-free. You can use any type of fruit that you would like. There are no limits to the fruit; even bananas and pomegranate seeds you can put in your ambrosia. You also want to make sure that you eat the ambrosia within one day of making it.

10. Crunchy, Nutty Ambrosia

Creamy ambrosia salad on a wine glass and pecan.

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This ambrosia salad calls for toasted pecans, but you can leave them out if you do not like them. You need a large bowl to mix together all of the ingredients. You can include any fruit that you would like, but this recipe suggests pineapple, maraschino cherries, and mandarin oranges.

For best results with this recipe, you should refrigerate it for at least one hour and as long as overnight. This ambrosia recipe only takes 10 minutes to prepare. Suggested addition to this recipe is a little bit of mayo. However, it does not change the taste of the ambrosia. 

11. Easy Peasy Ambrosia Fruit Salad

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This ambrosia salad recipe calls for maraschino cherries, but you do not have to use them if you do not like them. In addition to giving the fruit salad some sweetness, it can also add some red color to your fruit salad. This recipe calls for ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.

There is a large debate about traditional ambrosia salad and the fact that it does not contain nutmeg or cinnamon. You only need a large bowl in which you mix all of the ingredients. There are some that recommend using only half of the nutmeg and cinnamon. 

12. Refreshingly Sweet Ambrosia Salad

Sweet ambrosia salad on an ice cream bowl.

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This ambrosia salad calls for sour cream to add a tangy flavor to the salad. It cuts the sweetness of the recipe. If you do not have any sour cream on hand, you can make your own. This recipe recommends that you use canned fruit, but you want to drain it well.

You can certainly use fresh fruit if you prefer it. Sweetened shredded coconut provides texture to the ambrosia. You can easily remove it if you do not like coconut. You can toast the coconut to give it extra flavor. The multi-flavored marshmallows add a touch of color, but you can use traditional white marshmallows instead. 

13. Best Salad Ever Without Lettuce

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This ambrosia salad recipe includes Cool Whip, sour cream, mandarin orange, maraschino cherries, and marshmallows. It does offer some substitutions, such as the one for Cool Whip. If you do not have or like Cool Whip, you can make your own with softened butter and milk.

You want to use an electric mixer to get the consistency that you would like. If you do not have sour cream, you can use Greek yogurt, which is whole milk. You can also use regular yogurt but strain out the liquid first. 

14. Sweet and Light Are the Best Way to Make Your Ambrosia

Ambrosia salad on a glass and marshmallows.

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You want your ambrosia salad to have canned fruit and whipped cream. These are two fundamental ingredients to ambrosia. The canned fruit is going to be pineapple and mandarin oranges. The whipped cream is sweet, and it is mixed with sour cream to add a bit of tang.

This recipe also calls for chopped and peeled apples to your ambrosia to give it a great crunch. You can use any apples that you prefer. For extra flavor, you can consider toasting your coconut until it is fragrant and light brown. 

15. Ambrosia in No Time 

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It takes no time at all to make this ambrosia salad. This salad includes pineapples, cherries, marshmallows, and oranges. This recipe offers many substitution options. You can use vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream.

You can also use cream cheese in place of sour cream. This recipe calls for traditional marshmallows, but you can easily use the fruit-flavored ones. If you enjoy nuts, you can add in chopped walnuts or pecans.

This recipe calls for maraschino cherries, but you can easily keep them out if you do not like them. You can add in other fruits, like slices of strawberries or diced apples. If you do not like Cool Whip, you can make your own whipped cream. 

16. Super Easy, Super Creamy Ambrosia

A bowl of ambrosia salad and cloth.

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This ambrosia is extra creamy with heavy cream and sour cream mixed in. This version of ambrosia also uses segments of clementines. Unlike some other recipes, this one uses all fresh fruit. You can chop the fruit to be large or small pieces based on your preference.

This recipe also calls for homemade marshmallows, but you can certainly replace them with store-bought mini marshmallows. Some thought that it could be a bit sour, so they used fewer orange segments. Others substituted Cool Whip for the marshmallows. This is a fan favorite, and you can make some adjustments to match your family’s preferences. 

17. Easy Classic Ambrosia Salad

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In general, ambrosia salad is easy to make, and it reminds many of the dishes their Grandma used to make, especially around the holidays. It takes less than 15 minutes to mix it all together and a little time in the refrigerator to chill. This recipe calls for grapes in addition to oranges, pineapples, and maraschino cherries.

It is a little tangy and a little sweet, thanks to the Cool Whip and sour cream combination. This recipe does not use heavy cream because it deflates quickly. Cool Whip holds up better. You can use lighter versions of the whipped topping to cut some calories and sugar. You can also use generic brands. If you keep it in an airtight container, ambrosia lasts as long as five days in the fridge. 

18. Food of the Gods Salad

Ambrosia salad on a mixing bowl.

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Ambrosia literally means food of the gods, and many believe that this delicious dessert is definitely that. While it is sweet and tangy, it is more often used as a side dish and not a dessert. However, it can be a great dessert.

There is a traditional recipe, but you can add or remove anything you want to make it your own special recipe. This recipe suggests mixing instant vanilla pudding with the whipped topping for an exciting twist. You use a hand mixer to cream the cream cheese and then blend in the whipped topping.

After that, you gently fold in the fruit, coconut, and marshmallows. You want to use a spoon and be gentle so as not to crush the fruit. Then you top it with the rest of the ingredients, typically nuts and more cherries. 

19. Fluffy Ambrosia Just Like Grandma’s

Creamy ambrosia salad with black berries.

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This ambrosia salad recipe is a throwback to the days when your grandmother used to make it. It seemed like it was always on the table for family dinners but then disappeared for a while. Now, it is back. It is light, fluffy, and delicious.

This recipe uses peaches, pineapple, oranges, maraschino cherries, and green grapes. It also uses coconut flakes, pecans, marshmallows, sour cream, and Cool Whip. The secret ingredient to this recipe is crystallized ginger. It gives the recipe a touch of spice.

It also adds a pinch of salt to bring out all of the natural flavors. If you do add the pecans, you want to be sure that everyone at the table can enjoy nuts. If you are not sure if there is anyone with a tree nut allergy, you may want to skip it. This dish refrigerates well for up to seven days. It is not recommended that you freeze it. 

20. Super Simple Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia salad on a wine glass.

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This ambrosia salad recipe only has five ingredients. It is light, airy, and refreshing. While you can easily change the ingredients around, using only these five keeps it simple and still so tasty. All you need is crushed pineapple, sweeter coconut flakes, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, and Cool Whip. You want to ensure that your Cool Whip is thawed before using it. You mix all of the ingredients except the Cool Whip in a large bowl. Then you fold in the Cool Whip. After that, store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. That is all there is to this recipe.