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Ambrosia Ambrosia Recipe Courtesy of

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 bag of Navel oranges*
1 bag of grapefruit, pink if possible, as they are more colorful*
1 large fresh pineapple (I use 1 large can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, 20 oz. can or more or less to taste)
1 jar of maraschino cherries, drained and cut in halves, optional
1 small call of flaked coconut (3 ½ oz), optional
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
sliced bananas, optional
* Your best friend when preparing this dish is a good, sharp knife.  I use a filet knife; the blade is long but narrow and lightweight and very sharp.





Peel the oranges, removing as much of the pith (the white lining under the skin), discarding the pith and the peeling.

Over a large bowl, section the oranges, removing the membranes, any pith left and the seeds, retaining all of the pulp and juice.

Over the same bowl repeat the process for the grapefruit mixing the fruit sections together.  Add the fresh, peeled, cored and chopped pineapple or add the canned pineapple including the juice.  Stir well to blend the fruits and the juices.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Many families like to add other fruit and nuts such as the cherries, coconut, bananas and/or pecans.  You may want to serve these additions in small bowls beside the fruit and let each make their own combination.  The bananas, coconut and pecans will soften if you have leftovers, so I like to leave the oranges, grapefruit and pineapple separate.  These three will keep 3 days easily in the refrigerator.

Yield is based on the size of bags that you purchase.

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Reader Comments:


Looks wonderful. Can't wait to make.

By Mitzi Johnson on December 24, 2013


Oh my! This is very close to my late grandmother's recipe. Thanksgiving is not complete without ambrosia (no mayo, marshmallows, or whipped cream, please). She would use these ingredients, and sometimes add a can of drained fruit cocktail. Love it!

By Alice on November 28, 2013


The best Ambrosia salad. No nasty frills like mini marshmallows, cool whip, etc. If you're looking for the classic, old timey ambrosia salad, this is pretty darn close. A tiny bit of sherry or vodka really helps those flavored come together. Thank you for the recipe!

By Ellen N on June 26, 2013


Trying to put things together for family come over Christmas Eve. So many good things, having a terrible time trying to decide what to make. Finger sandwiches etc. I want to make everything but can't do that. Everyday I look at all the wonderful things Paula has. It is like Christmas for me just looking. Wish me luck choosing!

By Barbara Faulkner on December 04, 2012


I just love Paula Deen! Her family reminds me so much of my own while growin up. I love how everything is made from scratch just like my mom.

By cmurphy19 on November 30, 2012



By Anonymous on November 29, 2012


I dearly love this stuff! It is not a good Christmas dinner without it.

By Teresa Crowe on November 29, 2012


This was so much easier to make than I thought it would be. It took some time to segment all the citrus, but the process was easy thanks to the little tutorial. The result was delicious! I mixed in the seeds from a pomegrante instead of adding cherries, which was so beautiful and upped the 'healthy' factor. I also forgot the banana, but loved the pecans and flaked coconut. This was a big hit for our Christmas morning breakfast.

By Courtney on December 27, 2011


Dear Paula, I grew up in NJ and this dish is always a family favorite, but try 2 16oz cans of manderin oranges(drained), i drained can of fruit cocktail, 1 bag coconut, 2 jars of marischinos ( 1 to mix and 1 to decorate on top),1 tub of cool whip, 1 bag of mini marshmellows and tell me what you think!I love you and your ideas, i dvr ur show and have made many of your dishes.Love love love it!

By Amanda Miller on May 03, 2011

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