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This easy Marshmallow Fruit Salad recipe with Cool Whip is an easy fruit salad made with fruit cocktail and whipped topping. Just 3 ingredients! This easy recipe is on the menu for every special occasion and family gathering, and even kids can make it!

fruit salad recipe with cool whip and cherry in white dish on the table

I’m sharing some of our favorite holiday side dishes, and this easy Marshmallow Fruit Salad recipe with Cool Whip and fruit cocktail will definitely be on the menu.

It’s the perfect side dish, and the kids say it wouldn’t be a holiday dinner without it!

I started making this Cool Whip fruit salad recipe when my oldest baby was little because she used to be a super picky eater. So, it gave her something to enjoy at family gatherings. 

Even today, she still prefers this fruit cocktail salad over potato salad or ambrosia fruit salad with sour cream and coconut flakes. So do the other kids!

Since this old fashioned recipe is about the easiest side salad ever, I leave the preparation up to the kiddos! They will happily walk you through the recipe and give you expert tips.

cool whip and mini marshmallows and fruit cocktail on the table


You only need 3 ingredients for this fruit salad recipe with cool whip. You can find them in most grocery stores if you don’t have these pantry staples:

  • Can mixed fruit cocktail 
  • Cool Whip whipped topping — or any whipped topping, thawed
  • Miniature marshmallows

How to Make Marshmallow Fruit Salad

First, drain the canned fruit, and pour it into a large bowl. Then, fold in the whipped topping, using a spatula.

Make sure it doesn’t get all over the outside of the bowl. By the way, make sure the Cool Whip is thawed!

pour canned mixed fruit in a bowl with cool whip

Next, add the mini marshmallows. Stir until all of the ingredients are mixed well.

Try not to eat too many marshmallows while you make this. And, avoid throwing them at your assistant!

mini pastel marsmallows with mixed fruit cocktail and cool whip in a bowl

Smooth the whipped topping so that it’s even. You can add more marshmallows and some colored sugar sprinkles over the top so that it looks nice and pretty.

Don’t forget to share some of this creamy fruit salad with your assistant. And, always leave some for your family and guests!

For Christmas, we add red or green colored sugar. For Easter, we add pastel colors.

marshmallow fruit salad with cool whip and maraschino cherry on top in sundae dish

Isn’t this the easiest 3 ingredient side salad ever?! I like to think that since it contains fruit, it’s on the healthy side. Of course if you’re looking for a fresh fruit salad, Summer Fruit Salad and Watermelon, Feta and Blueberry Salad are healthier!

We serve this simple side dish at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and the Fourth of July. It’s also very popular at potlucks, along with Strawberry Jello Salad, Orange Jello Salad, Lime Jello Salad and Pistachio Salad — Watergate salad.


There are a couple ways to customize this delicious fruit salad!

First, feel free to add your favorite fruits. I like to choose fruit cocktail blends that include maraschino cherries, but you can have whatever different fruit you want. Pineapple tidbits and mandarin oranges are great additions!

This marshmallow ambrosia recipe is designed to be easy, but you can add fresh fruit if you desire! Try some fresh berries, blueberries, fresh pineapple, and even kiwi chunks for some extra fruit flavor.

Use plain marshmallows or pastel colored ones.

Top your creamy fruit salad with sprinkles for different seasons. We like to do red and green sprinkles for the holidays, pastel sprinkles for Easter and generic rainbow sprinkles for birthdays.

bowl of fruit salad and fruit salad on a plate with marshmallows

How to Store

You can store marshmallow fruit salad in an airtight container in the fridge. Or cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Cool Whip salad keeps well for about 2 days before it starts to get soggy. But around here, leftovers don’t last long!

5 from 6 votes

Marshmallow Fruit Salad

By: Dee
Easy Marshmallow Fruit Salad with Cool Whip is light, fluffy and on the menu for every holiday. Kids can make this simple 3 ingredient recipe with whipped topping, canned fruit and mini marshmallows.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 people


  • 2 15-oz cans mixed fruit cocktail drained
  • 1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
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  • Add the drained fruit to a large mixing bowl
  • Stir in the whipped topping or whipped cream
  • Fold in the marshmallows, and smooth top of salad with spatula. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve



You can use any brand of non dairy whipped topping. 
Use colored mini marshmallows or regular mini marshmallows.


Calories: 27kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 7mg, Sugar: 5g, Iron: 1mg

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!

With the sweetness of the fruit and creamy Cool Whip, this fruit salad with whipped cream is a great recipe for summer months, church potlucks, and any day of the week!

Marshmallow fruit salad with Cool Whip is one of our family favorites, and we hope you love it too!

For more easy dessert salad recipes, no bake desserts, and favorite recipes the entire family will love, subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on social media

A special thank you to my little assistants for helping out today! Recipe was published in 2015 and updated in 2022.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Noreen says:

    Love this recipe: Used to make this all of the time when the kids were little! This will never grow old! And so easy to make too!5 stars

  2. Doris says:

    This is a holiday comfort food for me! My grandma made it for every holiday and now I make it.

  3. Jim says:

    Found this recipe last Christmas and have been making it for every holiday since. This year the kids are doing all by themselves. Another family favorite!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Jim! I’m glad you like the salad!

  4. Kelley says:

    Easter is tomorrow,and I have all I need except for the energy. I haven’t been feeling well (chronic nausea),but i know i need to push thru and do what needs to be done.My 3 deserts for Easter are rice crispy cereal with sprinkles,box carrot cake,and fruit salad which was last minute,which I didnt have a lot of ingredients for.I went looking on Pintrest,and luckily found yours.Everything I have. Will make tomorrow or today,let you know how it turns out,thanks

    1. Dee says:

      I hope you liked it, Kelley. My kids made it again this year — It’s tradition!

  5. Letissia says:

    Try adding coconut, cherries, pecans and cream cheese it is a bomb!!

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks for the tip — I need to try this!