HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Dressing for fruit salad?

Besides whipped cream, do any of you toss your fruit salads with anything? Any kind of sauce or dressing?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For a basic fruit salad, I'm partially to a little honey, if the fruit needs a touch of sweetness, a squeeze of citrus, lemon or lime, and some Gran Marnier. The fruit will release it's own juices, that's all the dressing I need.

    1. Sometimes I'll use yogurt, a little honey, orange rind.

      1. Hello, VeniVidiBitchy.

        Fruit salad seems so simple, doesn't it?

        I usually have it with just a squeeze of orange juice (provided my fruit is perfectly sweet, fragrant and delicious).

        But the best one I've ever eaten was straight from the fridge with a light sugar syrup dressing. ie. a little boiled up sugar and water. Simple as that.

        There was something of the ambrosia about that cold sweetness mixed with the very small fruit pieces and the inclusion of firm black and white grapes cut in half. They "popped" in your mouth perfectly.

        Bon appetit!

        1. Yogurt and brown sugar.

          1. This is my own creation that I came up with for a Christmas party way back in 1985. I've shared it here before, and it works great as a dip for fresh fruit on a buffet or as a dressing for fruit salad.

            1 pint of sour cream
            1 rounded tablespoon of newly crushed coriander seeds.
            1 rounded tablespoon of creamed horseradish
            1 rounded tablespoon of sugar

            I crush my coriander with a mortar and pestle, but I'm sure an electric spice grinder will work too. Combine all of the ingredients, mix well, cover and put in the refrigerator to age for at least an hour before serving. I know. It sounds like a bizarre mixture, but try it! You'll like it! '-)

            1. I like to toss a strawberry/blueberry fruit salad with some balsamic vinegar and a touch of sugar, and a strawberry/banana fruit salad with a light coating of strawberry yogurt.

              1. Creme fraiche and maple syrup
                Combine some sugar and fresh mint in a mortar and pestle or mini food processor

                1. A simple syrup flavored with spices appropriate to the fruit is a nice dressing. For citrus, I like to flavor the syrup with cardamom; vanilla bean, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, also come to mind as good flavorings for simple syrup to use over fruit.

                  1. If the fruit is particularly sweet, I like to use plain yogurt, just a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a little orange or lime zest and a grind of black pepper. If it needs more sweetness, I may add some citrus juice or fresh pureed fruit to yogurt or sour cream like fresh pineapple, peaches, or cantaloupe.

                    1. I make a simple syrup and steep fresh ginger in it for 20 minutes or so. Great on fruit, in iced tea, or just to flavor some water.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mamueller

                        I do this with lemongrass or rosemary. Delicious!

                      2. Filipino fruit cocktail is dressed with blended condensed milk and cream cheese for a sort of cheesecake flavor and tossed with shredded young coconut and brightly colored agar for textural contrast andcolor.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JungMann

                          I think I might get a kiss for a version of this. Which fruits do you like best?

                          1. re: just_M

                            I've always had it made with Del Monte's fruit cocktail, which I never liked. If I were to make it from scratch, I would use pineapples, cantaloupe, coconut sport strings or nata de coco (fermented coconut water), maraschino cherries and strawberries.

                            1. re: JungMann

                              Thanks JungMann. Your fruit choices sound delish. Now to find nata de coco. Thankfully I'm off to the big city in a few days, they've got everything :-)

                        2. Just my opinion. Everyone has one, this is just mine.

                          I think it's a travesty to "dress" a fruit salad. Once in a while, a squeeze of lime is nice, but for me, I think summer fruits are perfect by themselves. Seriously, perfect. My parents tend to use a little oj on their fruit salads, and it just soggs everything up. Summer fruits are just perfectr all by themselves. No reason to do anything to them. It's easy enough to leave perfect alone. IMO adding a dressing is actually one of those things where it takes more effort to ruin something than to just let the fruit shine through on its own.

                          Again, just my opinion. It's a very strong opinion too.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: gordeaux

                            While I tend to agree with you, it all depends on the fruit. Sometimes it's just not sweet enough as is so a little simple syrup does bring out the flavors. I make the syrup out of the fruit juice that I'm dressing spiced up with whatever strikes my fancy.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Also, not all fruit salads are made in the summer. A light honey-spiced dressing for say, citrus fruits, is nice.

                              And right now I have a mint-infused simple syrup that I love so much I'm drizzling it on pretty much everything. Perfect for those not-quite-ripe-enough strawberries. A little sweetener can also help balance tart fruits like blackberries, grapefruit or pineapple.

                          2. I've been tossing my mango/pineapple with lime juice, cayenne and rough chopped cilantro lately.

                            Also like strawberries with mint & lime.

                            Have also made a yogurt/honey/lime/crystallized ginger dressing that was quite good.

                            Grapes or strawberries with sour cream & brown sugar is tasty, too.

                            1. Anyone have a curry dressing for it? I had one once it was so good. Also an orental dressing would be good also.

                              I just do oj and honey. Sometimes add some poppyseeds.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: katz66

                                I just made a recipe from The Steamy Kitchen a few days ago. It's basically coconut milk, milk, water, and tapioca. I wound up tweaking the recipe because it was far too thin for our tastes, but it was delicious with mango and cantalope. Kiwi, banana and strawberry would also be good.

                                We also like a cold custard sauce on fresh fruit. Or fruit over vanilla ice cream.

                                Lastly, I think my favorite 'dressing' is frozen strawberry sauce. Remember the strawberries they used to sell in the little cartons (frozen)? Now, because I can't find them anymore, I puree some fresh strawberries, slice the rest, add a little sugar and water and freeze myself. They are best not completely defrosted so there are little ice crystals mixed in. Heaven.

                              2. For me it's citrus juice first to minimize browning -- orange if the fruit needs additional sweetness, lemon or lime if it's already sweet enough and could benefit from brightness. Then I pour on some Chambord and fresh basil.

                                Not much. It's the flavor and colors of the fruit that make fruit salad appealing to me. I just want a note of complexity and the alcohol to carry the aroma to full effect.

                                1. i used to dress for my fruit salad, but now the honeymoon is over and i just wear any old thing

                                  1. My favorite combo for an elegant fruit salad is to mix a little sugar into fresh blueberries, sliced kiwi, and halved seedless green grapes. They exude enough juice to make the fruit glisten like gems.

                                    A since-closed Indian place I loved included a salad in their lunch buffet. It was melon, apple, grapes, sweet onion, cucumbers, and IIRC, bell peppers. The dressing was either white or rice vinegar, sweetened. I imagine they considered this a chaat. At first I thought the idea was odd but once I tasted it, I always had it when I ate there. I make it myself on occasion, but notice that it is best when fresh. After a couple of days in the fridge the flavors are no longer distinct and bright.

                                      1. I have been using this for over 30 years: Blend 6-8oz. yogurt with a ripe banana. Add flavoring if desired to taste: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom -- whatever goes best with your fruit combination. Since I make my own yogurt, I add Mexican vanilla extract for that little zip. The lactic acid in the yogurt keeps the fruit from browning and the banana adds the sweetness. I was looking for a healthier version of that Southern favorite, ambrosia. I use whatever fruits I have on hand: pineapple, mandarin oranges or fresh tangerines, apple, banana, grapes, mango, melon, various berries. It all depends on what is in season, or in my frig/pantry. I do like to add coconut.
                                        The original recipe came from a little booklet I found in the produce section of my grocery store back in 1978. It called for commercial vanilla yogurt and other ingredients. I wanted something I could have that wouldn't have additional sugar. So I came up with my own version.

                                        1. sounds completely bizarre, but it actually worked...

                                          My great-grandmother used to sprinkle fruit salad with instant vanilla pudding powder, especially if the fruit wasn't as sweet as she would have liked.

                                          A little bit of sweet, a little bit of creamy, and a little bit of vanilla.

                                          Yes, it sounds white-trash...but her fruit salad was famous.

                                          1. Poppy-seed dressing is pretty popular in the south. I would only do a homemade one though. It's good on a salad with romaine, strawberries and avocado, too!

                                            1. Like a few others here, I tend to stick with just a bit of good honey and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice... maybe some touch of vanilla and cinnamon, depending on the fruit. My wheatberry kick found its way into a bowl of fruit last night, comprised of Pinata apple, sliced grapes, and sea salt toasted almonds. Just a bit of raw honey, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, and topped with a touch of Devon cream... MMmmm! The only other "condiment" I'll top fruit with is yogurt.

                                              1. Copycat Kraft Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

                                                3/4 cup granulated sugar
                                                1 tsp dry mustard
                                                1 tsp poppy seed
                                                1 tsp salt
                                                1/3 cup cider vinegar
                                                1 1/2 tbsp fresh onion juice* (see note)
                                                1 cup corn oil

                                                In a small bowl with electric beater at low speed,
                                                mix together sugar, mustard, poppy seed and
                                                salt. Add vinegar and onion juice.
                                                With beater at medium speed, beat for 3 minutes;
                                                gradually beat in oil in a thin steady stream
                                                until thick.
                                                Store in a tightly covered container in the
                                                refrigerator. Serve over fruit salad.
                                                Makes 1 pint.

                                                *Note: To make fresh onion juice, cut a small
                                                onion in half, leaving the skin on. Use a
                                                hand juicer to extract the onion juice.

                                                Source: Cecily Brownstone, Associated Press Food Editor;
                                                Nevada Daily Mail newspaper, Dec 31, 1985

                                                1. Pink or peach champagne depending on the fruit salad; and adding in about 10 mins before serving.
                                                  Port or merlot with a bit of freshly ground pepper
                                                  A slice of honey comb is delicious just placed over fresh ripe fruit
                                                  I love poppy seed dressing on melon
                                                  No dressing on berries...maybe a splash of good quality balsamic
                                                  Often I grill fruit to enhance the sugars rather than add sugar to it


                                                  1. A simple syrup using some of the fruit juice of the fruit in the salad works well. For instance if citrus is the primary fruit, oranges and grapefruit for example, a simple syrup using orange, graoefruit and lemon juice makes a good dressing. Add some orange and lemon zest (skip the grapefruit zest, too bitter) and some toasted shredded coconut too. (Classic ambrosia salad).

                                                    1. During Ramadan we usually have fruit chaat at home for breaking the fast. Fruit chaat is the Pakistani or North Indian fruit salad. It is also a street food. It is a medley of bite size fruit dressed in spicy sweet and sour sauce. The dressing I make for it is orange juice, lime juice, sugar, salt, roasted cumin powder, mango powder, black pepper, black salt, and a tiny pinch of red chile powder. The fruit medley includes apples and bananas as well as guavas, fresh pomegranite seeds, and whatever I can find on hand.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: luckyfatima

                                                        My goodness, this sounds divine. I will have to try this soon. Thank you!

                                                      2. Because it's what I grew up on, fruit salad to me has always meant tossed in mayo and a little orange juice.
                                                        I had no idea that what mom was making was really just a faux Waldorf - grapes, banana, mandarin oranges (etc) added to the apples, but no celery, nuts or lettuce.
                                                        Anything else was just a fruit cup.

                                                        1. Ok, I will admit it...I still love the stuff from the 70's...one jar of marshmallow fluff blended into 8 oz. of soft cream cheese.
                                                          Otherwise, I just mix up a bunch of fruit and eat it plain. Or sugar some strawberries and let them sit till it's syrupy, and throw in melon, bananas, whatever is in season.

                                                          1. A drizzle of honey, a dash of cinnamon, and a handful of freshly toasted sliced almonds. Toss to coat evenly.

                                                            1. juice of 2 oranges
                                                              juice of 1 lemon

                                                              1. Yogurt Fruit Salad Dressing

                                                                3/4 cup Vanilla Yogurt
                                                                1/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)

                                                                Mix well. I also use it on carrot and celery sticks
                                                                and on packaged broccoli slaw.

                                                                Alton Brown has something similar but with
                                                                a few more ingredients.

                                                                Alton Brown's Vanilla Dressing for fruit salad

                                                                1/2 cup plain yogurt
                                                                1/4 cup mayonnaise
                                                                1 teaspoon lemon juice
                                                                1 teaspoon honey
                                                                1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                                                                1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
                                                                Freshly ground black pepper

                                                                In a small mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt,
                                                                mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey, vanilla extract and salt.
                                                                Season with pepper, to taste. Set aside.

                                                                1. Chestnut honey, lime juice and poppyseeds.