My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
Published Feb 18, 2022
Updated Nov 14, 2023
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My Favorite Ambrosia Salad is filled with a variety of fruits and fresh grapes, and dressed in a sweet, slightly tangy yogurt dressing.
Only 10 minutes of prep time and no need for whipped cream here! This salad is well-loved by my kids and perfect for the holidays spring, summer, or entertaining.
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Last Christmas, we had Ambrosia Salad on our table. While planning our meals I wanted to add a fruit salad but not something that would take so much time to prep.
So I decided to go with Ambrosia. It was the best decision ever! I told my 9-year-old daughter who is kitchen savvy to make it.
Everything took less than ten minutes as the whole process just involves draining fruits and tossing them in the dressing. The only real work here is cutting the grapes in halves.
I love green grapes in this recipe because they provide crunch, freshness, and that lovely green color.
My daughter Salma, (also the one who made this recipe for us at Christmas) insists that I must tell you guys that green grapes are ideal. She says they are crunchier than red grapes (I don’t know about that) and just the best for ambrosia salad.
Our Christmas Ambrosia Salad was so good that my friend who was spending the day with us took the little leftovers to her home.
I love a good fresh fruit salad. But for days when I want something quick, Ambrosia is the answer.
Why This Is My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
This is my favorite Ambrosia Salad for many reasons:
- I use a fruit cocktail in the salad. This provides a variety of fruits and amazing flavor.
- I use yogurt in the dressing. I am not a fan of dressings with whipped cream, cool whip and sour cream. Yogurt provides both creaminess and the right amount of tanginess. Also, using yogurt as the dressing makes for a healthier salad.
- It is ridiculously easy to make. This is the recipe to make when you have guests coming over and you need a quick dessert. So good!
Ingredients For Ambrosia Salad
For a super delicious impressive Ambrosia Salad, use the following ingredients:
- Pineapple Chunks or Tidbits: I used those drained from a plastic container.
- Canned Fruit Cocktail: I love using the tropical fruit cocktail for a tropical flare but any canned fruit cocktail would work.
- Maraschino Cherries: For a pop of red. Get those without stems if you can. If you get those with stems just take off the stems them leave some with stems on for decorating the salad.
- Mini Marshmallows: White or colorful marshmallows would work.
- Sweetened Coconut Flakes: Use them as is or slightly toast the coconut flakes to boost their flavor.
- Fresh Grapes: I used green grapes cut in half.
- Plain Yogurt
- Whole Milk
How To Make Ambrosia Salad
- Mix together yogurt milk and sugar to make the dressing.
- Place all the other ingredients for the salad into a bowl.
- Add the dressing and mix everything to combine.
- Cover, chill, and serve.
Ambrosia Salad Variations
- Toast the coconut if desired. Toasting the coconut will amp up its flavor resulting in an even tastier ambrosia salad.
- Add nuts like pecans if desired.
- Switch the fruit cocktail for tangerines if desired.
- You could use all fresh fruits if desired.
- You could use honey instead of sugar in the yogurt dressing.
Tips For Making Ambrosia Salad
- Refrigeration helps the flavors to meld. This is a great make-ahead dish. Just make it and keep it in the fridge overnight for serving the next day.
- After draining the maraschino cherries from their jar water, rinse again with water to prevent the cherries from giving a red tint to the salad.
- Taste the yogurt dressing and adjust sweetness as preferred. For more sweetness, add more sugar.
Why Is It Called Ambrosia?
Ambrosia means the food of the Greek or Roman Gods. The salad was named this way because the ingredients were once exotic and hard to find. So the salad was considered luxurious and reserved for special occasions.
Ambrosia salad is sometimes referred to as Watergate salad.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
Hope you enjoy my favorite ambrosia salad recipe as much as we do in my home!
If you make this recipe please leave a star rating below. Your rating helps others find the recipe plus I love hearing from you! Thank you!
My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
- 1 cup grapes halved
- ¾ cup maraschino cherries drained
- 1 cup pineapple chunks drained from a can or fresh chopped
- 1 ½ cup fruit cocktail drained from can
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cup plain full fat (whole milk) yogurt sub with Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- In a small mixing bowl or measuring cup combine the yogurt, sugar, and milk. Stir well so everything is incorporated.
- Place all the other ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the yogurt dressing and toss to combine.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until ready to serve. It can be refrigerated overnight too.