Simple Ambrosia Fruit Salad


Need a last minute dish to bring to Christmas dinner?  Look no further, this fruit salad is a super simple healthy side dish.  And the best part is you likely have the ingredients on hand!

I love Christmas dinner.  About 99 percent of the time, our family has Honey Baked Ham, which to me is the best tasting ham around.  And the funny thing is the other 364 days of the year I don’t choose to eat ham.  It’s not that I dislike ham, I just prefer turkey over ham.

Anyway, back to the fruit salad.  I was first introduced to this recipe when I met my husband and he raved about his mom’s fruit salad that she would make for the holidays when he was growing up.  Well he asked her for the recipe and I’ve been making it quite often ever since.


Of course, the one thing my husband was expecting to eat on Thanksgiving (this fruit salad), was not on the menu.  Sorry honey – I would have easily made it if I had remembered.  But considering I hosted Thanksgiving this year, made the turkey, gravy, stuffing AND we got up at 5 am as a family to run the Turkey Trot downtown, I’m not surprised I forgot.  So at least my husband will be getting his fruit salad for Christmas dinner.  (Just a note – my husband was not that upset, he is gracious and thankful for whatever meal I make).

To begin, place a strainer over the top of a large bowl.  Add canned mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail and pineapple chunks to the strainer and let it sit for about an hour to drain all the liquid.


Chop the walnuts and apple and slice a banana.  Add the nuts and fresh fruit to the canned fruit and gently stir.  Finally add the Cool Whip to the fruit mixture and stir only until combined.  And that’s it.  Pretty simple.

 Simple Ambrosia Fruit Salad


1 ½ cups of Cool Whip (whipped topping)

1 can mandarin oranges, in light syrup

1 can fruit cocktail, in light syrup

1 can pineapple chunks, in 100% pineapple juice

1 banana, sliced

1 apple, chopped

½ cup walnuts, chopped


  1. Place a strainer over a large bowl and add mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail and pineapple chunks to the strainer.  Let this sit until all the juice drains.
  2. Combine the canned fruit, banana, apple and walnuts in a large bowl.
  3. Add Cool Whip to the bowl, mixing only until combined.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Serves 8

196 Calories, 7 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 35 g Total Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 2 g Protein

Need a few other healthy side dish options for Christmas dinner?  Check these out…

Sautéed Green Beans with Almonds

Mashed Cauliflower

Butternut Squash Mash with Smoked Paprika {Rachel Cooks}

Merry Christmas!

© 2014 Kristy Hegner     Disclaimer



  1. I wasn’t a fan of the “white salad” growing up but now I could eat it at every meal!! Merry Christmas to the Hegner Family!!!


    • LOL! My kids prefer the fruit to be “plain” as well. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a new addition any day now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If only we realized it tastes that much better w/ the whip!! Induction set for sunday night into monday if he’s not here by then…. 🙂


  2. Good luck!


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