Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Only the culinary genius of the South could produce something so decadent and call it a salad.

Ambrosia Fruit Salad. Only the culinary genius of the South could produce something so decadent and call it a salad. Photo Amber Wilson.

Only the culinary genius of the South could produce something so decadent and call it a salad.

I remember the first time I encountered ambrosia salad. I was around five years old and desperate for a snack.

As I began shuffling through my grandmother’s fridge, I noticed a clear glass bowl filled with what looked and smelled like lime green Jell-O and Cool Whip. Pecans, citrus segments, coconut flakes and marshmallows were suspended throughout. I grabbed a spoon and cautiously carved a bit of the salad out of the bowl. It tasted of every element I observed in the creation. Nothing more, nothing less. What confused me most about this salad was how it was served alongside the main course, as if it was a normal green salad! (It seemed like something that should be served at the breakfast table). My ambrosia salad has most of the elements of the old-fashioned classic, only presented in a new way. Coconut-flavored yogurt pairs well with the citrus and pomegranate, and it is a nod to the traditional flavors in ambrosia. This salad tastes best whenever citruses are at their peak; but if you want to make this salad any time of year, use regular oranges in place of the satsumas and the blood oranges. I love serving ambrosia salad alongside eggs, bacon and coffee for a lovely brunch for four or divide between two bowls for a light breakfast!

Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Serves 2-4

  • 11⁄2 cups coconut, vanilla, or plain yogurt 
  • 2 large grapefruits, peeled and segmented, with membranes removed 
  • 3 medium blood oranges, peeled and segmented, with membranes removed 
  • 3 small satsumas, peeled and cut crosswise into 1⁄4-inch-thick rounds 
  • 1⁄2 large pomegranate 


Spread the yogurt into a shallow, rimmed serving dish. Scatter the grapefruit segments, blood orange segments, and satsuma rounds over the yogurt. With a large spoon in one hand and a pomegranate half in the other, whack the back of the pomegranate and let the seeds fall onto the salad. Make sure you squeeze the pomegranate half, letting the juice dress the citrus. 

Amber WilAmber Wilson – who identifies as an author, wife and mother, and “professional eater” – is a Southern food writer and owner of the successful blog, “For the Love of the South.” Wilson’s Instagram account boasts over 160,000 followers who enjoy an elegant curation of plated recipes, all Southern-inspired. Her success is built on love – having turned down a job offer from NASA to pursue food, Wilson’s passion was evident and she was soon writing for The Southern Coterie, BonAppé, Fox News, Zeit Magazine, Louisiana Cookin’ and more. From the Cajun flare of her hometown in Louisiana, to bold Texas flavors, to the lightness of fresh coastal seafood, each of Wilson’s recipes is a snapshot of the flavors of the South. South magazine is excited to welcome Amber as a regular contributor to our publication to share her love for the South and delicious recipes.

To read this story in its entirety, subscribe now to the print edition for the full article or get instant access to our interactive digital edition.