This is the best Ensalada Navideña and it’s so easy peasy! It’s traditionally made with 3 milks and is not overly sweet. Don’t let the name fool you. You can enjoy this fruit salad year round!
Ensaladas dulces (sweet salads) are the perfect balance to meals with flavorful Mexican dishes like Pozole and tamales. It’s the perfect pairing!
Planning a get together? Ensalada Navideña always has a place at the table for family fiestas, potlucks, posadas, and work functions. It’s loaded with fruit and the creamy dressing is refreshing! Serve it with some Ponche Navideño and it will be a hit!
This fruit salad is a great dish to whip up if you’re short on time! It’s ready faster than my classic Arroz Con Leche but it tastes best when you make it ahead of time to help blend the flavors and makes the marshmallows soften.
It’s one of those recipes that is always better the next day!
Ingredients for the dressing
The sweetness in this dressing comes from the condensed milk and the fruit syrup that comes in the fruit cocktail. The mixture is not overly sweet. It’s perfectly delicious!
- Condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Media crema – if you can’t find Mexican crema, you can use plain or vanilla yogurt instead
- Cream cheese block
- Plus sweeten it with 1/2 cup fruit syrup from the canned fruit
Ingredients for Ensalada Navideña
Ensalada Navideña is similar to “Ensalada De Manzana Navideña” but with more fruit. If you were to remove the strawberries and grapes, you would pretty much have the also popular Ensalada De Manzana (Apple Salad).
The beauty of this salad is that you can pick your favorite ingredients. For instance, my husband doesn’t like raisins so I include just a handful for me. Choose what you like!
For the salad you’ll need:
- A large can fruit cocktail in syrup
- 4 large red apples – pick your favorite apples. It really doesn’t matter
- A container fresh strawberries
- Grapes (green preferably)
- Pecan cut in small pieces
- Shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
- Mini marshmallows optional (as much as you want!)
***Make sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the full ingredient list and written recipe.
How to make Ensalada Navideña
- BLEND: Add the condensed & evaporated milk, media crema & cream cheese plus ½ cup of the fruit cocktail syrup in a blender blender or food processor. MIX until blended and set aside.
- TOAST: In a small skillet, toast the pecans on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Keep moving them around so that they don’t burn.
Toasting the pecans before adding to the salad really brings out the flavor and adds a little more crunch!
- MIX: In a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients.
- Fold all ingredients until all fruits are covered in the cream mixture
- Add enough of the cream mixture to cover the fruit. Add more if needed according to taste. You will have leftover cream mix which can be stored in refrigerator up to one week.
Refrigerate tightly covered for at least 2 hours to chill but the longer the better. Letting it sit overnight will help develop the flavors.
It’s a great recipe to make ahead and just let it rest. You won’t be stressed about making dessert right before your gathering.
Note: To preserve the firmness of the pecans and marshmallows, you can add them at the last minute when serving it.
Serve in small cups or bowls and top with more coconut flakes if you want. The flakes make your dessert look more festive!
Now who wants to dig in?
How to Store
Fridge– Refrigerate the salad in an airtight container or cover the bowl using aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or any lid you have on hand. Freezing it isn’t a good idea because the texture changes noticeably.
This Christmas Salad keeps for 3 to 4 days sealed tightly in the fridge in an airtight container.
Note: To preserve the firmness of the pecans and marshmallows, you can add them at the last minute before serving it.
I hope you like this recipe! Share it, or leave a rating and comment below. For questions that need an answer right away, please contact me and I’ll get back to you asap. Gracias!!!! xx, Ana
Ensalada Navideña (Mexican Christmas Salad)
- Blender or food processor
- 1 14 oz can condensed milk
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 7.6 oz can media crema If you can't find Mexican crema, you may use plain or vanilla yogurt instead
- 1 8 oz cream cheese block
- 1 30 oz can fruit cocktail in syrup (see note #1) (drain & reserve ½ cup of the syrup)
- 4 large red apples cut into chunks (keep the skin for crunchiness)
- 12 to 16 oz fresh strawberries
- 8 oz grapes (green preferably)
- 1 cup pecan cut in small pieces
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
- mini marshmallows optional (as much as you want!)
- BLEND: Add the condensed & evaporated milk, media crema & cream cheese plus ½ cup of the fruit cocktail syrup in a blender or food processor.
- Mix until blended and set aside.
- TOAST: In a small skillet, toast the pecans on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Keep moving them around so that they don't burn.
- MIX: In a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients (see note #2)
- Fold all ingredients until all fruits are covered in the cream mixture
- Add the enough of the cream mixture to cover the fruit. Add more if needed according to taste. You will have leftover cream mix which can be stored in refrigerator up to one week.
- Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours to chill.
- Serve cold.
Muy Delish Notes:
- Use fruit cocktail or any fruit in syrup like peaches or pineapples.
- To preserve the firmness of the pecans and marshmallows, you can add them at the last minute when serving it.
Add Your Own Private Notes
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The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.
This salad was sooo amazingly good I only wish it could be frozen or kept longer. Cause it made way more than we could eat .I’m hoping to make it again for this weekend for Christmas.The only change I made was I added dried cranberries instead of raisins cause I prefer them . It was so good!!
Delicioso postre para preparar para esta navidad ? Muchas gracias Ana!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is so good! My husband almost ate the whole bowl himself LOL this is definitely something I will be making often for special occasions and holidays. Thank you!!!
THis looks so yummy! Will surely add this to my menu on Christmas Eve! Thanks for sharing!
I don’t see what to do with the reserved syrup?
The mix of ingredients here is perfect!! I know that I will be making this over and over during the holidays. Thanks so much for the recipe 🙂
This salad is gorgeous and so festive! I’ve never had anything like this but am anxious to try it asap!
Such a delicious recipe and love making it for the holidays!
What a wonderful combination of fruits and flavors for a very festive salad.
This fruit salad looks delicious! can’t wait to make it for a gathering this winter!
Thank You Ana <3
Ana, I subscribed to your recipes this year, and I have to say that everything that I have tried has been so delicious. I come from a Mediterranean background but I have fallen in love with the subtle differences in Spanish/ Mexican food. Thank you for sharing your recipes, and making it so easy to try new foods. I am grateful.
Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year 2022 to you and your family.
Deliciosa y fácil!!!!
Gracias Malena por hacer esta ensalada de navidad! Felices fiestas!
I can’t hardly wait to make this delicious salad for my family. I love this salad. Thank you for sharing. I love all your recipes.
Hi Millie! I hope you made it and that you loved it! It’s so easy to make and delicious and I’m sure you will love this Ensalada Navideña. Happy Holidays!
My mom used to make this salad and later my older sister and we loved it! I will have to give it a try!
Thank you for posting the recipe ❤️
Awe so good to hear your mom made this Mexican Christmas salad too! It’s so refreshing to have during this time of year. Enjoy my friend! xoxo Ana
This was the first time I tried this, and it was delicious!
Awe so good to hear this my dear Stefanie! I’m so glad you liked it!!! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for sharing this Mexican dessert! Loved addition of strawberries. So good!