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The Best Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a staple side dish that’s been around for years! This recipe is super simple to make, and always a crowd-pleaser!

With its silky sweet, whipped-cream-based “dressing”, plenty of soft mini marshmallows, and an abundance of juicy, colorful fruit, Ambrosia Salad may be a bit different than some of the other salads you’re used to seeing around potlucks and parties, like this Frog Eye Salad, but I promise you that it’s every bit as good… if not better! This classic salad has been a staple for decades (maybe your grandmother has made it for you?) and the version that I’m sharing today is made with a simple from-scratch dressing and takes only 10 minutes to assemble!

Ambrosia Salad never appealed to me growing up. It was always too… colorful, for me to take it seriously as a dessert, my grandmother often served it on Thanksgiving and while I piled my plate high with plenty of her Strawberry Cheesecake, Angel Food Cake or Apple Pie, I always steered away from the Ambrosia Salad.

What is ambrosia

  • Ambrosia, or Ambrosia Salad, is a variation on a traditional fruit salad that’s become a classic Southern recipe that’s usually served at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

As an adult with a new-found love for ambrosia fruit salad, I wish I’d caught on to this heavenly salad (aptly named “ambrosia”, meaning “food of the gods”) sooner. I had no idea what I was missing out on, and if you’ve never tried Ambrosia Salad yourself, you’re in for a real treat.

While there are many recipes for Ambrosia with Cool Whip to form their base “dressing”, I prefer to make mine completely from scratch. If for some reason you do have a strong desire to use pre-made Cool Whip instead of homemade whipped cream (you’re really missing out, seriously!) you can and you would substitute 3 cups of Cool Whip for the whipped cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract that is called for (no need to beat the Cool Whip either, just stir in your sour cream and you’re ready to go!).

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