Vibrant Winter Fruit Salad made with fresh apples, mandarins, kiwi, bananas and pomegranate arils and it’s all tossed with a refreshing lemon poppyseed dressing. It’s always a party favorite and perfect way to use up the fruit in season!
Like this Winter version? Also try my go-to classic fruit salad recipe filled with summer fruit.
Winter Fruit Salad Recipe
Typically we think of fruit salads as a summer side dish but there’s still an abundance of fruit in season during winter so why not take advantage of that and make a healthy winter fruit salad?
I first shared this recipe eight years ago and we’ve made it several times each year since. It’s so good it almost passes as a tempting dessert!
This is a great dish to add to a holiday menu because there are often lots of heavy sides served but this is a light, refreshing and nutritious option to help balance those out a bit.
You’ll find this inviting fruit salad is so easy to make and it adds so much festive natural color to your table.
Just keep in mind the most important thing about a fruit salad is the quality of the fruit. You want the fruit to have a sweet ripe flavor and firm enough texture that it won’t get mushy.
From there the honey and lemon will just balance and highlight all of it’s natural, fresh fruity goodness.
Winter Fruit Salad Ingredients
- Apples: I recommend using gala plus also opal or golden delicious. This is for their red and yellow color and sweet taste and crisp texture.
- Mandarine oranges: If you have larger mandarines you will only need about half the amount listed. Though the smaller ones are preferred to keep things more uniform in size.
- Bananas: Use just ripe yellow bananas. The greenish obviously won’t be sweet enough and the speckled and browned are too ripe and will get mushy in the salad.
- Kiwi: Look for larger, soft (ripe) kiwi. Smaller are fine you’ll just need more and it will take more peeling.
- Lemons: You’ll be using both the zest and the lemon juice in the recipe, so don’t forget to zest first before cutting lemon in half to juice.
- Honey: Recipe originally included some sugar but I feel it’s even better without and with the honey only option.
- Poppy seeds: A fair amount are added for a little contrast and speckled appearance.
How to Make Easy Winter Fruit Salad
- For the fruit salad dressing: In a mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, and poppy seeds.
- For the fruit salad: Add all the prepared fruits to a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over top and gently toss to coat.
- Serve immediately for best results.
Can I Make Fruit Salad in Advance?
- This fruit salad is best served shortly after preparing as the dressing will begin to break down the fruit over time, and also within a few hours the fruit starts to brown even with the added acidic dressing.
- 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 you’ll definitely want to wait until you’re just about ready to serve it to begin dicing those as they’ll start to brown.
Can I Halve the Recipe?
This recipe is enough for a small crowd but it can definitely be scaled down to halve if you just to make it for a smaller number of people for dinner.
I’ve even scaled down to 1/4 to recipe. The idea is just to add the fruits you want and a bit of honey and lemon to taste. It can be a “no recipe” kind of recipe.
Can I Use Other Types of Fruit in This Fruit Salad?
Just like any fruit salad this is a versatile recipe, you can swap out the fruits for others you may have on hand.
Other good options include:
More Holiday Side Dish Recipes to Try!
- Autumn Roasted Vegetables
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon and Honey Butter
- Slow Cooker Stuffing
- Perfect Baked Potatoes
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Winter Fruit Salad
- 8 small mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
- 4 medium apples, (preferably 2 gala, and 2 opal or golden delicious)
- 4 large ripe kiwis, peeled and diced
- 4 bananas (just ripe), peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)
- For the dressing: In a mixing bowl whisk together honey, lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds.
- For the fruit salad: Add all of the prepared fruit to a large salad bowl, pour dressing evenly over top and gently toss to coat. Serve right away.
- Pears can be used in place of bananas.
- Recipe makes about 12 cups.