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This refreshing fruit salad is perfect as a side dish or a healthy dessert…and it has a secret ingredient that might surprise you! Perfect for summer, this fruit salad will win your backyard barbecues and picnics.

It’s summertime, and that means an abundance of fresh fruit just waiting to be turned into an amazing fruit salad! It’s the perfect summer side dish for backyard BBQs, picnics, and potlucks because it requires no cooking, just some cutting up and mixing in a bowl. Pair it with some of our other summertime favorites like BLT Turkey Wraps, Classic Macaroni Salad, and Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad.

close up of fruit salad in a bowl with a vanilla pudding fruit salad dressing

This refreshing summer fruit salad recipe has tons of your favorite fresh fruit and a secret ingredient – Vanilla Pudding Mix! The dry mix is sprinkled on top of the fruit and combines with the juices to create a delicious sauce the covers each bite. Everyone loves it and is surprised when I tell them how to make it. I almost feel guilty because it’s so easy!

How to Make Fruit Salad

So to make this fresh fruit salad, you need lots of fresh fruit! There is just something about fresh fruit that is so beautiful, isn’t there?

You can totally use the fruits that I did, or you can choose your favorites and just use those. There is no right or wrong way to make this easy fruit salad!

Some of my favorite fruits to include in fruit salad are:

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Melon
  • Mandarin oranges

The key is to pick juicy fruits because to make that luscious fruit salad dressing, you’re going to sprinkle on some vanilla pudding mix. When it hits those fruits the juices come out even more and they combine with the dry pudding mix to form a delicious fruit salad dressing that will surprise you by just how delicious it actually is!

I also like to take into account the color and pick a variety of colors the represent the rainbow.

cut up fruit in a bowl for fruit salad

fruit salad in a bowl with vanilla pudding mix

How do you keep fruit salad fresh?

Fruit salad will stay at its optimum freshness for at most a day or two. To help it stay fresher longer, cut the fruit into larger chunks. The fruit will get mushy quicker if it’s in smaller pieces. Also, make sure there is no water on the fruit that could add unwanted liquid to the dish.

Prolong Freshness with Lemon Juice

To keep your cut fruit fresher longer, try tossing it with a little bit of lemon juice. The citric acid will help prevent oxidization and keep your salad fresh for up to three days. A little lime juice and lime zest works too.

How long will this fruit salad last?

Store your fruit salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Stir it up each time you serve to redistribute the dressing and you’re ready to serve.

Do I have to use pudding mix?

The pudding mix is what creates the dressing that coats the fruit salad. You can also just chop up your fruit and mix it in a large bowl and call it good!

fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding - a grape and strawberry on a spoon

More Fresh Fruit Salad Recipes

close up of kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes with fruit salad dressing.

Summer Fruit Salad

4.47 from 13 votes
This refreshing fruit salad is perfect as a side dish or a healthy dessert...and it has a secret ingredient that might surprise you! Perfect for summer, this fruit salad will win your backyard barbecues and picnics.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 5 servings


  • 5 cups fresh fruit cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoon dry Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix


  • Place fruit in a medium sized bowl.
  • Sprinkle dry pudding mix on top and stir gently to coat each piece.
  • Refrigerate for at least two hours, or up to overnight.


Make sure and pick juicy fruits so that they activate the pudding mix.


Calories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 49mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 4gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 716IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cut fruit, fruit salad

Fruit salad recipe with fruit salad dressing collage of images summer fruit salad recipe with fruit salad dressing title text

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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    1. To be honest I haven’t tried that, but you could try it. The quick mix is really inexpensive so it’s my go-to.

  1. You are a genius! The instant pudding mix gives that little bit of extra sweetness without a lot of liquid!

  2. I want to prepare this fruit for a couple of days will it get soggy after I add the dry pudding mix

    1. Do you mean a couple of days ahead of time? Fruit releases liquid the longer it sits so yes it will get soggy after a while.

  3. Made this fruit salad for the first time. My husband took it to his job for a small party. They LOVED it!!! I wondered about the vanilla pudding but it made the fruit even more tasty. Now the nurses require it at every get together.

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