Mom’s Investment Salad (aka Ambrosia Salad)

by Erin

Would you eat ambrosia salad as a side dish or dessert? I usually have it on the side of my holiday plate! It can be made any flavor using your gelatin flavor of preference.

Investment Ambrosia Salad 1

Jump to recipe

Growing up, you assume that what your family does everyone else’s does as well. So whenever my mom would make what she called “Investment Salad” (usually around the holidays such as Easter) I thought that was what everyone else called it.

I believed that until no one knew what I was talking about and discovered that there wasn’t a single “Investment Salad” recipe on the internet. Either my mom came up with unique recipe or she renamed a pre-existing one, which knowing my mother could be either.

Investment Ambrosia Salad 3

Instead of taking the easy route and just asking her, I decided to search for recipes with similar ingredients. At first I came upon something called “Heavenly Hash”, but upon further investigation this usually involves chocolate and is served in squares, which is not it. So I dug some more and came upon “Ambrosia Salad” or “Watergate Salad” if it’s green (which my brother claims is the proper color for our mom’s version, too).

Turns out that it’s ingredients are loosely defined and my mom’s recipe fits the list of possibilities (as described in Brown Eyed Baker‘s family debate on the subject). After talking to my dad he said he never makes my mom’s recipe with marshmallows while both my brother’s and my copy call for marshmallows, so whatever mood you are in I guess!

Investment Ambrosia Salad 2

As for the name? I finally did ask my mom and she said she had no idea – hahahaha. Her recipe also had your typical vague measurements such as “a large cool whip”, “a medium can of crushed pineapple”, that it serves “lots”, and directions that originally just said “mix well, put in fridge, and enjoy”. Does your family have their own version of ambrosia salad? Or do you have another name for it like mine?

To keep you up to date, here’s the Easter Menu that includes this recipe:

Easy Easter Side Dish Recipes

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you’re at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

One year ago: Sheet Pan Bacon Wrapped Mustard Chicken with Broccoli and Potatoes

One year ago: Sheet Pan Bacon Wrapped Mustard Chicken with Broccoli and Potatoes

Three years ago: Baked Pizza Hummus

Five years ago: Rainbow-Surprise Lemon Cake

Six years ago: Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust

Seven years ago: Cheesy Cat Treats

Eight years ago: Funfetti Cake Batter Smoothie

Investment Ambrosia Salad 1


Yield: 12 Servings Prep Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1 (8 oz.) tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (3 oz.) box preferred flavored of dry gelatin mix
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag miniature marshmallows (optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, fold together the whipped topping, milk, gelatin, and sour cream (if using). Add the pineapple, marshmallows (if using), and pecans (if using). Cover and place in the fridge until ready to enjoy!
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Source: My mom (said it’s from when she worked at Social Security in the 1970s)

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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Jean April 19, 2019 - 5:49 pm

This is the version of ambrosia salad that I like. Although I am making yours for Easter.
1 Cup sour cream/or plain greek salad
1 cup Mini Marshmallows
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pineapple tidbits well drained
1 cup canned mandarin orange segments also well drained

fold ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate at least for 4 hours although I prefer overnight
Serve cold

Have a Happy and Blessed Easter

spiffycookie April 20, 2019 - 8:58 am

Thanks for sharing Jean! Maybe I will have to make yours for Easter. I hope you like my version!


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