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Christmas Ambrosia Salad

Prep Time:

30 Minutes

Cook Time:

1 Hour


8 Servings



About the Recipe

My mother was known in the 90’s and early 00’s for having the absolute best Christmas parties in our small town in Virginia.

When I tell you my mother had Christmas everything, I need you to really understand that I mean Christmas EVERYTHING!

From tea towels to the door mats, pillows on the sofa, throw blankets, table lamps, dinner plates, picture frames – everything in our house was swapped out for Christmas stuff the day after Thanksgiving. I even remember these little Christmas themed “dresses” she had for our dish soap that something you could really only find in the mid-90’s could.

Everyone from her work would show up in their festive sweaters and hats while my sister and I would invite our friends over to hang out in the basement…and maybe steal a sip or two of the “grown-up” punch when we got into our teenage years.

There were so many different types of food at the party but one that I really looked forward to was my mom’s Pink Ambrosia Salad or as I used to call it “the strawberry cream cheese salad”.

She found the inspiration from Southern Living Magazine’s “sometime in the 80’s” and would serve it every year and it was always one of the first things to go.

Recipe submitted by Ashley C from Miami, FL, USA.


You will need:

  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple

  • 12 oz of cranberries (fresh or thawed frozen)

  • 2 cups marshmallows (smaller sized)

  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts

  • 1 cup red seedless grapes (cut in half)

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temp)

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt


Step 1

Blend or smash cranberries thoroughly until they’re no longer coarse. Stir in sugar and marshmallows and store for a few hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.

Step 2

Beat together softened cream cheese (or use a mixer if you have one but we didn’t) with a wooden spoon until smooth consistency. Add in heavy cream slowly little and continue to beat together (or again a mixer if you have it!) until everything is soft.

Step 3

Combine the cranberry mixture with the cream mixture and add in the rest of the ingredients and stir.

Step 4

Cover and let chill in the refrigerator before serving!

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