Light and fluffy Ambrosia Salad is a classic dessert made with Cool Whip and sour cream tossed with fruit, coconut and marshmallows.
Ambrosia Salad is a classic southern dessert and I can still remember it, or sometimes Watergate salad, being a part of every holiday dinner or potluck gathering when I was growing up.
It’s a light and fluffy marshmallow fruit salad made with sweet mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, fruity marshmallows, bright maraschino cherries, and sweetened, shredded coconut, all tossed in a mix of Cool Whip and sour cream.
It’s an easy make-ahead fruit salad that you can make the night before, in fact you SHOULD make it the night before, and pull out when guests arrive.
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What is Ambrosia Salad?
Ambrosia Salad is a marshmallow fruit salad that is a classic southern dessert. It has many variations, some use Cool Whip, others use whipped cream, some have sour cream, some use yogurt, pudding or cream cheese. All have fruit and most include pineapple, mandarin oranges, and sweetened coconut. Other ingredients can include maraschino cherries, bananas, strawberries, and pecans.
How ever you make it this delicious fruit salad is a simple side dish…or dessert, to make for holiday parties and summer potlucks.
How to Make Ambrosia Salad:
- In a large bowl combine Cool Whip and sour cream, stirring until combined.
- Gently fold in fruit-flavored marshmallows, shredded coconut, pineapple, and maraschino cherries, and pecans (if using).
- Add mandarin oranges last and gently fold in.
- Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours preferably overnight before serving.
Can I use Whipped Cream Instead of Cool Whip?
Yes, if you would like you can make homemade whipped cream and fold it into the salad in place of Cool Whip.
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- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- 1/2 cup Sour cream
- 2 cups Fruit-flavored marshmallows
- 1 cup Shredded coconut sweetened
- 20 ounces Pineapple tidbits well-drained Note: you can substitute with crushed pineapple if needed
- 10 ounces Maraschino cherries
- 11 ounces Mandarin oranges
- 3/4 cup Pecans finely chopped (optional)
In a large bowl combine Cool Whip and sour cream, stirring until combined.
Gently fold in fruit-flavored marshmallows, shredded coconut, pineapple, and maraschino cherries, and pecans (if using).
Add mandarin oranges last and gently fold in.
Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours preferably overnight before serving.