Ambrosia Salad with Yogurt

This Ambrosia Salad with yogurt is easy to make and a light and refreshing addition to any meal. A sweet mix of colorful fruit, flaked coconut and mini marshmallows, all covered in a creamy, tangy yogurt, that is bound to become everyone’s favorite. Perfect for potlucks, holiday dinners and backyard barbecues.

Single serving of Ambrosia Salad in glass dish on white table in front of serving bowl.

My mom started making this take on the traditional fruit salad many years ago for her ladies’ luncheons. She switched on and off between this and her Pineapple Lime Fluff but I think this one won out as our family favorite. It’s got to be those sweet mini marshmallows that draws everyone in! I can’t decide whether it was us kids or the luncheon ladies that liked it the most. lol

What is Ambrosia Salad?

Now you are probably asking, what exactly is an Ambrosia Salad. Technically, ambrosia means food of the gods but, in this instance, it means a dessert or sweet side made with canned mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows and coconut tossed in a creamy dressing.

Salad in white bowl on white table with green napkin and pink flowers.

Whenever I need a quick dessert, this Ambrosia Salad with Yogurt is the one I reach for. You can use fresh or canned fruit, which is always a pantry staple, and either yogurt, whipped cream, sour cream or Cool Whip. In other words, whatever you happen to have in the house. 

Closeup showing ingredients covered with yogurt with a garnish of sliced strawberries.

My version is slightly different as I like to mix mine with vanilla yogurt, in lieu of the more caloric whipped cream. It gives it a bit healthier and lighter feel. The yogurt works much the same as sour cream, letting the resulting tang balance out the salad’s overall sweetness. If you’re not a big yogurt fan, you can use the traditional whipped cream and sour cream or opt for Cool Whip. It’s good any and all ways!

Frequently asked questions

Can I use fresh fruit instead of canned?

Yes you can but the combination of canned and fresh really makes the salad. I would always keep the crushed pineapple as it gives a nice moist base accompanied by the yogurt but you could switch the other to seasonal fruits.

What can I use instead of yogurt?

You can easily switch the yogurt up for a combination of whipped cream or Cool Whip and sour cream. Try 4 oz of whipped cream and 1/8 cup of sour cream in place of Greek yogurt.

Can I make ambrosia salad dairy-free?

Most definitely. Just make sure that the yogurt you are using is a dairy-free variety that uses an almond or soy base.

How long will this salad last?

It will keep 2-3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Can I make this ahead of time?

It is best to make this salad at least 2 hours prior to serving. This allows the flavors to mingle and the fruit to keep its freshness.

Variations

This salad is so easy to make your own.

  • Change out any of the fruit, except for the crushed pineapple, for fruits such as bananas, grapes, maraschino cherries, fresh oranges and even peaches and apples.
  • Add some crunch to the mix by tossing in some chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts.
  • Omit the yogurt and toss the salad in 4 oz of whipped cream or cool whip and 2 oz of sour cream.

Directions

Ingredients for salad in bowls on white table.

Gather ingredients.

Prep steps of placing ingredients in bowl and mixing with yogurt.

  1. Place mini marshmallows of any color, flaked coconut, pineapple chunks, crushed pineapple, canned mandarin oranges or fresh orange sections and strawberries in a large bowl.
  2. Fold in vanilla yogurt and mix until all ingredients are well covered then refrigerate.

Overhead of white bowl of ambrosia salad covered with yogurt with serving spoon, green napkin & flowers on side.

Don’t let this ambrosia salad fool you into thinking it’s only for summer. It’s easily adapted to any time of year. In the spring and summer, I like to use pastel colored marshmallows, fresh berries and oranges while during the winter holidays I dress it up with white marshmallows, canned fruit, pomegranate arils and colorful maraschino cherries. Whatever way you make it, this quick 10 minute sweet side or dessert is bound to become  your new favorite for summer BBQs, potlucks and holiday dinners.

More fruity salad options

Waldorf Salad – is chock full of apples, grapes, cherries and celery and tossed with Greek style yogurt. Plus a little extra crunchy sweetness from maple glazed walnuts. 

Pomegranate Orange Salad – is a light, tasty salad filled with juicy oranges, tart pomegranate seeds, healthy avocado and crunchy almonds and topped with a light honey sweetened dressing.

Pear Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad – is perfect for fall and the upcoming holidays. It’s light and healthy and comes topped with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette. Make it more festive with the addition of cranberries or pomegranate arils.

Check out more delicious salad recipes for any and all seasons.

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Closeup showing ingredients covered with yogurt with a garnish of sliced strawberries.

Ambrosia Salad with Yogurt

This Ambrosia Salad is easy to make and a light and refreshing addition to any meal. A sweet mix of colorful fruit, nuts and mini marshmallows and covered in creamy, tangy yogurt that is bound to become everyone’s favorite.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Linda Warren

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks drained
  • 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained
  • 6 oz can mandarin oranges drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries chopped
  • 6 oz vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Place marshmallows, flaked coconut, pineapple, oranges and strawberries in a large bowl.
  • Fold in vanilla yogurt and mix until all ingredients are well covered.

Notes

Variations

This salad is so easy to make your own.
  • Change out any of the fruit, except for the crushed pineapple, for fruits such as bananas, grapes, maraschino cherries, fresh oranges and even peaches and apples.
  • Add some crunch to the mix by tossing in some chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts.
  • Omit the yogurt and toss the salad in 4 oz of whipped cream or cool whip and 2 oz of sour cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Ambrosia Salad with Yogurt
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