Recipe: Easter Ambrosia Salad

Meals are a very big part of my memories of our family holidays. My parents would spend all day in the kitchen, and then they would serve the food on our fanciest plates.

We always ate in the dining room on holidays, and trust me, I know my mother’s left eye must have been twitching for the entire meal because we three kids were touching the Stickley table. It was the nicest piece of furniture we owned.

My mom's recipe book is a treasure trove of culinary memories. Photo by Amy L. Hatch

My mom's recipe book is a treasure trove of culinary memories. Photo by Amy L. Hatch

But we ate there anyways, with the good china and linens. My dad liked to cook for the holidays, too, and he always made a big production of it.

Part of my crazy love for Easter manifests itself in the meal I plan for my family. My mother-in-law and her husband have made a tradition of coming to visit us, so I go all out: Ham, potatoes slathered with cheese and bacon, green beans (a nod to my arteries), sweet rolls, Easter bread … and ambrosia salad.

Nothing is as nostalgic as ambrosia salad.

The recipe I use is from my mother’s hand-written book of all the foods she made when she and my dad were first married. It’s a little paper notebook and reading the list of ingredients in her looped cursive makes me feel like she’s with me in the kitchen.

It’s quick, easy and kids love it. Give it a try, you won’t be sorry!

Bernie’s Ambrosia Salad

  • One can chunk pineapple
  • One can mandarin oranges
  • One can cherries (or fresh if you can get them)
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 15 regular marshmallows cut in half or 30 minis
  • 1/2 c. coconut (optional)

Drain and combine the fruit. Mix with sour cream and marshmallows. Add the coconut if you decide to use it. Chill and serve cold.

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  1. Bring it on. We can’t wait to get there. I like the coconut in the ambrosia.

  2. My sister just made a kickass batch of this last weekend–we’ve always called it “Five Cup Salad” in my family. Always brings back fond memories of Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house.

    PS–I love all these things that used to pass as “salads”!

  3. Ambrosia salad reminds me of Edward Scissorhands 😉

  4. Made it for Easter dinner today…it was great!