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This quick and easy fresh fruit salad dressing is the perfect addition to any meal! Fresh berries are lightly glazed with a honey lemon simple syrup that is bursting with citrus flavor. It’s fast enough for a weekday morning, and special enough for entertaining.

Close overhead image of a bowl of fresh berries and grapes tossed with a honey lemon fruit salad dressing.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  2. Ingredients
  3. Directions
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Preparation and Storage Tips
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. Expert Tips
  9. Honey Lemon Fruit Salad Dressing Recipe

If you’re looking for even more salad dressing recipes, be sure to try this buttermilk dressing, a creamy Caesar dressing, this zippy pepper jelly vinaigrette, a simple dijon vinaigrette, and our favorite balsamic vinaigrette, too!

Is it me, or are you ready for some bright, fresh produce? If there’s something that just screams “spring” or “summer,” it’s a fresh fruit salad loaded with berries and lemon!

Zesting lemons on a cutting board.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy. While this salad looks and sounds fancy with its vibrant colors and special honey lemon dressing, it’s so easy. Simmer the 3-ingredient dressing on the stovetop, let it cool, and then toss it with fresh fruit!
  • Flavorful. Few foods have more sweet flavor than fresh, in-season fruit. I’ve shown strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and grapes here, but really just about any combination works. Pick whatever is at its peak, since that’s what tastes best!
  • Versatile. Fresh produce tossed with a sweet and tangy fruit salad dressing is always a welcome addition at the table. It works for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert! Offer the fruit salad for a special holiday brunch like Easter, bring it to a potluck graduation party, or set it out for a bridal shower brunch.
Process shot showing how to make fruit salad dressing.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a simple fruit salad dressing. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Lemon zest and lemon juice: give the dressing a bright citrus flavor that highlights the natural flavors of the fruit.
  • Honey: sweetens the dressing.
  • Water: to thin the honey and create a simple syrup.
  • Fresh fruit: I used fresh berries and grapes here, but other good options include diced apples or pears; sliced peaches, nectarines, or apricots; chopped mangoes, sliced kiwi, and diced pineapple; segmented oranges or mandarin oranges; and pitted cherries. Ultimately, the best fruit salad combines a diverse selection of fruits to create a perfect blend of flavors, colors, and textures. When in doubt, reach for those fruits that are local and in-season at the time, since the freshest fruit will always have the best flavor.
Honey lemon fruit salad dressing in a glass measuring cup.

Directions

This dressing for fruit salad highlights the delicious natural flavors of the fruit without overpowering the produce. It’s truly the icing on the cake — and it only requires about 5 minutes of hands-on prep time!

  • Slice the strawberries and halve the grapes. Toss the washed fruit together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare the dressing by combining the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and water in a small saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes. Whisk occasionally. The dressing will obviously be hot, so you’ll need to let it sit and cool for at least 25 minutes before adding it to your fruit salad.
  • Pour the lemon simple syrup over the fruit and then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Pouring fruit salad dressing over a bowl of fresh fruit.

Serving Suggestions

This old fashioned fruit salad dressing recipe is delicious at any time of day! For breakfast or brunch, pair the dish with a sausage hash brown casserole, a ham and broccoli quiche, pancakes, or waffles.

Make it a satisfying snack by layering the fruit with Greek yogurt and homemade granola for a fruit and yogurt parfait.

Later in the day, serve the salad at picnics, potlucks, cookouts, or on holiday tables. It’s a nice, light contrast to heavier entrees like pulled porkgrilled chickenfried chicken, grilled hamburgers, holiday ham, or grilled steak. Finally, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert!

Horizontal side shot of a blue and white bowl full of fruit salad with honey lemon dressing.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: This easy fruit salad recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. The berries will start to break down as they sit in the dressing; however, so if you want the fruit to stay fresh longer, just wait to add the dressing until you’re ready to serve.
  • How to Store: Once you add the dressing, the fruit salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If you wait to add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, the fruit will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Can I freeze the salad? I do not recommend freezing this fruit salad. When thawed, the berries will have a mushy texture.
Square side shot of honey lemon fruit salad dressing on a bowl of fresh berries.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much fruit salad will I need per person? If serving a crowd, it’s safe to assume at least 4 ounces of fruit salad per person. This recipe contains approximately 40 ounces of fruit, so it will serve about 10 people. Obviously, larger appetites will require larger servings!
  • Does lemon juice or lime juice keep fruit salad fresh? If you’re worried about some of the fruit browning before you’re ready to serve the salad, you can toss that particular fruit with some additional lime juice or lemon juice (or wait to add it until just before serving). The acid in the citrus juice will fend off some oxidation, which causes the unappetizing brown color.
  • How do I prevent the fruit salad from becoming watery? It’s best to wait to add the dressing until just before serving. As the fruit sits in the dressing, the fruit breaks down and releases liquid more quickly.
Square side shot of a bowl of fruit salad with honey lemon dressing.

Recipe Variations

  • Try different fruit. This recipe is just a basic guide. I used fresh berries and grapes here, but other good options include diced apples or pears; stone fruit like sliced peaches, nectarines, plums, or apricots; chopped mangoes, sliced kiwi, or diced fresh pineapple; segmented oranges or mandarin oranges; melon balls such as cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew; and pitted cherries. You’ll just need a total of about 6-8 cups of fruit for this quantity of dressing.
  • If you’re feeding a larger crowd, double the ingredients. Prepare twice as much dressing and use about 14 cups of fruit.
  • Want a canned fruit salad? Use about 7 cups of drained, canned fruit and toss with the honey lemon dressing.
  • Honey Lime Dressing: use lime zest and lime juice in lieu of the lemons.

Expert Tips

  • When zesting fruit, be sure that you’re just scraping off that thin outer peel, which is where you’ll find all of the flavorful essential oils. Don’t scrape off any of the bitter white pith underneath the peel.
  • If you’re adding bananas to the salad, wait and stir them into the mix just before serving. Otherwise bananas have a tendency to turn brown as they sit. Creamy and naturally sweet, bananas lend a soft texture and a touch of extra sweetness.
  • Wait to add the dressing until just before serving. This will help the fruit stay fresh longer, since it will break down and macerate faster in the sweet dressing.
  • For a nice finishing touch, garnish the salad with extra lemon zest or fresh mint leaves just before serving.
Overhead image of a bowl of fruit salad with honey lemon fruit salad dressing.

More Fruit Salad Recipes to Try

Square side shot of honey lemon fruit salad dressing on a bowl of fresh berries.

Honey Lemon Fruit Salad Dressing

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Chilling Time 25 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 92 kcal
This fresh fruit salad with honey lemon dressing is a beautiful addition to any meal!

Ingredients
  

DRESSING

  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons water

SALAD

  • 1 lb. strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • 6 ounces raspberries
  • 6 ounces blackberries
  • 1 cup grapes, halved

Instructions

MAKE THE DRESSING

  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
    Process shot showing how to make fruit salad dressing.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, whisking regularly, until the dressing thickens slightly. Set the dressing aside and allow it to cool completely (at least 25 minutes).
    Honey lemon fruit salad dressing in a glass measuring cup.

MAKE THE SALAD

  • Wash and dry the fruit. Gently toss together all of the fruit in a large bowl.
    Fresh summer berries in a colander

DRESS THE SALAD

  • If serving the salad right away (or within 1-2 hours), pour the dressing over the fruit and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you plan to serve the salad later (within about 2-24 hours), it's best to wait and add the dressing until just before serving. This way the fruit stays fresh longer.
    Pouring fruit salad dressing over a bowl of fresh fruit.
  • Garnish with additional lemon zest just before serving, if desired.
    Horizontal side shot of a blue and white bowl full of fruit salad with honey lemon dressing.

Notes

  • When zesting fruit, be sure that you’re just scraping off that thin outer peel, which is where you’ll find all of the flavorful essential oils. Don’t scrape off any of the bitter white pith underneath the peel.
  • If you’re adding bananas to the salad, wait and stir them into the mix just before serving. Otherwise bananas have a tendency to turn brown as they sit. Creamy and naturally sweet, bananas lend a soft texture and a touch of extra sweetness.
  • Wait to add the dressing until just before serving. This will help the fruit stay fresh longer, since it will break down and macerate faster in the sweet dressing.
  • For a nice finishing touch, garnish the salad with extra lemon zest or fresh mint leaves just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 244mgFiber: 4gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 95IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 0.7mg
Keyword: best dressing for fruit salad, dressing for fruit salad, fruit salad dressing, fruit salad dressing recipe, fruit salad dressing with honey
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in March, 2015. It was updated in May, 2024.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Rachel @ {i love} my disorganized life says:

    This dressing sounds delicious!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Rachel! 🙂

  2. Jessica @ Mom 4 Real says:

    Wow…now I’m craving your amazing fruit salad…can’t wait to make some for my family!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Jessica! Fruit is a healthy craving…go for it! 🙂

  3. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert says:

    I love fresh fruit! This salad looks so refreshing. And the honey lemon dressing sounds phenomenal!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Jen! It’s definitely delicious!

  4. Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes says:

    Looks so refreshing! Thanks for linking up at Best of the Weekend!

  5. Diana Rambles says:

    Yummed and pinned!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Diana! 🙂

  6. Love Keil (MunchkinTime) says:

    THis salad looks so delicious!

  7. Celeste @The Whole Serving says:

    Just a beautiful fruit salad, wish I could have one in front of me right now.
    Pinned, thanks for sharing.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Celeste! 🙂

  8. Deb @ Cooking on the Front Burner says:

    Thanks for sharing with us Blair – I’m featuring this tonight at BOTW!!!

  9. Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels says:

    Wow wow wow, it looks way too delicious!!!! 🙂

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Reelika!!

  10. bel @ Mums Take Five says:

    5 stars
    Looks so delicious, beautiful images well done. Thanks for sharing with us for The Sunday Brunch Magazine, So nice to see you, Bel & Eliza x

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you! 🙂

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Amanda! They are definitely one of my favorites too!

  11. Ernest Ladd says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Ernest!