Tropical Cherry Ambrosia is a fun pink dessert that is quick and easy to make and delicious to eat. Just dump the ingredients in a bowl, stir, and chill!
When I was growing up, Ambrosia was a regular item on our holiday plates. My Granny would make it for the big holidays like Christmas and Easter, and it would be present on our dinner plates along with our turkey and perogies. We called it a "salad".
I still make it occasionally but with my own recipe. My husband and I both absolutely love canned cherry pie filling, so I made sure to incorporate it into my recipe for Tropical Cherry Ambrosia.
And now I call it what it is. Dessert. I'm not sure where anyone ever got the idea that this sweet mixture of fruit, marshmallows, whipped topping, and coconut could be considered a salad that belongs on a dinner plate.
What is Ambrosia?
Ambrosia is a type of fruit salad that contains fresh and/or canned fruit, marshmallows, coconut and/or other chopped nuts, and whipped topping. It may also have mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, or sweetened condensed milk in it. Recipes can vary greatly.
Ambrosia first became popular in the late 19th century, and became associated with major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the early to mid 20th century, especially in the southern United States.
How you choose to serve your Cherry Ambrosia is ultimately up to you - dinner plate vs. dessert bowl, family style vs. individual serving bowls. I think it looks beautiful in clear glass dishes to showcase it's pretty pink color.
Consider serving it as a Valentine's day dessert for a festive treat, or it could be used for any party in which there is a pink theme.
Of course, since it's so quick and easy to mix up, you could serve it as an extra fun weeknight treat!
How to Make Tropical Cherry Ambrosia:
Making this Tropical Cherry Ambrosia (or making any kind of ambrosia) is super easy, and no cooking is required. The only thing you need to do is open the ingredients, maybe measure some of them, dump them into a bowl, and stir.
Ambrosia is make-ahead friendly, and if you're serving it at a group meal, you can have it chilled and ready to serve in the fridge for when dinner is done.
Tropical Cherry Ambrosia Ingredients:
- Canned crushed pineapple
- Canned cherry pie filling (use one with "extra cherries" if you can find it)
- Frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), regular or light
- Mini marshmallows (about half a 16-ounce bag)
- Shredded dried coconut (sweetened or unsweetened coconut both work here - use unsweetened if you don't want your ambrosia to be too sweet).
Want More Cherry Recipes?
Tropical Cherry Ambrosia Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe uses low fat (light) whipped topping, and unsweetened shredded coconut for the calculations.
The fat in this recipe is mostly saturated due to the addition of the shredded coconut. If you need to follow a lower saturated fat diet for health reasons, you could try substituting part of the shredded coconut with sliced or slivered almonds.
Tropical Cherry Ambrosia
- 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple
- 1 can (21 ounce) cherry pie filling (use one with "extra cherries" if you can find it)
- 8 ounces (1 small container) frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), regular or light
- 4 cups mini marshmallows (about half a 16 ounce bag)
- 1 cup shredded dried coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
- Transfer crushed pineapple to a mesh strainer and drain well, saving the juice to drink if you wish.
- Add the drained pineapple, cherry pie filling, whipped topping, marshmallows, and shredded coconut to a large bowl. Stir until mixed well. Cover bowl and place in fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.