If you’re craving a refreshing dish that’s both sweet and creamy, then this creamy fruit salad recipe is for you! It’s the perfect combination of canned and fresh fruits mixed with a silky smooth vanilla pudding mix for the best creamy fruit salad dressing. Trust me, it’s an old-fashioned classic you’ll love!
This creamy fruit salad is fresh, creamy, and absolutely delicious! It’s versatile enough that you can have it any time of the year but it’s especially great during the winters. Simply combine your favorite canned fruits with fruits that are in season, and mix it in cook and serve vanilla pudding for a classic combo!
Serve this delicious dessert salad with any of your favorite sandwiches or lunches this winter, and watch as your entire family enjoys it to the last bite! Trust me, it’s our new family favorite and goes with just about everything!
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
Quick and easy: No need to spend hours in the kitchen with this recipe. In just a few minutes, you can have a delicious fruit salad ready to serve. The hardest part is waiting for the pudding to cool!
Family favorite: With a super creamy texture and a variety of fruits, this salad is a hit with both kids and adults. It is a great way to get the family to eat more fruit!
Versatile: This recipe is versatile, allowing you to use canned fruits in the winter and fresh fruits during their peak seasons. You can even add or substitute your favorite fruits to make it your own.
Crowd pleaser: This old-fashioned creamy fruit salad is a crowd pleaser, perfect for parties or family gatherings. Its sweet, creamy, and fresh taste is sure to impress your guests.
Crushed Pineapple: This adds a tropical twist to your salad, and its juice will be useful for creating the creamy addition.
Peaches: These sweet, juicy fruits add a lovely soft texture to the salad and a wonderful contrast to the tartness of the pineapple.
Mandarin Oranges: These little gems add a burst of citrus flavor, making the salad more refreshing and vibrant.
Bananas: Bananas provide a creamy texture to the salad, and their natural sweetness compliments the other fruits perfectly.
Fresh Strawberries: These lend a bright pop of color and a touch of summer flavor to the salad. Their tartness balances out the sweetness of the other fruits.
Cook and serve vanilla pudding: This is what gives the salad its creamy consistency and sweet vanilla flavor. Remember to let it cool and keep it separate from the fruit if you’re preparing the salad ahead of time.
Large Bowl – After your vanilla pudding mixture has cooled, you’ll need to combine all your fruit in a large bowl. Make sure it is big enough to hold all your ingredients and allow room for mixing.
Can Opener – You’ll need this to open the cans of crushed pineapple, peaches, and mandarin oranges. While some cans come with easy-open lids, it is always good to have a can opener on hand just in case.
Stockpot – This is where you’ll be combining your juice with the cook and serve vanilla pudding. You’ll also be bringing the mixture to a boil in this pot. A stockpot is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment that’s perfect for this task because of its size and depth.
How to Make Creamy Fruit Salad
Begin by preparing your canned fruit. Drain the canned fruit well into a measuring glass and then set it aside for later use. We’ll use the drained juice to make our creamy addition so draining it out in a measuring cup makes the whole process easier!
Step 1 – Prepare the Vanilla Mixture
In a large stockpot, combine 1 ¾ cup of drained juice with the vanilla pudding mix. Stir the mixture well and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once it has boiled, remove the stockpot from the heat and allow the vanilla mixture to cool completely. This is an important step as it ensures your fruit salad has a delicious, creamy consistency. I like to make it night before, and let it chill in the refrigerator.
Step 2 – Combine Fruit and Vanilla Mixture
Now that your vanilla mixture has cooled, it’s time to combine it with your fruit. In a large mixing bowl, combine all your chosen fruit with the cooled vanilla mixture. Mix well so that all the fruit pieces are coated with the creamy vanilla mixture.
Step 3 – Serve Immediately
Your creamy fruit salad is now ready to be enjoyed! It is best served immediately to maintain the freshness and flavor of the fruit.
And there you have it – a simple yet delicious creamy fruit salad recipe that’s perfect for any occasion. Enjoy!
Properly drain the canned fruit: Before you start, make sure to drain the canned fruit properly. You can save the juice in a large measuring glass, which will make it easier to measure the juice for the creamy addition.
Allow the vanilla pudding mix to cool: Make sure you allow the creamy pudding addition to cool down completely before mixing it in with the fruits. This will guarantee a creamy, delicious consistency. Otherwise, the pudding mix can get watery and lose its creaminess.
Combine when ready to serve: If you’re preparing this salad ahead of time, keep the cooled pudding mixture separate from the fruit until you’re ready to serve. This will prevent the fruit from becoming too soggy.
Embrace seasonal additions: This fruit salad is great for winter with canned fruits, but don’t hesitate to add fresh fruits in season. It will only enhance the freshness and flavor of your dessert salad. I like to use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or even grapes when in season.
Go Tropical: If you’re a fan of tropical flavors, this variation is for you. Swap the canned peaches and mandarin oranges for fresh mango and papaya for a delicious tropical variation!
Embrace Seasonality: For those who love to use in-season produce, try adding different fruits like grapes, blueberries, and kiwis when they’re in season. This not only adds a variety of flavors and textures to the salad but also makes sure that you’re using the freshest ingredients.
Creamy berry salad: If you love berries, you can mix your favorite ones such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc for a delicious mix! It’s perfect for summer picnics.
Try it with No-Boil Pudding: If you want to save some time, use a no-boil pudding mix instead of the cook and serve variety. Simply mix the pudding with chilled fruit juices for a quick and easy creamy addition to your salad. In testing the recipe, this pudding with the chilled fruit juices doesn’t get as thick so I prefer the cook and serve. However ths instant is equally delicious thought.
Add Some Crunch: If you love a bit of crunch in your fruit salad, add some chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans. The nuts will add a delicious crunch that contrasts beautifully with the soft fruits and creamy vanilla pudding.
What to Serve With
- Looking for a light lunch option? Enjoy this fruit salad as a side dish along with a crockpot shredded chicken sandwich. This dessert salad adds a refreshing touch to your meal.
- For a fun picnic outing, pack this creamy fruit salad along with some finger sandwiches. It is an easy-to-carry and delicious treat that everyone will love.
- This creamy fruit salad can be a delicious dessert after a hearty dinner, like an instant pot venison steak. Serve it chilled for a refreshing end to your meal.
- Looking for a recipe that’s perfect for church potlucks? This fruit salad pairs wonderfully with some freshly baked croissants or muffins.
You can use a variety of canned and fresh fruits in this recipe. The recipe calls for canned pineapple, peaches, and mandarin oranges, as well as fresh bananas and strawberries. However, you can also add other fruits like grapes and blueberries, depending on what’s in season.
Yes, you can prepare the creamy vanilla pudding mixture ahead of time and keep it separate from the fruit. When you’re ready to serve, simply combine the fruit and cooled pudding mixture together.
If you don’t have cook and serve vanilla pudding, you can use a no-boil pudding mix. Simply combine the pudding mix with the chilled fruit juices.
Storing and Reheating
Refrigerate: After enjoying your salad, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can keep it for up to three days. However, this creamy fruit salad is super quick and easy to make and is best served fresh.
Freezing: Unfortunately, storing this creamy fruit salad in the freezer is not recommended. The high water content in the fruits can cause them to become mushy upon thawing, and the creamy dressing may separate and lose its smooth texture. If you’re looking for a freezer option, try this frozen fruit salad recipe.
What to Expect: This recipe makes eight servings of creamy fruit salad using a 3-ounce cook and serve vanilla pudding.
How to Scale: If you want to make more than eight servings, you can double the recipe and follow the instructions as directed. Make sure you use a bowl that’s large enough to mix the fruits with the vanilla pudding mix easily. If you don’t have one, then you can make it in two batches to get the same result.
Creamy Fruit Salad
- 8 oz Can Crushed Pineapple
- 15 oz Can Peaches
- 15 oz Can Mandarin Oranges
- 2 – 3 Bananas
- 16 Oz Fresh Strawberries
- 3 oz Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding
- Drain canned fruit into glass measuring cup. Set fruit aside.
- In a stockpot, combine 1 ¾ cup of the juice with vanilla pudding. Bring to a boil. Let cool completely in refrigerator until chilled.
- Wash and prep fresh fruit and mix in bowl with canned fruit. Set fruit aside.
- When ready to serve, combine all fruit and cooled vanilla mixture together. Serve immediately.