Bursting with juicy strawberries, fluffy marshmallows, and a creamy vanilla pudding base, this Strawberry Fluff Salad is a great way to enjoy a no-bake refreshing dessert during the summer months!
Fluff salad, also known as ambrosia salad or fruit salad, is a classic American treat that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins can be traced back to the Southern United States, where it became a staple at potlucks and summer gatherings. It typically consists of a creamy base, such as vanilla pudding or whipped cream, combined with a medley of fruits and marshmallows. This creates a light and airy texture making it a refreshing dessert!
This fluff salad uses strawberries to blend with the rest of the ingredients. Juicy, fresh strawberries provide a burst of sweetness that is perfectly complemented by the creamy and velvety texture of the vanilla pudding. Mini marshmallows get folded in to add a delightful chewiness and a touch of texture to the dessert that rounds it out.
Strawberry fluff salad is the best summer dessert! With just five simple ingredients that can be found anywhere, you can make this dessert anywhere. The best part is how light and airy it is, which makes it perfect for warm weather when you don't want to feel weighed down.
Enjoy this easy fruit dessert at a backyard barbecue, a picnic in the park, or a potluck with friends any time of the year!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Strawberry fluff salad is the epitome of a summertime dessert, offering a refreshing and light treat that is perfect for hot days.
- With just a handful of readily available ingredients and minimal preparation time, you can whip up a dessert that looks and tastes like it took hours to make!
- While the recipe calls for fresh strawberries, you can easily customize it by adding other fruits of your choice. Try incorporating blueberries, raspberries, or even tropical fruits like pineapple or mango for a tropical twist.
- This recipe is a great way to use up in-season summer strawberries for the best taste and texture!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Vanilla Pudding Mix (NOT Instant) - Serves as the base for the creamy texture of the strawberry salad. Unlike instant pudding, the non-instant version requires cooking, resulting in a thicker and more indulgent consistency.
- Fresh Strawberries - The star of the show, fresh strawberries bring a burst of sweetness and provide a vibrant color and juicy texture.
- Strawberry Jello - This not only enhances the strawberry flavor but also helps to set the salad. When combined with water and chilled, the Jello creates a firm texture, ensuring that the salad holds its shape.
- Mini Marshmallows - Their soft and chewy texture contrasts with the creaminess of the pudding, while their sweetness complements the strawberries.
- Cool Whip (Thawed) - Brings a light and fluffy element to the salad. Ensure it is thawed before use to achieve the desired consistency.
- Water - An essential component for dissolving the vanilla pudding mix and strawberry Jello.
How To Make Strawberry Fluff Salad
Assemble the salad base: Whisk the pudding and jello mix with water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat. Pour it into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until firm.
Blend the pudding and jello: Remove the mixture from the fridge and place it into a mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat until smooth and creamy.
Fold in ingredients: To the smooth mixture, fold in the fresh strawberries, mini marshmallows, and thawed cool whip until fully combined. Serve cold, and enjoy!
- For the best results, use fresh, ripe strawberries. They should be firm, fragrant, and brightly colored. Avoid using overripe strawberries, as they may become mushy when mixed into the salad.
- When whisking the pudding mix, Jello, and water in the saucepan, ensure that all the dry ingredients are fully dissolved before heating. This will prevent any lumps or clumps from forming.
- Allow enough time for the mixture to chill and firm up in the refrigerator. While the recipe suggests 4-6 hours, it's even better if you can leave it overnight. This will ensure that the salad sets properly and achieves the desired firmness.
- When folding in the Cool Whip, marshmallows, and fresh strawberries, do it gently to avoid deflating the fluffiness of the salad. Use a spatula or a large spoon, making sweeping motions from the bottom of the bowl to the top, ensuring that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Reserve a few strawberries and mini marshmallows for garnishing the top of the salad. This will make the presentation more enticing and showcase the key ingredients of the dish.
- Give your Strawberry Fluff Salad a tropical twist by incorporating diced pineapple, mandarin oranges, and toasted coconut flakes.
- Add a zesty kick to your salad by substituting lemon pudding mix for the vanilla pudding. The refreshing citrus flavor pairs beautifully with the strawberries, creating a bright and tangy dessert.
- Swap the vanilla pudding with the chocolate pudding mix. The rich and decadent chocolate flavor, combined with the sweet strawberries, creates a dessert reminiscent of a chocolate-covered strawberry.
- Add a nutty crunch to your fruit salad by incorporating chopped nuts like toasted almonds or pecans. Sprinkle them on top of the salad or fold them into the mixture for an extra layer of texture and a nutty flavor.
- Experiment with different types of berries to create a mixed berry fluff salad. Add blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries to the mix for a vibrant burst of colors and a medley of fruity flavors.
To store the Strawberry Fluff Salad, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate the salad for up to 2-3 days. The texture may soften slightly over time as the marshmallows and Cool Whip absorb moisture from the other ingredients.
Freezing is not recommended, as the ingredients will deflate when defrosting. For best results, consume within 2-3 days.
No, it's recommended to use the non-instant vanilla pudding mix for this recipe. The non-instant pudding mix requires cooking, which helps create the desired texture and consistency in the Strawberry Fluff Salad.
While fresh strawberries are preferred for their flavor and texture, you can use thawed and well-drained frozen strawberries if fresh ones are not available. Keep in mind that frozen strawberries may release more liquid, so be sure to drain them well to avoid excess moisture in the salad.
The beauty of Strawberry Fluff Salad is that it can be made ahead of time. Prepare the salad as directed, cover it tightly, and refrigerate it until you're ready to serve. It's recommended to consume the salad within 24-48 hours for the best taste and texture.
More Refreshing Fruit Dessert Recipes
- Strawberry and Blueberry Poundcake Trifle
- Raspberry Lemonade Cookies
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Easy Fruit Pizza
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Strawberry Fluff Salad
- 5.1 oz Vanilla Pudding mix Not the instant kind
- 2 cups fresh strawberries cut up
- 6 oz Strawberry Jello
- 10 oz Mini Marshmallows
- 16 oz Cool Whip thawed
- 3 cups water
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the Pudding, Jello, and water over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and remove from heat. Pour it into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours or until the mixture is firm to the touch.
- Once the mixture has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Place the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Using a hand-held mixer, beat until it's smooth.
- Fold in Cool Whip, Marshmallows, and fresh chopped strawberries. Serve and Enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.