Meet the Fruit Salad recipe we all need. A rainbow of sweet blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, and more tossed in a bright, citrusy honey poppy seed dressing, this is a big bowl of beautiful!
A few weeks ago on Instagram, I mentioned that I was pulling together a simple fruit salad and would you all like an official recipe for that?
YES YES YES was your answer. Here we are at the end of the rainbow!
I’ve given you a stellar homemade fruit salad recipe, but by all means feel empowered to wing it.
- It’s the height of summer? Add cherries!
- Peaches looking in their prime? Toss ‘em in!
- Want a spring fruit salad? Swap the blueberries for more strawberries.
- Don’t feel like cutting up a pineapple? (I get it and I have a prep tip for you below.) Use mandarin oranges instead.
How to Make Fresh Fruit Salad
Fruit salad can contain any mix of fresh fruit you like or that is in season.
When you think of mixing and matching, stick with the season, or with an overall vibe.
- Strawberries and blueberries go well with tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya, and kiwi.
- Fall fruits like apples and pears pair nicely with grapes.
Some recipes also include nuts, which you can certainly toss in for crunch (my recommendation would be almonds or pecans; or try toasted coconut).
The one thing I beg you not to skip is this honey lime fruit salad dressing.
- The dressing makes it pop and taste like an even better, fresher version of itself.
- Citrus dressings are my favorite when using berries and tropical fruits.
- For a creamy fruit salad recipe, check out this Grape Salad; it uses protein-packed Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Berries. Since I primarily make summer fruit salad, strawberries and blueberries are my two favorite fruits to add it to it. Both are high in vitamin C and blueberries especially pack antioxidants.
- Pineapple. Tropical flair! Its bright taste makes the salad more dynamic. Pineapple is also high in nutrients like vitamin C and manganese and contains antioxidants (read more about pineapple’s health benefits here).
Coring and peeling a pineapple can be time-consuming. Save time by purchasing fresh pineapple rings, which are typically available in the grocery store produce section.
I do not recommend canned pineapple for fruit salad, as its flavor is more lackluster, and it can be mushy.
- Grapes. Seedless red grapes add crunch and are short on prep time. Simply rinse and dry them and they are ready to add (no need to halve grapes for fruit salad—unless you are feeling very fancy).
- Kiwi. This little green powerhouse is PACKED with vitamin C and it makes the fruit salad taste sunny.
- Banana. An extra layer of vacation vibes and natural sweetness. Its creamy texture is is a nice contrast with the other fruit.
- Fruit Salad Dressing. A combination of fresh orange juice, lime juice (or lemon juice), and honey makes the fruit taste as sunny as a summer day. Poppy seeds are a fun addition that makes this salad extra special (if you love poppy seed dressing, be sure to check out my Spinach Strawberry Salad).
- Vanilla Extract.The secret fruit salad dressing ingredient that will have your guests asking for the recipe.
- Add all of the fruit except the banana to a large bowl.
- Blend together the fruit salad dressing.
Love citrus? Add the lime zest and orange zest to the dressing with the juice.
- Pour the dressing over the fruit.
- Toss to combine, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, stir in the banana. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Fruit Salad
- Chop all of the fruit roughly the same size. This gives the salad a nice presentation and makes it easier to eat.
- Choose ripe, in-season fruit. This salad is all about the fruit. The better your fruit tastes, the better your salad will be.
- Use a mix of textures. Combining crisp, crunchy fruits like pineapple and grapes with softer fruits like strawberries and blueberries gives the salad a more interesting, satisfying texture.
- Let sit before serving. If you have time, an hour of marinating time in the refrigerator will bring out the fruits’ juices and make the fruit salad taste sweeter.
- Wait to add the banana. Banana’s flavor gets stronger as it sits, and it also tends to turn brown. Adding it last preserves its color and keeps its flavor in balance with the other fruits.
- To Store. Fruit salad tastes best the day it is made, but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in airtight containers. Serve with a slotted spoon to avoid collecting too many of the excess juices.
- To Freeze. Perfect for smoothies! Spread your leftover fruit onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer the fruit to a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Meal Prep Tip
Wait to wash your fruit until just before you slice it. This will extend its shelf life in your refrigerator.
Leftover fruit salad with yogurt or oatmeal is yummy for breakfast. Topping fruit salad with whipped cream turns it into dessert. You can even use leftover fruit for healthy smoothie recipes.
Toss your leftover fruit salad with greens and a side of Grilled Chicken Breast for a healthy, hearty meal.
How to Serve Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a healthy side dish packed with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that you can serve at just about any gathering.
- Breakfast and Brunch Recipes. Whether you go sweet with Healthy Banana Bread or savory with a Healthy Breakfast Casserole, fruit salad is a great dish to bring to brunch.
- Burgers. Freshen up your cookout spread and pair fruit salad with your favorite burger, such as a Blue Cheese Burger, Vegan Burger, or Salmon Burger.
- Barbecue. Fruit salad goes well with barbecue recipes like Instant Pot Ribs, Crockpot BBQ Chicken, and Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.
- Holiday Fare. Try one of the winter or fall variations (see “Use What’s In Season” above) at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Dessert. Top your fruit salad with whipped cream, and enjoy it alongside a batch of cookies. A Midwest version would toss in some mini marshmallows too.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Measuring Spoons. Magnetic strips keep them well organized.
- Citrus Juicer. It’s easy to press, which helps squeeze more juice.
- Measuring Cups. Microwave and dishwasher safe.
Now this is my idea of tasting the rainbow!
Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend frozen fruit for this recipe, as it will be too wet and mushy once thawed. For fruit salad, fresh is best.
Fruit salad can be made up to 6 hours in advance. Store it in the refrigerator and wait to add the banana until just before serving. If you plan to add other fruits that will turn brown, such as apples, also wait to add these until just before serving. Restir prior to serving.
Yes. I recommend using half the amount.
Fruit Salad Video
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FOR THE FRUIT SALAD:
- 1 pound fresh strawberries sliced and halved (about 3 cups)
- 1 pound diced fresh pineapple about 3 cups
- 1 pint fresh blueberries about 2 cups
- 5 kiwi fruit peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups seedless red grapes
- 1 large banana* peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (about 1 cup)
- Chopped fresh mint optional
FOR THE DRESSING:
- zest of 1/2 medium orange
- juice of 1/2 the same medium orange about 3 tablespoons
- zest of 1 small lime or 1/2 small lemon
- juice of the same 1 small lime or 1/2 small lemon
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- If you will not be serving the fruit salad right away, place all of the fruit except the banana in a large serving bowl: strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, kiwi, and grapes.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the dressing: orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, honey, vanilla extract, and poppy seeds.
- Pour the dressing over the fruit and with a large spoon, toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the juices to marry (1 hour is even better). Just before serving, stir in the banana. Sprinkle with fresh mint. Enjoy!
- *The banana will turn a little brown as it sits and its flavor will become more pronounced, which is why I suggest to add it just before serving. If this doesn’t bother you, feel free to add it right away.
- TO STORE. Fruit salad tastes best the day it is made, but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve with a slotted spoon to avoid collecting too many of the excesses juices.
- TO FREEZE. My favorite for smoothies! Spread your leftover fruit onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer the fruit to a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
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