Easy Fruit Salad

5 from 22 votes

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This Easy Fruit Salad with Cool Whip is the perfect side for a picnic, party, or just a busy weeknight supper. Add any fruit you have on hand for a deliciously refreshing dish!

Blackberry Fruit Salad in a white bowl with a fork on the side.
Featured With This Recipe
  1. Fruit Salad with Cool Whip and Pudding
  2. Fruit Salad Ingredients
  3. Make It Your Own
  4. Fruit Salad Dressing
  5. Tips and Variations for Fruit Salad with Cool Whip
  6. More Delicious Fruit Salad and Jello Recipes
  7. How to Make Fruit Salad
  8. Easy Fruit Salad Recipe

Fruit Salad with Cool Whip and Pudding

Looking for the perfect side dish that’s both refreshing and versatile for these hot summer months? Look no further than this delicious, creamy Fruit Salad with Cool Whip! Whether you’re planning a summer picnic, hosting a party, attending a potluck, or simply need a quick and tasty summer side dish, this easy-to-make fruit salad recipe is a crowd-pleaser. You can customize it with any fruit you have on hand, making it a delightful way to use up those extra fruits and berries before they go bad. The creamy Cool Whip dressing gives it a dessert-like touch, making it a hit with both kids and adults.

Fruit Salad Ingredients

This salad is ideal because you can literally throw in any fruit you have on hand. It’s really up to you what ingredients you want to add or take out (see more options below), but for reference here’s what we typically add to our fruit salad:

  • Crushed pineapple – pineapple tidbits will work too. Just don’t drain the juices because it adds a ton of flavor to the dressing.
  • Sliced strawberries – fresh works best, but you can use thawed frozen berries too.
  • 3 bananas, sliced – I use extra bananas sometimes because they’re my kids’ favorite, and I love that they’re getting some added potassium.
  • Grapes – I like to keep these whole but you can slice them in halves.
  • 1 large can of mandarin oranges – you can peel and use fresh orange segments too for added Vitamin C. But the mandarin oranges are so easy to use in this great recipe.
  • Blackberries or raspberries – blueberries work great too!

Make It Your Own

When it comes to creating a delicious fruit salad with Cool Whip, the options are endless! While personal preferences and seasonal availability can play a role in your fruit choices, here are some fruit ideas that pair well with Cool Whip in a fruit salad:

  1. Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries add vibrant colors and a burst of sweetness.
  2. Citrus Fruits: Oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, and tangerines bring a refreshing tanginess to the salad.
  3. Tropical Fruits: Pineapple chunks, mango, kiwi, and papaya lend a tropical twist and juicy flavors.
  4. Stone Fruits: Peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots provide a luscious texture and sweet juiciness.
  5. Melons: Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon add a cool and refreshing element to the salad.
  6. Grapes: Green, red, or black grapes offer a delightful burst of sweetness and a juicy texture.
  7. Apples and Pears: Crisp apple slices and juicy pear chunks add a pleasant crunch and mild sweetness.
  8. Bananas: Sliced bananas bring a creamy texture and natural sweetness to the salad.

Remember, the beauty of fruit salad is its versatility, so feel free to mix and match your favorite fruits or use what you have on hand. Be sure to choose fruits that are ripe, fresh, and at their peak for the best flavor and texture in your fruit salad.

Fruit Salad Dressing

Now for the best part, the delicious dressing! The key ingredient here is instant pistachio or vanilla pudding mix. Mixed with the crushed pineapple and juices, along with a tub of regular Cool Whip. The pudding gives this dressing a rich, creamy texture, and a beautiful whipped topping consistency. Here’s how to get just the right texture:

  1. Mix the dry instant pudding mix into a bowl with the crushed pineapple and juices.
  2. Next, gently fold in the Cool Whip. 
  3. Pour over the sliced fruit and fold it all together. 
  4. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving. It doesn’t keep as well the next day, especially if you add bananas or other fruit that can brown or get soggy.
Blackberry fruit salad in a white dish and blue striped napkin on the side.

Tips and Variations for Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

  • We use a regular tub of Cool Whip, but you can use the sugar free or fat free version too, and it tastes delicious!
  • You can also use heavy whipping cream. Whip it up before adding the pudding and sliced fruit.
  • Use up fresh fruit from your refrigerator, or incorporate frozen fruit too.
  • Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries can be quite pricey, especially when they’re not in season, so use a few of each of these, then use apples, pears, bananas, grapes and other cheaper fruits to give this salad a bit more bulk.
  • Add pecans, nuts, raisins, craisins, or coconut flakes for extra texture and flavor.
  • Make a tropical salad by using fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut, maraschino cherries, and bananas instead of other berries.
  • Stir in 1 cup mini marshmallows to make it more of a fluff salad – kids love these!
  • Feel free to use any flavor of the pudding mix to change up the flavor. We’re partial to pistachio, but vanilla, lemon or any other flavor would taste terrific!
  • Add a dash of lemon juice to the dressing for an extra zing.
  • Having a hard time getting fresh fruit? Try adding canned fruit or canned fruit cocktail to the mix!
  • For an extra thick sauce or dressing, mix in a few spoonfuls of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, room-temperature cream cheese, or sour cream. Cottage cheese would add a nice flavor and texture too and will give you an extra boost of calcium. It’s practically a healthy food!
Close up view of blackberry fruit salad with fresh strawberries and blackberries on top.

More Delicious Fruit Salad and Jello Recipes

Try some of these delightfully simple and scrumptious salad recipes and watch your kids devour all that healthy goodness.

How to Make Fruit Salad

Close up view of blackberry fruit salad with fresh strawberries and blackberries on top

Easy Fruit Salad

5 from 22 votes
This Easy Fruit Salad is the perfect side for a picnic, party, or just a busy weeknight supper. Add any fruit you have on hand for a deliciously refreshing dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • 3.4 ounces instant pistachio pudding mix you can use vanilla if you’d like
  • 15 ounces crushed pineapple don’t drain
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 2 pounds strawberries sliced
  • 3 bananas sliced
  • 1 pound grapes
  • 16 ounces mandarin oranges
  • 12 ounces blackberries or raspberries

More options:

  • sliced peaches
  • blueberries
  • huckleberries


  • Mix pudding mix and crushed pineapple in a large bowl.
  • Add Cool Whip and mix well.
  • Fold in the fruit.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 3gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 25mgPotassium: 495mgFiber: 5gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 540IUVitamin C: 78mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 0.7mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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    1. Yes you can use Fruit cocktail . Also use ready made pudding .
      Done it 2x’s for picnic’s. Add mini marshmallows !

    1. It thickens up the salad and gives it a good flavor– I have never made it without. It wouldn’t taste the same without it :/

  1. Question…do you make the pudding first (like with the milk and mix) then add the cool whip and pineapple?