Ambrosia Salad is a creamy fruit salad loaded with pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut and miniature fruit-flavored marshmallows.
You guys, December is seriously flying by. My to-do list is a mile long and just seems to keep increasing.
But for some reason, I’m really not that stressed out about the holidays.
Maybe because 30 people won’t be crammed in our house and there aren’t any games to plan or menus to coordinate. While I have all the feelings about Christmas 2020, it’s sort of refreshing not to feel the stress creeping in.
But that’s pretty much how I’m feeling in the moment. Ask me again in a few days and I’ll probably be all kinds of sad eating Oreos dipped in peanut butter, or hopped on cold brew wrapping gifts at midnight. Who really knows?
One thing I do know is that this simple Ambrosia Salad is one of my fave dishes during the holidays and it’s still happening even if our typical Christmas dinner is not.
Also, don’t @ me about this not being a salad. I get it. There’s no lettuce, but there’s a bunch of stuff tossed together in a bowl and that’s salad enough for me.
WHAT IS AMBROSIA SALAD?
Today’s recipe for Ambrosia Salad is a bit of a throwback.
I fondly remember my Nana making Ambrosia for pretty much every church function.
There are lots of different variations of Ambrosia and it seems like every grandmother had her own version. I’ve seen versions of this recipe that use cottage cheese, some that use sour cream or vanilla pudding, some leave out the nuts.
But all of the versions seem to include citrus fruit, coconut, and a creamy and tangy base.
Some could argue that this “salad” is really more of a dessert. But like my Cranberry Fluff, I am happy to eat this alongside some savory side dishes any day!
WHAT’S IN MY VERSION OF THIS CLASSIC RECIPE?
Naturally, I had to get to the bottom of this. So I decided to start tossing ingredients into a bowl until the salad tasted similar to Nana’s.
And with a little tweaking, I most definitely succeeded!
My version includes:
- Frozen whipped topping
- Vanilla yogurt
- Shredded sweetened coconut
- Canned mandarin oranges
- Pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple
- Maraschino cherries
- Chopped pecans
- Mini fruit-flavored marshmallows
While you could totally use mini white marshmallows, I really like the added color and flavor that the fruit-flavored marshmallows add to the recipe.
You could also try making this with homemade Cool Whip, but I don’t know for sure how well it would work. If you try it, I’d love to hear about it!
HOW TO MAKE MY EASY AMBROSIA
This is one of those recipes that’s so easy, anyone could make it!
Start by stirring together the thawed whipped topping and the vanilla yogurt.
Using a spatula, carefully fold all of the remaining ingredients into the yogurt mixture. Do this gently so that you don’t break up the fruit or smash the marshmallows too much.
Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving and you’re done!
Since this needs to chill before serving, it’s a great recipe to make ahead. I would say you could make it as early as the night before you plan to serve it.
If you’re feeling fancy, garnish the bowl with some additional maraschino cherries. Or just dig in with a spoon. I won’t blame you either way!