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Grandma’s Ambrosia Salad

Grandma’s ambrosia salad filled with fresh coconut, pineapple, marshmallows and more. So creamy and absolutely delicious. This family favorite is one of my go-to easy fruit salad recipes!

This creamy fruit salad, commonly known as ambrosia salad, is so yummy and is super easy to make! It’s always a favorite whenever I bring it to a potluck. The coconut and marshmallows are what really put it over the top. It’s super easy too, which is always a bonus! :)

ambrosia salad in a trifle dish with a cherry on top

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This ambrosia salad is a family recipe that’s very dear to me. The recipe came from my Grandma and is a dish that my whole family loves, especially my Uncle Harold. He would make it every time I came to visit and called it his “special dish.” We all loved it and still try to make it often. It’s now one of my kid’s favorites too! Thanks to my grandma for this delicious ambrosia salad recipe :)

folding mini marshmallows and coconut into ambrosia salad

How to make cream cheese fruit salad

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 22 ounces mandarin oranges (drained)
  • 20 ounces pineapple tid bits (drained)
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup coconut

Instructions: 

First, whip the cream cheese in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Then fold in the drained fruit, marshmallows and coconut. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour prior to serving.

Modifications

  • Can substitute cream cheese with sour cream if preferred.
  • For a lighter version, try mixing together 8 ounces cool whip with 6 ounces greek yogurt.
  • To add a crunch, mix in some chopped pecans.
  • Add in some orange zest for an extra boost of fresh flavor.
  • If you love cherries, feel free to fold in as many maraschino cherries as you’d like.

wooden spoon in ambrosia salad

Can you make ambrosia salad a day ahead?

One of the main questions I get about this recipe is if you can make it a day ahead. The answer is yes! It needs to chill in the refrigerator before serving anyways, so that the salad forms and the flavors marinate together. If making a day ahead, I would just drain some of the liquid the next day and stir very well before serving. It will taste just as yummy and delicious!

More fruit salad recipes:

ambrosia salad in a trifle dish with a cherry on top

Ambrosia Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Grandma's ambrosia salad filled with fresh coconut, pineapple, marshmallows and more. So creamy and absolutely delicious. This family favorite is one of my go-to easy fruit salad recipes!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Refrigerate: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 16 ounces cream cheese , softened (could also substitute with sour cream)
  • 22 ounces mandarin oranges , drained (2 cans)
  • 20 ounces pineapple tid bits , drained (1 can)
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple , drained (1 can)
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup coconut

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese.
  • Then fold in oranges, pineapple, marshmallows and coconut.
  • Place salad in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Enjoy! :D

Notes

For a lighter version, try mixing together 8 ounces cool whip with 6 ounces greek yogurt.
Optional mix in's: Mix in 1/2 cup chopped pecans for an added crunch. Can also fold in maraschino cherries if preferred. 
Make-ahead: Prepare as directed, then store in fridge. Right before serving, drain some of the liquid and stir very well. 
 

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 910IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

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