Ambrosia (fruit salad)

Ambrosia is an American variety of fruit salad originating in the Southern United States. Most ambrosia recipes contain canned (often sweetened) or fresh pineapple, canned mandarin orange slices or fresh orange sections, miniature marshmallows,[1] and coconut.[2] Other ingredients might include various fruits and nuts: maraschino cherries, bananas, strawberries,[3] peeled grapes, or crushed pecans. Ambrosia can also include mayonnaise or dairy ingredients: whipped cream (or whipped topping), sour cream, cream cheese, pudding, yogurt, or cottage cheese.

An ambrosia salad prepared for a potluck, topped with canned mandarin orange slices, maraschino cherries, and a canned pineapple ring
Alternative names5 cup salad
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateSouthern United States
Main ingredientsPineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and coconut
Video of ambrosia salad preparation

The mixture of ingredients is refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

In New Zealand, ambrosia refers to a similar dish made with whipped cream, yoghurt, fresh, canned or frozen berries, and chocolate chips loosely combined into a pudding.

The earliest known mention of the salad is in the 1867 cookbook Dixie Cookery by Maria Massey Barringer.[4][5] The name references the food of the Greek gods.[6]

See also

  • Jello salad
  • List of salads


  1. Teal, Kimberley. "Ambrosia Fruit Salad". Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  2. "ambrosia". Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  3. Lagasse, Emeril (2000). "Kicked Up Ambrosia Salad Parfaits". Food Network. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  4. McNeilly, Claudia (November 6, 2018). "Why ambrosia salad is the forgotten holiday dish that deserves our attention". Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  5. Barringer, Maria Massey (1867). Dixie cookery; or, How I managed my table for twelve years. A practical cook-book for southern housekeepers. The Library of Congress via Open Library. Boston, Loring. p. 62.
  6. Griffiths, Alan H. (1996), "Ambrosia", in Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Anthony, Oxford Classical Dictionary (3rd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-521693-8

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