Fruit salad is a good thing to have around, but being put in charge of fruit salad for a crowd can be a daunting task. How much do you make? What do you put in it? Can you make it ahead?
So if ever you're in charge of making a fruit salad, this guide has you covered.
Here, there's an easy formula to figure out how much fruit salad to make, ideas of what fruit to use, and helpful tips to making a successful fruit salad.
How much fruit do I need? Plan for roughly 1 cup of fruit salad per person.
What kind of fruit should I buy? Fresh fruit that looks good! Resist anything that looks like it's past its prime, or like it won't be anywhere near ripe by the time you need it. There's no disguising bad fruit in fruit salad, so avoid it!
To delve into a polarizing topic, I am a proponent of mixing in some canned fruits. Adding canned fruit can be an economical choice for fruit salads: They require no chopping, are cheaper, come in a manageable quantity, and are a reliable quality year-round. My favorite canned fruits are mandarins and pineapple. Just be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it's just fruit in the can, not fruit in syrup.
Here's a handy cheat sheet to tell you how many cups of prepped fruit typical fruit packaging will give you:
1 pound package of strawberries = about 3 cups hulled and chopped
1 pint package of blueberries = about 2 cups
6 ounce package of raspberries = about 1 1/2 cups
6 ounce package of blackberries = about 1 1/2 cups
1 (20 ounce) can cubed pineapple = about 2 cups
1 whole pineapple = about 5 cups cubed
1 pound seedless grapes = about 2 1/2 cups
1 pound peaches = about 2 cups sliced
1 pound melon = about 1 1/2 cups cubed
1 pound kiwi = about 1 1/2 cups sliced
Once you know how much fruit salad you need, you can mix up lots of good combinations!
Is there anything I shouldn't buy? The cardinal rule of fruit salad: Avoid apples and bananas. They bruise and brown easily and will look unappetizing in 1.5 seconds.
And stay away from frozen!
When should I buy my fruit? No more than three days before you're serving it. Nothing quite like going to prep your fruit salad only to find the berries should have been eaten two days ago and another grocery trip is in order. (Minimizing grocery trips is a high priority in my life.)
How far in advance can I make it? The day of is ideal. Most fruit is okay to be prepped a few days before (washed/chopped). All of the fruit flavors tend to meld together if mixed too far in advance, so if you're looking to get as much done beforehand, I'd recommend washing and chopping early, and mixing the day of! Fruit salad will keep 3-5 days in the fridge, if you don't mind a slightly homogeneous fruit flavor.
Here is my go-to fruit salad recipe. I like that it requires minimal effort in the chopping department, Josh likes that it has zero melon in it (what he calls "filler fruit"). It's a good mix of budget-friendly grapes and canned pineapple and more splurgy berries.
Foolproof Fruit Salad
- 1 pound strawberries
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 (6 ounce) package raspberries
- 1 (6 ounce) package blackberries
- 1 (20 ounce) can chopped pineapple
- 2 cups red grapes
- Wash and dry fruit well. Hull and chop strawberries. Mix all fruit together in a large bowl.