Ambrosia Salad Recipe

Savor the vibrant flavors and creamy texture of a classic favorite with our Ambrosia Salad recipe. This delightful salad combines the sweetness of mandarin oranges, pineapple, cherries, and coconut with the rich creaminess of cream cheese and whipped topping. Whether served as a side dish or dessert, this Ambrosia Salad is sure to be a hit at any gathering or potluck. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover the joy of making this refreshing treat!


  • 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 12 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and cut in half (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup marshmallows
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Chopped walnuts, for garnish


  1. Prepare Creamy Base: In a large bowl, cream the room temperature cream cheese on low speed until smooth.
  2. Add Whipped Topping: Gradually add the whipped topping, a third at a time, mixing on low speed until well combined and creamy.
  3. Incorporate Fruits and Coconut: Gently stir in the drained mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, halved maraschino cherries, marshmallows, and sweetened shredded coconut until evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  4. Transfer to Serving Bowl: Spoon the Ambrosia Salad into a serving bowl, spreading it out evenly.
  5. Garnish: If desired, garnish the salad with additional chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries for an extra touch of flavor and visual appeal.
  6. Serve or Chill: Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to meld together before serving.

Enjoy the refreshing sweetness and creamy texture of this Ambrosia Salad as a delightful addition to your meal or as a standalone dessert!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 10 minutes | Servings: 6

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve Ambrosia Salad chilled for a refreshing and delightful treat.
  2. Present the salad in a decorative serving bowl or individual glass dishes for an elegant touch.
  3. Garnish each serving with a maraschino cherry and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts for added visual appeal.
  4. Accompany with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert.
  5. Serve as a side dish alongside grilled chicken, barbecue ribs, or glazed ham for a tropical twist on traditional meals.
  6. Enjoy Ambrosia Salad as a light and satisfying snack any time of day.
  7. Serve at brunch gatherings or holiday celebrations as a festive and colorful addition to the menu.
  8. Offer small tasting portions in mini dessert cups for a sweet ending to cocktail parties or receptions.
  9. Pair with sparkling wine or champagne for a sophisticated dessert pairing.
  10. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves for an elegant presentation at formal events.
  11. Enjoy leftovers for breakfast by serving with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
  12. Layer Ambrosia Salad with granola and fresh berries for a delicious parfait dessert.
  13. Use as a filling for crepes or French toast for a creative breakfast or brunch idea.
  14. Pack individual servings in portable containers for picnics, beach outings, or road trips.
  15. Serve with a side of shortbread cookies or biscotti for a delightful tea time treat.

Storage Tips:

  1. Store leftover Ambrosia Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Avoid freezing Ambrosia Salad as it may alter the texture and consistency of the ingredients.
  3. Stir well before serving leftover salad to redistribute the creamy dressing.
  4. Store in individual serving containers for easy grab-and-go snacks or lunches.
  5. Keep the salad chilled during outdoor gatherings by placing the serving bowl on a bed of ice.
  6. If preparing ahead of time, wait to add the garnishes until just before serving to maintain freshness.
  7. Transfer leftover salad to a smaller container to save space in the refrigerator.
  8. Use leftover Ambrosia Salad as a topping for waffles, pancakes, or oatmeal for a delicious breakfast twist.
  9. Refresh leftover salad by adding additional whipped topping or a splash of fruit juice before serving.
  10. Discard any leftover salad that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours to ensure food safety.


  1. Tropical Paradise: Add diced mango, pineapple chunks, and kiwi for a taste of the tropics.
  2. Berry Bliss: Mix in fresh berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for a burst of color and flavor.
  3. Citrus Sensation: Include segments of grapefruit and blood orange for a tangy twist.
  4. Pina Colada Delight: Replace whipped topping with coconut-flavored Greek yogurt and add diced pineapple and shredded coconut.
  5. Chocolate Indulgence: Fold in mini chocolate chips and chopped pecans for a decadent dessert version.
  6. Nutty Crunch: Stir in chopped almonds, pecans, or macadamia nuts for added texture and flavor.
  7. Cranberry Orange: Add dried cranberries and orange zest for a festive holiday variation.
  8. Hawaiian Luau: Incorporate macadamia nuts, diced mango, and shredded coconut for a tropical island vibe.
  9. Green Goddess: Include diced green apples, grapes, and kiwi for a refreshing green twist.
  10. Lemon Berry: Mix in lemon zest and fresh berries for a zesty and vibrant salad.
  11. Coconut Cream Pie: Replace whipped topping with coconut cream and add graham cracker crumbs for a taste of coconut cream pie.
  12. Caramel Apple: Fold in diced apples and drizzle with caramel sauce for a sweet and indulgent treat.
  13. Banana Split: Include sliced bananas, chopped strawberries, and chocolate syrup for a playful dessert option.
  14. Spiced Pumpkin: Mix in canned pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and chopped pecans for a festive fall twist.
  15. Mocha Madness: Add instant espresso powder and chocolate-covered espresso beans for a caffeinated kick.


  1. Can I use fresh fruit instead of canned fruit in Ambrosia Salad? Yes, you can use fresh fruit, but canned fruit is traditionally used for its convenience and longer shelf life.
  2. Can I make Ambrosia Salad ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare Ambrosia Salad a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Can I use low-fat or fat-free cream cheese and whipped topping? Yes, you can substitute low-fat or fat-free options, but keep in mind that it may affect the texture and flavor of the salad slightly.
  4. Can I omit the coconut in Ambrosia Salad? Yes, you can omit the coconut if desired, or substitute it with chopped nuts or additional fruit.
  5. Can I use mini marshmallows instead of regular-sized marshmallows? Yes, mini marshmallows can be used interchangeably with regular-sized marshmallows.
  6. Can I add additional ingredients to customize Ambrosia Salad? Absolutely! Feel free to add or substitute ingredients to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions.
  7. Can I use Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese in Ambrosia Salad? While Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative, it will alter the taste and texture of the salad slightly.
  8. Can I use frozen fruit instead of canned fruit in Ambrosia Salad? Frozen fruit can be used, but be sure to thaw and drain it thoroughly before adding it to the salad to prevent excess moisture.
  9. Can I use vegan or dairy-free substitutes in Ambrosia Salad? Yes, you can use vegan cream cheese and whipped topping substitutes to make a dairy-free version of Ambrosia Salad.
  10. Can I add alcohol to Ambrosia Salad? While it’s not traditional, a splash of rum or coconut rum can add a fun twist to Ambrosia Salad for adult gatherings. Adjust the amount according to taste preferences.

Elevate your gatherings and potlucks with the irresistible charm of our Ambrosia Salad recipe. Bursting with tropical flavors and creamy goodness, this salad is a true crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone coming back for more. Whether enjoyed as a side dish or dessert, its refreshing sweetness and luscious texture are sure to delight taste buds of all ages. So, gather your ingredients, whip up a batch of this delightful salad, and watch it disappear with smiles all around!