My version of Fruit Cocktail Salad screams deliciousness! Made with fresh or canned fruit, it’s the perfect light dessert and great for carrying to get-togethers.
You’ve probably seen multiple recipes for fruit cocktail salad, but you haven’t had the best yet. My version is made with a variety of fruits tossed in a lemon pudding sauce. It’s refreshing and oh-so satisfying.
When summer rolls around, it’s HOT! Your house may be hot from cooking up a storm, and at the end of the meal you just want a little something sweet. You have met your match!
Just enough sweetness from the fruit combined with a mild tartness from the lemon pudding make this the perfect light dessert or side dish. Not to mention, you won’t feel like you’re about to burst from eating a heavier dessert.
Simple fruit desserts are great for carrying to BBQs, gatherings, or even holidays.
What Do I Need To Make Fruit Cocktail Salad
Apples – I prefer to use apples that are crisp and not too sweet like Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp or Gala.
Bananas – I add these in right before serving. This just saves them from getting soggy too quick.
Red Seedless Grapes – For everyone’s sake, buy the seedless ones. It’s just a pain trying to eat seeded grapes. I also prefer red grapes because they are sweeter and compliment the other fruits nicely, but green grapes can be used if that’s your fave.
Canned Pineapple and Mandarin Oranges – Don’t forget to reserve the juice! You will be mixing it in with the lemon pudding.
Other Ingredients: Fresh strawberries, lemon pudding mix.
Can I Use Canned Fruit Cocktail?
Yes! You can use canned fruit cocktail in this salad. I recommend picking up an additional large can of oranges or pineapple to add with it for a canned fruit version of this recipe. You could still add fresh bananas at the end.
Be sure to NOT drain your fruit cocktail. It’s also best to use a fruit cocktail with a light syrup versus heavy. Then follow other instructions as usual.
How Do You Serve Easy Fruit Cocktail Salad?
You definitely want to serve it cold. It is best to let it chill for at least an hour before serving.
I have even served it as a topping for vanilla ice cream and yogurt- sooo good!
How To Store
Be sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It usually lasts for 2-3 days after making.
Can I use Other Pudding Flavors for Cocktail Salad?
Yes! Feel free to experiment. I’ve made this fruit salad with lemon and vanilla pudding. If you try other flavors tag me on Facebook or Instagram and let me know.
Variations of Fruit Salad
Some people prefer fruit salad to be fluffy. In that case you would mix in some Cool Whip whipped topping. You don’t have to get all technical. Just mix in a little at a time and taste as you go.
- I have seen many fruit salad recipes with marshmallows in them.
- Want some crunch? Try mixing in some pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
- If you enjoy more of a tropical flavor, add in some coconut.
Love Fruit Salads and Desserts with Fluff? Be sure to try these family favorites.
- Pistachio Pudding
- Strawberries & Cream Salad
- Fluffy Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
- Mandarin Orange Jello Salad
I’ve shared this recipe at these amazing online parties: Weekend Potluck.
Easy Fruit Cocktail Salad
- 1 15 oz can Pineapple Chunks
- 1 15 oz can Mandarin Oranges
- 16 oz fresh strawberries
- 5 cups red grapes, seedless
- 2 apples, cored
- 2 bananas
- 3.4 oz instant lemon pudding mix
- Drain the pineapple and mandarin oranges, reserving the juice.
- Wash the fresh fruits and pat dry.
- Slice the apples and bananas.
- Combine the pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, apples, bananas, strawberries, and grapes in a large bowl and stir.
- Mix the lemon pudding mix with the reserved juice and stir until the pudding mix is dissolved. Pour over the fruit mixture and stir to coat the fruits.
- Chill for an hour before serving.
- Add the bananas right before serving, if preferred.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
- Best if eaten within 2-3 days.
- Nutritional information is provided as a reference using an online calculator. We recommend independently verifying the information.