A fruit salad is the perfect side dish for many occasions. In this post, we’ll share tips for how to make fruit salads that people will LOVE, tips for picking and preparing the fruit, as well as a delicious fruit dip recipe.
Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
Fruit salad is a great dinner side dish, and it’s also the perfect dish to take to a cookout, family gathering, or summer event. And it’s even better when you have the best dip ever to go with it!
After seeing the popularity of our post on how to make a veggie platter it only made sense to talk about a fruit salad next! Here is some information on how to make a guaranteed side dish for any occasion.
What can I include in a fruit salad?
You can put almost any fruit into a salad, but it’s good to plan in advance to make sure you have a variety of colors and textures. At the end of the article I’ll list both fruits that are great, and not so great, for fruit salads.
Color variety helps make the salad more attractive. Think about a rainbow and try to bring in a fruit from each color to make an appealing salad. A few favorites are strawberries, grapes, bananas, and apples. Depending on season, you can add watermelon, kiwi, blueberries, or raspberries.
Fruits like peaches and nectarines don’t work as well because they are slippery and change color very quickly. While the discoloration doesn’t change the flavor, it isn’t as attractive. Bananas and apples technically fall into this category, but because they’re a fan favorite, especially with kids, they’re a great fruit to include in the salad. And they’re low cost, which is always a bonus!
How do I know my melons are ripe and tasty?
Melons, especially watermelon, are a hit in a summer salad, but if you don’t get a good one, it’s such a disappointment! Here are three tips that will guide you to a good melon.
First, look for a yellow spot, especially on a watermelon. A yellow spot indicates the fruit is ripe, and ripened naturally on the vine. The yellow spot develops as the fruit sits on the ground for a long time. A few scratches or lines aren’t usually a bad sign, but can be from the fruit growing on the ground and getting scratched or marked as it grew.
Second, tap the fruit with your knuckle. A hollow, deep sound indicates the fruit inside is ripe and ready. A dull, flat sound indicates it’s not.
Third, when you pick up, it should feel heavy for it’s size. If you’re unsure, pick up a few and see how they feel. By touching several, you’ll get a better feel for what is heavier and lighter. Cantaloupe and honeydew should be firm and as with all fruit, make sure it’s free of bruises and soft spots.
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Can I prepare the fruit salad in advance?
Because most fruits have to be cut before being added to the salad, it’s best to prepare the salad pretty soon before serving it.
If you need to make it in advance, rinse and prepare the separate fruits and keep them separate until you put them in the serving bowl or platter. Blueberries, grapes, kiwi, and melons will hold their flavor longer, so if it must be prepared in advance, try to use these fruits.
Fruits like watermelon may give off some juice, so drain them before combining with other fruits. Bananas and apples should not be prepared and added to the salad until the last minute because of their likelihood to turn brown and soft.
What makes a fruit salad great?
Try to keep in mind three things when you plan a salad.
First, who are you preparing this for? Kids? Adults? A big group?
Kids want foods like grapes, sliced for safety, apples, and bananas.
Adults will appreciate fruits like blueberries, raspberries and kiwi more than most kids.
If you’re feeding a crowd, plan to use in season fruits because they’re readily available, and lower cost than when they’re out of season.
In the summer, watermelon and other melons are great for stretching a salad. Bananas, apples and grapes are great low-cost additions that everyone can enjoy.
Second, try to keep the fruit pieces a uniform size. Some fruits like melons tend to be bigger than apples, but uniformity will make your salad look more appealing.
Also, leave bananas big because they tend to dissolve, and if you slice them small, they’ll dissolve and disappear, leaving your other fruits with a banana residue that is unattractive.
Third, include a variety of textures and colors. Like I mentioned above, include a rainbow of colors for an appealing salad. Include a variety of textures, from soft bananas to crunchy cantaloupe and the salad will be a hit!
What can I serve with the salad?
A good fruit salad will be amazing on its own, but preparing a dip will make it everyone’s favorite side.
It makes for a great side at any BBQ or potluck!
Easy Fruit Dip Recipe
What is a fruit salad without a fruit dip?! The simplest recipes are often the best, and people always love them.
Fruit Salad Instructions
- Plan for about half a cup to a cup of fruit per person.
- Rinse and prepare each fruit, peeling if necessary.
- Chop and slice fruits to larger bite size pieces.
- Toss fruit in bowl or arrange by type, as you prefer.
- Serve with dip, if desired.
Best Fruits for Fruit Salad
- Red apples
- Honeydew melon
- Green apples
- Green grapes, sliced if feeding kids
- Purple grapes
“Not Best” Fruits for Fruit Salad
- Dried fruit
I hope that this guide to “How to Make Fruit Salad” will make your next fruit salad attempt the best yet!