Fruit, Salad, Side Dish

Grandma’s 5 Cup Creamy Fruit Salad

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Our cute Grandma A. is an amazing cook! Many of our best recipes are from her kitchen. This fruit salad was a staple at most family get-togthers and the best part about it is that you don’t have to have any experience in the kitchen to whip it up! It is just a matter of dumping five ingredients in a bowl and mixing it together. It is a perfect side dish to any meal or is great to take to any pot-luck dinner (it can easily be doubled or tripled). There are SO many variations of this salad (I included a couple below), but I like the original way my Grandma makes it best.

Grandma’s Five Cup Creamy Fruit Salad

1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1-2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sour cream (light works great)*

*Don’t be scared of the sour cream! I know it sounds weird. I promise that all the sweetness from the other ingredients evens it all out. It’s delicious!

Make sure your fruit is VERY well-drained or you will have a watery salad. Combine the oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, coconut, and sour cream. Stir until all mixed together. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours before serving. 

-Use vanilla yogurt in place of sour cream.
-Use Pina Colada yogurt in place of sour cream.
-Add 1/2 cup maraschino cherries.
-Add chopped pecans for a crunch.
-Top with corn flakes for a crunch.
-Use Cool-Whip in place of sour cream.

Want to try some of our Grandma’s other recipes?
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  1. says

    A friend of mine brought five cups salad to a pot luck once – it was delicious! She also said the recipe was a family classic. I may just have to try making this. I wonder if plain greek yogurt would work in place of sour cream? I think probably!

  2. says

    My mom always made this but without the coconut. The sour cream shouldn’t worry anyone. If you let this refrigerate (even over night!) it picks up the sugars from the fruits and the marshmallows! It’s delicious!

  3. says

    My grandmother always made this for us grandkids. She would add Acini de Pepe Pasta and called it Frog Eye Salad. It’s still my favorite comfort food to this day.

  4. says

    I use Cool Whip instead of sour cream and we call it Ambrosia. One of our favorites! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper! Have a blessed week & come back soon ~EMM

  5. says

    I have made this salad for about 20 years! I cannot eat any kind of fruit salad made with cool whip anymore. Sour cream makes it so much creamier. My husband (boyfriend at the time) didn’t like coconut, so I substituted the coconut for apples. It’s yummy and adds a great crunch. =)

  6. says

    I have made this salad for about 20 years! I cannot eat any kind of fruit salad made with cool whip anymore. Sour cream makes it so much creamier. My husband (boyfriend at the time) didn’t like coconut, so I substituted the coconut for apples. It’s yummy and adds a great crunch. =)

  7. says

    We have a variation in our family, too! We use mandarins, pineapple chunks, marshmallows, and marischino cherries with sour cream.

  8. says

    Just saw this on Pinterest and had to check it out…it’s the exact same recipe that my family calls “Aunt Frieda’s Marshmallow Salad”! Aunt Frieda was my great aunt and my dad says she was old when he was a kid! She could down a beer like no one’s business and you’d better keep your hands away from the car door when she was slamming it closed! Aunt Frieda would make it every Sunday to bring to the family lake house and it was the best thing ever. People hear the ingredients and think yuck but it is really good. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. says

    I love it when people make this but I can never have it. I’m allergic to coconut. Consider making it without coconut if you are going to a party. You’d be surprised how many people are actually allergic. I like to volunteer to make it and I bring a little container of coconut because someone will usually say, “Oh, I love this. Wait! Who forgot to put in the coconut?” This way they can add their own.

  10. says

    Sour Cream?! I’m gonna have to try this! My mom made a similar one that I loooove. Mandarin oranges, mini mallows, cool whip, and a packet of orange Jello (still in powdered form!). We never have leftovers when she made it. :)

  11. Melody says

    I actually made Watergate salad for the first time the other day (coconut flakes, cottage cheese, pistachio pudding packet, cool whip, crushed pineapple, walnuts, cherries, etc). It was AMAZING! This recipe reminds me of it.

    A slightly healthier version (wouldn’t be as creamy as yours) is to just add tons of fruit and throw in 2 Tbsp of dry vanilla pudding mix. It makes a delicious glaze with the juices of the fruits, and it’s not too sweet. Perfect for breakfast OR Dessert OR a side!


  12. Dorothy button says

    My mother also made this salad for family gatherings. We also have six sisters no brothers.i am seventy and the youngest is fifty your grandmas food recipes. Need more.please.thanks.

  13. Robert says

    My grandmother and mom often made this at Christmas when growing up. It was a universal tradition. I believe I will prepare it for our Christmas celebration this year. Oh yeah, do not ruin the recipe with Cool Whip, which is anything but “cool”! That concoction is nothing but a lot of chemicals I can’t even pronounce. Use the sour cream. The fruit is the sweetener. Happy Holidays!

  14. Michel says

    We had a similar recipe but it had a can of mixed fruit and a little powdered sugar to cut down the sour cream taste!! Out of this world yummy!!

  15. vanita medford says

    my receipt calls for mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, mar. cherries, , cut in half, well drained ( all fruit ) pecan pieces, green grapes, cut in half, cool whip and sour cream, can also add apples. let set over night.

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