Thursday, March 31, 2016

Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad

The Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad is the only recipe you'll ever need.  My entire picky family devoured this fruit salad. The dressing is truly magical. The combination of citrus juices with honey are phenomenal. Then we added a few special ingredients that give it a little nuttiness and a touch of zestiness to kick it up a notch. Perfect any-occasion dish.

Fruit salads are a pretty reliable sign of spring and warmer weather around here. We love fruit in our house, we eat it year round, but come spring our counters and refrigerator are packed with fresh fruit. I love how bright it is and love creating new dishes with it. Throughout the warmer months you will see
fruit filled cakes, fruit ice pops, fruit ice cream and even fruit cocktails (the adult kind) in our house.

This past week we had a group party at the park with Munchkin's ATA (Taekwondo) friends and I wanted to bring something light and healthy, as temps here in Arizona hit 96 this past weekend.

I could only think of bringing ice pops or fruit and I figured fruit would travel much better in 96 degree temps.  I have to say it was a brilliant decision and I am pretty sure every drop was devoured, although I can't know for sure. We did leave a little early. Chad mentioned ice cream and the next thing you know we were in the car driving to Dairy Queen. You know, priorities.  LOL

As I was saying, the fruit salad....  The very next day I decided to test the fruit salad recipe and I have to say the second recipe test resulted in my 'happy dance' AND a few pats on the back as I shouted out "I AM A GENIUS! OH MY GOSH THIS IS DIVINE!" Ok, so I guess you figured out that I love the fruit salad and you are probably wondering what is so special about it.

Tropical Fruit Salads are pretty fantastic on their own. I mean look at the players: pineapple, mango, kiwi, mandarin oranges and strawberry (for a pop of color). They can certainly pull off a fantastic dish all on their own. But, you know how well lime compliments those tropical flavors, right? What about lime, honey and ginger? They are a  true flavor affinity! Then to kick it up a notch we added in lemon and more orange. Last, for a little nuttiness I added poppyseed.

My master piece! The Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad. This is the only one you need to try.  My entire picky family devoured this fruit salad. The dressing is truly magical. The combination of citrus juices with honey and poppyseeds. The ginger gives this fruit salad a little zestiness that really kicks it up a notch, but it is subtle enough that no one will really be able to put their finger on the flavor.

Enjoy, oh and bring the recipe. People will be asking for it!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 


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Check out our favorite fruit salads:  Click on the image or the link and it will open each one in a new tab. Honey Rainbow Fruit Salad is like a party for your senses.  The orange honey dressing includes a secret ingredient that brings this salad to life!

Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad 
MAKES 12 Cups  |  ACTIVE TIME 25 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 25 Min

12 mandarin oranges, divided (for dressing and salad)
2 cup strawberries, sliced
1 pineapple, cut into bite size chunks
5 kiwi, sliced
3 mangoes, cut into bite size chunks

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
1 medium lemon
1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste or fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Wash and dry lemon, lime and 2 mandarin oranges. Zest the washed and dried citrus with a zester or fine grater. Add to 1 cup measuring cup or small bowl. Cut each in half and squeeze the juice into the measuring cup. (You should get about 1/2 cup juice).  Add honey, ginger and poppy seeds to juice mixture and whisk until combined.  Set aside or place in the refrigerator if serving later.

Prepare remaining fruit. Slice strawberries and kiwi. Section remaining oranges. Cut pineapple and mango into bite size chunks. Place fruit in a large bowl. Pour dressing on top of fruit about 30 minutes before serving. Gently toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

COOK'S NOTE:  This fruit salad is fabulous with whatever you have on hand. I love carambola (star fruit) and papaya in this salad as well. Bananas are lovely, but have to be added at the last minute or they will get soft and not look pretty.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2015 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.

Originally published 3/30/15


  1. What a gorgeous fruit salad! I love the look of the poppy seeds in it!

  2. I am going to make this but I can't have strawberry so will substitute for raspberries. That should work. They are still red. Or what about maraschino cherries, rinsed so they aren't candied and sweet. Would that work?

    1. I would go with the raspberries. It would be fantastic! Enjoy.

    2. Don't like Mandarin oranges, will substitute tangerines?

  3. What a gorgeous fruit salad!

  4. Would canned mandarin oranges work in place of the fresh oranges?

  5. If you can't get fresh mandarin oranges what would you suggest for the zest?

  6. Hello Donna and Chad, this is exactly what I love. A BIG bowl of tropical fruit salad, amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this savory recipe!

  7. This would be yummy with Pavlova!

  8. As you know I shared this on my 100+ Simple Summer Recipes Round up but I also made it this past weekend and yes, it is the Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad. Everyone loved it!!

  9. I'm not a fan of ginger. Would the dressing be okay without it, or would you suggest a substitution?

  10. I make a fruit salad that everyone raves over, I use some of the same things but I keep a jar of instant french vanilla pudding on hand. I use a teaspoon in homemade whipped cream to stabilize it a bit and I use a few teaspoons plus the seeds of a vanilla bean to make the dressing thick, creamy and luxurious.

    1. Would you mind sharing your recipe, Larya?


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