Ambrosia Salad is a nostalgic fruit salad recipe that combines pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut with a sweet, creamy dressing and mini marshmallows.

ambrosia salad with a cherry on top served in a white bowl

You’ve probably had ambrosia salad before—it’s a staple of family gatherings and potlucks everywhere! It’s the kind of throwback recipe that makes me think of all the combinations of fruit, whipped topping, and Jello you used to see in old ads and cookbooks from the 1950s, but somehow ambrosia salad has remained popular all these decades later—probably because it tastes so darn good!

ambrosia salad with cherries on top served in a white glass bowl

Easy Ambrosia Salad Recipe

I think every family has its own way of making ambrosia salad. At its most basic, the recipe has fruit and a whipped cream dressing. But some people add sour cream, while others use cottage cheese or pudding; your family might like adding nuts for crunch, while for me, it’s all about soft fruit and smooth, creamy dressing.

You can definitely switch things up and make this recipe however you like, but the version I’m sharing below is my favorite. Although you can use plain marshmallows or the fruity-flavored rainbow ones, I always go with rainbow—they’re so pretty in this salad!

ingredients to make ambrosia salad


See the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Sour cream
  • Cool Whip
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Sweetened coconut flakes
  • Canned pineapple tidbits
  • Canned mandarin orange segments

You can add maraschino cherries as a garnish if you like!

steps to make ambrosia salad

How to Make Ambrosia Salad

1. Mix Ingredients: Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until they’re well combined.

2. Chill: Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

3. Serve: Serve ambrosia salad cold, topped with a maraschino cherry for garnish, if desired.

spoonful of ambrosia salad with the bowl in the background


Can you freeze ambrosia salad?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing this salad; I think it’s best eaten fresh! It could get watery when thawed.

Is ambrosia salad healthy?

It has fruit in it, so it’s kind of healthy? But seriously, I’d think of this more along the lines of a light dessert.

Does ambrosia salad have coconut?

My version has coconut, but you can take it out and add nuts instead, or just add extra fruit if you’re not a fan.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. This is also an excellent make-ahead recipe for a party!

More Fruit Recipes To Check Out

ambrosia salad with a cherry on top served in a white bowl

Ambrosia Salad

This Ambrosia Salad recipe is a classic! It combines pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut with creamy dressing and mini marshmallows.
4.50 from 6 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows white or fruit flavored
  • 1 cup coconut – sweetened flakes
  • 1 cup canned pineapple tidbits well drained
  • 1 cup canned mandarin orange segments drained


  • Fold together all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Serve cold and topped with a maraschino cherry.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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