i should be mopping the floor: Southern Ambrosia | Virtual Progressive Dinner

Friday, November 8, 2013

Southern Ambrosia | Virtual Progressive Dinner

Today, I'm sharing an updated version of my mom's Southern Ambrosia recipe...a staple on our holiday table. This is a part of a fabulous Virtual Progressive Dinner {and giveaway} with 10 of my favorite bloggers. Hope you can check out all of the amazing recipes that we've put together for you!

The word Ambrosia comes from Greek mythology...loosely translated: food of the gods. I couldn't agree more. While I've made this version a bit simpler with store-bought marshmallows and canned fruit, you can also create homemade marshmallows and use fresh fruit if you prefer. With the holidays, I feel like I don't know whether I'm coming or going...so shortcuts for me, man.

This traditionally southern dish is often served around the holidays...and is often mistaken as a dessert. But, it's actually considered a salad {see, it's healthy...well, sort of}. My mom's four "salads" that she creates during the holiday season are all along the lines of this "healthy" variety: Waldorf Salad, Watergate Salad, Pink Stuff and this Ambrosia. If you're familiar with all or any of these, we might just be related. 

Love it served in individual glasses...topped with extra cream and a cherry.

For this recipe, you'll need:
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup pecans pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
3 cups miniature marshmallows
15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained well
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained well
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained well

Toast coconut and pecan pieces in the butter, until light brown {your house will smell yummy}. Allow to cool completely. 

Whip heavy cream and sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in yogurt, carefully to not break down the cream too much. Into this yogurt-cream mixture, fold in marshmallows, oranges, pineapple chunks and cherries.

Refrigerate at least two hours {overnight is even better} to let flavors mix. 

Serve with more fresh whipped cream and a cherry on top.

To download a printable version of this recipe, click on the image below:

So... this is just one recipe of eleven in our Virtual Progressive Dinner. And they are all fantastic! Join us in the progression from recipe to recipe {and blog to blog}. Here are the other dishes and drinks in our delicious meal {get ready to be hungry!}:

Neglect your chores like me and don't miss a thing:


  1. I just might have to try this! I have a favorite that is very similar using whip cream and dried jello mix. Gosh, I'm getting hungry just thinking about these salads :) Thanks for sharing, friend. Happy Friday.

  2. I swear, if we had salads like this growing up I would so totally have loved salad. :) Gorgeous photos Kristi!

  3. Mmmm, this sounds DELICIOUS! Beautiful and I can't wait to try it!

  4. I love how colorful and holiday-ready this looks in the parfait glasses! Such a fun dessert, Kristi!!

  5. This reminds me so much of my grandma, who passed away last October. I think I will make this at Thanksgiving in her honor :-) Thanks!

  6. Wonderful recipe and photo!
    I enjoy salads like this! =)

  7. I tried to enter.although im on my phone on pinterest and chasing my two year old! Btw, I know all of those salads and also a pineapple creamcheese thing! Lol

  8. Kristi, I love the color peeking through all over this salad! So pretty!

  9. I saw Southern and came running! What a delicious looking Ambrosia! I'd love for you to add it to my weekly link party! Hope to see you there! http://www.thelifeofjenniferdawn.com/2013/11/a-little-bird-told-me-link-party-67.html

  10. This is my kind of salad! ;) Growing up, we always had some sort of cool, cold salad for the holidays! Thanks so much for linking up to Freedom Fridays - Enjoy the rest of your week! :)

  11. Just pinned as the Most Clicked Link at Freedom Fridays With All My Bloggy Friends!! Thanks so much for sharing!


    Ps Will be sharing on Facebook and Google+!!

  12. OHH... that looks delicious Kristi! YUM; I need to try this out soon! Our boys LOVE yogurt and would go crazy for this! Great recipe!

  13. I ADORE Ambrosia. But you may want to double check your recipe. <3 I think we all know that you need to fold the toasted coconut and pecan mix into everything, but that part seems to have been omitted from the instructions.

  14. We used to cut orange sections, with the skin removed, instead of the Mandarin oranges. I've had alltthese salads except the Watergate. I'm not familiar with that one. At least not by that name.

  15. Is it just me, or does the recipe not say what to do with the nuts after you toast them? I'm going to assume you put them in the salad with the fruit & marshmallows.

  16. ummmmm what about the nuts and coconut. do we just toast them for something to do or are they added to the salad?