Lazy Daisy Salad – A 1950s Ambrosia Salad Recipe

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Lazy Daisy Salad is a 1950s Ambrosia Fruit Salad using vanilla pudding and Cool Whip to jazz up canned mandarins, crushed pineapple and fruit cocktail.  The sweet concoction is topped off with coconut and chopped pecans for added pizzazz.

Lazy Daisy Salad – A 1950s Ambrosia Salad Recipe

This fruit salad with vanilla pudding and cool whip is one of those recipes straight from your mom or grandma’s recipe box. While our grandma’s wooden recipe box didn’t include this exact recipe, it certainly help many other “salads” featuring Jello or pudding, like our popular Cherry Fluff recipe.

Looking for a fruit salad that doesn’t feature whipped topping (Cool Whip) or sour cream? Try this Old-fashioned fruit salad made with a pudding mix and featuring mini marshmallows…what’s more vintage than a fruit salad with marshmallows!?!

I found this recipe in a 1990 cookbook from the First Baptist Church of Shelbyville. Apparently, many of those church ladies loved vintage salads including Jello salads!

Are Jello salads a dessert or a side dish?

Both! It’s America, and nothing is off limits, especially a “salad” that consists of ingredients such as Cool Whip, marshmallows, Jello, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Cherry Pie Filling and more.

In our humble opinion, most Jello salads contain some type of fruit, so go ahead and serve it as side if your heart desires, or serve it as the perfect dessert recipe.

Thanksgiving dinner at our grandma’s ALWAYS featured a Jello salad of some sort! Did yours?

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Ingredients for 1950s Ambrosia Salad with Pudding:

Crushed Pineapple, undrained

Mandarin Oranges, drained

Fruit Cocktail, drained

Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)

Sweetened, Flaked Coconut

Chopped Pecans

Find the complete recipe, including ingredients and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

What can I do with drained juices from canned fruits?

Our Grandma taught us to waste nothing including that sweetened juice that is often drained off of canned fruits. Here’s some fun ways to use it up:

  • Drink it; your kids will love it.
  • Make homemade Popsicles.
  • Add it to your morning smoothie or protein shake.
  • Put it in an ice cube tray, and freeze it for later in punch or smoothies.
  • Use it as the liquid to make Jello.
  • Add it to Iced Tea as a sweetener.
  • Make a cocktail, or a kid-friendly mocktail.
  • Use it as the liquid for a boxed white cake mix for a fruity hint of flavor.

Lazy Daisy Salad is a classic 1950s Ambrosia fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding, mandarin oranges and cool whip.

How to make Mandarin Orange Salad with Coconut:

For the full recipe and ingredient list for ambrosia salad with pudding, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  1. Drain fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges.
  2. Mix undrained crushed pineapple, drained fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges, pudding mix, and whipped topping until combined.
  3. Pour into serving bowl; sprinkle top with flaked coconut and chopped pecans.
  4. For more flavor, let the vintage Jello Salad marinate in refrigerator for a couple hours before serving.

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Notes About Lazy Daisy Salad Recipe:

  • Be sure to drain the fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges; failing to do this will result in a runny ambrosia salad.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding should be used instead of the Cook Variety.
  • Substitute in coconut pudding or orange flavored pudding for vanilla pudding, if desired.
  • To lighten things up, use fat free whipped topping and sugar free pudding mix.
  • Canned Peaches, pears or cherries would be a nice addition or substitution for the fruit cocktail or mandarin oranges.
  • This fruit salad with pudding tastes better if you allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours before serving.
  • Check out our Amazon Shop for our pantry essentials and favorite kitchen gadgets.

More 1950s Jello Salad Recipes:

Red Hot Fluff

Pink Lady Salad

Classic Ambrosia Salad is the perfect vintage recipe for your next family gathering or for any day of the week.  It's a simple recipe to make and easy to remember with only 5 simple ingredients. 

Classic Ambrosia Salad

Vintage Pretzel Salad

Grandma's Cherry Fluff recipe has just five ingredients and is a dump and go dish perfect for pitch-ins.

Grandma’s Cherry Fluff

Orange Jello Salad is a cool, refreshing summer salad that can be eaten as a dessert or a side dish.  This vintage recipe only has five ingredients, and can be mixed together in a flash.

Orange Jello Salad

Glorified Rice is an old fashioned dessert salad consisting of white rice, mini marshmallows, pineapple, maraschino cherries and Cool Whip. Served cold, this vintage recipe is perfect for summer.

Glorified Rice

Lazy Daisy Salad is a classic 1950s Ambrosia fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding, mandarin oranges and cool whip.

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Lazy Daisy Salad

Lazy Daisy Salad is a 1950s Ambrosia Fruit Salad using vanilla pudding and cool whip to jazz up canned mandarins, crushed pineapple and fruit cocktail.  The sweet concoction is topped off with coconut and chopped pecans for added pizzazz. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 1950s jello salad, ambrosia salad, fruit salad with pudding mix, lazy daisy salad
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 202kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 15 ounces canned fruit cocktail, drained
  • 15 ounces canned mandarin oranges, drained
  • 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 8 ounces Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)
  • 1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Drain the fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges.
  • Combine pineapple (undrained), fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, vanilla pudding, and whipped topping until everything is mixed well. Stir gently.
    Lazy Daisy Salad is a classic 1950s Ambrosia fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding, mandarin oranges and cool whip.
  • Pour into serving bowl; top with coconut and chopped pecans.
    Lazy Daisy Salad is a classic 1950s Ambrosia fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding, mandarin oranges and cool whip.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving, if possible.
    Lazy Daisy Salad is a classic 1950s Ambrosia fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding, mandarin oranges and cool whip.

Notes

  • Be sure to drain the fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges; failing to do this will result in a runny ambrosia salad.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding should be used instead of the Cook Variety.
  • Substitute in coconut pudding or orange flavored pudding for vanilla pudding, if desired.
  • To lighten things up, use fat free whipped topping and sugar free pudding mix. 
  • Canned Peaches, pears or cherries would be a nice addition or substitution for the fruit cocktail or mandarin oranges. 
  • This fruit salad with pudding tastes better if you allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours before serving. 
  • Try our Classic Ambrosia Salad too (with sour cream). 

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 714IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

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3 Comments

  1. Your recipe is contradictory. The recipe says undrained on the crushed pineapple and the Notes says to make sure and drain the pineapple well to avoid a runny salad. So what is correct?🤷🏻‍♀️

    1. Marsha – Sorry about that! Sometimes our fingers go rogue…keep the pineapple undrained but drain the fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges. We apologize for the typos!

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