Classic Ambrosia Salad Recipe with Pecans is a Southern Fruit Salad with fruit, sour cream, marshmallows, coconut and pecans. It is not overly sweet and the perfect side dish for many occasions.
Classic Ambrosia Salad Recipe with Pecans
With its juicy mandarin oranges and pineapples and creamy sour cream this fruit salad truly gets its crowning glory from sweetened shredded coconut and crunchy chopped pecans.
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Every Thanksgiving my mama made this amazing recipe to serve right alongside the classics like, Cornbread Dressing, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, and the Turkey and Gravy!
What is Ambrosia Salad?
Ambrosia salad is an American Fruit salad that is super popular in the south and highly “Googled” for Thanksgiving every year. Most recipes have mandarin oranges, pineapple, and coconut, much lie our Tropical Fruit Ambrosia Salad Recipe here. Many have a dairy component such as whip cream, sour cream or even good old mayonnaise.
My mama always added a heaping cup of freshly shelled coarsely chopped pecans.
It is a bonafide southern tradition to shell pecans during fall holidays and Christmas! If you ever get a chance to go to a pecan grove and pick pecans, do it! It is very worth the memory!
Tips For Making Ambrosia Salad
- Make sure you have a large glass mixing bowl for prep. Somehow this five cup salad can end up getting larger at the blink of an eye. Some people love to add “just a little” more of their favorite fruit and it often ends up being a 8 or 10 cups salad!
- Drain the fruit well, this keeps the salad from being to juicy. The whole idea of Ambrosia is that it is heavenly when the marshmallows mix with the sour cream. Think dreamy.
- Try the recipe with pineapple chunks or crush pineapple, both are amazing!
- For variety, add a cup full of fresh sliced grapes and mix well right before serving.
Can You Make Classic Ambrosia Salad Recipe with Pecans Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can make Classic Ambrosia Salad with Pecans the day before! This makes it a perfect dish for potlucks and special occasions. You can also add just a few more marshmallows a half hour or so before serving so they are nice and plump when serving.
How to Store Fruit Ambrosia Salad
It can store ambrosia salad in an airtight container for up to three days. I will be honest, I usually scoop leftovers into a couple of containers for friends and family to take home. It is such a treat to have with leftover turkey post-Thanksgiving!
Need More Amazing Fruit Salad Recipes?
- Fresh Mint and Cilantro Melon Salad
- Tropical Fruit Ambrosia Salad
- Broccoli Apple Pecan Salad with Honey Dressing
- Canary Melon Lemon Cilantro Salad
- In a large bowl combine drained mandarin oranges and pineapple tidbits, coconut, chopped pecans, mini-marshmallows and sour cream.
- Stir to combine.
- Chill for 30 minutes to two hours before serving.
- If making a day ahead, then add 1/2 more marshmallows, stir to combine, chil for 15 to 20 minutes and serve.
Cook Tip: For a pretty presentation set aside a few mandarins oranges and pineapple tidbits to add to the top along with a good extra sprinkle of coconut and pecans. This allows the colors to pop.