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Ambrosia Fruit Salad recipe with sour cream, pineapple, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows and coconut is a classic dessert salad. This creamy fruit salad is perfect for family dinners and special occasions!

It’s that time of year again when you start to see fruit salad recipes popping up all over. But, that’s good, right? If you’re looking for an easy summer side dish, you’ll love this classic ambrosia salad!

I found this gem in my mom’s recipe collection. You all know my soft spot for retro recipes, and this one definitely jumped out at me! Since we’re heading into summer potluck season, it’s perfect timing.

This ambrosia salad is your basic recipe for fruit salad with sour cream and marshmallows or a marshmallow salad with sour cream. You can also call it 5 cup salad, although this particular recipe doesn’t have exactly one cup of everything.

The Hubs grew up with an ambrosia recipe that called for whipped cream or Cool Whip, but this one only has sour cream. And it doesn’t have nuts, which is perfect since my kids hate salads with nuts!

I think every family has their own version of ambrosia, and that’s totally fine. You really can’t go wrong with any of them!

mini marshmallows, mandarin oranges, sour cream, pineapple tidbits and coconut


You only need a few simple ingredients for this classic ambrosia salad recipe. What you don’t already have at home should be easy to find online or at your local grocery store.

  • Can mandarin orange slices, drained
  • Can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Shredded coconut
  • Sour cream
  • Lime zest — optional

How to Make Ambrosia Salad with Sour Cream

This recipe is so easy that I turned it over to the kiddos. They love helping out in the kitchen, and I have one less dish to make. Works for me!

First, you just drain your pineapple tidbits and mandarin oranges, and then you add them to a large bowl.

Don’t skip this step! Draining the cans of fruit prevents the salad from becoming too wet and watery.

add marshmallows to easy ambrosia fruit salad

Then, you add some mini marshmallows and a little shredded coconut flakes. One of my kids hates coconut, but she didn’t complain about it at all in this recipe!

It really blends in well, so don’t skip it, even if you’re not a coconut lover.

Try it first, and if you still don’t like it, you can leave it out next time — K?

stir sour cream into easy ambrosia fruit salad

Stir it the sour cream, and that, my friends, is it. I added a little bit of lime zest to the top — just for a little color and a zip of flavor.

This is totally optional, though.

easy ambrosia fruit salad with lime zest

This ambrosia salad is cool, creamy and just sweet enough. No wonder it’s named after the food of the gods in Greek mythology


There are a couple ways to customize this delicious fruit salad to your liking.

Add or leave out any salad ingredients you want. In addition to pineapple and oranges, I like to add maraschino cherries and green grapes. You can also use canned fruit cocktail for more fruit variety.

For some extra texture, sprinkle some chopped nuts into your salad. You can use different nuts, but crunchy pecans and walnuts tend to go best.

Instead of sour cream, use plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, depending on what flavor you’re going for. For a sweeter variation of ambrosia salad, use whipped cream.

This is meant to be a super easy salad recipe, but you can use fresh fruit of you want. Just cut up some fresh pineapple chunks and orange slices.

If you like fruit salad recipes, try my Marshmallow fruit salad, Strawberry Jello fruit salad, Orange Jello fruit salad or Tropical fruit salad.

How to Store

Store leftover easy ambrosia fruit salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it’ll keep for 2 to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing leftovers.

Enjoy any extra fruit salad straight out of the refrigerator, adding any toppings you might want!

5 from 2 votes

Ambrosia Fruit Salad Recipe

By: Dee
Ambrosia Fruit Salad recipe with sour cream, pineapple, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows and coconut is a classic dessert salad. This creamy fruit salad is perfect for family dinners and special occasions!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Refrigerate: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 15-ounce can mandarin orange slices, drained
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • lime zest, optional
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  • In a mixing bowl, add the mandarin oranges, pineapple, mini marshmallows and coconut
  • Stir in sour cream, and mix well
  • Top with fresh lime zest, if desired, and refrigerate for one hour or until ready to serve


Be sure to drain the cans of fruit well. This prevents the fruit salad from becoming too wet.


Calories: 160kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Recipe published in 2018 and updated in 2022.

easy ambrosia fruit salad with oranges, pineapple, coconut and sour cream in white bowl

Easy ambrosia salad is my favorite version of this classic recipe, and it’s always a big hit at summer barbecue and family gatherings!

If you’re a fan or ambrosia salad recipes with sour cream, I hope you enjoy our best ambrosia salad as much as we do!

For more great recipe ideas, no bake dessert recipes, and perfect side dish salads, subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on social media!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ebony says:

    Easy potluck salad. Made this for church gathering today to celebrate spring! Yummy!5 stars

  2. Miz Helen says:

    I love a simple Ambrosia, this looks so good!! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  3. Anna says:

    This fruit salad looks so delicious! My family will love it!

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Anna. My family loved it!

  4. Abeer says:

    Anything with fruit, I am in!

  5. Allyson Zea says:

    My kids love this stuff!

  6. Dorothy at Shockinglydelish says:

    This takes me back to my grandmother’s house! I hadn’t thought about this salad in a long time. Adding this to my to do list!

  7. I Heart Naptime says:

    YUM! Looks so light and perfect for Summer. Love the addition of coconut!

  8. Sabrina says:

    Such a great go-to dish for any potluck or BBQ! There are never any leftovers!

  9. Jen says:

    This is such a nostalgic dish for me! Reminds me of summer at my grandparents lake house. My grandma would always make it for the kids. Brings me back with every bite!

    1. Dee says:

      I know. Memories like that are just priceless! 🙂