Vanilla Fruit Salad

I cannot resist the glory of summertime fruit.

It’s my favorite time of year. So many amazing, sweet, juicy, wonderful options.

Vanilla Fruit Salad - The easiest fruit salad ever thanks to a secret ingredient! Make it for your next party and watch it disappear!

Every now and then my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I find myself with enough fruit on hand to open up my own grocery store.

The answer? Make fruit salad.

Vanilla Fruit Salad - The easiest fruit salad ever thanks to a secret ingredient! Make it for your next party and watch it disappear!

This lightly vanilla-kissed fruit salad is the easiest fruit salad ever. The vanilla flavor is light, but adds an extra something special to nature’s finest.

Simply sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding mix over a bowl of fruit, stir, and over time the natural fruit juices will moisten the pudding powder. Or you can add a splash of water to help it along.

The pudding mix and fruit juices make a thin coating and it’s so good. If you don’t have pudding mix in your area or are opposed to it, this probably isn’t the recipe for you.

Vanilla Fruit Salad - The easiest fruit salad ever thanks to a secret ingredient! Make it for your next party and watch it disappear!

If you’re a citrus fan, you can add a couple tablespoons of lemon or lime juice for a tangier fruit salad. I also find a tiny bit of almond extract tastes excellent.

If you’re throwing a Fourth of July party or any event, you can stir the fruit salad together the night before and let the flavors marry. One less thing to do the day of the event, and the salad tastes even better after an overnight stint in the fridge.

Vanilla Fruit Salad - The easiest fruit salad ever thanks to a secret ingredient! Make it for your next party and watch it disappear!

If you find yourself with a surplus of fruit such as cherries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cantaloupe, honeydew, or kiwi just toss everything together.

Your fruit surplus will magically disappear.

Vanilla Fruit Salad - The easiest fruit salad ever thanks to a secret ingredient! Make it for your next party and watch it disappear!

Print Print Recipe

Vanilla Fruit Salad

This lightly vanilla-kissed fruit salad is the easiest fruit salad ever. The vanilla flavor is light, but adds an extra something special to nature's finest. Pudding mix and natural fruit juices make a thin coating and it's so good. If you're a citrus fan, add a couple tablespoons of lemon or lime juice for a tangier fruit salad and I like to add almond extract, too. If you're throwing a party, you can make the salad the night before and let the flavors marry. One less thing to do the day of the event, and the salad tastes even better after an overnight stint in the fridge. If you find yourself with a surplus of fruit such as cherries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cantaloupe, honeydew, or kiwi just toss everything together. Your fruit surplus will magically disappear.

Yield: about 3 cups, recipe is easily doubled, tripled, etc.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes, or overnight

Ingredients:

3 to 4 cups fruit (I used 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries,  1 cup grapes, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup pineapple)
1 to 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix (Jell-O brand is vegan, no gelatin)
about 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, optional
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

Directions:

  1. Add fruit to a large bowl. Fruits to consider - cherries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, etc.
  2. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons instant pudding mix powder and toss to combine. Over time, the natural fruit juices moisten the pudding powder. Or help it along with a splash of water.
  3. Optionally add lemon or lime juice for a tangier fruit salad and toss to combine.
  4. Optionally add vanilla or almond extract, or both, and toss to combine.
  5. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving. I prefer to make it and refrigerate overnight because the flavors marry and the coating tastes best. Fruit salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 2 days.

50 Responses to “Vanilla Fruit Salad”

  1. Natasha — June 30, 2014 at 1:52 am (#
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    I love summer fruits and I love vanilla so this sounds delicious! I’ve never heard of pudding mix, but I’m sure I can make one from scratch to be able to make this summer treat!

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  2. Ellen — June 30, 2014 at 2:28 am (#
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    Whoa! I’m thoroughly intrigued as to how you came up with this! Pudding mix on fruit? It sounds dang tasty.

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    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    It is! :)

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  3. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — June 30, 2014 at 3:06 am (#
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    I would have NEVER thought to put pudding mix into fruit salad! I am obsessed with this idea because my hubs loves pudding, but I am always trying to get him to eat healthy things..I think this looks like a good way! Gorg photos too! Pinning :)

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks, Taylor, and I can’t remember where I saw you say in a comment on another blog this was your first Fourth of July in the US, but I ope it’s a good one! Thanks for the photography compliments and pin!

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  4. Marie @ Little Kitchie — June 30, 2014 at 3:33 am (#
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    Fruiter, summery perfection! SO creative with the pudding mix — never would have thought of that! Love it.

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  5. Paula — June 30, 2014 at 3:40 am (#
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    This looks like such a great way to get some flavor to stay on the fruit–usually the juice just pools at the bottom of the bowl. I love almond extract in almost anything sweet.
    I must try this after we finish off my latest batch of your salsa!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Oh I’m so glad you’re still nursing the salsa. I made a triple batch for out of town guests this weekend and after they had their share, I went to town on it with a fork :) And yes, the pooled juice situation. This coating is a little thicker so stays on the fruit so there’s less pooled juice I’ve found.

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  6. lisatberry — June 30, 2014 at 3:56 am (#
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    Genius pudding mix in fruit salad…who would’ve thought..I bet the vanilla factor is so good from that addition. Once again your pictures are gorgeous the fruit is so vibrant.

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  7. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine — June 30, 2014 at 4:48 am (#
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    I know what you mean by going overboard on fruit! I do the same thing all the time. When I realize I can’t finish it all, I freeze it for smoothies– it’s just so tempting when so much is in season!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I do the same with freezing for smoothies but sometimes I’m even loaded up for that, too! ha!

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  8. Melanie @ Carmel Moments — June 30, 2014 at 5:36 am (#
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    Mmm…looks lovely. Vanilla makes everything better in my opinion. Gorgeous!
    Have a marvelous week Averie!

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  9. Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — June 30, 2014 at 6:04 am (#
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    I think this would be an awesome for this weekend! Looks so healthy and delicious. :)

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  10. Mary Frances — June 30, 2014 at 6:15 am (#
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    No kidding, this is one of the easiest recipes ever! But, fresh fruit makes everything so colorful and sweet, who needs the extra ingredients? I love vanilla so adding to a fruit salad sounds amazing!

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  11. marla — June 30, 2014 at 7:10 am (#
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    Oh YES please! Love this vibrant fruity salad ~ & the touch of vanilla!

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  12. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine — June 30, 2014 at 7:44 am (#
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    YUM! Fruit salad is a summer STAPLE!!!!!!

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  13. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — June 30, 2014 at 9:46 am (#
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    I absolutely love the idea of using pudding mix!! What a genius idea. Totally doing this – and the flavor combos are staggering. Pinned!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for pinning and there’s nothing pudding mix can’t do, right :)

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  14. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 30, 2014 at 10:34 am (#
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    I love classic fruit salads so hard. They scream summer!

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  15. Katie — June 30, 2014 at 10:41 am (#
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    The colors!! So pretty! I love fruit salad. I, like you, can’t resist them at the store or the farmer’s market either. And then, suddenly, I have OODLES of fruit on hand. I usually just freeze most of it to use later or make jam, but fresh fruit is so so so much better.

    And anything with vanilla added to it is bound to better than the same thing without vanilla.

    I’ve been using this powder thickener stuff (that no one has heard of so I never blog about it) and it does something similar like the gelatin – just a light coating that makes sure that the sauce/dip/dressing stays put on the veggies. I just added it to the kale chips I made today too. Perfection!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    The powder sounds great and like a perfect find! And yes to you and me both about having oodles of produce on hand, all of a sudden, that just seemed to multiply out of no where :)

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  16. Kris — June 30, 2014 at 10:51 am (#
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    I needed this recipe last week! I took an un-doctored fruit salad to my son’s boy scout family night potluck at summer camp (since I was pretty sure none of the kids had anything healthy to eat all week!) and it was good, but this would have stepped it up to excellent. Love the idea. And yes, I join you and all the others here whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs when they see summer fruit.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    This is exactly the type of salad that’s just barely doctored up, but it is, slightly. Just enough to make it a little more special :)

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  17. Jackie — June 30, 2014 at 11:24 am (#
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    Hi Averie

    If adding almond extract along with the vanilla extract is it 1/2 teaspoon also, or do I use one or the other.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Mix and match however you see fit and based on what your tastebuds tell you to do :)

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  18. Kathleen — June 30, 2014 at 11:51 am (#
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    Totally gorgeous!

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  19. Beth @ bethcakes — June 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm (#
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    I never ever would have thought to sprinkle pudding mix over fruit, but it’s totally a genius idea! Love these super colorful and bright photos too. So pretty! :)

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  20. Valerie — June 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm (#
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    I love my refrigerator when it’s bursting at the hinges with fresh fruit (it’s so sad & empty during the winter months!). Gorgeous salad; *pinned!* Love the idea of tossing in a bit of almond extract!! Mmm… xo

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for pinning and I’m not surprised you’re an almond extract fan, too!

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  21. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — June 30, 2014 at 1:16 pm (#
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    fruit salad is my fave! this looks phenomenal!!

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  22. Julie — June 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm (#
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    Years ago I sometimes used frozen pina colada concentrate to doctor up plain fruit salad…that was delicious too but I like this lighter idea better. Will definitely try it with the partial vanilla pudding box in my pantry. As always, your photos are so vibrant and beautiful Averie! :)

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for the compliments on my images and your frozen pina colada concentrate idea sounds great to me actually! :)

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  23. Jessica @ Sweet Menu — June 30, 2014 at 2:55 pm (#
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    Fabulous idea! I just love fresh fruit salad and this one looks amazing. Love the colours – and pudding mix? brilliant.

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  24. Jaclyn — June 30, 2014 at 4:22 pm (#
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    This fruit salad looks gorgeous! I’ve been excited to see yours! And dang girl if only I were as far ahead on posts as you are :)!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I was going to make fruit pizza. Then, when I saw Sally, then you, then Kelly of Just a Taste, and Jessica, and a million other ppl all post fruit pizzas within like 2 weeks, and I had just bought all this fruit, I was like…umm…I need to do something different, so…this is what I did :) But I still want to make a fruit pizza. Next year though :)

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  25. Carol at Wild Goose Tea — June 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm (#
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    I love love summer fruit too. Beautiful salad and what a clever way to dress it.

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  26. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — June 30, 2014 at 9:37 pm (#
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    I crave tons of fresh fruit during the summer. For breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, for snacks – I want it all the time! I can’t wait to try this awesome salad! Love the vanilla touch.

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  27. Ami@NaiveCookCooks — July 1, 2014 at 9:52 am (#
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    Averie I never thought pudding mix can be used in this way too!! Gorgeous looking salad and I am crazy for all summer fruits too!

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  28. Julie — July 1, 2014 at 10:31 am (#
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    I’m definitely making this as soon as I can get to the store to get fresh fruit. It is so beautiful and looks so refreshing!

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  29. ashley - baker by nature — July 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm (#
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    I LOVE fruit salad, and this one is SO pretty, Averie! Love the pop of vanilla.

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  30. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking — July 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm (#
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    Instant vanilla pudding mix in fruit salad?? Averie, you’re a genius!! With how much fruit I always end up buying (and how my guy refuses to eat any of it), I definitely want to try this. Yum! :) And I totally thought of you the other day. I was watching a past episode of “Rewrapped” on the Food Network. (It’s a show where 3 contestants have to recreate an iconic American snack or dessert in the first round, then use it to create something [Chopped-style] in the second round.) The episode was making Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, and when one contestant put instant pudding mix in his cookie dough to make it softer, every single judge — including the baking expert — freaked out and said that was absolutely insane and they’d never ever do that themselves. With how many incredible pudding cookies you’ve made, I thought you might get a smile out of that! ;)

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Wow, love that story and the contestant probably learned that from food blogs! Seems so ‘par for the course’ with food bloggers lately!

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  31. Thalia @ butter and brioche — July 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm (#
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    yum looks so delicious and refreshing. what an interesting idea of using pudding mix. thanks for the awesome ideas.

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  32. Jocelyn@BruCrew Life — July 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm (#
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    I could easily eat my body weight of this fruit salad! :) It looks beautiful too!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks, Jocelyn! :)

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  33. Christy — April 6, 2015 at 8:48 pm (#
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    Vanilla pudding mix? I gotta try it! I usually put the Splenda sugar on strawberries only before pour them over other fruits. It was so delicious!!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I hear you with the Splenda and have done that too! The pudding mix just makes it so good :)

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  34. Tina Ellison — May 23, 2015 at 8:55 am (#
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    How long will it keep in frig?

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    A few days probably, noting that the fruit will release its juices more and more as time passes.

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  35. Charlotte — June 1, 2015 at 9:32 am (#
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    I can’t believe how many people have not heard of adding the pudding mix to fruit. My family has been making this for YEARS!!! It is delish! Thanks for sharing with everyone. :)

    [Reply]

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