Easy and Beautiful Summer Fruit Salad

If you are looking for something new, easy and delicious to become your new go-to dish to bring to a potluck or party--boy, have I got the thing for you today! This gorgeous fruit salad with a light vanilla sauce is so easy and has only one secret ingredient to bring the whole thing together.

I am quite eager about the hunt to bring a new go-to to potluck dinners because I almost always take my favorite potato salad recipe that I have been making from scratch for years. It is SO much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store, but it takes quite a bit of time and effort to make. It is always appreciated and loved but I think there are plenty of side dishes that people make and bring that take way less effort and I have been on the hunt to try and find a couple of great options to rotate.

For example, recently my sister-in-law brought this delicious sunflower bacon crunch salad to a big family dinner and it was simply a delicious bagged salad mix she gets from Walmart. It has a finely chopped cabbage with crispy bacon bits, sunflower seeds with a sweet onion and citrus salad dressing. It took her all of five minutes to toss together and it is heavenly! She said she always brings it to potlucks and the bowl is empty with rave reviews by the end of the night. This is the moment I felt I needed to refigure things and get a couple of easier side dishes under my belt that I can bring to things that pack a lot of punch, without a lot of time or effort.

Here is the perfect recipe for just that. This is for a beautiful fruit salad with all the gorgeous colors of the rainbow that is fresh and easy to make this summer. One of the great things about it is that it is very adaptable for you to use whatever fruit you have on hand, fresh or frozen! Canned peaches, pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges all taste lovely in this salad and make the prep work even easier. 

You simply slice fruits like strawberries, grapes, kiwi and bananas and add blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. Take a can of canned pineapple chunks or canned peaches--drain one of the cans, but keep the juice set aside. Drain any other canned fruit you will be using--you only the fruit juice/syrup from one can. And here is the part with the secret, magical ingredient, which is boxed vanilla pudding mix! Add 2-3 tablespoons of vanilla pudding mix to the syrup and stir until thickened and mixed well. This vanilla pudding makes the most beautiful sauce that brings the dish all together and tastes so great, you could serve it as dessert as is! It would also be divine on top of something like pound cake, topped with fresh whipped cream or as a topping for vanilla ice cream.

Here are a few tips to make this fruit salad even better:

1. You can add the zest of a lime or lemon to this salad to bring a bright, citrus flavor if you’re into that.

2. You can use fresh, frozen or canned fruit or any combination. They all work and turn out beautifully.

3. When mixing the pudding with the sauce from the can, it will not be as thick as the normal pudding you mix, but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4. It makes a great little dish for lunches for kids at school, or grownups at work :) It can last in the fridge for up to five days, but for best results wait to slice bananas in it until right before it is served.

5. You can use sugar-free pudding mix, or any flavor you would like to try with it. It’s all very flexible to what works for you.

What is your favorite side dish to bring to a potluck? It is quite time-consuming to make or have you figured out a recipe that is easy and delicious with little effort? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Vanilla Pudding Fruit Salad

Vanilla Pudding Fruit Salad is dessert fruit salad recipe. It's easy to make and has a beautiful rainbow of fruit in an easy vanilla sauce!

Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 141


2 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cans sliced peaches (15 ounces each)
1 can mandarin oranges segments (11 ounces)
1 can pineapple chunks (15 ounces)
2 bananas, sliced
1 green apple, cored and diced
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups purple grapes
1 lime
2-3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mixes

1. Zest the lime.
2. Drain one of the cans of peaches into a large bowl. Stir 2-3 tablespoons pudding mix into the juice.
3. Drain remaining cans of peaches, mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks. (Juice is not needed for this recipe).\
4. Add all fruit and lime zest to the pudding mixture. Gently stir to combine.
5. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Source: spendwithpennies.com

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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