fruit salad with cool whip

fruit salad with cool whip

fruit salad with cool whip

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fruit salad with cool whip

  • Mandarin Oranges: Canned mandarin oranges will let us get a nice citrus flavor without all of the work of peeling oranges! Plus, they’re a little sweeter than the fresh variety.
  • Pineapple: A can of pineapple tidbits (drained) will give us a little more citrus acidity to help cut back on the sweetness while helping to keep some of the other fruits from browning as quickly (nifty trick, right?)
  • Bananas: Sliced bananas are going to be incredible in this fruit salad because they add a nice soft and sweet texture we love to eat!
  • Apples: Adding a firmer crunch than the rest of the fruit, these chopped apples can be any variety so use granny smith, pink lady, red delicious or whatever you think would pair well! Sweet or sour, you can’t go wrong!
  • Shredded Coconut: Bringing us another texture, sweetness and helping to match with some of the tropical flavors in the fruit salad, coconut is an awesome ingredient!
  • Cool Whip: The star of the show is one container of cool whip. Using it helps to bring all of the flavors together in a cohesive and creamy salad that tastes great!
fruit salad with cool whip
fruit salad with cool whip

Ingredients in Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

  • Mandarin Oranges: A staple in my pantry!
  • Pineapple Tidbits: No chopping, cutting or dicing here, simply drain and add!
  • Maraschino Cherries: Not only do these add color, but they are delicous!
  • Miniature Marshmallows: Hands down, my kids favorite part of the “salad”.
  • Cool Whip: This is what binds the salad together!  Feel free to use fresh whipped cream if you don’t have cool whip.

How to Make Fruit Salad with Cool Whip?

  • Mix: The important thing here is to make sure you mix gently. You don’t want to put your fruit in a mixer as it’ll chop your poor little fruit to bits and change the texture significantly. Just gently fold all the ingredients together.
  • Serve: That’s it. Ready to eat. So simple!


Although you can use all fresh fruits for this recipe, using some canned fruit is convenient, and much faster! You can take out what you may not want and you can add in other fruits! It’s a flexible creamy fruit salad recipe so you can change things up as you prefer!

  • Container of Cool Whip
  • jar Maraschino cherries
  • seedless green grapes
  • mini marshmallows
  • can mandarin oranges
  • can pineapple tidbits
  • Optional topping – shredded sweetened coconut flakes

See the full recipe card below for quantities and full instructions for this old fashioned recipe.


  1. Add Cool Whip in to a large bowl.
  2. Next, add reserved Maraschino cherry juice, then fold gently until combined.
  3. And, add cherries and grapes…
  4. mini marshmallows and oranges…


If there are ingredients or different fruit that you’d like to take out or add, you can do so very easily! Here are some other suggestions that we love!

  • fresh strawberries (or other fresh berries)
  • cream cheese
  • pudding mix (like the vanilla pudding mix we used in this apple dessert salad)
  • crushed pineapple instead of wedges
  • canned fruit cocktail (make sure to drain if already using cherry juice)
  • pineapple juice instead of cherry juice (but I LOVE the color the cherry juice gives this recipe!)
  • sour cream (for a more tart flavor – you may want to add some other sweetness to help offset the “sour”.)
  • cottage cheese (it adds a great texture to a salad like this)
  • whipped topping or homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip
  • vanilla yogurt
  • flavored mini marshmallows
fruit salad with cool whip
fruit salad with cool whip

Marshmallow Fruit Salad Variations

The thing about Fruit Salad is you really can’t go wrong!

Here are a few other ways you can make this salad.

  • You can add fresh whipped cream instead of Cool Whip
  •  add mini marshmallows
  • You can put in fruit cocktail or any other canned fruit that you like
  •  You can leave out any fruit that you don’t like
  • Walnuts would be a delicious addition to this salad that would give a great added crunch

How can I keep my fruit from browning?

One of the hard parts with using apples and bananas in a fruit salad is that they start to brown quickly. In order to avoid this, we suggest adding the mandarin oranges and pineapples first, and then chop up the bananas and apples right before adding the rest of the ingredients.

If you need to pre-chop them, you can add a little bit of orange or lemon juice to help with browning or purchase something like Ball Fruit Fresh Produce Protector for optimal freshness.

Easy Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time23 hrs 58 mins
Total Time8 mins
Servings: 16 half cups
Calories: 120


  • 1 can fruit cocktail (drained)
  • 1 can mandarin oranges (drained)
  • 1 can pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 1 banana (sliced)
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 3 oz. vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows


Empty the entire container of Cool Whip into a large bowl.
Mix the vanilla pudding mix into the Cool Whip until smooth.
Mix all of the drained fruit together in a separate bowl.
Add the marshmallows to the fruit and mix.
Fold the fruit into the Cool Whip and pudding mixture.
Chill then serve.


Calories: 120 kcal
fruit salad with cool whip
fruit salad with cool whip

Variations for Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

  • We use a regular tub of Cool Whip, but you can use the sugar free, fat free version too, and it tastes delicious!
  • You can also use heavy whipping cream. Whip it up before adding the pudding and sliced fruit.
  • Use up fresh fruit from your refrigerator, or incorporate frozen fruit too.
  • Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries can be quite pricey, especially when they’re not in season, so use a few of each of these, then use apples, pears, bananas, grapes and other cheaper fruits to give this salad a bit more bulk.
  • Peaches, huckleberries, melon, cantaloupe, or boysenberries taste yummy in this salad too.
  • Add nuts, raisins, craisins, or coconut for extra texture and flavor.
  • Make a tropical salad by using fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut and bananas instead of other berries.
  • Feel free to use any flavor of pudding mix to change up the flavor. We’re partial to pistachio, but vanilla, lemon or any other flavor would taste terrific!

Ambrosia Salad Recipe with Cool Whip

Open and drain canned fruit (pineapple, mandarin orange slices, and maraschino cherries). Make a creamy sauce with thawed Cool Whip and sour cream. Mix the sauce with 1 cup of mini marshmallows and all the fruit. Chill and serve.

Cool Whip – Why Cool Whip? It adds a nice layer of sweetness and creaminess to this ambrosia. You can use original or lite.

Sour Cream – You don’t taste the sour cream in this at all. It really helps cut some of the sweetness of the fruit and whipped topping. If you just don’t like sour cream, feel free to replace it with yogurt or Greek yogurt.

Maraschino cherries – Drain off all of the juice. If they are large, cut them in half.

Pineapple tidbits – I like using the tidbits because they are smaller but you can substitute with pineapple chunks. Just make sure to drain of the juice.

Mini marshmallows – Mini marshmallows work really well in the ambrosia salad. To add more color and fun, try using the multi-colored mini marshmallows. If you only have larger marshmallows, you can cut them in half or even quarters.

Shredded coconut – Sweetened shredded coconut is used for this recipe. If you really don’t like coconut, feel free to leave it out.

Nuts – This is optional. You can use chopped pecans, walnuts or even pistachios.

This recipe can be made in under 10 minutes which makes it perfect for a quick dessert or side. All it takes isn

  1. Stir together Cool Whip and sour cream until combined.
  2. If you have large cherries, I recommend cutting them in half. It makes it easier to eat. Make sure all of the fruit is drained. Stir in cherries, pineapple, oranges, and nuts if you are using them.
  3. Stir in shredded coconut and mini marshmallows.
  4. You can serve immediately but I really recommend covering the bowl and letting it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, even better if it can sit overnight.

Cheesecake Fruit Salad Recipe

4.7 from 13 votes
This Cheesecake Fruit Salad is the perfect combination of creamy, light, and fresh! Fresh berries tossed in a cream cheese pudding mixture—it’s the perfect side, or crepe filling!
Prep Time 7 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 269 kcal


  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries


In a bowl, beat cream cheese and margarine (or butter) until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar and fold in whipped topping. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix pudding, milk and vanilla. Fold this mixture in with the cream cheese mixture.
Fold in fruit and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
fruit salad with cool whip
fruit salad with cool whip

Fruit Salad with Cool Whip


  • 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 2 large apples, any variety – diced
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 3 cups of freshly made whipped cream or 1 container of cool whip (which is about 3 cups of cool whip)
  • 3-ounce box of vanilla pudding


  1. Open the cans of fruit and drain excess liquid
  2. Right before you are ready to prepare it, slice the bananas and apples.
  3. Combine the chopped fruits and canned fruits in a large bowl and mix
  4. Fold in coconut, cool whip, and vanilla pudding
  5. Chill for a few hours before serving.

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