This Fruit Salad Recipe is full of colorful fruit with a lemon vanilla glaze on top. Serve it for Easter brunch, as a side salad, or dessert!
Fruit salad is always a welcome dish at any meal from breakfast to dinner and it can be made year-round! It is great eaten fresh but adding this lemon vanilla glaze brings it to a new level.
What You’ll Find In This Post
Why You’ll Love This Fruit Salad Recipe
Everyone loves fruit salad with a bright combination of colors and flavors. Plus, in this recipe, the bite-sized pieces of fruit are coated in a sweet, tangy glaze that enhances the sweetness of the fruit. You can make this recipe year-round but it is especially popular as an Easter fruit salad and as a summer side dish for backyard barbecues and 4th of July celebrations. We love that we can make this fruit salad ahead of time and easily bring it with us to share.
Fruit Salad Ingredients
While you can technically use any fruit in this fruit salad recipe, certain ones will hold up better. Below are the ones we like using to make salads. You can swap out these choices with other fruits, but keep in mind that soft fruit such as raspberries or bananas may not hold up well. You can find the ingredients amounts in the recipe card.
- Grapes: We added both red and green grapes. To make them easier to eat in a salad, we sliced them in half.
- Berries: Both blueberries and strawberries are great choices. They are flavorful, sturdy berries that color as well!
- Melon: We love adding both cantaloupe and watermelon for color and flavor.
- Pineapple: We recommend using fresh pineapple for the best results. If you do choose to use canned pineapple pieces, be sure to drain them first.
- Glaze: For the glaze, you’ll need granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
Additional Fruit Options
- Melon: Honeydew is another great melon option to add to the salad.
- Blackberries: If you want to add more berries, blackberries are a great choice since they are sturdier than raspberries.
- Apples: Choose apples that don’t brown quickly such as ambrosia or gala apples. The vanilla lemon glaze will also help by coating the diced apples.
- Citrus: For more citrus options, try adding drained mandarin oranges or sliced oranges.
How To Make Fruit Salad
Pro Tip: Making this salad is really easy but cutting the fruit takes a bit of extra time. If you are in a hurry, buy pre-sliced fruit from the grocery store!
- Prep: Cut the various kinds of fruits into bite-sized pieces. Cube the melon and pineapple, slice the grapes in half, and quarter the strawberries.
- Combine: Put all of the fruit in a large bowl and pour the chilled glaze on top.
Lemon Vanilla Glaze
While the lemon vanilla glaze is optional, we suggest giving it a try! It adds to the sweetness of the fruit with a hint of vanilla.
- Cook: Put granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Cool: Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. All the lemon vanilla glaze to cool to room temperature and then move it to the fridge to cool completely.
Fruit Salad with Cool Whip
To make a creamy fruit salad with cool whip, skip making the glaze. Instead, fold in 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt and 2 cups of thawed whipped topping. Another popular addition to a cool whip fruit salad is one cup of mini marshmallows.
Fruit Salad with Pudding
Vanilla pudding adds a sweet touch to fruit salad instead of the glaze. For this version, whisk together one box of instant vanilla pudding and 1/2 cup of milk. Allow the pudding to set and then stir in 2 cups of thawed cool whip. Fold the mixture into the fruit until evenly coated.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
If you mix the glaze into the salad, it will last 1-2 days in the fridge. The cut-up fruit will last 2-3 days in the fridge without the glaze.
Fruit Salad Recipe FAQs
The glaze adds flavor and sweetness to the fruit salad. You can just combine the fruit if you prefer.
Yes, try using orange juice and orange zest, lime juice, and lime zest, or pineapple juice.
Yes, you can make this fruit salad ahead of time. For best results, keep the cut fruit and lemon-vanilla glaze separate until closer to serving time.
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Fruit Salad Recipe
Lemon Vanilla Glaze
- 1 cup sliced red grapes
- 1 cup sliced green grapes
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup cubed cantaloupe
- 1 cup cubed pineapple
- 1 cup cubed watermelon
Lemon Vanilla Glaze
- Stir the sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cool to room temperature and then cool completely in the fridge.
- Put all of the fruit in a large bowl, pour the chilled glaze over it, and stir to combine. Cover an store in the fridge.