Meet the Fruit Salad recipe we all need. A rainbow of sweet blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, and kiwi tossed in a bright, citrusy honey poppy seed dressing, this is a big bowl of beautiful!
Why You’ll Love This Healthy Fruit Salad Recipe
- Colorful. This is my absolute favorite fruit salad, ever. With just about every color in the rainbow, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another side dish that looks this vibrant on your table. The combination of fruits is striking (so many colors!).
- Texture On Point. A mix of softer and firmer fruits give it a perfect array of textures. Not too mushy, not too crunchy.
- Crowd-Pleasing. Who doesn’t love fruit? While some might be more skeptical of a Spinach Strawberry Salad, Kids, adults, and everyone in between can find something they like in a pure fruit salad. The fruit itself is delicious, and the dressing makes the fruit pop and taste like an even better, fresher version of itself.
- Versatile. While the recipe I’m sharing is my favorite go-to blend of fruit, by all means, feel empowered to wing it and change up the fruit based on what’s in season and what your friends and family enjoy most.
- Good for You. Packed with oodles of nutritious fruits and a vitamin C-packed dressing, this fruit salad is healthy! This recipe relies on the natural sweetness of the fruit instead of added sugars. A touch of honey is all this salad needs to taste its absolute best!
5 Star Review
“Absolute crowd pleaser!! Everyone wanted the recipe.”— Melissa —
How to Make Fresh Fruit Salad
For the Fruit
- Berries. Since I primarily make summer fruit salad, strawberries and blueberries are my two favorite fruits to add 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.
- 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). Check out this Grape Salad too.
- Kiwi. This little green powerhouse is PACKED with vitamin C, and it makes the fruit salad (and this Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie) taste sunny.
- Banana. An extra layer of vacation vibes and natural sweetness. Its creamy texture is a nice contrast with the other fruit. Plus, they’re packed with potassium.
- Mint. Add chopped fresh mint just before serving for a special final touch and freshness (I love it on Watermelon Salad too).
For the Honey Lime Dressing
- Orange Juice + Zest. Sweet, citrusy orange juice and zest add scrumptious, refreshing flavor to the dressing.
- Lime Juice + Zest. For this recipe, lime juice is what you put on fruit salad to keep it from turning brown. It also adds a wonderful hint of acidity.
- Honey. Makes the fruit taste as sunny as a summer day.
- Vanilla Extract. The secret fruit salad dressing ingredient that will have your guests asking for the recipe.
- Poppy Seeds. A fun addition that makes this salad extra special.
- Chop the Fruit. Skip the banana for now.
- Whisk the Dressing. A liquid measuring cup works well for this.
- Add the Dressing. You’re almost there!
- Toss and Refrigerate. Tossing very gently is how you keep fruit salad from getting soggy.
- Add the Banana. ENJOY!
- Fruit Salad with Lemon. Swap the lime zest and juice for lemon.
- Crunchy Fruit Salad. For some added texture and crunch, toss in some nuts (my recommendation would be almonds or pecans), cucumber, or toasted coconut. Dried fruits can also be a nice way to add some textural dimension to fruit salad recipes too.
- Summer Fruit Salad. In the summertime, this salad is wonderful with stone fruit (such as cherries, nectarines, peaches, apricots, and plums). Honeydew, cantaloupe, or watermelon are also nice choices. As for berries, grab a handful of raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries. If adding raspberries, wait to add them just before serving, as they are quite delicate.
- Fall Fruit Salad. Try using pears, apples, and dried cranberries (this variation is a great side dish for Christmas and Thanksgiving).
- Winter Fruit Salad. A selection of fresh oranges (e.g., blood orange or care cara), canned mandarin oranges, or pomegranate arils is a scrumptious cold-weather combination.
- To Store. Fruit salad tastes best the day it is made, if you truly must it can be made before as long as none of the fruits are ones that will turn brown (like apples or bananas). About 3 days is how long fruit salad will last in the refrigerator. Serve with a slotted spoon to avoid collecting too much excess juice.
- 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.
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. I do not recommend making fruit salad a day ahead or refrigerating fruit salad overnight if it can be avoided, since the fruit will become somewhat mushy.
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.
What to Serve with Fruit Salad
- Breakfast Food. Fruit salads are good for breakfast! Whether you go sweet with Healthy Banana Bread or savory with a Healthy Breakfast Casserole, fruit salad is a great dish to pair with breakfast recipes.
- Burgers. Freshen up your cookout spread and pair fruit salad with your favorite burger, such as a Turkey 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.
- Turkey. Try one of the winter or fall variations (see “Recipe Variations” above) at Thanksgiving with roasted turkey.
- Dessert. Fruit salad can be a dessert! Top your fruit salad with whipped cream, and enjoy it alongside a batch of Fruit Pizza Cookies (or any of these other cookie recipes). 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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Better Fruit Means Better Salad. When selecting fruits, keep in mind that at the end of the day, the quality of the fruit is the most important part of a great-tasting fresh fruit salad. Therefore, my top tip for the best fruit salad recipe is to choose ripe, in-season fruit. This salad is all about the fruit. The better your fruit tastes, the better your salad will be.
- Use Pre-Cut Fruit. Don’t be afraid to purchase the pre-cut fruit for this fruit salad. For example, coring, peeling, and cutting a pineapple can be time-consuming. Save time by purchasing fresh pineapple chunks or rings, which are typically available in the grocery store produce section.
- Proper Prep. This is an easy fruit salad recipe, so the little things make a big difference. Try and chop all the fruit to roughly the same size to give the salad a nice presentation and makes it easier to eat. It is also imperative that you allow any washed fruit to dry completely before using it in the salad. Even a little extra liquid can make your salad soggy.
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
- 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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Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend frozen fruit for this recipe, as it will be too wet and mushy once thawed. For a great fruit salad, fresh is best.
This recipe covers how to make fruit salad step-by-step with pictures, so you may have noticed that banana isn’t added until the very end. Banana’s flavor gets stronger as it sits, and it also tends to turn brown. Adding it last is how you keep banana slices from turning brown in fruit salad and keep its flavor in balance with the other fruits.
When you think of mixing and matching fruit, stick with fruits that share a common season or with an overall vibe. As a general rule, strawberries and blueberries go well with tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya, and kiwi.
Fall fruits like apples and pears pair nicely with grapes.
This fruit salad is gluten free, vegetarian, and dairy-free. If you swap maple syrup or agave for the honey in the dressing, this is a vegan fruit salad recipe too.
Fruit salad is typically served as a side at the same time as the rest of the meal, but there is truly no bad time to enjoy it! Have fruit salad for breakfast with yogurt, bring it to a brunch or afternoon barbecue, or enjoy it with your dinner.
When it comes to what fruits don’t go together in fruit salad, it’s canned pineapple and any other fresh fruit. I do not recommend canned pineapple for fruit salad, because its flavor is more lackluster, and it can be mushy.