Watermelon Fruit Salad

WATERMELON Fruit SALAD WILL BE YOUR FAVORITE SALAD OF SUMMER!

Watermelon Fruit Salad with Creamy Citrus Glaze will be your go-to spring/summer potluck side that will be gone in minutes!  Its so cool and refreshing with the BEST GLAZE and perfect combo of beloved melons, strawberries, bananas, apples and grapes!

How to Make Watermelon Fruit Salad

easy Watermelon Salad in a silver bowl with a servings spoon

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How to Make Watermelon fruit Salad

This Watermelon Fruit Salad is perfect for all your spring/summer potlucks and barbecues (as well as Easter!) ! Its wonderfully simple yet refreshingly delicious packed with an incredible harmony of melons and fruit and the Creamy Citrus Glaze makes it taste extra gourmet AKA you will have everyone begging for the recipe.

I especially love this Watermelon Salad for gatherings because it’s as easy as chopping fruit and whisking a few ingredients together and almost all of it (save the bananas and apples) can be done AHEAD OF TIME!

What Fruits Go with Watermelon? 

Our Watermelon Salad includes a summery ensemble of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, red grapes, green grapes, apples and bananas.

I find this particular cast of characters delightfully balanced and refreshing, but feel free to mix it up however you please with other fruit such as pineapple, oranges, pears, blueberries, etc..  You’ll just want to add more or less of the Citrus Glaze depending on how much fruit you end up with.

top view of easy watermelon salad in a silver bowl

HOW TO PICK A GOOD WATERMELON 

The best Watermelon Salad stars with ripe, sweet melons.  If our melons aren’t ripe they will be severely lacking in flavor, texture and sweetness.  Here is how to pick ripe melons for the best fruit salad:

For Watermelon:

  • A watermelon that is ripe should feel heavy for its size.
  • If you give the watermelon a good tap, you should hear a deep, hollow sound.
  • Most watermelons have a discolored spot that isn’t green from where it was laying on the ground while growing.  The more yellow it is, the more ripe it is.
  • Another ripeness test for watermelons can be done just by looking at them; a dull appearance as opposed to shiny one means they are more ripe.

For cantaloupe:

  • A cantaloupe that is ripe feels heavy for its size.
  • It will have a slight give on the end when pressed where the stem once was.
  • Will have a subtle fruity fragrance (yes, you should hold it up to your nose in the store and smell it).
  • Look for a cantaloupe that has pronounced veiny ridges and isn’t green.
  • If the melon smell is strong, if there are soft or mushy spots, then the melon is most likely overripe.

For Honeydew:

  • A honeydew that is ripe feels heavy for its size.
  • It has a slight give on the end when pressed where the stem once was, and has a subtle fruity fragrance.
  • Another ripeness test for honeydew melons can be done just by looking at them; a dull appearance as opposed to shiny one means they are more ripe.
  • If the melon smell is strong, if there are soft or mushy spots, then the melon is most likely overripe.

HOW TO CUT YOUR MELONS

This Watermelon Salad is made with watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupe, so it is important to know how to cut melons!

  • Since melons are on the ground as they grow, it is possible they have been exposed to more than just sun and water. Before you do any cutting, be sure to wash the outside of your melons to avoid possibly getting sick from E. coli contamination.  Once they have been washed and dried, you are ready to begin.
  • There are several different methods you can use to cut your melon but this is how I like to do it: Start by cutting the melon in half.  For cantaloupe and honeydew melons, grab a large spoon and scoop the seeds out of the center.
  • Next, cut each half into wedges about an inch wide. With your knife, make several vertical cuts from the fleshy part of the wedge (top) down to the rind, (without cutting through it).
  • Run your knife along the bottom of the wedge where the rind is and follow the crescent moon shape until the vertically cut pieces of fruit are separated from the rind. Be careful to avoid the bitter, lighter colored flesh of the melon that meets up with the rind.  You will end up with several cubes.  Continue in this fashion until the entire melon is finished.
showing how to make fruit salad by adding watermelon, strawberries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, bananas and strawberries to a large bowl

HOW TO STORE YOUR MELONS

  • We want RIPE melons for this Watermelon Salad for optimal sweetness and flavor.  If melons are not fully ripe, leave them out at room temperature until they are ready before refrigerating.
  • All cut melons should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator.
  • If it is a melon half, keep the seeds inside for maximum freshness and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Melons can permeate other food in your fridge so be sure they are covered well.

BEST BANANAS TO USE IN FRUIT SALAD

I LOVE the sweetness bananas add to this Watermelon Salad.  You can leave them out if you prefer, but my vote is ALWAYS for bananas!

  • Use bananas that are ripe so they are sweet but take care they are not bordering over-ripe or else they will become mushy in the salad.
  • Another tip to avoid mushy bananas is to slice them on the thicker side.  This prevents them from falling apart when tossed or becoming mushy.

watermelon Fruit Salad Dressing

This Creamy Citrus Glaze is to live for and makes already tantalizing Watermelon Fruit Salad 10X better!

This Fruit Salad Dressing is a quick whisking of orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, vanilla pudding mix, powdered sugar and sour cream for a balanced sweet and tangy Glaze that compliments and heightens all the natural fruit flavors without overwhelming them.  It just adds that little extra “oomph” that earns you compliments on this Watermelon Salad wherever you take it.

showing how to make fruit salad dressing for watermelon salad by whisking it in a glass bowl

CAN I MAKE FRUIT SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes! You can prep the Watermelon Salad up to two days in advance but not fully assemble by chopping the fruit and preparing the dressing but keeping separate (tips below).

HOW TO PREPARE WATERMELON SALAD AHEAD OF TIME:

  • This Watermelon Salad can be made a day or two in advance with a few alterations. Cut all the fruits except for the apples and bananas and place them into a bowl (this will help them from browning).
  • You will want to chop your bananas and apples as close to serving as possible to prevent browning or toss them in pineapple, apple, orange or lemon juice.
  • Prepare your Citrus Glaze but do not pour over the melon salad. Melons release a lot of juice after they are cut so you are going to want to refrigerate your chopped fruit separately from your Citrus Glaze.
  • Right before serving, drain off any excess melon fruit juices, cut up the bananas, apples and add them to the bowl. Pour the Citrus Glaze over the fruit mixing gently.
a wooden spoon in the best watermelon salad

HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES WATERMELON SALAD SERVE?

  • This Watermelon Salad makes approximately 18 cups of fruit. If you guesstimate one cup of fruit per person, that is 18 servings.  I could easily eat 3 cups, however, so you will have to consider how much – more or less  – you think people will eat considering what else is being served with the fruit salad.
  • If one recipe of Watermelon Salad is going to be too much, you can easily halve the recipe or make the full recipe and see my fruit salad leftover section.

HOW LONG DOES FRUIT SALAD KEEP?

This Watermelon Salad keeps for about 3 days in the refrigerator.  Keep in mind, the longer it sits, the more juices will be released from the melons, so serve with slotted spoon or drain of excess juice before serving.

All of the fruit stores well except for the bananas.  The bananas will get mushy and turn brown.  I recommend removing the bananas before storing then adding fresh bananas when ready to serve.

TIPS FOR WATERMELON FRUIT SALAD LEFTOVERS

  • Eat Watermelon Salad for breakfast by adding granola or additional yogurt – SO good!
  • If you can’t use all the fruit in time, freeze it in portioned sandwich bags for smoothies.
  • Make a smoothie by adding fruit, vanilla yogurt, ice/or frozen banana, orange juice and sugar to taste.
  • Make a slushy by combing leftover fruit salad and ice to your blender.  Add additional sugar or honey as needed.
  • Make Popsicle by pureeing the watermelon fruit salad with additional honey or sugar to taste.  Pour puree into Popsicle molds

Looking for more Fruit Salad Recipes?

up close of summer fruit salad with watermelon

You might also like these summer recipes:

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Strawberry Melon Fruit Salad with Creamy Citrus Glaze - I took this to a barbecue and it was gone in minutes! Its so cool and refreshing withe the BEST GLAZE and I love the combo of melons, strawberries, bananas, apples and grapes!

Watermelon Salad with Creamy Citrus Glaze

Watermelon Salad with Creamy Citrus Glaze will be your go-to spring/summer potluck side that will be gone in minutes!  Its so cool and refreshing withe the BEST GLAZE and perfect combo of beloved melons, strawberries, bananas, apples and grapes!
Servings: 15 servings
Total Time: 30 mins
Prep Time: 30 mins

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Ingredients

Strawberry Melon Fruit Salad

  • 1/2 medium seedless watermelon, cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 medium honeydew, cubed (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 1/2 medium cantaloupe, cubed (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes

Add and chop later:

  • 3 medium firm bananas, sliced
  • 2 honey crisp apples, cubed

Creamy Citrus Glaze

  • 1/4 cup pulp free orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 3.4 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice or more to taste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the fruit except for the bananas and apples. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate your UNCUT bananas and apples separately.
  • Meanwhile, add all of the Creamy Citrus Glaze ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk for 2 minute to activate/thicken the pudding mix. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Just before serving, drain refrigerated fruit of any fruit juices that have accumulated then add bananas and apples. Stir in desired amount of Creamy Citrus Glaze – less for lighter glaze, more for creamier. The Glaze will be thick at first but thin as it mixes with the fruit juices.
  • Fruits vary in sweet/tartness, so if you would like tangier/less sweet fruit, add additional lemon juice, for sweeter, sprinkle in additional powdered sugar. Serve immediately.*

Video

Notes

*You will want to serve immediately after mixing in the Glaze as it can become runny after sitting and mixing with the melon juices. If you are bringing to a gathering, bring the Glaze and fruit separately and mix right before serving.

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8 Comments

  1. holly says

    This looks like summer in a bowl! I have made a similar glaze with lemonade concentrate but it was too tart but it didn’t add any powdered sugar so this looks like the perfect balance. Excited to give it a try for Easter, thanks Jen!

    • Jen says

      Yes, absolutely refreshing summer in a bowl! I think you will love this glaze – its perfectly sweet and citrusy and light enough that it enhances the flavors and doesn’t overwhelm them. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

  2. Shannon says

    I love the combinations of fruit in this salad and that Glaze sounds heavenly! Definitely making for Easter!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Shannon, I love the fruit combo too! I am excited for you to make this for Easter, it will be a hit! Happy early Easter!

  3. Teri Giese says

    Love fruit salads!Unfortunately,my “colonless “,bod has NO clue how to digest fruit!Fruit salad in,fruit salad out!YUUMMYY!But,I find it seriously relaxing to chop up fruits and vegetables for my fam.Is my Monday ritual every week.Printed out ALL of the recipes on the post today!(repinned too)Happy Day and Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Teri! I am sorry you aren’t able to enjoy fruit but that is so sweet of you to chop it up for you family! I hope you are able to enjoy the other recipes you printed/pinned. Thank you! xo

  4. Paula Sallese says

    Jen, this looks like a great salad. Have you tried it with other fruits? Unfortunately, I’m not fond of melons that are usually in fruit salads, but would love to try this with substitutes if you have any suggestions.

    • Jen says

      Hi Paula! You could add more apples, grapes and bananas in place of the melons or add any other non citrus fruit you enjoy – I would just stay clear of oranges, pineapple, etc. that are tangy because the dressing already has that element. Hope that helps!

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