ambrosia fruit salad with pineapple, orange, banana, grape, pecan

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

favorite family ambrosia fruit salad

A staple of our family’s holiday spread, ambrosia fruit salad is a perfectly sweet complement to the turkey, ham, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts on our plates at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s also super easy to prepare, which is a relief on a busy day and a good opportunity to get the kids involved with the dinner prep.

But this fruit salad isn’t limited to wintertime: while the sour cream coating adds a richness that makes it suitable for holidays, the coolness of the fruit makes it a winner at warm-weather potlucks too.

Wait, sour cream? 

You betcha! Like many other women from her generation, my Midwestern grandma uses Cool Whip in her ambrosia salad, but when I started making it myself I thought there had to be a better way. As it turns out, before there was Cool Whip there was sour cream--and the sour cream perfectly balances the sweetness of the fruit and marshmallows with none of the processing that Cool Whip goes through.

Try our family recipe below, but be sure to experiment and find your own special salad too! Our ambrosia includes pineapple, mandarin oranges, bananas, grapes, and pecans, but you might like to add berries, coconut, or other goodies to suit your taste.

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