5 cup salad featured image
A 5 Cup Salad is a quick and easy way to make a 5 ingredient simple side dish or light dessert. No cooking needed!
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Table of Contents
  1. Simple 5 Cup Salad
  2. Why We Love This 5 Cup Salad Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make 5 Cup Salad
  7. Tips
  8. Storage
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Side Dish Recipes
  11. 5 Cup Salad Recipe

A 5 Cup Salad is a quick, easy-to-make fruit salad made with only 5 ingredients. Also known as Ambrosia salad, this simple sweet treat can be served as a side dish or saved for a delicious light dessert.

5 cup salad hero image

Simple 5 Cup Salad

This 5 Cup Salad is so quick and easy to make, and just as it’s called, you use 1 cup of each ingredient.

This retro recipe combines pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, and mini marshmallows with sour cream in one bowl, then you cover and chill until you’re ready to serve – so straightforward yet so delicious!

A 5 Cup Salad may lack the lettuce of the traditional side and is not your typical fruit salad either, but it is a timeless classic that your family will love. While sour cream and fruit may seem like an odd combination, it’s the best creamy, creation with the best balance of sweet and tangy flavor.

For more delicious “dump and go” dessert salads, check out my Ambrosia Salad, Strawberry Fluff, Cherry Fluff, and Watergate Salad–no cooking or fancy equipment needed!

Why We Love This 5 Cup Salad Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make in minutes.
  • Only uses 5 ingredients.
  • No cook, naturally gluten-free recipe.
  • Sweet, creamy, comforting, and colorful.
  • Simple to serve as a side dish beside the main meal or saved for a refreshingly light dessert.
  • Perfect for a dinner party, potluck, picnic, or Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday dinner.
5 cup salad ingredients in different containers

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Ingredients

  • Sour cream: You can use light sour cream for a lower calorie count.
  • Roughly chopped pineapple chunks, drained
  • Mandarin oranges, drained
  • Drained and halved maraschino cherries, no stems
  • Miniature marshmallows: You can use multicolored miniature marshmallows or plain miniature marshmallows. 

Substitutions and Additions

  • Sour Cream Swap: Instead of sour cream, you can use cool whip, cottage cheese, or vanilla Greek yogurt.
  • Pick Your Pineapple: You can substitute drained pineapple tidbits or drained crushed pineapples for the pineapple chunks.
  • Add Nuts: Feel free to add some crunch by including chopped pecans, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, or almonds in your salad.
  • Cherries Swap: You can substitute sweetened coconut flakes for the cherries.
  • Add more fruits: Feel free to add more fruit like chopped apples or grapes.
salad ingredients
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk

How to Make 5 Cup Salad

This simple salad is called 5 Cup Salad because you use 1 cup of each ingredient! So easy to make in mere minutes, this side dish or dessert is perfect to prepare for any holiday or party.

  1. Add the sour cream to a mixing bowl and whisk to remove any lumps.
  2. Fold in the pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, and miniature marshmallows until combined.
    salad ingredients
  3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
    salad mix in a bowl
  4. Serve while cold. Enjoy!

Tips

  • This dish can also be doubled or tripled if you need to feed a crowd.

Storage

To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

5 cup salad in a cup

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this 5 Cup Salad in advance?

Yes, you can absolutely make this salad in advance. In fact, I think this salad is best after the flavors have blended overnight. This naturally gluten-free salad will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

Can I use large marshmallows if I don’t have mini marshmallows?

Yes, you can use large marshmallows by cutting them into quarters with kitchen shears to turn them into mini marshmallows. Eight large marshmallows is the equivalent of 1 cup of mini marshmallows.

Can I use fresh mandarin oranges instead of canned?

For best results, I prefer to use canned mandarin oranges. Fresh oranges have a pith (the white part) around each segment, which will affect the texture of the dish.

Can I freeze this salad?

No, this salad should not be frozen! If you freeze this salad, you will end up with a melted, watery mess when it thaws. 

5 cup salad in a bowl

Other Easy Side Dish Recipes

5 from 2 votes
5 cup salad featured image

5 Cup Salad

Serves — 5
A 5 Cup Salad is a quick and easy way to make a 5 ingredient simple side dish or light dessert. No cooking needed!
Prep Time 10 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks roughly chopped, drained
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries drained and halved, no stems
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

Instructions
 

  • Add the sour cream to a medium size mixing bowl, and whisk to remove any lumps.
  • Fold in the pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries and miniature marshmallows just until combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Serve while cold.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tips:
  • You can add nuts for an added crunch.
  • You can substitute sweetened coconut flakes for the cherries.
  • Feel free to add more fruit like chopped apples or grapes.
  • This dish can also be doubled or tripled if you need to feed a crowd.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 597IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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