This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This Fruit Salad Recipe is filled with delicious fresh fruit and topped with a simple lemony vanilla syrup as a dressing. Make in advance or serve immediately. Delicious for a snack, dessert, or potluck.
Fruit Salad Recipe | With Lemon Syrup
Fruit Salad is one of those things that in theory is really easy to make but when push comes to shove, there are those who make GREAT fruit salads and those who don’t. Use this recipe and simple guidelines to create unforgettable fruit salads! It’s easier than you think.
Main Ingredients Needed
One of the best things about fruit salad is that you can use any combination of fruit that you’d like! Make it tropical or festive for Christmas. Today I’m using fresh fruit to make a simple fruit salad recipe that is perfect for any occasion.
For the Syrup:
- Cold water- for volume and to combine other ingredients.
- Granulated sugar– to sweeten the syrup.
- Zest of 1 lemon + vanilla extract– for flavor.
Here’s what I used for the fruit (but remember, feel free to customize it to your liking.
- Grapes – you could also pick out green grapes although they are more tart. To pick good grapes, they should be firm, plump, and firmly attached to the stems.
- Clementines – I peel and slice mine into coins but you can prepare them however you’d like. Mangos make a good substitute for clementines if you wanted the same color but different taste.
- Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries – ALL the berries! If you can’t tell, I love berries. They are sweet and fresh and just perfect for fruit salads.
- Pineapple – I recommend using fresh pineapple instead of canned because canned tends to be mushy.
- Apple – kinda strange but really good. Apple provides a nice crisp fruit in comparison to all the juicy tender ones.
- Melon – whether that be watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew, melons are full of subtle yet delicious flavor. Use a melon baller for a fun presentation.
- Mint – adds a delicious minty bite but also makes a great garnish. Totally optional 🙂
How to Make Fruit Salad | Directions
Okay, this lemon simple syrup is to die for. It’s easy to make and is the perfect fruit salad dressing. It adds sweetness, lemon essence with hints of vanilla. Prepare and cut fruit, then toss together and serve immediately. For full recipe details, check out the recipe card below!
Step 1: Combine to Heat and Melt
To make the lemon syrup, in a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and lemon peel to a light simmer until sugar has melted into the water completely.
Step 2: Remove From Heat
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Step 3: Refrigerate to Cool
Pour into a separate container and refrigerate to cool. After 30 minutes, the syrup should be cool enough to work with.
Step 4: Prepare Fruit
Wash, cut, chop, slice, de-seed (if needed). Regardless of what fruit you’re using, be sure it’s in bite sized pieces so it’s easy to eat.
Step 5: Pour Dressing Over the Fruit
Pour the dressing over the fruit. Stir to coat the fruit in all that yummy lemony-vanilla syrup. Cover to refrigerate a few hours before serving or serve immediately.
Leftover Fruit Salad
To store leftover fruit salad, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days in the fridge.
Whether you are using my recipe or mixing it up and creating your own, these are basic tips and tricks that will ensure perfect fruit salad every time!
- Use a Variety of Fruit: this not only creates a delicious tasting fruit salad, it makes it look colorful and pretty, too!
- Use Ripe Fruit: this may require some planning ahead but make sure to choose ripe fruit for the best flavors. Or only use fruit that is in season.
- No Frozen or Canned Fruit: please, PLEASE use fresh fruit and not canned or frozen fruit.
More Fresh Fruit Recipes to Try!
If you’ve made some healthier eating resolutions then this fruit salad recipe is for you!
Printable recipe card is below, enjoy, friends! 🙂
Fruit Salad Recipe
- In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and lemon peel to a light simmer until sugar has melted into the water completely.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour into a separate container and refrigerate to cool.
- Cut up and prepare the fruit.
- After 30 minutes, the syrup should be cool enough to work with. Drizzle over individual bowls of fruit and serve immediately OR pour syrup over a large bowl of fruit, stir to coat, cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
- Top with springs of mint leaves.