Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ambrosia Salad {A Southern Staple}

Ambrosia is a staple at almost every holiday feast in the South. Well, at least it is in my house. When any holiday rolls around I always have a congealed Jell-O Salad or Ambrosia gracing my table, sometimes both. 

Are you familiar with Ambrosia? If not it's just a simple mixture of fruit, coconut, nuts and cream. Primarily it's served in the South and everyone always has their own version. 

The basic ingredients are oranges, pineapple, coconut, mini marshmallows, pecans, maraschino cherries and cream. For me I've been know to add a few other fruits (apples, grapes and fresh strawberries) if I have them on hand.

I know that basic Ambrosia does not call for other fruits, but it's a nice addition especially if you have fruit that needs to used up. Some people don't add cream to ambrosia, but my favorite is the creamy version by far. 

In the south congealed Jello-O or fruit salads are a serious thing. You either love em or hate em. For me I love them all. A few of my favorites are Strawberry Jell-O Salad, Lime Congealed Salad, Dreamsicle Salad, Ambrosia and my favorite Easy Fruit Salad.

I'm always disappointed when I get to one of our family gathering and there isn't a congealed salad on the table. So, to solve that problem I usually just make one and bring it myself

When making ambrosia you can use regular marshmallows or the mini colored ones. I love adding the colored marshmallows to my Easter Ambrosia, because it gives it such a nice color and flavor. 

Any way you choose to make it, it's so darn good. Most folks say this recipe is not Ambrosia, but more of a fruit salad. Click here for the definition of "Ambrosia" and the many variations it's listed.

Ambrosia Salad {A Southern Staple}

1 - 20 oz can pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained

1 - 11 oz can mandarin orange segments, drained or 2 cups fresh clementine segments
1/4 - cup maraschino cherries, drained and rinsed 

1/2 - cup seedless green or red grapes, halved
1/2 - cup apples, chopped
1 - cup miniature regular of colored marshmallows 
1 - cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, optional
1/3 - cup toasted pecan halves
1/4 - cup light sour cream or plain yogurt
1 - 8 oz container cool whip, whipped topping

Drain pineapple and mandarin orange segments and set aside. If using fresh clementines, peel and break apart into segments.

In large bowl, combine pineapple, mandarin oranges or clementines, grapes, cherries, apples if using, marshmallows, coconut (if using) and pecans.

In a separate bowl using a whisk combine the Greek yogurt or sour cream and whipped topping. 

Add the whipped cream mixture into the fruit and gently fold. Add mixture into a bowl and refrigerate, covered for 2 - 4 hours before serving.  

Servings: 4 to 6

How to Toast Pecans: Place pecans in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 -2 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring between each minute. Watch carefully to avoid burning the nuts. I always start out with a minute, because every one's microwave is different. 

My kids don't like coconut, so sometimes I have to leave it out : (

Print Friendly and PDF


Leslie said... #

Ambrosia is sooo good! It's a Christmas tradition for us!

Leslie said... #

My grandma used to make this alllll the time....But we lived in Pittsburgh. LOL

Dorian Curtis said... #

I. Love. Ambrosia. Every holiday...Christmas, Easter, Groundhog day...seriously, I don't need an excuse!

Anonymous said... #

Thank you so much for this ive always wanted to do it..

yuyu said... #

So good.I'll try the recipe.Thank you.

Anonymous said... #

I first was made aware of Ambrosia when I was in Tennessee this summer. My grandson asked me to make for him, when I did I said, "This needs to be in my recipe box.

N. Moore said... #

Haitian ppl have a dish just like this only there is rum added unless children r having it. It's called blonde mache (white food)

Tina Butler said... #

N. More I translated your comment below......

Haitian ppl have a dish just like this only there is rum added unless children r having it. It's called blonde mache (white food)

I bet rum would be really good added.

Mildrid J said... #

i had an Ambrosia recipe that called for mayo & sugar instead of yogurt and whatever..what became of that one because i really liked it but can't find it anvwhere...

ZaRita HetHeru said... #

Ambrosia is one of my favorite foods of all time. My Grandmother introduced this to our dinner table during holidays but I prefer eating Ambrosia as a desert.

The version of Ambrosia I prefer is one with Orzo in it but I can't seem to find a recipe online and I have no idea how my Grandma made it as she created most dishes by memory. said... #

My mother was born and reared in Georgia. Her family's Ambrosia version is made with only oranges, pineapple and coconut - maybe a little sugar if the oranges aren't that sweet. I love it at holiday time, and it's especially good with a slice of pecan pie!

M Reynolds said... #

LOVE Ambrosia! We were going to make some this weekend so I found this one at the perfect time! Thanks for sharing

Carol Spencer said... #

I live in PA and make ambrosia salad for me and my daughter a few times a year and we both LOVE IT! It's so addicting, I'll make a big bowl then when it's gone i make another one. Then I have to stop myself from making more.