Vegan Ambrosia Salad

Top down view of a bowl of ambrosia salad

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A twist on the classic fluffy, white salad; heavy on the fruit but without dairy.

  • Author: Veg Girl RD
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad


  • 1 cup red or green seedless grapes
  • 1 cup mandarin orange segments (from 3 to 4 fresh mandarin, satsuma or clementine oranges, peeled and segmented; or one 15-oz. can of mandarin oranges, drained)
  • 1 cup canned red tart cherries in water, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple, chopped (about 1/4 of a pineapple)
  • 1 cup large flake unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup vegan mini marshmallows, or regular-sized vegan marshmallows cut into sixths (it takes about 10 regular-sized mallows to make 1 cup once they’re cut up)
  • 13.5-fluid ounce can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated (you’ll only be using the solid part that separates out when it’s chilled)
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Seeds from 1 scraped vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Put a medium-sized mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine grapes, orange segments, cherries, pineapple, coconut and marshmallows. I patted the oranges, cherries and pineapple dry with paper towels to help avoid the problem of fruit juice diluting the “whipped” dressing after it was stirred together. If you’re cutting up the larger marshmallows, kitchen shears work great. I cut the mallows directly over the bowl of fruit and stir them in after each few. This helps coat the pieces in fruit juice and reduce the stick-to-each-other factor. I also washed the shears halfway through the process which made for easier and less sticky cutting.
  3. Remove chilled bowl from the freezer. Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open from the bottom. Carefully pour off the cloudy liquid and set aside. Spoon the thick white solid stuff that’s left behind into your chilled bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat for about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue mixing for another 2 minutes until it increases in volume and looks “whipped”. (Since you’re starting with a fairly small volume, I had better luck using a hand mixer and a high-sided bowl than the wire whip attachment on my stand mixer.)
  4. Gently fold the whipped coconut cream into the fruit mixture. Chill for 1 hour.