Classic Ambrosia Salad Recipe

March 29, 2019
Is Ambrosia a side dish or dessert?  Does it really matter? ... Because no matter how you choose to enjoy it, classic Ambrosia Salad is just plain good.  With its creamy mix of mini marshmallows, whipped topping, coconut, and fruit it's just one of those dishes that's loved by all.
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Classic Ambrosia Salad Recipe Image

So I'm curious - In your family, is Ambrosia Salad considered a side dish or dessert?

Because in our family we just can't quite seem to agree on that question.

Growing up in my family, we always considered Ambrosia Salad a side dish.  It was served alongside the main meal, kind of like a fruit salad.  In fact, I remember one of my favorite meals as a kid was Mom's Beef Stroganoff Casserole ... which was always, without fail, served up with a big bowl of 5-Cup Ambrosia Fruit Salad as a side.

But in my husband's family, it was a different story.  To them, Ambrosia ... and any other form of the various fluff salads ... was decidedly a dessert.  They didn't dig in to Ambrosia's fruity-sweet deliciousness until the main meal was over.

Is Ambrosia a side dish or dessert?  Does it really matter? ... Because no matter how you choose to enjoy it, classic Ambrosia Salad is just plain good.

Now that I'm in charge of the meals for my own family, I don't specify what type of dish Ambrosia is or dictate when it's supposed to be eaten - I kind of leave that up to each of us to decide.

You want to eat it as a side dish alongside the main meal? - Sure, go for it!  Rather save it for dessert? - No problem.  That's fine, too.

But one thing's for sure ... No matter when you decide to enjoy it, Ambrosia's just plain good.

And one other thing's for sure, too ... this classic Ambrosia Salad recipe truly couldn't be much easier to make.  Combine that fact with everyone's love for it, and it's a perfect dish to make for a potluck, Easter, Thanksgiving, or any everyday dinner.

Classic Ambrosia Salad Made with Cool Whip Image

The classic Ambrosia Salad recipe includes a combination of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and maraschino cherries as the traditional fruits.

To mix up a batch, drain all the fruits very well and mix them with mini marshmallows, a little bit of sour cream, and a whole lot of Cool Whip whipped topping.  Then refrigerate everything for a few hours before serving, and that's all there is to it.

Super easy, right?

The classic Ambrosia Salad recipe includes a combination of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and maraschino cherries as the traditional fruits.

When preparing the ingredients, it is pretty important to make sure the fruits are very well drained.  Leaving too much liquid or moisture in with the fruits will cause the finished Ambrosia to become soupy.

To get out as much moisture as possible, after I've drained the fruits I sometimes even blot them with a paper towel to absorb any liquid left on the surface.

Classic Ambrosia Salad Ingredients Image

For the pineapple, you can use any type you'd like - chunks, or crushed, or whatever.

I like to use pineapple tidbits the best because of their size.  Tidbits just seem like a nice size to bite into.  Pineapple chunks seem a little too big to me, and crushed pineapple seems to just disappear into Ambrosia's creamy mixture.

But any type will work just fine for the salad's flavor.

Pineapple Tidbits Image

So I guess we're still left with the question, is this classic Ambrosia Salad recipe a side dish or a dessert?

And I guess I say, does it really matter?  

Because no matter how you choose to enjoy it, Ambrosia is just plain good.  With its creamy mix of mini marshmallows, whipped topping, coconut, and fruit it just seems to be loved by all.  And really, that's what truly matters!

Classic Ambrosia Salad with Maraschino Cherries, Mandarin Oranges, and Pineapple Image
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ambrosia, ambrosia salad, ambrosia recipe, fruit salad, fluff, fluff salad
Salads
Yield: 8-10 Servings
Author:

Classic Ambrosia Salad

Is Ambrosia a side dish or dessert? Does it really matter? ... Because no matter how you choose to enjoy it, classic Ambrosia Salad is just plain good. With its creamy mix of mini marshmallows, whipped topping, coconut, and fruit it's just one of those dishes that's loved by all.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

instructions:

How to cook Classic Ambrosia Salad

  1. Drain mandarin oranges, pineapple, and maraschino cherries very well. Pat cherries dry with a paper towel. Cut cherries in half.
  2. In a bowl, mix together pineapple, coconut, halved cherries, and mini marshmallows until combined. Gently fold in mandarin oranges (they’ll break up easily, so be gentle).
  3. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and Cool Whip until just combined. Gently fold into fruit mixture.
  4. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.
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Classic Ambrosia Salad ~ This Ambrosia Salad recipe is a classic! Enjoy its creamy mix of mini marshmallows, whipped topping, and fruit as a tasty side or dessert for Easter, Thanksgiving, or any everyday dinner. #thekitchenismyplayground  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

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This post is linked with Weekend PotluckMeal Plan Monday.

4 comments

  1. Ambrosia Salad is an 'oldie but a goodie'. Since it's so delicate & feminine, I always make & bring it to wedding & baby showers, and also serve it (as a side dish) at our Book Club luncheons. I always add in some very finely chopped walnuts to my salad, b/c that's what my mom always did, and the nuts seem to add a 'little something' to this dish. Also, since we're now all so health & weight conscious, I use unsweetened coconut, light sour cream, & light Cool Whip. Believe me, it's still fabulous! Thanks for posting this lovely recipe for all to enjoy. BTW, I hope that the "Progressives" won't rip this dish apart, as they've done to basically all of the old dishes which we treasure from our mothers & our grandmothers. (Talk about having a screw loose!)

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  2. I really love and hate your blog!! Lol, just kidding... I love it for the good food recipes and stunning photos (I wish I could eat them) but at the same time made me soo hungry!!

    Thanks for the great recipes!! :)

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  3. Yum!!! I am planning to make this! I will for sure give you the credit. Lovely site!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comments. This is a crowd pleaser for our family!

      Delete

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