Take your Independence Day celebration to a new level with this creamy, refreshing, and fresh take on traditional ambrosia salad. This is a somewhat lightened version. Instead of sour cream, it will have the slight tang and and creaminess of your homemade yogurt, and will look beautifully festive on your holiday table.
This is made with your own fresh, thick, plain Instant Pot yogurt that has been strained for at least four hours to make a thick Greek yogurt. Out of homemade yogurt? Store bought plain, Greek yogurt is fine.
Here is my lovely boil method yogurt, all strained and thick like Greek yogurt, stored in 8 oz glass jars with dishwasher-safe screw-top lids that I bought from Amazon. I think this method of yogurt-making yields a superior (and cheaper!) product for thickness, creaminess and flavor, but I’ve also had good luck using ultra pasteurized milk and skipping the boil step. It’s all up to you.
First, toast the pecans (or whatever nut you prefer) in a dry skillet just until slightly toasted and fragrant. Watch carefully that you don’t burn them even slightly, or the flavor will be bitter. They will take on a more crispy texture, but don’t let them blacken at all.
Remove nuts from the pan and spread out onto a plate. Allow them to cool completely. Chop when cool.
Do you have to toast the nuts? Not really. Pecans are delicious as is, but toasting them takes them to another level of sweetness and texture. Toast an extra cup or two and save for salads or just for snacking. They’re so good.
I used fresh fruit, but you can also use frozen berries. Be sure to thaw them first so you can drain away any excess liquid before adding the yogurt mixture.
Can you use commercial whipped topping instead? Of course! But if you’re going to whip your own cream, be sure that your whisk attachment and bowl are completely clean and free of any soap residue. Whip the cream with the sugar until peaks easily form. This means that you can pull up some of the whipped cream in the bowl with the back of a spoon, and it won’t collapse, like this:
Gently fold your yogurt into the whipped cream with a soft spatula.
Then gently combine fruit, marshmallows, coconut and toasted nuts. Look at all of that color!
And then gently fold in yogurt mixture
And then astonish your guests with your easy, festive, healthy, creamy, delicious, and patriotic creation.
Star-Spangled Berry Ambrosia Salad
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
- 2 cups mini-marshmallows
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts
- Whip cream and sugar in a mixer with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold yogurt into whipped cream mixture.
- Gently combine remaining ingredients, and fold in yogurt mixture.
- Serve immediately, or chill in refrigerator for up to three days.
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