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!
This is my absolute favorite fruit salad, ever.
The combination of fruits is striking (so many colors!).
A mix of softer and firmer fruits give it a perfect array of textures.
The dressing is FANTASTIC.
In fact, it’s my secret to the BEST fruit salad ever. You’re going to love it!
5 Star Review
“Absolute crowd pleaser!! Everyone wanted the recipe.”
— Melissa —
Fruit Salad is the Perfect Party Side
No matter the day, month, celebration, or occasion, a fruit salad is always a great addition.
Colorful. 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.Crowd-pleasing. Who doesn’t love fruit? Kids, adults, and everyone in between can find something they like in a fruit salad. (Rainbow Fruit Pizza is another fruity crowd-pleaser.)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.
How to Make Fresh Fruit Salad
What makes an everyday easy fruit salad recipe special?
Is it not just a bunch of cut-up fruit in a bowl?
That’s what I thought, too, until I added my secret fruit salad W-O-W factor: honey-lime fruit salad dressing.
The dressing makes the fruit 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 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, peeling, and cutting pineapple can be time-consuming. Save time by purchasing fresh pineapple chunks or rings, which are typically available in the grocery store produce section.
I do not recommend canned pineapple for fruit salad, because 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 (and this Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie) taste sunny.
Banana. An extra layer of vacation vibes and natural sweetness. Its creamy texture (which is also perfect for a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie) is a nice contrast with the other fruit. Plus, they’re packed with potassium.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.
Love citrus? Add the lime zest and orange zest to the dressing with the juice.
Vanilla Extract. The secret fruit salad dressing ingredient that will have your guests asking for the recipe.
Chop all the fruit (except the banana) and add it to a large bowl.
Chop all the fruit roughly the same size. This gives the salad a nice presentation and makes it easier to eat.
Blend together the fruit salad dressing.
Pour the dressing over the fruit.
Toss to combine, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
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.
Just before serving, stir in the banana. Enjoy!
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). Leftover fruit salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in airtight containers. 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.
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. You could also make a variation of this Summer Farro Salad too.
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
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.
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.
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.
Yes. I recommend using half the amount.
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.
For some added texture and crunch, toss in some nuts (my recommendation would be almonds or pecans) or toasted coconut. Dried fruits can also be a nice way to add some textural dimension to fruit salad recipes too.
If you swap maple syrup or agave for the honey in the dressing, yes this is a vegan fruit salad recipe.
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.
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 cups1 pint fresh blueberries about 2 cups5 kiwi fruit peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)2 cups seedless red grapes1 large banana* peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (about 1 cup)Chopped fresh mint optional
FOR THE DRESSING:
zest of 1/2 medium orangejuice of 1/2 the same medium orange about 3 tablespoonszest of 1 small lime or 1/2 small lemonjuice of the same 1 small lime or 1/2 small lemon3 tablespoons honey1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1 tablespoon poppy seeds
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.
The options for using fruit in delicious salads are endless. Here are some of my other favorites:
Red White and Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing