Home Recipes Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad (Easy Recipe)

Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad (Easy Recipe)

The Pioneer Woman’s ambrosia salad is one of those classic dishes perfect for any occasion. 

This nostalgic dessert has been a favorite for generations! Packed with marshmallows, fruit, and whipped cream, it’s the ultimate dessert salad.

Sweet and Fluffy Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad
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It’s wonderfully sweet and fluffy, and it packs a citrusy punch. 

And the best part? There’s no need to turn on the oven. If you can use a hand mixer, you have the skills for this beautiful ambrosia salad!

Let’s dive into how to make this Pioneer Woman ambrosia salad. 

Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad 

Ambrosia salad is an American classic for a good reason, and it was hailed as a luxury party food in the late 1800s.

The term ambrosia comes from the term for the food of the Greek gods. It’s a testament to the exotic ingredients found in this dish. 

Today, the ingredients are easier to find. But the name Ambrosia stuck due to its phenomenal flavors.

This fruit salad’s pairing of sweet flavors and unique textures makes it irresistible. 

It combines fluffy marshmallows and whipped cream with mandarin oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple. 

Add toasted coconut for flavor and texture, and it’s an instant hit!

Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad Ingredients - Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Heavy Whipping Cream, Sour Cream, Fruit, Mini Marshmallows and Shredded Sweetened Coconuts and Toasted Coconut Chips


Here’s what you need to put this salad together:

  • Cream cheese – Cream cheese and heavy whipping cream create the most decadently creamy, cheesecake-like consistency!
  • Powdered sugar – Since this recipe doesn’t use pre-sweetened Cool Whip, powdered sugar brings sweetness. Be sure to use powdered sugar (not granulated sugar) to keep the consistently impossibly light. 
  • Vanilla extract – A pinch adds a hint of warming vanilla flavors to fresh fruit. 
  • Heavy whipping cream – While most recipes use pre-made Cool Whip, making your own makes a big difference. Homemade whipped cream is easy and takes the creamy factor over the edge. 
  • Sour cream Sour cream seems strange in a sweet dessert, but it’s a must in this recipe! It adds a beautiful creamy texture and is the perfect backdrop for sweet and tart flavors. 
  • Fruit Add tart and sweet fruits like Mandarin oranges, pineapple, Maraschino cherries, and grapefruit. These are just the jumping-off point. Try peaches, grapes, apples, or blueberries!
  • Mini marshmallows Mini marshmallows make this salad impossibly light. Let them chill overnight to absorb all those amazing flavors.
  • Shredded sweetened coconuts and toasted coconut chips With so many combating sweet and tart flavors, coconut adds a punch of tropical textures. 
Sweet and Fluffy Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad in a White Casserole

How to Make Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad 

This recipe couldn’t be easier to follow.

1. Combine the cream cheese. Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Beat until it’s combined and creamy.

2. Add the whipped cream. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream for 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Finally, fold in the sour cream. 

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3. Fold in the fruit. Add marshmallows, pineapple, and mandarin oranges to your creamy mixtures, and stir until fully coated. 

4. Let it set. Cover and place it in the refrigerator overnight. 

5. Garnish it to picture-perfect perfection. When you’re ready to serve it, garnish it with maraschino cherries, shredded coconut, grapefruit, and toasted coconut chips. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Ambrosia Salad

Here are some quick and easy tips to ensure your ambrosia salad is the talk of the dinner table. 

  • If you can, always use fresh fruit. This salad is super simple, so fresh fruit makes a big difference. Canned fruit works in a pinch, but use fresh fruit for the most fantastic salad. 
  • Don’t over-mix! Fresh fruit has a high water content. If you overmix, you’ll release water into your salad. Fold the fruit in gently. If you don’t, your salad will become watery. 
  • Keep everything cold. For the freshest ambrosia salad, keep your fruits nice and cold. Dice it beforehand, and store it in the fridge as you prepare the creamy mixture. Keeping your fruit chilled ensures that your salad will taste impossibly fresh!
Homemade Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad with Cherries, Oranges and Mini-Marshmallows

Recipe Variations

The great thing about ambrosia salad is there are many ways to make it your own! Check out some fantastic recipe variations perfect for any occasion. 

  • Make it nutty. Adding nuts to ambrosia salad is a great way to add crunchy texture and flavor. Pistachios, pecans, almonds, and cashews are great options. Mix them into the salad or use them as a crunchy garnish. 
  • Use different kinds of fruit. The fruit in this recipe is just the jumping-off point! Add different types of fruit like grapes, peaches, pears, or apples for seasonal flair. 
  • Make it more colorful. This salad is very vibrant, but you can add more color with multi-colored marshmallows. Once chilled, the colorful marshmallows add a rainbow of colors that are hard to resist. 

How to Store 

Ideally, you want to make ambrosia salad the day before your big party to ensure the fruit stays fresh. 

Once prepared, ambrosia salad will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 5 days when stored in an air-tight container. The fruit will become brown and mushy if it sits in the fridge too long. 

Sadly, ambrosia salad isn’t a great candidate for freezing. Once thawed, it becomes watery and mushy. 

If you want to freeze any leftover ambrosia salad, place it in a freezer-safe bag. Then, serve it as ambrosia ice cream!

Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad (Easy Recipe)



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This recipe for the Pioneer Woman’s ambrosia salad can’t be topped! This is the easiest way to make this classic sweet treat.


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 15-ounce can of drained mandarin oranges

  • 1 20-ounce can of drained pineapple tidbits

  • 2 cup mini marshmallows

  • 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

  • 8 maraschino cherries

  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into sections

  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut chips


  • Add softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl. 
  • Beat it with a hand mixer until it’s fully incorporated and creamy. 
  • Wash the heavy whipping cream in a separate bowl for about 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the cream cheese mixture to the bowl and whip it until it’s thick and creamy.
  • Gently fold the sour cream into the whipped cream mixture until combined. 
  • Gently stir the mandarin oranges, marshmallows, pineapple, and shredded coconut into the whipped cream mixture. Do not over-mix. 
  • Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator to set overnight or for 24 hours. 
  • When you’re ready to serve it, garnish it with maraschino cherries, toasted coconut chips, and grapefruit sections. Dig in!
Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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