This Healthy Ambrosia Salad recipe uses a delightful combination of fruit, nuts, and coconut cream. This healthy makeover dessert is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, with no added sugar.

a bowl of ambrosia salad

Ambrosia salad gets a healthy but delightful makeover in today’s recipe.

This holiday dessert salad is traditionally made with ingredients like cool whip, vanilla yogurt, sweetened coconut, maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, and mini marshmallows. It’s delicious but heavy and packed with sugar. This healthy ambrosia salad is refined sugar free but still plenty sweet!

Bananas, pineapple, and grapes have a candy-like sweetness that’s perfect for ambrosia. Coconut cream replaces yogurt and cool whip for a rich yet dairy-free dressing! You won’t miss any added sugar or processed ingredients in this delicious dessert that can be served in the summertime or the wintertime.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • This take on fruit salad is perfect for anytime of year.
  • It has no added sugar but will curb that sweet craving. This recipe is Whole30, paleo, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
  • This recipe is customizable. Use your favorite fresh fruits!
  • It’s great for a party or get-together.

Key Ingredients

Fresh fruit – You can switch up the fruits if you want. Mandarin oranges, strawberries, blackberries, navel oranges, blueberries, bananas, and pineapple all work great. Just be sure to include sweeter fruits like bananas, and pineapple to keep the ambrosia plenty sweet.

Walnuts – Walnuts add a welcoming crunch and slight bitterness to counteract all the sweetness. You can use pecans if you prefer them.

Shredded coconut – Unsweetened shredded coconut can be found in the baking aisle, or in the natural foods aisle. It can also be purchased online. Toasting it makes it more fragrant and nutty.

Coconut cream – Coconut cream whips up like whipped cream. It has a thick and creamy texture perfect for desserts. If you don’t want to have to whip anything, you can also use Greek yogurt. Use unsweetened and then add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to give it a slight sweetness (leave out any added sugar for Whole30 diets).

Vanilla – Vanilla adds that something extra to the coconut cream!

ingredients for healthy ambrosia salad

Recipe Steps

Step One

In a large mixing bowl combine the fresh fruit, walnuts, and shredded coconut. Set the bowl aside.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut cream and vanilla. Use a hand mixer to beat the coconut cream and vanilla until thick and fluffy.

how to make ambrosia salad

Step Three

Use a spatula to fold the coconut cream into the fruit salad. Stir until just combined.

Step Four

Serve immediately.

a spoonful of fruit and coconut cream

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • To toast the shredded coconut, place it in a dry skillet over low heat. Set a timer for 3 minutes and toss the coconut occasionally. Keep a close eye on the skillet to ensure that the coconut doesn’t burn. It will be a light tan color when it’s fully toasted.
  • You can easily double this recipe if you need more servings.
  • You can make this salad up to 24 hours in advance. Just cover the bowl tightly and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • You can buy canned coconut cream or you can use the thickened portion of a can of chilled full-fat coconut milk. You will need a cup of chilled coconut cream for this recipe.

FAQs

Can I use Greek yogurt for the dressing?

Yes, I recommend using unsweetened Greek yogurt (dairy-free for vegan and paleo diets) and sweetening it yourself. You can add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to tame the tanginess a bit. It doesn’t need to be overly sweet because of all the fruit.

Can I make ambrosia ahead of time?

Yes, it tastes delicious when it’s chilled but since this recipe uses fresh fruit it’s best not to let it sit for longer than 24 hours to keep the fruit fresh and crisp.

bowl of healthy ambrosia salad with coconut

Other Healthy Fruit Recipes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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a bowl of ambrosia salad

Healthy Ambrosia Salad


Description

This Healthy Ambrosia Salad recipe uses a delightful combination of fruit, nuts, and coconut cream. This healthy makeover dessert is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, with no added sugar.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks or niblets, drained (you can use fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut, toasted (see notes for toasting directions)
  • 1 cup coconut cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pineapple, blueberries, banana, grapes, walnuts, and shredded coconut. Set the bowl aside.
  2. Then, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the coconut cream and vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer to beat the coconut cream with the vanilla until it has thickened a bit and is fluffy.
  3. Use a spatula to carefully fold the coconut cream mixture into the fruit salad. Stir until just combined.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. To toast the shredded coconut, place it in a dry skillet over low heat. Set a timer for 3 minutes and toss the coconut occasionally. Keep a close eye on the skillet to ensure that the coconut doesn’t burn. It will be a light tan color when it’s fully toasted.
  2. You can easily double this recipe if you need more servings.
  3. You can make this salad up to 24 hours in advance. Just cover the bowl tightly and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  5. You can buy canned coconut cream or you can use the thickened portion of a can of chilled full-fat coconut milk. You will need a cup of chilled coconut cream for this recipe.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No-bake
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: ambrosia salad, healthy ambrosia salad, dairy-free ambrosia salad

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