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5 Minute Fluff Salad


This 5 minute fluff salad has 5 ingredients that are probably already in your pantry and fridge! Easy, delicious and perfect in a pinch!

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5 Minute Fluff Salad - Main image for recipe. Fluff salad in bowl with cherry on top.


When it comes to side dishes, I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with these.

Meals in our home generally consist of a main dish.

That’s it.

Especially if there are vegetables in the main dish then I don’t usually do a side dish as well.

It’s certainly not “normal” but for some reason I always struggle with sides.

The only time you’ll find an array of side dishes on our table is when we have company over.

It’s at this point that I really put some thought into what sides can I offer that will compliment the main dish.

However, when it’s just the family and I, there are rarely side dishes on our table.

This stems from the fact that I am just really terrible at coming up with easy side dishes.



5 Minute Fluff Salad - finished fluff salad in bowl with a large bull full in the background



Over the years, thanks to Num’s, I’ve gotten better.

I now have quite a few easy and quick side dishes I can toss together like this 5 Minute Fluff Salad.

Who doesn’t have 5 minutes to toss together this easy side dish?

Everyone does.

Not only is this “side dish” easy but it can also double as a dessert.

It’s made with yummy cool whip which is typically a dessert item.

However, here in the United States, we tend to like everything a little sweeter and have no problem eating “dessert” items for other meals too.

Take breakfast foods for example.

Pancakes with syrup or berries and whipped cream?

How about donuts and pastries and sugary cereal?

Yep, we are fans of all these things.



5 Minute Fluff Salad - collage of images for Pinterest long pin



Having a side dish that consists of fruit folded into cool whip (or whipped cream) is completely normal here.

Or as stated earlier, you can also serve this as an easy dessert!

Either way, this 5 Minute Fluff Salad makes for a quick and easy side dish if you are ever in a pinch!

My Mother-in-law is always tossing together quick fruit salads using what fresh fruits she has on hand.

This is what gave me the idea.

I just grabbed what I had on hand in my pantry and whipped up this very tasty 5 Minute Fluff Salad.

If you are like me and struggle with side dishes, then whip this 5 Minute Fluff Salad up.

Your family will thank you and your table wont be quite so empty!


Yield: 6 Servings

5 Minute Fluff Salad

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 6 ounces (1/2 jar) of Maraschino Cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub Cool Whip (or less) (or 2 cups real whipped cream)


In a serving bowl combine drained oranges, drained pineapple, drained and chopped maraschino cherries & marshmallows. Gently mix.
Add Cool Whip and gently fold until combined.
Serve immediately.


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25 thoughts on “5 Minute Fluff Salad

    • Janie, it is VERY similar to ambrosia salad but without the coconut. I can’t quite call it ambrosia salad without it as that would be a bit misleading to those who have had it. But you are right, it is almost identical to ambrosia! It’s a classic dish that never gets old! I hope you liked it!

    • Sharon that is a great idea! This salad is so easy that you can literally use whatever you have in your pantry! Thank you so much for your suggestion, I’m sure others will take advantage of your insight!

  1. Early 1960’s our version used sour cream instead of cool whip. – don’t think cool whip had been invented yet, but the sour cream makes for a better side dish because it’s not so sweet.

    • GASP! Cut out the sugar?! Don’t you know my business cards say my title is Sugar Addict?! 🙂 Using sour cream is something I never would have thought to do! Another idea is to make real whipped cream but leave out the sugar and add a teaspoon of vanilla. Thank you for the tip! I love when readers share ideas with me!

      • That’s great! For anyone looking for a less sweet version (since the fruit provides natural sweetness) sour cream would be a great alternative! Thanks for letting us know!

  2. Yaayy!! Finally trying this side dish for Christmas Dinner.Cant wait to see how it tastes.Im thinking on making it the sames way but some red food coloring and more cherries like a cheery Salad.?

    • Ohh I love the idea of more cherries! I think that by adding in the extra cherries it will automatically add the red color you’re looking for! My family loves this recipe and I hope yours does too! Thanks so much for leaving this comment, you’ve made my day!

    • Hi Marilyn! I do not know how many calories. There are several amazing apps and websites that can count them for you if you’re keeping track! Thanks for your comment!

  3. I wonder what it’d be like with yogurt instead of sour cream if it works well with sour cream? Only ingredient I don’t have is the Cool whip. SO I am looking for a substitute.

    • Hi Ange! Well my first substitution for this salad is always real whipped cream. However if you don’t have that on hand then I’d use a plain or vanilla yogurt. Your salad wont have the “fluff” that the cool whip brings but it will still taste great! Enjoy!

  4. I make this salad, but I also boil and cool Ditalini pasta and add to it. Makes for a delicious salad and stretches it to serve more people also. So many have asked what the secret ingredient is and are pleasantly surprised to find it is pasta.

  5. I love this salad and it brings back wonderful childhood memories. This salad and canned cranberries as well as green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup leave the food snobs in horror but make me smile….They are as much about the holidays as the turkey or the ham. Thanks for reminding me of the recipe.

  6. My family doesn’t like mandarin oranges so can something like canned peaches be substituted? If so, would they go be the pineapple & what other fruit go along with pineapple? ☺

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