Sweet, fluffy, and filled with fruit, this Classic Ambrosia Salad is a Christmastime must. Marshmallows mixed with cool whip and coconut make this dessert-like salad delicious.
Classic Ambrosia Salad
We’re closing in on the Christmas chaos that is some parts joy, some parts madness, and much love with family and friends. I’m finishing up my last holiday recipes to share with you and beginning to prepare for the ones I’ll make for my family.
Meals prepared around this time of year become a tradition and the ones requested year after year. Classic Ambrosia Salad, whether it’s a salad or a dessert I’m still unsure, is truly a traditional southern dish served in many households across the south.
As with any southern recipe, everyone has their own version. I share with you mine and even give you options below for making it your very own version. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
If you love the southern idea of dessert-style salads then add this Apple Snickers Salad to your holiday menu too.
How to Make Ambrosia Salad
Ambrosia is a delicious and fun side dish perfect for the holiday season.
- Fold. In a large mixing bowl fold the cool whip and sour cream together with a spatula until combined.
- Stir. Add the marshmallows, mandarin oranges, pineapple, coconut, and cherries, gently stirring until evenly mixed.
- Garnish. Top with chopped pecans if desired.
Ingredients in Ambrosia
The ingredients in ambrosia are fairly simple with few options for substitution. I like to use as fresh as possible fruits so I’ve added a few changes you can make below.
- Cool Whip – The cool whip is what makes this salad super fluffy. If you’d like to make your own homemade version of whipped cream you can do so using heavy cream and sugar.
- Sour Cream – The sour cream helps mellow the sweetness but could be swapped for plain greek yogurt.
- Marshmallows – A key ingredient in ambrosia, the marshmallows make the salad super sweet and extra fluffy.
- Mandarin Oranges – I prefer the canned version, however, you can slice and peel your own as well.
- Chopped Pineapple – The canned version of pineapple also is best, however, you can use fresh pineapple too.
- Shredded Coconut – Either sweetened or unsweetened coconut will work.
- Cherries – Some prefer to use maraschino cherries, but I like to use bold-colored fresh cherries.
- Pecans – These are purely optional. Add them if you like them or leaven them off if you don’t.
Can I Freeze Ambrosia?
No. This dessert-like salad will freeze easily, but won’t thaw well. The juices from the fruit will cause it to be a runny mess. It’s best to prepare this recipe one to two days ahead of time if you’re planning out a meal.
How to Store this Salad?
Ambrosia can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Some of My Other Christmas Favorites:
Classic Ambrosia Salad
- 1½ cup Cool Whip
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 3 cups Mini Marshmallows
- 15 ounces Mandarin Oranges (canned) drained
- 15 ounces Chopped Pineapple (canned) drained
- 1 cup Shredded Coconut
- 3/4 cup Fresh Cherries pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup Chopped Pecans optional
- In a large mixing bowl fold the cool whip and sour cream together until mixed.
- Stir the marshmallows, mandarin oranges, pineapple, coconut, and fresh cherries, gently stirring until fully combined.
- Serve chilled, topped with chopped pecans.