Fruit salad with pudding is an easy dessert loaded with fresh fruit swimming in a sweet and creamy pudding sauce.
If you are looking for an effortless light dessert or perfect side for your next party or special occasion, this great recipe is absolutely addicting! Best of all, this simple fruit salad can also be easily tweaked and customized to fit your tastes.
What is it?
Like a traditional fruit salad, this fruit salad recipe with pudding features a variety of fresh fruit tossed together in a sweet and creamy dressing. The best part is the vanilla pudding-based sauce that combines with the fruit juices to make a sweet and silky coating that really brings the flavor to the next level.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Instant vanilla pudding mix - You can substitute your favorite pudding flavor.
- Canned pineapple chunks - I recommend using canned pineapple rather than fresh pineapple because you will use the juice to make the pudding. You are able to substitute other canned fruit juices, like cans of fruit cocktail.
- Jarred maraschino cherries
- Ripe bananas
- Fresh strawberries
- Optional - Coconut flakes can be added for extra texture. Mini marshmallows would go well with the vanilla pudding glaze.
You can customize this easy fruit salad recipe with your favorite fruits, mandarin oranges would be a good addition in particular. I recommend sticking with pineapple chunks since you need the juice to mix with the puddle, but the remaining fruit can be customized by substituting 4 cups of your favorite fresh or frozen fruit (thawed).
How to make it
To make this delicious fruit salad with pudding recipe, begin by draining the juice from the canned pineapple into a large bowl, then add 2 tablespoons of juice from the maraschino cherry and the instant pudding mix. Whisk everything to combine.
Tip: It isn't called for in my recipe, but you could also substitute orange juice for more citrus flavor, in place of the cherry juice or in addition to it. Or you can make the pudding according to the package instructions, without juice.
Next, cut your fruit into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pudding mixture, then gently stir to combine everything.
You will notice the vanilla pudding fruit salad will seem gritty at first. This is normal. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and after sitting for 30 minutes it will become silky smooth.
Leftover pudding fruit salad can be made up to one day in advance and stored in an airtight container, or covered in plastic wrap, in your refrigerator. However, it is best to enjoy fresh because the fruit releases juice as it sits, making the pudding thin and soupy after a couple of days.
Fruit salad with pudding
- 5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 20 ounce can pineapple chunks
- 1 cup jarred maraschino cherries (drained)
- 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
- 2 bananas (sliced)
- 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- Drain pineapple juice from the can of pineapples into a bowl along with pudding powder and 2 tablespoons of juice from the maraschino cherries. Whisk everything together until combined.*
- Add fresh fruit to the bowl and gently stir everything together until the fruit is fully coated with sauce.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes then enjoy.**
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This recipe was originally published here on March 13, 2020.