Christmas Fruit Salad (Holiday Fruit Salad)
Christmas Fruit Salad tossed with an orange, honey and cinnamon dressing is a colorful, healthful side dish on your holiday table. Serve arranged as a tree or simply in your prettiest bowl.
So, I also created a Christmas Salad and Easter salad, and I’m back today with a Christmas Fruit Salad, too. Fruit salad may or may not be something that has a spot on your holiday table, and that’s OK.
I think it’s a nice addition to a meal for a large crowd, especially if lots of kids are in attendance. Even if they won’t eat anything else on their plate, you can usually get a kid to eat a scoop of fruit salad (especially when it’s served in an adorable jar like my Easter fruit salad).
But this holiday fruit salad is delicious for taste buds of all ages. The sweet fruit is balanced with a dressing made with fresh orange juice, honey and seasonal spices. Serve it arranged as a Christmas tree or simply tossed together.
It’s also great as a Christmas breakfast fruit salad or a Christmas brunch fruit salad as part of a brunch buffet.
What goes into this Christmas fruit salad recipe?
- grapes – I like green grapes, reminiscent of a Christmas tree. I use extra grapes to make broccoli tortellini salad for lunch.
- kiwi – truthfully, not MY favorite fruit, but my daughter loves it, so it’s included here for her, and because it’s green!
- apple – I used a bright green Granny Smith for this easy Christmas fruit salad recipe.
- pineapple – simple chopped up or cut into small stars for a festive touch. More on that below!
- pomegranate arils (seeds) – I’ve found these hard to find at a lot of stores in the past few years, but Trader Joe’s always seems to have them! Sprinkle any leftover arils on a vegan lentil curry or lamb lollipop recipe next week.
- raspberries – to continue the red and green theme for this holiday fruit salad! Chopped strawberries are also good.
How to make pineapple stars:
It’s completely optional, but I love the festive look of cutting the pineapple into cute tiny stars for this Christmas fruit salad.
To do this, I buy a whole pineapple and trim it. Without coring it first, I cut the pineapple crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Then, I use a very small star cutter to cut as many stars as possible from each slice, trying to avoid the core part as much as possible.
You’ll have lots of leftover pineapple trimmings after you’re done cutting stars for holiday fruit salad. Just put these in the fridge and snack on them or make a tropical sun smoothie later in the week!
Do you need dressing for holiday fruit salad?
Whether or not you “dress” this Christmas fresh fruit salad recipe is really a matter of taste. I’ve had plenty of delicious fruit salads that were nothing more than chopped in-season fruit at the peak of ripeness.
However, Christmas dinner is a special occasion, so why not take your fruit salad to the next level with a fruit salad dressing?
My Christmas fruit salad dressing is nothing more than a simple whisking together of fresh orange juice, honey, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
Nutmeg is so nostalgic to me around the holidays because it’s the main flavoring in my family’s sour cream sugar cookies, so it’s a welcome addition in this holiday fruit salad, too.
So, I think this dressing adds a sweet, bright, seasonal flair to the already-delicious fruit.
How to keep the chopped apple fresh until you’re ready to serve the Christmas fruit salad:
There are so many ways to prevent apples from turning brown, and everybody seems to have their own favorite method. The Cookful has an article on 10 ways to stop apples from browning, and I bet you’ve already tried some of them.
A lemon juice solution is a classic method for a reason. And the salt water method seems to have it super fans.
I usually have citric acid around for food styling, so I generally reach for that for holiday fruit salad (it’s also super handy to have on hand to descale a coffee maker!).
To use citric acid to prevent fruit from browning, I prepare a quart of cold water in a large bowl, and stir in 2 teaspoons of citric acid until it is dissolved. Then, as I chop my apples, I transfer them to the bowl of citric acid water.
When everything is chopped and in the bowl, I use my hands to scoop the fruit out of the bowl and onto a clean kitchen towel. I pat the fruit dry and it’s ready to use!
Whatever method you choose, you’ll probably want to do something to keep your chopped apples fresh throughout a long, leisurely holiday dinner.
Serve this easy Christmas fruit salad recipe arranged as a tree, or simply stirred together:
I thought it would be fun to arrange the fruit salad in a Christmas tree cake pan for presentation. First, I layered in all of the green fruit, and then used the red fruit and pineapple stars as “decoration” for the tree.
If you use the tree presentation for your holiday fruit salad, you may not need quite as much red fruit and pineapple as listed in the recipe below. But get creative with it and arrange it however you think looks best!
If you do arrange the salad as a tree, drizzle the dressing evenly over the arranged fruit.
Or, simply toss the fruit together with the dressing and serve it in your prettiest bowl. This easy Christmas fruit salad recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser either way.
How to make a smaller batch of Christmas fruit salad:
The holiday fruit salad recipe as written below makes about 8 servings, but truthfully, I have a small family and we never have 8 people for Christmas dinner.
To make a smaller half batch of this easy Christmas fruit salad recipe, use 4 ounces grapes, 1 or 2 kiwi, 1 apple, a handful of pineapple stars, 3 ounces of raspberries and a sprinkle of pomegranate arils. And then a half batch of the dressing.
More foolproof recipes for your holiday meal:
I’ve been cooking holiday meals for my family for a long time, and these are some of my favorite tried-and-true recipes.
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 3 kiwi, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
- 2 Granny Smith apples*, cored and chopped
- 1 pineapple, peeled, sliced into 1/2 inch slices and cut using a miniature star cutter (or simply chop the pineapple into bite sized pieces)
- 1/2 pound green grapes, halved
- 6 ounces raspberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
- In medium bowl, whisk orange juice, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Arrange fruit in a Christmas tree shaped pan and drizzle dressing over fruit, or simply toss fruit with dressing in a large bowl. Serve immediately.
*Home Chef note: I suggest doing something to prevent the apple from browning. There's information on this in the post above!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g