The best Fruit Salad recipe for any gathering! This versatile recipe can be made year-round using seasonal fruit, and is particularly lovely during the summer months for serving at barbecues. Featuring a light, zesty dressing, this fresh fruit salad involves no processed ingredients.
One of my favorite summer side dishes growing up was fruit salad. My family made it ultra creamy with a combination of cool whip and mayonnaise or whipped cream.
While I adored the combination of tangy juicy fruit with the creamy dressing, I find a lighter approach is my preference these days.
The flavor and texture of the fruit speaks for itself. Paired with a little fresh fruit juice, you have everything you need for a sweet, healthy side dish.
I love that you can prepare this easy fruit salad recipe with any of your favorite fruits for optimal customization. You can use any combination of fruit, although for the best results, stick with ripe fruit whenever possible.
I hope this simple fruit salad recipe becomes one of your summer favorites!
Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for fruit salad.
Ingredients for The Best Fruit Salad:
Fresh Fruit: Pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis, and strawberries are the best fruit for fruit salad! This combination of fresh fruit brings sweet and sour flavors as well as plenty of textures.
I also like adding seedless grapes and ripe bananas to my fruit salad recipes for added sweetness. Skip the banana if you’re planning on storing the fruit salad for more than 24 hours, or add it just before serving.
The fastest way of preparing this fruit salad recipe is to buy pineapple that has already been chopped. The grocery stores in my area have pre-chopped fresh fruit in the produce section (not to be confused with canned fruit).
I find the pre-chopped fresh pineapple to be very helpful in saving time and energy.
Fruit Salad Dressing Ingredients: Orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, pure maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. This combination of ingredients makes a sweet, zesty fruit salad sauce that gives the whole thing a tropical vibe.
I personally find fruit salads don’t need added sugar, so feel free to skip the sweetener if you prefer.
- Use any of your favorite fruit (ideally fresh fruit that is in season). Mangoes, bananas, clementines, green grapes, red grapes, mandarin oranges blackberries, honeydew, and cantaloupe are all great options. If you have access to tropical fruits, go for it!
- If you’re adding bananas to the fruit salad, I recommend adding them just before serving or close to the time that people are eating for the best results.
- Omit the pure maple syrup if you find fruit sweet enough. You can also replace it with a little honey or brown sugar.
- For a creamy fruit salad with a dairy-free mayo-free dressing, make my Zesty Fruit Salad with Coconut Milk and Basil.
- If you have fresh herbs on hand, like fresh mint or fresh basil, feel free to give them a fine chop and add them in.
- Swap the lemon juice for lime juice in the simple dressing if you prefer. You can also use pineapple juice instead of orange juice if you’d like.
- Add lemon zest in addition to the orange zest in the dressing if you’d like.
Tips for The Best Fruit Salad:
Use a combination of fresh berries and sweet fruits like bananas, melons or grapes for the absolute best flavor. My favorite fruit salad recipes are those that have a wide variety of fruit with an array of sweet, tangy, sour flavors.
While you can make fruit salad with any amount of fruit, I follow a general rule that there should be at least three different in-season fruit for a colorful fruit salad. I typically use at least 5 variety of fresh fruit for a rainbow of fruits and try to include sweet fruit as well.
Try to stick with fresh fruit rather than frozen fruit, as frozen fruit thaws to a soft and squishy rather than firm and juicy texture.
How to Make The Best Fruit Salad:
Stir together the ingredients for the zesty fruit salad dressing in a small bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Rinse all of the fruit well in cool water. The easiest way to do this is to transfer the individual fruit to a colander and give them a good rinse. For instance, rinse the pint of blueberries, then the pint of raspberries, strawberries, etc.
Peel and chop the pineapple, ripe kiwis, and oranges, and chop the fresh strawberries. Transfer all of the fruit to a large bowl or mixing bowl.
Pour the fruit salad dressing into the bowl with the chopped fruit. Use salad tongs to toss everything together well. Be sure to toss the salad each time it is being served so that all the fruit has a nice coating of the zesty dressing.
Serve fruit salad alongside your main dish, and enjoy!
Store fruit salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
And that’s it! A lovely summer side dish your friends and family will love. Whip it up to bring to all your summer barbecues and gatherings!
This colorful salad will surely become a family favorite, as it is a great recipe for anyone who enjoys a variety of fruits. Enjoy a great fruit salad on hot days for a refreshing side.
If you’re looking for more delicious side dishes to enjoy during the warm summer months, check these reader favorites!
More Healthy Side Dishes:
- The Best Broccoli Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- The Best Potato Salad
- Creamy Roasted Garlic Hummus
- Carrot Coleslaw
- Black Bean Corn Salad
- Avocado Salad
What fruit will you put in your homemade fruit salad?
The Best Fruit Salad
Fruit Salad Ingredients:
- 2 cups pineapple chopped
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 cups strawberries chopped
- 1 large orange peeled and sectioned
- 2 cups seedless grapes optional
- 3 kiwifruit peeled and sliced
- Stir together the ingredients for the zesty fruit salad dressing in a small bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
- Rinse all of the fruit well in cool water. The easiest way to do this is to transfer the individual fruit to a colander and give them a good rinse. For instance, rinse the pint of blueberries, then the pint of raspberries, strawberries, etc. Peel and chop the pineapple, ripe kiwis, and oranges, and chop the fresh strawberries. Transfer all of the fruit to a large bowl or mixing bowl.
- Pour the fruit salad dressing into the bowl with the chopped fruit. Use salad tongs to toss everything together well. Be sure to toss the salad each time it is being served so that all the fruit has a nice coating of the zesty dressing.
- Serve fruit salad alongside your main dish, and enjoy!
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