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The Sweet Symphony of Ambrosia Salad: A Classic Delight


The Sweet Symphony of Ambrosia Salad: A Classic Delight



Ambrosia salad is a timeless dessert that evokes images of sunny picnics, festive holiday gatherings,

and nostalgic family dinners. This classic dish, often referred to as “food of the gods,” combines a

medley of fruits, marshmallows, and creamy dressing to create a sweet and refreshing treat. Its origins


may be humble, but its appeal is universal, making it a beloved addition to any occasion. Let’s dive

into the delightful world of Ambrosia salad and explore how to prepare this irresistible dish.



Mandarin Oranges: 1 can (11 ounces), drained

Pineapple Chunks: 1 can (20 ounces), drained


Maraschino Cherries: 1 cup, drained and halved (reserve a few whole cherries for garnish)

Mini Marshmallows: 1 cup

Shredded Coconut: 1 cup, sweetened or unsweetened

Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: 1 cup (for a healthier option, use Greek yogurt)

Whipped Topping: 1 cup (optional, for extra creaminess)


Chopped Nuts: 1/2 cup (such as pecans or walnuts, optional)

Fresh Grapes: 1 cup, halved (red or green, optional)

Fresh Berries: 1 cup (such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, optional)



Prepare the Fruit:


Drain the canned fruits (mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks) thoroughly to prevent excess

moisture in the salad.

Halve the maraschino cherries and fresh grapes. If using fresh berries, ensure they are washed and


Mix the Base Ingredients:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained fruits, halved cherries, mini marshmallows, and shredded

coconut. If using nuts, grapes, or berries, add them at this stage.

Prepare the Dressing:

In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream or Greek yogurt with the whipped topping, if using. This


combination creates a creamy and slightly tangy dressing that complements the sweetness of the


Fold the dressing into the fruit mixture, ensuring all ingredients are well coated. Be gentle to avoid

breaking the fruit pieces.

Chill the Salad:

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a serving dish. Refrigerate for at least 2

hours, allowing the flavors to meld together and the marshmallows to soften.

Serve and Garnish:

Before serving, give the salad a gentle stir. Garnish with whole maraschino cherries or additional

berries for a festive touch. Serve chilled and enjoy.

Variations and Tips:


Healthier Version: Substitute sour cream with plain Greek yogurt and use fresh whipped cream or a

lower-sugar whipped topping.

Flavor Enhancements: Add a splash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a subtle flavor


Tropical Twist: Include tropical fruits like mango, papaya, or kiwi for an exotic flair.

Texture Contrast: Incorporate diced apples or pears for added crunch and freshness.

Nutritional Benefits:



Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the fruits in Ambrosia salad provide essential nutrients

that support overall health.

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, boosting the immune system.


Greek yogurt adds protein and probiotics, promoting gut health and providing a creamy texture

without excessive calories.


If added, nuts like pecans or walnuts contribute healthy fats, fiber, and additional protein, making the

salad more satiating.



Ambrosia salad is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that has stood the test of time. Its sweet,

creamy, and slightly tangy profile makes it a perfect dessert or side dish for any occasion. Whether

you’re enjoying it at a summer picnic, a holiday feast, or a simple family dinner, this classic dish is sure

to please. Embrace the tradition and versatility of Ambrosia salad, and savor every refreshing bite of

this “food of the gods.”

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