Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing


Normally I always think of fruit salads as a summer side dish but there’s still a lot of fruit in season during winter so why not take advantage of that and make a winter fruit salad? Plus I’ve had Thanksgiving in mind and the fact that it’s usually a lot of not so healthy foods so I thought it would be a good idea to throw some fruit in there this year to help balance it out a little. You know, feeling okay about eating that 800 calorie slice of of pie loaded up with whipped cream because I did eat all of my fruit salad first :).

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

Just like any fruit salad this is so easy to make and it adds so much gorgeous natural color to your table. With this fruit salad I wanted to use Christmas/fall colored fruit so it would be perfectly fitting for the holidays. This is the first time I’ve added pomegranate arils to a fruit salad and I absolutely loved it! I mean when you have four large pomegranates in your fridge you had better put them to good use, right? When they are $1 each you just don’t walk past that without grabbing a bunch.

One thing I love about this time of year are all the oranges and mandarines that are in season – and that scent! I also love the fact that I don’t have to peel the mandarines for my kids (call me lazy), so easy to peel a 3 year old can do it. For make ahead with this salad you can peel the mandarines a day in advance, as well as seeding the pomegranate, and peeling and dicing the kiwi (just store them in the fridge). But for the bananas and apples I’d definitely recommend waiting until you’re just about ready to serve it to begin dicing those.


This recipe is enough for a small crowd but it can definitely be scaled down if you just to make it for a smaller number of people for dinner (I loved it so much I made a 1/4 of the recipe for lunch the next day). And just like any fruit salad this is a versatile recipe, you can swap out the fruits for others you may have on hand like pears, tangerines, mangos, pineapple, etc. I love the way the fruit pairs with the sweet and slightly tart lemon poppy seed dressing in this fruit salad. And of course I can’t get enough of all the vibrant flavors of the fruits used here. Those pomegranate arils are always bound to do good things! What’s not to love about this delicious fruit salad? There’s just so much goodness no one will be able to resist!

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking ClassyWinter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking ClassyWinter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classywinter_fruit_salad2.Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy


Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

5 from 3 votes

Yield: About 10 - 12 servings



  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds


  • 8 mandarine oranges , peeled and segmented
  • 4 apples (preferably 2 gala and 2 golden delicious)
  • 4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced
  • 4 bananas , peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)


  1. For the dressing:
  2. In a mixing bowl or jar whisk together lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Mix in olive oil, vegetable oil and honey until well blended. Stir in poppy seeds.
  3. For the fruit salad:
  4. In a salad bowl toss together all of the fruit then pour dressing over top and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately for best results.
  5. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy


  • Bella: This look sos yummy I love fruit salad I eat it all the time in the summer
    November 14, 2015 at 4:41pm Reply

  • Olivia – Primavera Kitchen: This is a great recipe to put on a mason jar and bring to work. It is always great to have a healthy snack at the break time ;-) November 15, 2015 at 6:09am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: This would be the perfect way to lighten up Thanksgiving or Christmas. I like how the dressing is a little savory with the olive oil. November 15, 2015 at 6:30am Reply

  • Kelley @ Chef Savvy: What a gorgeous salad! This would be an awesome and beautiful side dish for the Holidays! November 15, 2015 at 10:08am Reply

  • Chels: I love all the colors in this. November 15, 2015 at 5:12pm Reply

  • Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness: One of my favorite things about the holiday season is my mom’s fruit salad. I actually associate fruit salad with winter! But yours looks so bright and colorful! Yum! November 15, 2015 at 7:28pm Reply

  • Linda@ Today She Loves: What beautiful colors, wow! It’s so lovely. I love fruit, so this dish definitely caught my attention. November 15, 2015 at 7:52pm Reply

  • Laura: I love fruit salads all year round, and this one is especially gorgeous! All those colors! I’ve been snatching up pomegranates like crazy lately too :) November 21, 2015 at 6:07pm Reply

  • Sterling: About how much does a single recipe make? November 24, 2015 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Sterling: This looks amazing! About how much does a single recipe make? November 24, 2015 at 2:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I didn’t measure in cups but it makes a pretty large bowl full. It’s about enough for 10 – 12 people. November 25, 2015 at 9:15am Reply

  • Greta: I am wondering if the salad needs the dressing or would it be ok on it’s own? Does the dressing prevent the apples and bananas from browning? It looks delicious and I plan to make it for my family’s celebrations next weekend. Thanks. December 10, 2015 at 10:46am Reply

  • Beth: Anyone else had trouble with the dressing blending well? December 24, 2015 at 11:32am Reply

    • Robbie hnilo: Too much oil in recipe. I had to remake and eliminate the oil altogether . Loved the fruit mixture. December 26, 2017 at 2:58pm Reply

  • PJ Roberts: It makes a pretty healthy serving for 12. I added more lemon than the recipe called for. The dressing only tasted sweet without the juice of the whole lemon. December 25, 2015 at 9:46pm Reply

  • Gabby: I love the combination of all the fruit! I made this on Christmas breakfast for my guests..Although, the oil really set me and a few others off. I would have loved it a lot more without the after-taste of oil :/ Depends on preference, but if I were to do it again, I would NOT add oil. December 26, 2015 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Violet: No need for oils in dressing!! Made for the first time Christmas Eve. Have made it three times since. Used similar fruits, substituted pears for bananas. Used the juice from one fresh squeezed lemon and orange and whisked with 1/3 cup honey. Omitted poppy seeds. Dressing was perfect! Marinated well with the fruit. Light and refreshing!!! January 5, 2017 at 10:14pm Reply

  • Michelle: Looks great January 13, 2016 at 1:15pm Reply

  • Amanda: Can I use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil? February 7, 2016 at 9:17am Reply

    • Dorcia: Did you try it with the coconut oil yet? I was wondering the same thing December 26, 2016 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Olga: Do you have to add the oil or can you go without it? November 18, 2016 at 4:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it needs it for the best consistency. It keeps it coated better then juice alone would plus it tones down the lemon. November 18, 2016 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Tamara LeVay Howell: Can the dressing be made ahead of time? November 22, 2016 at 4:13pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes just store it in the fridge then let it rest at room temp a bit before serving and whisk well. November 22, 2016 at 7:40pm Reply

  • Regina Hayes: Hi, the salad looks awesome. In the list of ingredients you list only 5 different fruits however in the pic of the cut up fruit it shows 6. Can you tell me what that 6th fruit is? November 24, 2016 at 5:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry for the confusion it’s just that there’s red and green apples :). November 24, 2016 at 8:40am Reply

      • Violet: Red and green apples??
        Or red and YELLOW apples??? January 5, 2017 at 10:06pm Reply

  • lisa moore: How long will this salad keep? can you eat it for a couple of days? December 10, 2016 at 9:29am Reply

  • Dorcia: Hi!! was wondering if you can substitute the vegetable oil with coconut oil instead? or just use olive oil only? December 26, 2016 at 6:02pm Reply

  • Rachel: If I were to use store bought Lemon Poppyseed Dressing, how much would you suggest I use? Thanks! December 29, 2016 at 2:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend using a store-bought dressing because the sweetness and flavor might be quite different. December 29, 2016 at 9:25pm Reply

      • Rachel: The comments about the strong aftertaste of oil have me a little worried about making it homemade. I found a store-bought dressing that is Honey-Citrus Poppy Seed that sounds pretty close and was hoping to try it but just wasn’t sure how much to use. I will figure it out. Thanks anyway! December 30, 2016 at 7:38am Reply

        • Violet: Just sharing. The winter fresh fruit mix is tasting and colorful but the dressing can be kept simple by eliminating the oils and using the juice from a fresh squeezed lemon and orange. Strain to remove any pulp or seeds. Whisk with 1/3 cup honey. Poppy seeds optional. Kiwi has seeds so I omitted the poppy seeds. I’Ve made it three times since Christmas eve. January 5, 2017 at 10:10pm Reply

  • Mary: Could I use canola oil in place of vegetable & olive oil. Not a fan of olive oil. January 2, 2017 at 8:08pm Reply

  • Sally: What a beautiful and delicious salad! I made it for a December brunch and it was a big hit! The colors are festive and the dressing with the poppy seeds enhances the fruit perfectly without making it too sweet. Thank you! January 9, 2017 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Sally! January 13, 2017 at 3:12pm Reply

  • Angel: I made this on Christmas for brunch and it was DELICIOUS! Everyone loved it and since then I have made it two more times – it is seriously addictive. Super easy to make and the flavors are great. I would definitely recommend. January 14, 2017 at 10:42am Reply

  • Abi: Wooooaw what a delicious Fruits Salad, i had a try for my family at lunch and they loved it, thanks for the sharing. Thanks for sharing 😉😀
    I would love to share it on my blog and Facebook, just to Inform you enable the others to have a try 😉
    Thanks for understanding 🤗😀 March 5, 2017 at 6:33am Reply

  • Sherri: I made this last year for Thanksgiving dinner and got a request to bring it again this year! :) November 22, 2017 at 11:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I had it at my Thanksgiving as well. :) So glad you liked it and thanks for the review! November 27, 2017 at 12:07pm Reply

  • Ana: Can I swap out the mandarin oranges that are in the fruit cups-the ones that have no skin? December 24, 2017 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Cindy: I made this for Christmas dinner and it was wonderful! December 27, 2017 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Susan Thomas: This is delicious! I made it exactly according the recipe and took it to a church potluck. There wasn’t even a poppy seed to take home with me! January 21, 2018 at 4:09pm Reply

  • Susan: This is delicious! I made it exactly according the recipe and took it to a church potluck. There wasn’t even a poppy seed to take home with me! January 21, 2018 at 4:11pm Reply

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