Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad + Video

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Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad is the only summer side recipe you’ll ever need!! My entire picky family devours this fresh fruit salad, and you will too.

titled image for tropical fruit salad


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.

Tropical Fruit Salad

We have a few special ingredients that give it a little nuttiness and a touch of zestiness to kick it up a notch.

It’s the perfect any-occasion dish, and it feeds a crowd, too.

The dressing is truly magical. The combination of citrus juices with honey is phenomenal in the fruit salad dressing. 

I love how bright it is and love creating new dishes with it.

Throughout the warmer months you will see fruit filled cakes, ice pops, fruit ice cream and even fruit cocktails (the adult kind) in our house.


Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make this fruit salad recipe!

caribbean fruit salad in white bowl

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 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 this fresh fruit salad and you are probably wondering what is so special about it.

slices of kiwi mango and strawberries in bowl


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?

Other Fruits to Add

  • This fresh 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.

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 masterpiece! The Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad. This is the only one you need to try.

lime zest and lemon zest in glass bowl, close up

My entire picky family devours this fruit salad. The dressing is truly magical. The combination of citrus juices with honey and poppy seeds.

The ginger in the dressing adds 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!

fruit salad dressing on homemade fruit salad

Helpful Tips for Making Tropical Fruit Salad

  • To make the salad ahead, prepare the dressing and store it in the refrigerator in a mason jar until 30 minutes or so before you are ready to serve.

    Shake the dressing, pour over the salad and toss to combine.

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bowl of fruit salad for a crowd

Other Easy Fruit Salad Recipes

bowl of tropical fruit salad

Tropical Fruit Salad + Video

Donna Elick
Tropical Fruit Salad is the only summer side recipe you’ll ever need! My picky family devours this fresh fruit salad and yours will too!
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 12


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

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste, or grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds


  • Prepare fruit salad dressing: 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 fruit 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 cover and refrigerate if serving more than one day later.
  • Prepare remaining fruit: Slice strawberries and kiwi. Section remaining oranges. Peel and core pineapple and peel and pit mango, and cut both into bite size chunks.
    Place fruit in a large bowl. Pour dressing on top of fruit and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.


Donna’s Notes

This fruit salad is fabulous with whatever fresh fruit 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.


Serving: 1 cup | Calories: 169cal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Sugar: 34g | Fiber: 5g | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest collage for tropical fruit salad recipe

Originally published March 2015. Updated and republished May 2021.

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  1. 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. Texture wise the raspberries will keep you in the same field.

      The Tangerines and Mandarins are in the same family but the peel makes the taste just a little different.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!

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

  5. 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.

  6. This looks so delicious, my daughter and I were just talking about fruit salad for Easter Sunday. Thank You and I hope you all have a very Happy Easter Sunday

  7. I usually use honey and lemon juice in my fruit salad. Now I know to add ginger and lime and fresh orange juice. I'm sure the ginger adds a 'pop' to it.

  8. If you coat banana slices with lemon juice, they wont turn brown. It's not enough lemon to make the fruit salad taste sour.

  9. I want to make this for a luncheon I am having for some girlfriends tomorrow. To save time, can I cut up and mix all of the fruit (mandarin oranges), strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and mangos today. Refrigerate and put the dressing on tomorrow? Or will it get "mushy"? Thanks

    1. No. If you omit the poppy seeds, all the fruit will lose its flavor. Poppy seeds help the fruits stay moist. If you make it without, it will start to shrink in size and before you know it, it will all be gone. Poof.

  10. Your ingredient list states 12 Mandarin Oranges – SPLIT for salad and dressing but the ingredient list for the dressing does NOT include mandarin oranges. Should the juice of some of the oranges be added to the dressing? How much?


  11. If using bananas after you slice them in a bowl take the juice of a half lemon and squeeze on them, this helps them from turning brown & not looking so pretty!

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