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Delectable Ambrosia Salad

ambrosia salad recipe

This ambrosia salad recipe, or 5 cup salad recipe as it is often called, is another of those dual purpose recipes.

It is called a salad but you can easily see from the list of ingredients that it makes a delicious light dessert recipe too.

I love it as a light dessert. It may be an old-fashioned recipe, but great taste never really goes out of style.

Using sour cream may sound odd, and not dessert-like at all, but all of the other ingredients are sweet, so it’s a nice contrast. The melding of all of those flavors works perfectly.

This delicious salad or dessert, whatever you prefer to call it, can be part of a delicious dinner menu, placed on a buffet or pot luck dinner table, or served as a wonderful light sweet treat for dessert.

Any way you choose to use it, your friends and family will love it.

It is so easy to make and disappears like magic. Kids of all ages love it and it’s not bad for you.

Ambrosia Salad

Delectable Ambrosia Salad

This ambrosia salad recipe, or 5 cup salad recipe as it is often called, is another of those dual purpose recipes. It is called a salad but you can easily use it as a delicious light dessert recipe too.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Dessert, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 167 kcal


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits, well drained
  • 1 cup canned mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows


  • Combine all ingredients and mix. Chill.


Calories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 62mgPotassium: 156mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 532IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Now how easy is that?

Tips and Variations:

  • This recipe can easily be double or tripled to feed a large group.
  • Add a 1/2 cup of maraschino cherries, sliced in half for a bit of color. Dry them first though or the whole thing goes quite pink. Trust me. I ended up with a bowl of pink mess once because I didn’t know to dry the cherries. And I was taking it to a party!
  • Add 1/2 cup green grapes, cut in half lengthwise, as shown in the image.
  • Use light sour cream to make it a low fat dessert.

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If you like this easy ambrosia dessert, have a look at our easy chocolate pudding recipe, made from avocados. Yes, really!

This ambrosia salad will make you want to try our other tasty dessert recipes. You will find our easy dessert recipes here.

2 thoughts on “Delectable Ambrosia Salad”

  1. Draining Fruit for Ambrosia Salad

    Originally submitted by Carol Miller of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada.
    When I make ambrosia salad I put fruit in a plastic strainer over a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night. The fruit is completely drained of juice and makes a very nice firm salad instead of sloppy.

  2. East Bay Baker

    Original Comment by Donna (San Francisco) copied to here

    I’ve made this salad for many years, a favorite at Thanksgiving. Some members of my family don’t like the coconut, so I have always substituted coarsely chopped walnuts, or you could use both. The walnuts add a warmer “autumn” look to the salad, a low note to the pale yellow pineapple and the deep golden mandarin oranges. It’s extremely important to gently press the pineapple and orange sections between layers of paper towel to eliminate as much of their liquid as possible.

    This year I’m going to try adding a few Craisins (sweetened dried cranberries) for flavor and color. Try it, you’ll like it! Best eaten in the first two days (but it’s so good, you probably won’t have any leftover).


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