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April 9, 2024

Fruit Salad

Juicy, sweet and oh-so-colorful, there’s nothing like fresh fruit salad! Our favorite fruit salad recipe gets a serious burst of sweetness from a light orange-mint dressing, too!


homemade fruit salad mixed with an orange juice dressing and mint leaves on a platter on the counter
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Fruit Salad Recipe, Period.

Whether you’re heading to a summer BBQ or just looking to brighten up your brunch table, a fresh fruit salad is always a welcome addition. Fruit salad is a sure-win side dish that truly goes with most any meal, and leftovers will keep pretty well in the fridge for at least a day or two—ahem, healthy after school snack, anyone? Fresh, light, healthy and most of all really really yummy, our fruit salad recipe is here to knock everyone’s socks off!

Cantaloupe, Pineapple , Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwis, Brown sugar, Mint, Orange & Vanilla in bowls for making fruit salad

Everything You’ll Need to Make Our Easy Fruit Salad Recipe

Fresh fruit is the key, of course, to making a great fruit salad! Your fruit salad recipe could be the best in the world—and obviously we think that this one is the best—but nothing can save your fruit salad from being made from less-than-awesome fruit. Hit up the farmers market! Or, if it’s summertime, go u-picking! Get the very best melon and berries you possibly can. You want ripe, juicy, sweet fruit plucked at its peak. And you know what? Even though this is our very favorite combination of fruits for fruit salad, if you cannot find a good pineapple to save your life, leave it out! Ditto for any of the other fruits! Don’t toss in something that’s only OK—instead, skip it and make up for the missing fruit by doubling down on the awesome, ripe, sweet fruit that you can find. Here’s what’s in our perfect, simple fruit salad recipe:

  • Cantaloupe

  • Pineapple

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Kiwis

  • Brown sugar

  • Mint

  • Orange

  • Vanilla

chopped Cantaloupe, Pineapple , Strawberries, Blueberries and Kiwis in sections on a platter for making fruit salad

Is a Fruit Salad Healthy?

Duh, right? Yeah, fruit salad is healthy! It’s fruit! And our fruit salad recipe doesn’t have any cream, or pudding or Cool Whip—no offense meant to those retro fruit salad additions, though, but they do make fruit salad rather less healthy. So, ours is really just fruit! And fruit is so incredibly healthy! Mom called it nature’s candy (or was that just our mom?) and she was right! Fresh fruit in season is the absolute best way to indulge your sweet tooth with wild abandon. Have a giant heaping bowl of this beautiful salad, and feel good about that choice. Fruit is loaded with vitamins and fiber and all the good things. Good for you!

orange juice being poured into a bowl with orange zest, brown sugar and vanilla for orange dressing to go on fruit salad
orange zest, orange juice brown sugar and vanilla mixed in a bowl for orange dressing to go on fruit salad

The Best Fruit Salad Dressing. Or, Should We Say Fruit Salad “Dressing”?

Like we said, our fruit salad is all about keeping things simple and keeping the focus right where it should be—on the fruit! So our fruit salad dressing is simple as can be! No cream or whipped topping or Jell-O or marshmallows in the mix here. Fresh orange serves a dual purpose here—to add lovely flavor, of course, but also to keep the fruit looking fresh and bright and vibrant. The acidic citrus juice will help those yellows and oranges stay bright bright bright, and the orange zest adds just the right amount of extra something to the mix. Mint is optional, but actually we think you should add it. Take the option! Add the mint! It’ll make your fruit salad really stand out. OK, so, the dressing. You’ll just mix together:

  • Orange zest

  • Orange juice

  • Vanilla

  • A little brown sugar

  • Fresh mint

chopped Cantaloupe, Pineapple , Strawberries, Blueberries and Kiwis in sections on a platter for making fruit salad

How Do You Make Simple Fruit Salad?

Like all great salads of the world, this one is all about doing some good prep work. Once the recipe is prepped, you’re pretty much done! Sharpen your best knife and break out the cutting board. Here’s how to make fruit salad:

  1. Hull the strawberries, and as you do, toss them into a colander.

  2. Dump the blueberries in there, too, and give everything a good rinse.

  3. Attack that cantaloupe and pineapple next. Cut the cantaloupe in half, scoop out the goop and carefully remove the peel. Cut it into bite-sized pieces. Ditto for the pineapple! If the core is super tough, cut it out.

  4. Kiwis last, because they’re easiest. Peel (we usually just remove the peel with a knife) and slice.

  5. Everything into a big beautiful bowl. Top with the fruit salad dressing and a little mint. Mix gently and serve.

chopped Cantaloupe, Pineapple , Strawberries, Blueberries and Kiwis in on a platter topped with mint and orange dressing

Tools You’ll Need

More Summer Side Dish Recipes to Try

fruit salad Cantaloupe, Pineapple , Strawberries, Blueberries and Kiwis mixed with mint and orange dressing on a platter

Tutti Fruit-y!

Please the crowds! Bring fruit salad! You know everyone’s always glad to see that big, rainbow of a salad on the table. We hope this one is a big hit for you! When you make it, we’d love to hear about it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Fruit Salad

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 90



  • 1 pound cantaloupe, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced or quartered
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 or 4 kiwis, peeled and sliced

Fruit Salad Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest and juice, vanilla, and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle the juice mixture over the fruit and gently toss it all together to coat the fruit.

  3. Sprinkle with mint leaves before serving, if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories90
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates22 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium16 mg
  • Total Sugars17 g

Fruit Salad

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Abbey

    Is this something you can make the night before?

    Totally! The fruit will cause a lot of juice sitting in the fridge over night that's not bad just something to keep in mind that it might change the look of the presentation.

  • Deana

    This looks wonderful! However, I have develped an allergy to kiwi fruit. What would you suggest for a replacement? I absolutely love your site & recipes!

    Thank you Deana! We are so happy you love our recipes, that is always great to hear! Feel free to sub any kind of fruit you enjoy for the kiwis, peaches or nectarines would probably be delicious!

  • CassieMolassie

    Made as specified, but only 1 tb of brown sugar. Super yummy!

    Thanks Cassie, glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    The dressing on this is everything. Next level, thanks for this simple stunning recipe!

    Thank you Jenn, glad you love it!