New Ambrosia Salad Recipe

Carrie Vasios

Remember that retro salad of fruit, marshmallows, and coconut? This is inspired by that creation, but much more grown up.

Note: If you can't find unsweetened coconut, reduce amount of coconut to 1 1/2 tablespoons, making sure to break apart any clumps

Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee.

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • For the Salad
  • 1 navel orange, segments removed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 grapefruit, segments removed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2/3 English cucumber, halved then cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 japapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish if desired
  • For the Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed with a fork or the back of a knife on a cutting board until smooth
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for salad.

  2. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, and lime juice until combined. Add garlic, coconut, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined. Pour over salad and toss to coat.

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