Cherry Pineapple and Mandarin Orange Ambrosia

One of the fun things I like about being a grown up is doing things my own way.

When I was a kid we always had ambrosia with our holiday meals.

I’d pick thru my serving to find the little treasures like the cherries, mandarin oranges, and pieces of pineapple.  But they were far and few between.

So now that I’m a grown up, I load up my ambrosia with my favorites (cherries, mandarin oranges, and pineapple chunks).

And because I don’t want to break too much tradition I add a can of fruit cocktail for good measure….but I just can’t help myself from using the triple cherry kind.

My biggest pet peeve when I’m making ambrosia is when the fruit isn’t thoroughly drained.

Then it makes the marshmallows soggy and the Cool Whip gets kind of runny.

So the very first thing I do in the morning when I start cooking for Thanksgiving is to drain the cans of fruit, and then put the fruit in a strainer for as long as possible (about 4 hours).

Then the ambrosia turns out super light and fluffy.

Let’s check out the ingredients.

Canned pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, triple cherry fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, mini marshmallows, and cool whip.
Here’s how to make it.

Set a large strainer on top of a plate or large flat bowl and set aside for a moment.

Drain out the juice from the cans of fruit.

Add the pineapple,

fruit cocktail, and

mandarin oranges to the strainer.

Cut the cherries in half and add them to the strainer.

Using a spoon, spread the fruit out in the strainer so it’s not lumped together.

Let the fruit sit in the strainer for 2 to 3 hours (or more) if you have time, so that all of the juice is drained from the fruit.

Transfer the fruit to a large bowl.

Add the marshmallows, and

the Cool Whip.

Next,

gently blend in the Cool Whip.

Serve chilled and top with more cherries.

Enjoy!


Print

Cherry Pineapple and Mandarin Orange Ambrosia

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

15 whole Maraschino Cherries
1 can Pineapple Chunks (20 ounce can)
1 can Mandarin Oranges (11 ounce can)
1 can Triple Cherry or Regular Fruit Cocktail (15 ounce can)
2 cups mini Marshmallows
2 cups Cool Whip Topping

Directions:

Set a large strainer on top of a plate or large flat bowl. Set aside for just a moment. Drain out the juice from the cans of fruit. Add the pineapple, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges to the strainer.

Cut the cherries in half and add them to the strainer. Using a spoon, spread the fruit out in the strainer so it’s not lumped together. Let the fruit sit in the strainer for 2 to 3 hours (or more) if you have time, so that all of the juice is completely drained from the fruit.

Transfer the fruit to a large bowl and add the marshmallows, and the Cool Whip. Gently blend in the Cool Whip. Serve chilled and top with more cherries.

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14 Responses to “Cherry Pineapple and Mandarin Orange Ambrosia”

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    1
    Pam — March 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    This recipe is wonderful! Who doesn’t love fruit/cherries, cool whip and marshmallows? I doubled the recipe for pot luck at church. I also added chopped pecans for a little added texture. I can’t help it. I’m a southern girl and we put pecans or cole slaw on everything! :)

    Reply

    • Nancy — March 9th, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

      Hi Pam, so glad you liked it! And what a great idea for a pot luck too. And love the idea of chopped pecans. I’m going to add them next time I make it. Thank you for letting me know and have a great weekend!

      Reply

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    lynn — May 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    your recipe look so good, i have been looking for the right recipe to make for my sons 6th birthday party.. but we have really big party’s with a least 40 to 50 people.. how can i change this recipe to accommodate that many people?

    Reply

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    lynn — May 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for you help.. birthday party is this weekend… i will tell you how it turns out & if the guest like it.. :-) also do you think i could make it the night before?

    Reply

    • Nancy — May 15th, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

      Hi Lynn, for best results, the night before I would drain all of the cans of fruit real good and cut the cherries. Then put the drained fruit in a container to store in the fridge overnight but put the cut cherries in a separate container (overnight) because they tend to stain the other fruit a red color. Then the next morning if you see any fruit juice at the bottom of your container drain it out if you can. Then if the timing works out for you, about a couple hours before your guests come mix in the fruit, cherries, marshmallows and cool whip together…then store in the fridge if you have room. If the cool whip is added too far in advance it tends to get more thin. The salad looks most appetizing I think when the cool whip looks super fluffy. Okay, sorry to write a novel for your question. I hope your guests like it. Have a super wonderful time!

      Reply

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    lynn — May 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    ok thanks for all your help… i can’t wait to try it…

    Reply

    • lynn — June 22nd, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

      Hi nancy
      so i made this for his birthday and everyone loved it they kept asking for the recipes so i told them i found it on pinterest, and when they look for it, it will lead back to your page… Thank you so much for all your advice..

      Reply

      • Nancy — June 22nd, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

        Hi Lynn, so glad everyone liked it! Thank you for letting your guests know where to find the recipe and for letting me know how it turned out. Have a nice rest of the weekend!

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    Redcandies — July 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    My family has been making this for 50 years or more and we have always used sour cream to cut the sweetness. Some toasted chopped pecans are nice for a change too! I’m with you on draining the fruit. I set mine over a bowl in a colander in the fridge starting the night before I need to use the fruit!! YUMM!!

    Reply

    • Nancy — July 19th, 2013 @ 5:46 am

      I’m going to try this with sour cream next time along with the pecans. And what a great idea to drain the fruit the night before. I’m going to do that this Thanksgiving when I make this again. Thank you for mentioning this and for stopping by!

      Reply

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    beth g — November 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I use this same recipe but I add alittle touch of my own…Coconut flakes….makes it all the better.

    Reply

    • Nancy — November 10th, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

      Hi Beth, love it! Great idea to use coconut flakes. Such a nice accent flavor and texture to the other ingredients. Thank you for letting me know. I’m going to use it in the recipe next time I make it. Have a great week!

      Reply

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    ilyana — December 26, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Hi! I made this as a Christmas dessert along with a cake that my mom had bought. I substituted the marshmallows with nuts and dried cranberries and it turned out amazing. My family really enjoyed it and they asked me to make it again on our next family reunion (: my aunt also asked me to make it for her bday since it tasted wayy better than the cake lol

    Reply

    • Nancy — December 26th, 2013 @ 9:47 am

      Hi There, I’m so glad you liked it! Your idea of substituting the marshmallows with nuts and dried cranberries sounds really good. That’s a good sign when your family asks you to make it again! That’s funny what your aunt said…maybe birthday candles will be able to stand straight up to be lighted in this salad. Thank you for letting me now how it turned out!

      Reply

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