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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Marshmallow Fruit Salad
- 2 15-oz cans mixed fruit cocktail drained
- 1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip whipped topping
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 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
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
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!
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A special thank you to my little assistants for helping out today! Recipe was published in 2015 and updated in 2022.
This is a holiday comfort food for me! My grandma made it for every holiday and now I make it.
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!
Thanks, Jim! I'm glad you like the salad!
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
I hope you liked it, Kelley. My kids made it again this year -- It's tradition!
Try adding coconut, cherries, pecans and cream cheese it is a bomb!!
Thanks for the tip -- I need to try this!
Sophia Scala says
My mom made this for me growing up and I'm still making it and im in my 40's now with my family I'm making this fresh with real whipped cream!Very delicious!Can't wait!
Yes! Can't wait to enjoy this on Christmas!
Sierra Murillo says
Do I use two big cans of mixed fruit or two small cans
We use 2 15-ounce cans of fruit.
Arlene Gregoire says
This "salad" is mandatory at every Thanksgiving dinner. We call it Grandma Rie's salad. She was actually my Great-grand mother, so this has been in the family since forever.
Family recipes are the best! It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without this one! 🙂
Used to make this year's ago but now couldn't remember the recipe. We used to make a round jelly mold - usually red and put this in the centre. Looks awesome and tastes delicious. Thanks for posting.
You're very welcome! My kids love this during the holidays. 🙂
Star McCowan says
Love this recipe it’s quick easy tasty and family loves it
We make this on Easter and other events as well. We sometimes like to add extra maraschino cherries. We also add in pecans or walnuts and shredded coconut.
Those sound like great additions. I'll have to try that next time. 🙂
Debra Smith says
Easy, I remember my mom making this when I was growing up, I like making this with fresh fruits, also had sweet apple, and walnuts, add some coconut also.
That version sounds so good, Debra. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome! Last question. Can I make this a day ahead?
Dee M says
I usually use 2 15-oz cans of fruit, but you could add the larger cans and just add more whipped topping. 🙂
This looks so good! What size are the cans of fruit?
Dee M says
Ooh, I like the sound of that! Thanks for sharing your recipe -- I'll have to try it next time. 🙂