Minnesota Marshmallow Fruit Salad

Hey there, friends! Continuing our Minnesota Salad Series (where we use the MN definition of salad ;)) with the iconic Marshmallow Fruit Salad. Here’s the thing, you can’t call yourself from the Midwest if you have never had this salad. It is that iconic. Fruit salad mixed with Cool Whip mixed with Marshmallows mixed with a bit of fresh fruit. Although why we bother with the fresh fruit at this point, I’ve never understood.

Minnesota Marshmallow Fruit Cocktail Salad

Either way, this is fun and tasty and a MUST-TRY. It’s easy to make, easy to serve, and always brings out a few u-betcha’s and uffda’s by everyone eating it.

BTW, here’s the list of other Minnesota “salad’s” that you must-try. In fact, I highly recommend a themed potluck… a Minnesota Salad Potluck for your next get-together would be so fun!

Minnesota Marshmallow Fruit Salad Ingredients

Key Ingredients and Substitutes

  1. Mixed Fruit Cocktail (30 ounces)
    • Substitute: Fresh diced peaches, pears, pineapple, and grapes. Use a combination that equals about 4 cups.
    • Tip: If using fresh fruit instead of canned, make sure to cut them into uniform sizes for even distribution of flavors. Fresh fruits provide a brighter flavor and a crisper texture. Consider adding a bit of sugar or honey if the fruits aren’t sweet enough.
  2. Blood Orange
    • Substitute: Navel oranges or tangerines for a similar citrusy zing.
    • Tip: Ensure that whatever citrus you choose, it should be fresh and juicy to complement the sweetness of the other fruits and marshmallows.
  3. Strawberries (1 cup, quartered)
    • Substitute: Raspberries or blueberries. Both berries can add a different texture and a bit of tartness.
    • Tip: If berries are out of season, consider using frozen ones, but thaw and drain them well to avoid excess liquid in the salad.
  4. Mini Marshmallows (2 cups)
    • Substitute: Coconut flakes or small chunks of angel food cake. These alternatives will add a different texture but keep the sweetness.
    • Tip: If using cake pieces, add them just before serving to maintain some texture.
  5. Frozen Whipped Topping (8 ounces, thawed)
    • Substitute: Full-fat Greek yogurt or homemade whipped cream.
    • Tip: If using Greek yogurt, you might want to add a touch of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of sugar to sweeten it up slightly.
  6. Maraschino Cherries
    • Substitute: Fresh pitted cherries or a drizzle of cherry syrup.
    • Tip: Fresh cherries will add a nice crunch and natural sweetness, whereas cherry syrup will enhance the dessert’s visual appeal and flavor.

Additional Tips

  • Chill Time: To keep everything well-incorporated and allow the flavors to meld together, chilling for at least 1 hour before serving is crucial. If possible, chill overnight.
  • Serving: Serve this dessert salad in a clear bowl or individual cups to show off the colorful ingredients.
  • Storage: If you need to store this longer than the recommended day, keep it tightly covered in the refrigerator, though be aware that the fruit may release more juice, and the marshmallows may soften considerably. Fresh fruits generally release less juice than canned, so the texture might be slightly different if stored for long.
minnesota marshmallow fruit salad

Minnesota Marshmallow Fruit Salad

| 10 servings
Prep Time | 15 minutes
Chill Time | 1 hour
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This easy dessert salad is always a hit! Perfect for summer dessert, BBQs, and potlucks,
this fruit salad is made with just a few ingredients – assorted fruit, marshmallows, and cool


  • 30 ounces mixed fruit cocktail drained
  • 1 fresh blood orange peeled, segmented and cut in half
  • 1 cup strawberries quartered
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping thawed
  • Maraschino cherry halves to top
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Slice the strawberries into quarters, then peel the orange, divide into segments, and cut each segment in half.
  • Open and drain the can of fruit cocktail.
  • Add the fruit cocktail, strawberries, oranges, and marshmallows to a bowl.
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Slice the maraschino cherries in half and scatter over the top of the salad.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 119kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 30mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 221IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 0.3mg

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