Southern Ambrosia Recipe

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Suppose you’re making a buffet table or a charcuterie presentation. In that case, it’s good to have a colorful arrangement of fruits. Then this Southern ambrosia recipe is the heavenly dish you want to usher in!

 

What is ambrosia?

It’s something very pleasing to taste or smell, often food. 

 

Southern Ambrosia Recipe

 

What was ambrosia of the gods?

In ancient Greek mythology, ambrosia is the food of the gods, depicted as a divine meal that ensures immortality upon consumption. It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves.

 

What is ambrosia in real life?

Ambrosia IRL is a Southern dessert made with tropical and citrus fruits like mandarin orange, pineapple, and shredded coconut. 

While ambrosia of the gods bestowed immortality on all who ate it. Human ambrosia simply bestows a very divine and refreshing taste after fried chicken and potato salad!

 

Is ambrosia a Southern thing? 

Southern ambrosia salad is the American variety of fruit salad originating in the Southern United States. It’s also called ambrosia salad or ambrosia fruit salad recipe. 

Most Southern ambrosia recipes contain canned fruit or fresh fruit like Dole pineapple chunks, canned mandarin or navel orange slices, miniature marshmallows, and coconut flakes.

 

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The delicious fruit combination is why this Southern ambrosia recipe is a favorite, from tables to tailgating parties all over the South.

Rich and creamy with a delightful citrus fruity flavor, this Southern ambrosia salad recipe is a burst of fresh fruity punch!

 

 

 

What is Southern ambrosia, and how is it made?

This dessert will add Southern charm and hospitality to your dinner table. From Easter to Juneteenth or New Year’s. Or any time you want a fun and festive treat!

This classic Southern dressing recipe combines crushed pineapples, fresh juicy mandarin oranges, shredded sweetened coconut, marshmallows, and ruby red maraschino cherries. Then garnished with chopped walnut or pecan.

It’s the most beloved dessert to beat the heat with a citrusy, fruity punch on a hot summer day.

 

What’s the difference between ambrosia and fruit salad?

Want a more indulgent treat?

Ambrosia salad is an upgraded variation of the classic fruit cocktail or fresh fruit salad.

The difference is the addition of decadent whipped cream, softened cream cheese, miniature marshmallow, sweetened coconut, and nuts. 

 

Where are the cherries in this recipe?

With the mandarins and cherries mixed in, you’ll add a splash of color to your dessert table. 

This Southern dessert is refreshing, ideal for summertime, and excellent for potlucks, picnics, and cookouts too!

 

Southern Ambrosia Fruit Salad Recipe

 

Why does ambrosia salad exist?

The once hard-to-find ingredients were considered luxurious and exotic. So this Southern dessert salad was a rare treat reserved for holidays and other special occasions. 

Thus the name “ambrosia” after the food of the Greek and Roman gods.

 

What is the recipe for ambrosia salad?

You don’t have to be a Greek god to start making and enjoying this once mythical dessert. The simple recipe ingredients and instructions for Southern ambrosia salad are right here!

 

Kitchen equipment for a Southern ambrosia recipe

 

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Easy ambrosia salad

Ingredients for Southern ambrosia salad with whipped cream

  • 20 oz. crushed pineapple, drained (1 can)
  • 15 oz. canned mandarin oranges (1 can)
  • 12. oz. stemless maraschino cherries, drained (1 jar)
  • 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup of mini marshmallows
  • ¼ a cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese, softened or whipped
  • 8 oz. of whipped cream, thawed

 

What is Southern ambrosia, and how is it made?

 

Instructions for a Southern ambrosia recipe

  1. Add the cream cheese and whipped cream to a large bowl and use a stand or hand mixer to combine, whipping on low until the cream cheese mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the pineapple, oranges, cherries, coconut, marshmallows, and optional walnuts and mix again on low speed.
  3. Serve Southern ambrosia salad right away at room temperature or refrigerator chilled, and enjoy!

 

How long does ambrosia salad need to stay in the fridge before servings?

A Southern ambrosia recipe can be served right away at room temperature. Or alternatively placed in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving to chill.

 

What do you serve with Southern ambrosia salad?

What to serve it with? Ambrosia salad with whipped cream is famous in the USA, particularly in the Southern states. In addition to its simplicity, it is quite pleasant to eat. 

This salad is frequently served in a big glass bowl alongside other party, BBQ, cookout, and picnic food favorites like:

 

Southern ambrosia recipe FAQs

What are the ingredients in ambrosia?

The ingredients in a Southern ambrosia recipe are cream cheese, crushed pineapple, mandarin orange slices, shredded coconut flakes, whipped cream, baby marshmallows, and maraschino cherries. With a cherry on top if you please!

Alternatively, garnish or mix in chopped pecans or walnuts for a nutty kick.

Some folks mix powdered sugar with the whipped cream and cream cheese, but I think the dish is already sweet enough without it.

 

Do you just toast the nuts first, or are they simply added to the salad?

No need for toasted pecans or walnuts. Just make sure they’re chopped and not whole nuts. Then simply add them in!

 

What is the most important ingredient for ambrosia salad?

All of them! A tropical fruit salad, ambrosia is a mélange of sweet and tart tropical fruits that play well together. 

Southern ambrosia recipe, in essence, a layer of fruits, whipped creams, shredded coconut, and marshmallows. So easy to prepare and enjoy right away! 

 

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Does Southern ambrosia salad have a secret ingredient?

The secret ingredient might be the marshmallows and the shredded coconut, which are white like the whipped cream and cream cheese. Even though these ingredients are hidden in plain sight, they significantly affect the texture and taste of this Southern recipe.

 

Can you sub out the secret ingredient?

While some of the ingredients in this Southern ambrosia recipe can be swapped, like pineapple tidbits for crushed pineapple. Canned oranges for fresh mandarin orange sections. Even unsweetened coconut for sweetened coconut flakes. 

While other ingredients may be “secretive” or seemingly quiet. They’re really doing the heavy lifting here! 

So don’t discount the shredded coconut or the miniature marshmallows in this recipe. You need them! 

In the famous words of one of my favorite lyricists Drake: 

“Might be light. But we heavy tho!”

 

Southern Ambrosia Recipe Salad

 

How do you make Southern ambrosia with homemade whipped cream?

  1. Use a stand or hand mixer to whip 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar, and ½ a teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks are formed. (To form stiff peaks, you want a nice peak that holds its shape and stands straight up when you lift up the beater.) 
  2. You’ll need ½ a cup of sour cream, and by hand, fold in half of it. Then fold in the remaining sour cream, careful not to deflate the fresh whipped cream. 

 

Do you taste the sour cream in the ambrosia salad?

The sour cream is another secret ingredient when making the whipped cream from scratch for this Southern ambrosia recipe. However, it doesn’t taste like sour cream once it’s mixed in.

 

How long does the salad last in the refrigerator?

How long will ambrosia salad last?

Unlike ambrosia food for the gods, this Southern ambrosia salad does not last for eternity!

If you plan to prepare ambrosia salad ahead of time, be sure it’s properly stored in the refrigerator. To prevent browning and softening, place the mixture in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Like all other fruits, ambrosia should be eaten within 3 to 5 days.

 

How do you store leftovers?

Store leftover salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

 

Can you freeze ambrosia salad?

Does ambrosia freeze well?

You will want to place the ambrosia salad in an airtight container to preserve any leftovers. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing this in the freezer.

It’s best to serve Southern ambrosia salad immediately after making it or from the refrigerator.

Like most salads, this dessert is not meant to be frozen and defrosted. The dressing will break once the liquid oozes out from the delicate and perishable fruits.

 

Ambrosia Fruit Salad Recipe

 

What are some recipes similar to ambrosia?

Other Southern desserts similar to ambrosia salad are Southern banana pudding, pistachio Watergate salad, Southern Jell-O salad, and strawberry pretzel salad.

 

Do you have more Southern desserts?

Yep! Check out these best Southern dessert recipes:

The Best Southern Desserts
Southern desserts are classic after-dinner favorites. These Southern desserts are African American recipes. Black folks banana pudding...
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The Best Southern Desserts

 

What do you think about this Southern ambrosia recipe?

As the name suggests, this Southern ambrosia recipe is a dessert salad made of once thought-to-be exotic fruits and coconut mixed in with cream cheese and Cool Whip dressing.

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

 

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The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide

 

Southern Ambrosia Recipe

Southern Ambrosia Recipe

Ambrosia salad is a Southern dessert made with tropical and citrus fruits like mandarin orange, pineapple, and shredded coconut. 
While ambrosia of the gods bestowed immortality on all who ate it. Human ambrosia simply bestows a very divine and refreshing taste after fried chicken and potato salad!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Mixing Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Dessert, Salad
Cuisine: Southern Food
Keyword: ambrosia fruit salad recipe, Easy ambrosia salad, fruit salad, Southern ambrosia recipe, Southern ambrosia salad, southern food, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 582kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Hand or stand mixer (optional)

Ingredients

  • 20 oz crushed pineapple fresh or 1 can drained
  • 15 oz mandarin oranges fresh or 1 can drained
  • 12 oz maraschino cherries 1 jar, stemless & drained
  • 1 cup coconut flakes sweetened
  • 1 cup marshmallows miniature
  • ¼ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened or whipped
  • 8 oz whipped cream thawed

Instructions

  • Add the cream cheese and whipped cream to a large bowl and use a stand or hand mixer to combine, whipping on low until the cream cheese mixture is smooth.
  • Add the pineapple, oranges, cherries, coconut, marshmallows, and optional walnuts and mix again on low speed.
  • Serve Southern ambrosia salad right away at room temperature or refrigerator chilled, and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 1323IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 1mg
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Nutrition Facts
Southern Ambrosia Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
582
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
34
g
52
%
Saturated Fat
 
21
g
131
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
67
mg
22
%
Sodium
 
142
mg
6
%
Potassium
 
451
mg
13
%
Carbohydrates
 
69
g
23
%
Fiber
 
7
g
29
%
Sugar
 
56
g
62
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
1323
IU
26
%
Vitamin C
 
28
mg
34
%
Calcium
 
156
mg
16
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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