Southern Ambrosia Recipe | i should be mopping the floor
Homepage Projects and Crafts Free Fonts Free Printables and SVG Files Printables Journals and Planners Facebook Covers and Device Wallpapers Summer Projects and Printables

Southern Ambrosia Recipe

Today, I'm sharing an updated version of my mom's Southern Ambrosia recipe...a staple on our holiday table. It's truly the best kind of "salad" there is. And we all need a salad at the holiday meal, right? See this Southern Ambrosia recipe below.

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 shortcuts for me, man.

Southern Ambrosia

This traditionally southern dish is often served around the holidays...and is often mistaken as a dessert. But, it is 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.

Recipe for Southern Ambrosia


  • 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...aren't you excited to have salad at your holiday table now?


  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!

  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?

  17. This reminds me of my late sister-in-law. It is good, but not what my family calls ambrosia. Our recipe is a labor of love, so it is not made by many anymore. We use Florida juice oranges (thin skinned and with seeds that have to be carefully removed). Peel about 3 dz oranges removing all the white pith. Carefully cut in small bites, removing seeds as you go and squeezing juice from the leftover core. Add 1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup (more if you like). Then add some finely grated frozen coconut (thawed). Add coconut as you like. We don't use very much. Mix well and taste. If not sweet enough for your taste, add some granulated sugar until it taste as you like. Now I am sure you see why I call this a labor of love. My daddy and now my husband peel the oranges for me and I do the rest. We love this anytime but especially during the holidays with a good breakfast casserole or with a good banana nut cake. Try it, you'll like it! We have used a good, sweet, small navel orange as last resort, but nothing beats the Florida juice oranges!!

    1. Wow, Kay! That sounds delicious! Thank you bunches for stopping by...and for sharing the great recipe idea! <3