Marshmallow Salad – The Cookie Rookie®


Whether you serve it as a dessert or side dish, this marshmallow salad recipe is a sure fire hit! Grapes, strawberries, pineapple and cherries are tossed in a sweet marshmallow and sour cream dressing for a classic ambrosia salad that is too good to be missed!

marshmallow salad in a white bowl with 2 maraschino cherries and a spoon.

Old Fashioned Fruit Salad with Marshmallows

This marshmallow fruit salad recipe is a classic for good reason! Sweet and full of texture and flavor, it’s always a crowd pleaser!

Perfect for a holiday dish, (though I can enjoy it anytime of the year!) it’s fluffy, light and sweet, and it’s a delicious way to enjoy your fruits!

This dish is light and refreshing and can be enjoyed as a dessert or side dish.

Be sure to try my Fruit and Feta Salad and Snickers Apple Salad too!

Why You’ll Love this Ambrosia Salad Recipe:

  • QUICK AND EASY: It takes no more than 20 minutes to make up this recipe, and there’s no cooking involved!
  • KID FRIENDLY: If you have picky eaters that don’t like to eat fruit, they are going to love this! Whilst not exactly healthy, it’s a great treat and a tasty way to get some vitamins in!
  • MAKE AHEAD: This is a great make ahead option for the holidays. Make it a day or two ahead of time for easy entertaining. This recipe also makes enough for 12 servings, so it’s perfect for a crowd.

This easy marshmallow salad recipe is more than irresistible! If marshmallows are on the menu then I’m all in!

marshmallow salad in a white serving bowl with 2 maraschino cherries.
marshmallow salad in a white bowl with 2 maraschino cherries.

How to Make Marshmallow Salad

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Whip together the heavy cream and powdered sugar til soft peaks form.
  2. Fold in the sour cream.
  3. Fold the fruits, marshmallows and pecans into the whipped cream.
  4. Top with extra cherries and pecans to serve.
step by step photos for how to make marshmallow salad.
marshmallow salad in a white bowl with 2 maraschino cherries.
What is marshmallow salad?

Marshmallow salad is a fruit salad consisting of whipped and sour cream mixed with fruit. It’s often called ambrosia salad due to the fact that the ingredients used to be quite exotic and expensive. In Greek mythology, ambrosia was the magical fruit of the gods that gave them immortality.

Is marshmallow salad a side dish or a dessert?

That’s up for debate! Many people enjoy marshmallow salad as a traditional side dish at Thanksgiving or Easter, while others enjoy it as a sweet treat after a meal.

Can I make marshmallow salad with canned fruit cocktail?

Yes, you absolutely can use canned fruit cocktail to make this salad. It’s a great shortcut! Use 2 15.5-ounce drained cans of fruit cocktail in place of all of the fruit ingredients.

Serving Suggestions

This ambrosia salad is one delicious and crowd pleasing dessert, but it is also commonly served up as a side dish as part of a holiday meal. Try it with some of these favorite mains.

However you decide to serve this marshmallow salad, it’s guaranteed to be a hit!

marshmallow salad in a white bowl with 2 maraschino cherries.
marshmallow salad in a white bowl with 2 maraschino cherries.

Make Ahead Instructions

This salad is a great make ahead dish. Prepare the entire salad, leaving off any nuts or cherries that you plan to use as garnish, up to 2 days in advance. Store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, and garnish with cherries and chopped nuts when ready to serve.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover marshmallow salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad.

Substitutions

  • You can use canned pineapple in place of the fresh pineapple.
  • You can use 1½ cups whipped topping in place of the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and sour cream.
  • You can use 2 drained 15.5-ounce cans of fruit cocktail in place of all of the fruit in this recipe.

Tips for Perfect Marshmallow Salad

  • Do not over-mix the salad, as it will cause the whipped cream to deflate.
  • I recommend making marshmallow salad 4 hours before you plan to serve and letting it rest in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to mingle and preserves the salad’s structure!
  • Maraschino cherries will turn your whipped cream pink. I recommend adding them right before serving to avoid this.
  • Ambrosia salad can be left out of the refrigerator for up to 2 hours, but I recommend serving it cold because the whipped cream dressing will start to melt after just 30 minutes.
marshmallow salad in a white bowl with 2 maraschino cherries and a spoon.

This classic marshmallow salad recipe is the perfect no bake dessert or side dish for the holidays. So simple and easy to make, the sweetness and texture is hard to resist. I’m pretty sure you won’t have any leftovers!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!



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