Summer Fruit Salad

This Summer Fruit Salad is cold, refreshing and possibly the best fruit salad you will ever make and its SO easy!  

This Summer Fruit Salad Salad is the perfect side dish for potlucks, pool parties, barbecues, the back porch or at home on a warm day!  It is made with watermelon, pineapple, blueberries and the option of cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwis, grapes, oranges and mangos!  The fruit salad is enveloped in sweet and tangy Honey Lime Mint Dressing that makes already tantalizing fruit 10X better!  What I especially love about this Summer Fruit Salad, is that it is make ahead friendly!  Your new go-to summer salad potluck recipe awaits!

top view of Summer Fruit Salad with watermelon and pineapple in a white bowl

Happy Official Summer!  With June 1st come and gone, its time to gorge ourselves on Summer Fruit Salad while we can – and that means LOTS of watermelon and pineapple!

I think pineapple makes everything better.  And grilled pineapple even better still.   So I’ve included grilling instructions for the pineapple and watermelon (brings out their natural sweetness – yummers)  if you want to really celebrate summer.  And when I say instructions- I mean preheat and grease grill, grill for such and such minutes, the end – so easy and enhances the flavor so much!

But if you don’t want to grill, that is totally fine, this summer fruit salad is still divine without grilling because just think how refreshingly delectable pineapple and watermelon are on their own?!

What FRUITS ARE GOOD FOR SUMMER FRUIT SALAD?

In addition to watermelon and pineapple, I also tossed in fresh blueberries but you could add whatever fruit combo suits your mood:

  • cantaloupe
  • strawberries
  • kiwis

They would all taste AH- mazing with pineapple and watermelon and the chilled Honey Lime Mint Dressing.

Essentially, you can add/mix in whatever fruit you have on hand because the dressing is out of this world!  And pineapple and watermelon make everything better.

side view of the best Summer Fruit Salad in a white bowl with Honey Lime Mint Dressing

How to Cut Pineapple for Summer Fruit Salad

  1. Place pineapple on its side and cut off the top inch from the top and bottom.
  2. Stand the pineapple upright and cut lengthwise to remove and discard the tough, outer peel in strips.
  3. Go back around the pineapple and cut off any remaining hard bits to ensure the pineapple is smooth.
  4. If you are grilling your pineapple, you will slice it into rings, otherwise: cut the pineapple in quarters lengthwise through the core.
  5. Remove the core from each quarter be slicing lengthwise.
  6. Place each section of pineapple flat on the cutting board and chop into the desired size chunks.
top view of a platter showing fruit for summer fruit salad

How to Cut Watermelon for Summer Fruit Salad

  1. Before you do any cutting, be sure to wash the outside of your watermelon and/or cantaloupe.  Even though we are not eating the outside of the melon, the knife passes through the outside into the inside and can contaminate the entire melon with E. coli or other contaminates.
  2. Place the washed and dried melon on a cutting board.  Cut the melon in half.  If you are slicing cantaloupe or honeydew melons, you will want to scoop out the seeds.
  3. If you are grilling the watermelon, you will want to slice it into rounds, otherwise you can follow the directions tot chop into chunks:
  4. Next, cut each half into wedges about an inch wide – however wide you want the chunks in your Summer Fruit Salad.
  5. With your knife, make vertical cuts from the fleshy part of the wedge (top) down to the rind, (without cutting through it), about 1-inch wide.
  6. 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.
  7. Continue in this fashion until the entire melon is cubed.
showing how to make summer fruit salad by chopping all of the fruit

Fruit Salad Dressing

Ah, Honey Lime Mint Dressing; a fruit salad dressing so delicious, you will be loving, craving, crushing on a dressing.  To make the fruit salad dressing, simply whisk together:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Lime zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

We all know honey, lime and mint taste incredible together, but I’ve also added just one tablespoon chopped shallots for a slight punch, salt which actually enhances the fruit sweetness and chili powder.

If you’ve never tried fruit with chili powder – it will blow your mind.  In fact, pineapple with chili powder and lime is one of the most popular street snacks in Mexico – and soon you will taste why!  But don’t worry, it is intoxicatingly subtle in this application.

After whisking together the Honey Lime Mint Dressing ingredients, you chill the dressing for at least 20 minutes so the honey-lime mixture gets infused with the mint.

You can also make this dressing a day in advance so when it comes time for serving, simply pour it over your grilled or not grilled pineapple, watermelon and other fruit and dig into spoonfuls of juicy fruit smothered in sweet and tangy, light and refreshing Honey Lime Mint Dressing.

top view of easy summer fruit salad with watermelon, pineapple, blueberries

Can I Make Summer Fruit Salad the Day Before?

If you are not grilling the fruit, then yes, you can definitely make this Summer Fruit Salad the day before servings but you will want to store the fruit and dressing separately (see my notes below).

I don’t recommend making this Summer Fruit Salad the day before if you are grilling the watermelon and the pineapple.  This softens the fruit just enough that it is best served within a few hours.

HOW TO PREPARE SUMMER FRUIT SALAD AHEAD OF TIME

  • This Summer Fruit Salad can be made a day or two in advance but the fruit and the dressing should be kept separate.
  • Chop all of your fruit and store them in an airtight container or a large bowl covered in plastic wrap.
  • Prepare the Fruit Salad Dressing and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator separate from the fruit.
  • Watermelon and pineapple can release a lot of juice after they are cut (this is why we don’t store them with dressing), so don’t be alarmed!
  • Right before serving, drain off any excess fruit juices and pour the fruit dressing over the fruit and gently combine.
showing how to make summer fruit salad by drizzling on fruit salad dressing

HOW DO YOU KEEP FRUIT SALAD FRESH?

Fruit Salad is at its peak freshness the day it is assembled, so it is best to serve it the same day it was prepared.  You can prolong the freshness by storing in the refrigerator.  This Summer Fruit Salad keeps for about 3 days in the refrigerator.  Keep in mind, the longer it sits, the more juices will be released from the fruit, you will need to drain off excess juice or serve with a slotted spoon.

And that, my friends, is the satisfyingly sweet, fresh, tangy, juicy taste of summer.  Welcome back my friend.

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up close of a spoon scooping easy summer fruit Salad

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

(Grilled optional) Watermelon Pineapple Summer Salad with Honey Lime Mint Dressing - This is possibly the best fruit salad I have ever had the pleasure of making and its so easy! I’m asked all the time to bring it get-togethers and what I especially love is you can use any fruit you want. One of my go to summer recipes!

Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Mint Dressing

This Summer Fruit Salad is cold, refreshing and possibly the best fruit salad you will ever make and its SO easy!  This Summer Fruit Salad Salad is the perfect side dish for potlucks, pool parties, barbecues, the back porch or at home on a warm day!  It is made with watermelon, pineapple, blueberries and the option of cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwis, grapes, oranges and mangos!  The fruit salad is enveloped in sweet and tangy Honey Lime Mint Dressing that makes already tantalizing fruit 10X better!  What I especially love about this Summer Fruit Salad, is that it is make ahead friendly!  Your new go-to summer salad potluck recipe awaits!
Servings: 8 -12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium watermelon sliced into 1“ slices
  • 1 pineapple sliced into 1” slices, outside trimmed
  • 1 pint blueberries

Other Fruit Options/Add Ins (optional):

  • cantaloupe
  • strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • grapes
  • mangoes

Honey Lime Mint Dressing

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Lime zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

  • Whisk together all of the Honey Lime Mint Dressing ingredients and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  • Optional Grilling Directions: Grease and preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill pineapple for 8-10 minutes or until caramelized, turning once. Grill watermelon 4 minutes, or just until grill marks appear, turning once – don’t overcook watermelon!
  • At this point you can either refrigerate pineapple and watermelon separately or serve fresh off the grill.
  • When ready to serve, chop watermelon and pineapple and add to a large bowl with blueberries/other fruit. Pour desired amount of dressing over fruit and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

STORAGE

Fruit Salad is at its peak freshness the day it is assembled, so it is best to serve it the same day it was prepared.  You can prolong the freshness by storing in the refrigerator.  This Summer Fruit Salad keeps for about 3 days in the refrigerator.  Keep in mind, the longer it sits, the more juices will be released from the fruit, you will need to drain off excess juice or serve with a slotted spoon.

HOW TO PREP AHEAD

  • This Summer Fruit Salad can be made a day or two in advance but the fruit and the dressing should be kept separate.
  • Chop all of your fruit and store them in an airtight container or a large bowl covered in plastic wrap.
  • Prepare the Fruit Salad Dressing and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator separate from the fruit.
  • Watermelon and pineapple can release a lot of juice after they are cut (this is why we don’t store them with dressing), so don’t be alarmed!
  • Right before serving, drain off any excess fruit juices and pour the fruit dressing over the fruit and gently combine.
 

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12 Comments

  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! What a refreshing intro to summer! I’ve never met a fruit I didn’t like (haven’t tried Durian and don’t intend to)! I love what grilling does to fruits, it just enhances the flavors! 🙂

    • Jen says

      me too! just when you didn’t think fruit could get any better- add it to the grill! Thanks Dorothy, hope you love this refreshing salad!

  2. Katie says

    This looks amazing Jen! I love grilled watermelon and pineapple so I’m not sure why I never thought to put them together before. I can already tell I am going to love this!

    • Jen says

      I hadn’t thought of putting them together either – until now 🙂 Can’t wait for you to try this salad. Thanks Katie!

  3. Sierra says

    I love watermelon, pineapple, honey and lime – I CANNOT wait to make this!

    • Jen says

      YAY! we must be foodie kindred spirits! I think you are going to love this!

    • Jen says

      You are so sweet Whitney, thank you so much!

  4. Liz says

    Thank you Jen and have a Wonderful Sunday.

    • Jen says

      Thank Liz, I hope you have a wonderful week!

  5. Anne says

    This looks like the ultimate fruit salad – I can’t wait to try it!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Anne, I am so excited for you to try it, hope you love it!