Select Page

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      


My Favorite Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad

Call it cliché. Call it retro. It doesn’t matter. Everyone still calls it delicious.   This recipe for ambrosia salad is loaded with pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut and miniature marshmallows bathed in tangy cream. Who’d have thought, this fruit salad is one of my more requested recipes. It’s a special favorite among kids and teens.

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a great option for your next get together, served as either a side or as dessert. With the prep done in just 15 minutes, this Ambrosia makes an easy, beautiful presentation for a special meal or a family dinner.

Ambrosia Salad

I like to cut the grapes and maraschino cherries in half. The bite-sized pieces are easier to eat.  It’s also very important to let the oranges and pineapple chunks drain for the full 15 minutes, otherwise your lovely creamy dressing will get watered down.

Ambrosia Salad

For me, the best part about ambrosia salad is the creamy sour cream and sweet whipped cream dressing. That slight sweetness and sour cream tang goes amazingly well with chunks of mandarin oranges, and sweet pineapple. Once the mini marshmallows absorb some of that creaminess, they become melt-in-your-mouth soft and wonderful.

Ambrosia Salad

You can use a whipped topping, but it only takes a few minutes to whip the cream and I think it tastes much better.  But if you’re pressed for time, you can always go for the stuff in the tub.  I like to reserve a bit of the shredded coconut to sprinkle over the finished bowl of Ambrosia.  It really looks great!  It’s a deliciously easy treat.  

What do you like in your Ambrosia?

Pin for Later

Or Make Now.


5 from 2 votes
Ambrosia Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

You can substitute an 8 ounce tub of whipped topping, but it only takes a few minutes to whip the cream and I think it tastes much better.  

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 (4 ounce) serving
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits pineapple tidbits (2 cups)
  • 1 (6 ounce) jar maraschino cherries drained, pat dry, halved
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups light sour cream
  • 1 cup green grapes - halved (7ounces)
  • 1 cup coconut flaked, sweetened
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • 10 ounces mini marshmallows
  1. Place the pineapple and mandarin oranges in a strainer and allow them to drain for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the cherries, rinse, cut in half and set aside to drain.
  3. In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Gently fold in half of the sour cream. Once incorporated, gently fold in the remaining sour cream. Add the Mandarin oranges, pineapple, maraschino cherries, and grapes. Gently stir to mix in. 

  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of the flaked coconut for serving.  Gently stir in the remaining coconut, pecans and marshmallows.  Chill for 1 hour prior to serving.

  5. Prior to serving, sprinkle reserved coconut over the top.

Make- Ahead Note:
  1. Ambrosia salad looks best served the day it's made.  The taste is not impacted if it's made up to a day ahead and served, but it won't look as good.  The whipped cream will deflate.



  1. frannya

    Yum, this is delicious. Made it today with Mac nuts, no pecans on hand, and added some Mango.

    • Betsy Edwards

      Glad you enjoyed!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Large Group Info.

This recipe makes 3 pounds, 7 ounces of Ambrosia.  A 3 ounce serving size is very reasonable if this is one of 5 or more items on a buffet serving line.   A large serving is 4 ounces (remember it’s got a lot of light ingredients).  This Ambrosia recipe serves 18 (3 ounce) servings or 14 (4 ounce) large servings.  You should be able to safely plan on it serving 16.

Makes 3 pounds, 7 ounces

SERVES: 13 (4 ounce) servings, or 18 (3 ounce) servings


If you liked that, you’ll love these.

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

This lovely summer dessert combines sweet juicy peaches with a crunchy, buttery, golden brown cobbler. I served this at our Young Men and Young Women Church Camp, but it’s just as perfect for your family’s summer dinner cooked in the oven!

Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Want a wonderful ooey-gooey, saucy, savory Freezer Meal Sandwich Recipe? These little meatballs are baked in the oven, heated with a great time-saving spaghetti sauce, and place on a crunchy hoagie roll slathered with garlic butter and melty Provolone cheese! And you have a Fan-‘freakin’-tastic sandwich (to quote Jeff).

Easy Oven Rice for a Crowd

Don’t miss this one! Now you can make perfect rice EVERY TIME in just 30 minutes with this easy and proven recipe to cook rice in the oven. You’ll want to add this to your recipe box for sure.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom


If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!


If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 


Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!


Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Tropical Salad

Never miss a single Fabulous Recipe!

Sign UP today and ENJOY free Recipes & Party Ideas in your inbox.

(No spam - I promise!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!