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pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe

pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe

pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe

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A salad is a dish consisting of mixed, mostly natural ingredients with at least one raw ingredient. They are often dressed, and typically served at room temperature or chilled, though some can be served warm.

Garden salads use a base of leafy greens such as lettuce, arugula/rocket, kale or spinach; they are common enough that the word salad alone often refers specifically to garden salads. Other types include bean salad, tuna salad, fattoush, Greek salad (vegetable-based, but without leafy greens), and sōmen salad (a noodle-based salad).

Salads may be served at any point during a meal:

  • Appetizer salads—light, smaller-portion salads served as the first course of the meal
  • Side salads—to accompany the main course as a side dish, examples include potato salad and coleslaw
  • Main course salads—usually containing a portion of a high-protein foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, legumes, or cheese
  • Dessert salads—sweet salads containing fruit, gelatin, sweeteners or whipped cream

When a sauce is used to flavor a salad, it is generally called a salad dressing; most salad dressings are based on either a mixture of oil and vinegar or a creamy dairy base.


Pioneer Woman’s Ambrosia Salad is one of the best dessert recipes on her list. Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad Recipe is a salad made with pecans, pineapple, marshmallows, sour creams, and other fresh fruit. The Ambrosia Salad takes less than 20 minutes to prepare then it goes into the refrigerator to chill. This is an excellent snack or dessert.

pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe
pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe

Best Substitutes for Sour Cream:


  • ½ cup pecans
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 ½ cups diced pineapple (½-inch dice)
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • One 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained well
  • One 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries stems removed and halved


  1. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center.
  2. On a small baking sheet, spread the pecans and bake for 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  3. Move the pecans to a medium bowl and let them cool completely.
  4. With an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add the sour cream by hand and whisk until combined.
  6. Add the marshmallows, pineapple, and coconut.
  7. Finally, fold in the Mandarin oranges.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, covered with plastic wrap.
  9. When ready to serve, coarsely chop the pecans.
  10. Add the pecans and maraschino cherries to the ambrosia salad.
  11. Place in a serving bowl and serve immediately.


Ideally, Ambrosia salads can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days. You should store them in well-sealed glass containers and then store them in the fridge.


Yes, you can make Ambrosia Salad up to 2 days in advance. As soon as you have followed the instructions and made the ambrosia salad, pour into well-closed containers and keep them in the fridge. Be sure not to eat it after the recommended time.


It’s possible, but I don’t recommend it. Ambrosia Salad needs to be kept in an airtight container. Use an ice cream scoop to serve it while it is still frozen.

If you would like to enjoy the Ambrosia Salad fresh, place it in the fridge to defrost. Add the Mandarin oranges after it is defrosted.

pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe
pioneer woman ambrosia salad recipe


You can make a whipping cream substitute by mixing ⅓ cups of softened butter with ¾ cups of milk. You can achieve the desired consistency by using an electric mixer. The alternative is not dairy-free, but you can use it if you are out of whipping cream. One cup of cream is equivalent to this ratio.


If you want a sour cream-like texture and flavor, choose whole-milk Greek yogurt. You can also use plain regular yogurt in place of this, but it might be worthwhile to strain a little of the liquid first in order to thicken it.


Remember this classic? You might be surprised at how it satisfies a modern palate, even as it gives a retro wink to the last century.

1/2 cup pecans

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup sour cream

3 cups mini marshmallows

1 1/2 cups diced pineapple (1/2-inch dice)

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

One 11-ounce can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained well

One 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, stems removed and halved


  • Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  • Spread the pecans on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring once halfway through, until lightly browned and toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pecans to a medium bowl and cool completely.
  • Whip the heavy cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Stir in the sour cream by hand until combined. Stir in the marshmallows, pineapple and coconut. Gently fold in the mandarin oranges. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  • Right before serving, roughly chop the pecans. Fold the pecans and maraschino cherries into the ambrosia salad. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Classic Ambrosia Salad – perfect for parties and potlucks!

Can you make Ambrosia Salad the night before serving?

While this salad only takes minutes to make, you can make it ahead and chill until needed. This Ambrosia salad doesn’t get soupy, wet or break down in any way. In fact, those cute little marshmallows soak up some of the liquid turning them into softer, pillowy bites that are pretty fantastic.

Even after sitting overnight, the marshmallows don’t fall apart, they just become a little soft. If making the night before store the salad in an airtight container. When ready to serve, give it a quick, gentle turn with a spatula and pour into a serving bowl. Garnish with extra nuts and coconut and serve!

How long does Ambrosia last?

You might think I’m crazy, but this salad will almost last a week. Unless of course you have someone like my husband in your household. He can eat this salad for any meal of the day and will until it’s gone. I always make sure we have enough so he can have leftovers.

It keeps well and tastes fresh for 5 to 7 days. However, Ambrosia is best served the day it’s made. Our fruit salad recipe is easily cut in half, if desired. But don’t forget leftovers are pretty terrific, so be sure and make a big bowl!


    • 2 cups sour cream (16oz)
  • 1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple (drained but not dry)
  • 1 (16oz) package mini-marshmallows
  • ¾ cup sweetened, shredded (flake) coconut, plus extra for garnish
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup Maraschino cherries, drained with stems removed
  • 1 (15oz) can mandarin orange (drained)


  • In a large mixing bowl fold together the sour cream and drained, crushed pineapple. Add the marshmallows, coconut, walnuts and cherries. Gently fold in the oranges taking care not to smash or break apart.
  • Chill the Ambrosia salad until served. Garnish with additional coconut, chopped nuts or cherries and enjoy.

In Closing

We hope this recipe will help you get excited about having a delicious and colorful meal. This Pioneer Woman Ambrosia Salad Recipe is really delicious. The flavor of the marshmallows really complements the pineapple and oranges, and the coconut adds a nice layer of sweetness. We hope you have a good time making this recipe and we can’t wait to hear what you think. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave comments below. Thanks For Reading!

The Only Classic 1950s Ambrosia Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Need

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