Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Ambrosia is a light and refreshing fruit salad that’s great to enjoy for dessert. Fresh orange, crushed pineapple, and coconut are a wonderful combination of tropical flavors. This dish is one of those Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner classic you don’t want to miss. This recipe combines both fresh fruit and canned fruit so you get a salad that is full of flavor.

bowl of ambrosia fruit salad and a spoon.

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Refreshing Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia fruit salad is a simple fruit salad you can put together in no time. This recipe comes from my Learn to Cook series, where I cook all of the recipes from my old junior high cookbook.

This dish is a fruit salad that makes a nice, refreshing dessert any day of the week but is also perfect for potlucks, parties, cookouts, and other get-together’s.

I seriously don’t think salads like this can ever go out of style. They taste amazing and are easy and fun to make.

What Is Ambrosia Salad?

Ambrosia fruit salad is a simple salad made with pineapple, oranges, and flaked coconut (a traditional ingredient in ambrosia).

Ambrosia salad has a tropical sweetness and can also be known as the food of the gods because it tastes unbelievably divine. Ambrosia was the food or drink of the gods in Greek mythology.

Why This Is the Best Ambrosia Salad Recipe

Often, ambrosia salad is laden with calories, but this ambrosia fruit salad recipe gives you a lighter version. It’s delicious ambrosia without Cool Whip or sour cream.

It’s also a fruit salad that is quick and easy to prepare for your family and friends.

CopyKat Tip: If you want your kids to get excited over eating fruit, add some colored mini marshmallows.

Ambrosia Salad Ingredients

To make this delicious fruit salad, you will need:

  • Fresh orange
  • Crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sweetened coconut flakes
  • Maraschino cherries – optional for garnish
ambrosia fruit salad ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes

This fruit salad contains pineapple, and you can use fresh or canned.

For the coconut, you can use the sweetened coconut found in the baking section of most grocery stores.

What Are the Best Oranges to Use in Ambrosia Fruit Salad?

Small oranges work best in this recipe. Halo mandarins, if you can find them, are ideal. Some alternatives are clementines. In a pinch, you can fall back on canned mandarin oranges

How to Make Ambrosia

This ambrosia fruit salad recipe couldn’t be simpler to put together. Here’s how to make ambrosia:

  1. Prepare the orange(s) and place them in a large bowl.
orange segments in a bowl.
  1. Add the pineapple to the bowl.
orange segments and crushed pineapple in a bowl.
  1. Add the powdered sugar and gently fold to combine.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle coconut on top.
  3. Garnish with maraschino cherries if desired.
a bowl of ambrosia.

Ambrosia Salad Recipe Video

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make this delicious fruit salad:

Recipe Variations

This simple ambrosia fruit salad recipe lends itself to variations. Here are some ideas:

  • You can leave out the coconut if you do not like it. But note it is a traditional ingredient in ambrosia.
  • On the other hand, you can toast the coconut shreds to bring out their natural flavor and give the salad a hint of crunch to complement the softness of the pineapples and oranges.
  • Add other kinds of fruit – whatever are your favorites – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, pomegranate seeds, sliced bananas.
  • If you are addicted to sweetness, mix in some mini marshmallows. These tiny fluffy sweets also add an interesting texture to your ambrosia salad.
  • Add more flavor to your ambrosia fruit salad recipe by adding a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Finish off your ambrosia salad with whipped topping or combine the whipped topping with some sour cream to cut the sweetness.
  • Another idea for a topping is vanilla yogurt.
  • You can also give your ambrosia fruit salad a pleasing crunch by topping it with some chopped nuts – almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts. Toast them lightly first to bring out the wonderful nutty flavors.
  • Top with fresh sweet whipping cream.

Can you make ambrosia ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this fruit salad ahead of time. In fact, it is better when made in advance and chilled before serving.

It’s a great recipe if you love to prepare several things on the weekend. So when you come home from work, you can quickly get dinner on the table without having to worry about dessert.

How to Store Ambrosia Salad

You should store ambrosia salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long does ambrosia last?

This ambrosia salad will last for 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Ambrosia Salad?

Yes. You can freeze this fruit salad. Do not defrost it before serving because the fruits will ooze liquid.

You can, however, freeze it and serve it frozen like ice cream. Yum!

CopyKat Tip: This makes a great frozen ambrosia pie when spooned into a graham cracker crust. 

overhead view of ambrosia fruit salad and a spoon.

Favorite Fruity Recipes

Check out more of my easy salad recipes and the best beginner recipes here on CopyKat!

bowl of ambrosia fruit salad and a spoon.

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

This light and refreshing Ambrosia Fruit Salad is so easy to make. 
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ambrosia, Fruit Salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 250kcal


  • 1 large orange or 2-3 mandarin oranges peeled and sectioned
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar or to taste
  • cherries to garnish if desired


  • Mix the orange sections and pineapple in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle coconut on top.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with cherries.



Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 483mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 104mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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