Is there anything more “Southern” than a fluff fruit salad?! It’s definitely a hard question if you ask me! In my opinion, it absolutely screams “Southern” in every way shape and form.
Now you might be asking why this particular fruit salad is called Ambrosia — well the definition actually means “food of the gods” — so basically you need to run to the grocery store and grab all the ingredients to make this ASAP because this salad is HEAVENLY y’all. In fact, I cannot have it sitting in my fridge if I’m home alone or I will eat almost the entire thing. 😬
Typical “ambrosia” salads are made with cool whip, sour cream, and mini marshmallows along with all the yummy fruit. Well, I’ve taken this recipe to a NEW LEVEL by using cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. The cream cheese is tangy and not as runny as sour cream so it really helps the FLUFF. 😉
I don’t really like the texture of mini marshmallows in fruit salad so I thought marshmallow fluff would be the perfect substitute! Add in maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, coconut, and pecans and you guessed it — this salad is straight from heaven above! 😇
I personally grew up always eating my grandmother’s multiple recipes for fruit salad made with cool whip and all the good stuff lol! Don’t tell my Granny but when I was little I was always a little hesitant to try her salads because I was never sure what was in them. So let me explain a little further — my granny loved to put cottage cheese in EVERYTHING!! I cannot even begin to describe how much cottage cheese grossed me out as a child lol, so I was always scared that she put it in with the cool whip and I couldn’t really tell because of the mini marshmallows. Well, rest assured that my version of this Pink Ambrosia Fluff Salad has absolutely ZERO cottage cheese in it. 😉
I wanted to share this recipe with y’all before Valentine’s Day because duh — it’s PINK y’all! 🙂 I feel like this would be perfect to make the week of Valentine’s Day and send it as a dessert with kiddos for lunch. I don’t know about y’all but when I hear “fluff salad” my mind automatically goes to having it for lunch with a chicken salad sandwich. YUM!
Pink Ambrosia Salad
YIELDS 12 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
CHILL TIME: 2 HOURS
1 (16 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained & halved
1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained & halved
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained & halved
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
⅛ cup granulated sugar
1 (8 ounce) Cool Whip container, thawed
1 cup marshmallow fluff, about 6 ounces
pinch coarse kosher salt
4-5 drops red food coloring
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
- Use a strainer to thoroughly drain the maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, and pineapple chunks. Cut each piece of fruit in half and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and mix until combined.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape down the sides using a spatula.
- Add the thawed cool whip and marshmallow fluff to the cream cheese mixture. Fold with a spatula until completely combined.
- Mix in a pinch of coarse kosher salt and 4-5 drops of red food coloring.
- Add the maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, and pineapple. Fold with a spatula until combined.
- Fold in the sweetened coconut flakes and chopped pecans.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
**I like to set aside a few whole pieces of fruit, a tablespoon of the chopped pecans, and a little bit of coconut to garnish for the top of the salad!
If you need to speed up the chill time put the salad in a freezer-proof bowl and freeze for 20 minutes and then move to the refrigerator for another 40 minutes.
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