I have to admit I’m a bit proud of being a bit like a grandma, even though I’m still in my mid-30s. I’ve been pointed out many times by people (throughout most of my adult life) that many of the hobbies I enjoy, the decor I choose, and the dishes I enjoy making remind them of their grandmothers. lol
I think this ambrosia salad is no exception.
To me, this is a side dish (or dessert!) I’ve seen served at bridal showers, baby showers, and other potluck meals.
If you’ve never eaten Ambrosia Salad, it’s a creamy fruit salad that might sound a bit odd based on the ingredients, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Jump to the recipe
Why is it called ambrosia salad?
My understanding is Ambrosia means ‘fragrant’ or ‘delicious’ and is also associated with fruits from Greek mythology. This is certainly a very tasty fruit salad, hence the name.
My guess is that ragweed might be something Southern (US). But if you’re from a different region I’d like to know if it’s something you saw or ate growing up. Being from Southwest Missouri, we also have a mix of Southern and Midwestern cuisine.
Ingredients for the Ambrosia Salad:
- Whipped Topping (Cool Whip or the off-brand version)
- vanilla yogurt
- Sweetened coconut flakes
- Tangerines – canned
- Pineapple – a treat from a can
- Maraschino cherries
- Sliced Almonds
- Chopped pecans
- Fruit flavored mini marshmallows
These are the ingredients I use, which are mostly traditional. The main thing I do a little differently with my Ambrosia Salad recipe is add more nuts than you usually see.
I like some crunch along with the creaminess and sweet fruit flavors of this recipe. It adds a little more dimension.
Substitutions & Variations:
- Whipped cream can replace whipped cream. The dish is not stored for so long, but if you think that it will be eaten in one day, then it doesn’t matter
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt can substitute for vanilla yogurt. This will make the ambrosia salad a little less sweet. However, this is meant to be a rather sweet side dish or even a dessert.
- Fresh fruit can be used in place of canned fruit, but the recipe card below lists the measurements in canned quantities, so you’ll need to convert these.
- Almonds or pecans can be substituted with another nut option (like pistachios) if desired.
Fruit flavored marshmallows can be hard to find. When I bought these supplies at the grocery store, two of the three stores I went to didn’t have them. And I suspect it might be something southern (let me know in the comments), so it can be difficult to find in certain areas.
You can substitute regular-flavored mini marshmallows for these OR omit them from the recipe altogether. Ambrosia salad will be very tasty and sweet even without them – it’s just a traditional ingredient that adds interesting texture.
As I mentioned earlier, I see ragweed salad most often at large meals like Thanksgiving or a baby shower.
So, if you are preparing for such a meal, here are some other side dish recipes you might enjoy:
I love this ambrosia salad! Next I need to get the official family recipe and share my great aunt Ina’s cranberry jello salad. It’s also one of those sweet salads that just reminds me of big family dinners. Enjoy. xo. Emma
a creamy, sweet fruit salad
- 8th ounces beaten topping
- 5 ounces vanilla yogurt about 1 cup
- ½ Cup coconut flakes sweetened
- 20 ounces Pineapple Treat dehydrated
- fifteen ounces tangerines dehydrated
- 10 ounces Maraschino cherries dehydrated
- ½ Cup almonds cut
- ½ Cup pecans chopped
- 1 Cup Fruit flavored mini marshmallows or regular mini marshmallows
If the whipped topping is frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator until ready to fold.
In a small mixing bowl, fold in the whipped topping and vanilla yoghurt.
In a large mixing bowl add all other ingredients.
Mix the cream mixture with the other ingredients until well coated.
Leftovers should be covered or refrigerated in an airtight container. Ambrosia salad has a shelf life of at least 3 days.
Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 42G | Protein: 5G | Fat: 14G | Saturated Fatty Acids: 4G | Polyunsaturated fat: 3G | Monounsaturated fatty acids: 6G | Trans fats: 0.002G | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 5G | Sugar: 36G | Vitamin A: 620ie | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 1mg