Ambrosia Fruit Salad Recipe - Delicious and Easy to Make

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Ambrosia Fruit Salad Recipe - Delicious and Easy to Make
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Servings: 8


Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Ambrosia Fruit Salad is a classic, creamy delight that combines the sweetness of fruits with the richness of whipped cream, creating a dessert that's both refreshing and indulgent. This dish is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings, offering a burst of flavor and texture that's sure to please any palate. With its simple preparation and versatile ingredients, Ambrosia Fruit Salad has become a beloved treat across generations.


The origins of Ambrosia Fruit Salad trace back to the late 19th century in the United States, where it first appeared in cookbooks as a luxurious dessert. Initially, it was made with exotic ingredients like coconut and pineapple, which were considered rare and expensive at the time. Over the years, the recipe evolved to include canned fruits, making it more accessible and allowing it to gain popularity across the country. Today, it remains a festive favorite, especially during the holiday season.


How to prepare

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, and coconut.
  2. Gently fold in the whipped cream and marshmallows.
  3. Chill the mixture for at least an hour.
  4. Before serving, give it a final stir.


  • There are countless ways to customize Ambrosia Fruit Salad. Some popular variations include adding yogurt for a tangier flavor, incorporating different fruits like berries or grapes, or sprinkling in spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg for added warmth.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Ambrosia Fruit Salad turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Drain the canned fruits thoroughly to prevent the salad from becoming too watery.

- Gently fold in the whipped cream to keep the mixture light and fluffy.

- Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

- For an extra touch of sweetness and texture, you can add chopped nuts or maraschino cherries.

Serving Suggestions

Ambrosia Fruit Salad can be served as a standalone dessert or as a sweet side dish. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats or seafood, offering a refreshing contrast to savory flavors. It's also a delightful addition to brunch spreads.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Ambrosia Fruit Salad is folding. Properly folding the ingredients ensures that the fruits and whipped cream are evenly distributed without deflating the cream or crushing the fruits.

Ingredient Substitutions

For those looking to make substitutions, Greek yogurt can replace whipped cream for a healthier twist, and any combination of fresh or canned fruits can be used based on availability and preference.

Make Ahead Tips

Ambrosia Fruit Salad can be made up to a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and give it a gentle stir before serving to redistribute the flavors.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Ambrosia Fruit Salad in a clear glass bowl to showcase the colorful fruits. Garnish with additional coconut flakes or fresh mint leaves for an elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs beautifully with sparkling wines or fruity cocktails, which complement its sweet and creamy flavors. For a non-alcoholic option, consider a sparkling lemonade or iced tea.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Ambrosia Fruit Salad is best enjoyed cold and does not require reheating. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended, as it can alter the texture of the fruits and cream.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Ambrosia Fruit Salad contains approximately 200 calories. The calorie count can vary based on the specific ingredients used, so consider making adjustments if you're watching your calorie intake.


A serving of Ambrosia Fruit Salad contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the natural sugars in the fruits and the added sugars in the whipped cream and marshmallows. For those monitoring their carb intake, consider adjusting the amount of marshmallows or opting for a sugar-free whipped cream.


This dessert is relatively low in fats, with about 5 grams per serving. The fats primarily come from the whipped cream and the coconut. Using a light or fat-free whipped cream can further reduce the fat content without compromising the salad's creamy texture.


Ambrosia Fruit Salad offers a modest amount of protein, with roughly 2 grams per serving. While not a significant source of protein, it can still contribute to a balanced diet when paired with other protein-rich foods.

Vitamins and minerals

The fruits in Ambrosia Salad provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the mandarin oranges and dietary fiber from the coconut. These nutrients contribute to overall health, supporting the immune system and digestive health.


Common allergens in this recipe include coconut and dairy (from the whipped cream). Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution or seek alternative ingredients.


Overall, Ambrosia Fruit Salad is a moderately healthy dessert option that offers a good balance of sweetness and nutrition. By making mindful ingredient choices, it can fit into a variety of dietary preferences.


Ambrosia Fruit Salad is a timeless dessert that combines the best of sweet, creamy, and fruity flavors. With its simple preparation and versatile ingredients, it's a delightful addition to any meal or occasion. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore variations, this salad is sure to bring a taste of nostalgia and joy to your table.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately intrigued. It was a warm summer day and I was at a neighborhood potluck, surrounded by friends and family. As I made my way through the buffet line, my eyes landed on a beautifully arranged bowl of ambrosia fruit salad. The vibrant colors of the fruit and the creamy texture of the dressing were a sight to behold.

I asked my friend Martha, who had brought the dish, for the recipe. She smiled and told me that it was a family recipe that had been passed down for generations. She graciously shared the ingredients with me, but insisted that the real secret to the dish was in the preparation.

I hurried home that day, eager to recreate the ambrosia fruit salad in my own kitchen. I gathered all the ingredients – oranges, pineapples, maraschino cherries, coconut, and mini marshmallows – and set to work. As I peeled and chopped the fruit, I couldn't help but think about the long line of women in my family who had stood in their own kitchens, preparing this dish with love and care.

I carefully mixed the fruit with the coconut and marshmallows, then whipped up a creamy dressing using sour cream and a touch of sugar. As I spooned the dressing over the fruit, I knew I had created something special. The flavors and textures melded together perfectly, creating a dish that was both sweet and tangy, light and satisfying.

I brought the ambrosia fruit salad to the next neighborhood potluck, where it was a hit. Everyone raved about the dish, asking for seconds and thirds. I beamed with pride as I watched my friends and family enjoy the fruit salad that I had lovingly prepared.

Over the years, I continued to make the ambrosia fruit salad for special occasions and gatherings. It became a staple at holiday meals, family reunions, and summer barbecues. Each time I made the dish, I thought about the women who had come before me, passing down their knowledge and traditions through the generations.

As I grew older, I realized that the ambrosia fruit salad was more than just a recipe – it was a connection to my past, a link to my heritage. It reminded me of the strength and resilience of the women in my family, who had faced hardship and adversity with grace and dignity.

Now, as I stand in my own kitchen, preparing the ambrosia fruit salad for my grandchildren, I feel a sense of pride and gratitude. I am grateful for the memories and traditions that have been passed down to me, and I am honored to pass them on to the next generation.

As I watch my grandchildren take their first bites of the ambrosia fruit salad, their faces lighting up with delight, I know that the recipe will continue to be a cherished part of our family for years to come. And as we gather around the table, sharing stories and laughter, I am reminded once again of the power of food to bring us together and create lasting memories.


| American Recipes | Dessert Recipes | Fruit Cocktail Recipes | Fruit Salad Recipes | Gluten-free Recipes | Southern Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients