Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Most special occasions and family gatherings wouldn’t be complete without this iconic Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad! It’s perfect for bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, and holidays. Made with bright, fresh, and fun fruit that showcases the season’s best produce!

n overhead image of a large bowl of fruit fluff salad, topped with fresh slices of strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, and mini marshmallows.
Table of Contents
  1. Fruit Fluff Salad Vs. Regular Fruit Salad
  2. Ingredients for Making Fluff Fruit Salad
  3. How to Make Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad
  4. Prep and Storage Tips for Fruit Fluff Salad
  5. Tips for Making the Best Fruit Fluff Salad Recipe
  6. What to Serve with Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad
  7. More Easy Fruit Salad Recipes
  8. Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad Recipe

When the weather warms up, and there’s fresh fruit abounds at the grocery store, there’s nothing I love more than tossing all of the tweet, juicy fresh fruits into a delicious and simple side dish that the whole family loves! Even if it’s just February, and even if it’s still FREEZING outside, a girl can dream…right?!

With a creamy lemon base that is studded with fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, and marshmallows, this fluffy fruit salad recipe is a perfect early-spring treat that pairs nicely with a holiday ham and looks beautiful on a party buffet. But even if it’s not springtime, I’ll show you how to make this simple recipe any time of year.

Fruit Fluff Salad Vs. Regular Fruit Salad

Let’s be completely clear here: I use the term “salad” VERY loosely! In fact, I would really consider this dish a dessert or a sweet treat, but that’s why it’s so great for a holiday!

Regular fruit salads simply consist of mixed fruit, sometimes with a little syrup or orange juice. This salad has been taken up a notch with whipped topping and marshmallows. There are many different ways to make fruit salad fluff. You’ve got a classic Ambrosia salad recipe and Watergate salad, both made with a variety of fresh fruits, whipped topping, and some crunchy, flavorful add-ins. Then you have the more single-fruit-focused fluffy salads, like cranberry fluff salad or orange fluff salad.   

If you’re a fan of creamy fruit salad, this is definitely the recipe for you! Anything goes when it’s time to celebrate, and nothing makes a child (or a kid-at-heart) more excited than seeing a salad on the table that’s chock-full of marshmallows! It’s fun, it’s absolutely delicious, and it couldn’t be easier to prepare!

A large bowl of fresh fruit salad fluff -- a sweet mixture of fresh fruit, including strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries mixed with a vanilla whipped topping.

Ingredients for Making Fluff Fruit Salad

Below is an overview of the simple ingredients needed to make this easy recipe. You can find the complete recipe with instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. 

  • Fresh Fruit: I use fresh strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi in this fruit salad fluff.
  • Crushed Pineapple: the only canned fruit I use; but you can easily sub in fresh pineapple if you choose. Just chop it up into small pieces.
  • Lemon Juice: fresh-squeezed lemon juice brightens up the fresh fruit.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: adds the perfect touch of sweet vanilla flavor to the recipe.
  • Mini-Marshmallows: light and fluffy bursts of sweetness in every bite.
  • Pecans: adds texture, crunch, and a hint of salt to balance out all the sweetness.
  • Whipped Topping: I use Cool Whip Free, but any variety of creamy Cool Whip will work.

What other fruits can I add to fruit fluff salad?

The sky’s the limit as far as fruits you can add to fruit fluff salad, but if you’re going with fresh fruit, you really want to pick fruit that’s in season. In the spring and summer months, that includes mangoes, pears, apples, and bananas. You could include fresh berries like blackberries and raspberries (also best in the summer), or stone fruits like peaches. 

If you’re making this fruit fluff in the fall or winter months, look for fruits like pomegranate, grapes, and cranberries. Mandarin oranges and tangerines are also great in the cooler months.

A large, colorful bowl with a decorative floral pattern holds a large serving of fresh fruit fluff. The bowl is surrounded by fresh strawberries, blueberries, and lemon slices.

How to Make Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad

This easy fruit salad could not be more simple to toss together. Aside from the (minimal) chopping involved, it takes about five minutes to toss everything together in a bowl.

  • Mix the sliced strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and drained crushed pineapple chunks together in a large bowl.
  • Add the fresh lemon juice, instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powdered mix), pecans, and mini marshmallows.
  • Stir until all the ingredients are combined and coated with the pudding mix.
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Chill the fresh fruit fluff for at least 1 hour before serving.

Can I use canned fruit cocktail in this fruit fluff recipe?

The reason this fruit fluff salad recipe is a family favorite is because it’s made with fresh fruit that’s bright, crisp, and sweet. However, if you’re craving fruit salad during a time of year when your favorite fruits aren’t in their prime, then yes, you can use classic fruit cocktail mix! Just make sure to drain it well before adding it to the salad.

If you want a more fruity salad, you can add a can of fruit cocktail in addition to all the fresh fruit as well. Classic fruit cocktail contains pears, peaches, grapes, and maraschino cherries.

How do you keep fruit salad from getting watery?

When cut and mixed with other ingredients, the fruit will naturally release juices. It’s okay if your fruit salad gets a little watery after a day or so. However, if you want to prevent excessively watery fruit salad, make sure to rinse, drain, and dry the fresh fruit well before mixing with the other ingredients. Make sure to drain all the juice from the crushed pineapple (use a strainer for best results).

Should fruit fluff salad be served cold or at room temperature?

While this fruit salad recipe can be served immediately, it’s much better after it’s been chilled for at least an hour. The integrity and flavor of the salad will last much longer when served chilled, especially if you plan on serving it outdoors or indoors on a warm day.

Prep and Storage Tips for Fruit Fluff Salad

  • Make Ahead: You can make this fruit fluff salad recipe up to a day ahead of time, and it will taste just as great the next day.
  • Storage: Fruit salad fluff should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days for the best taste.
  • Freezing: I would not recommend freezing fruit fluff. Even though whipped topping comes frozen, once you add the fruit mixture, the texture will change, and it won’t be appetizing.

Tips for Making the Best Fruit Fluff Salad Recipe

  • If you’re using Cool Whip, make sure to thaw it in advance. I love Cool Whip Free – the fat free version – but any variety will work in this recipe.
  • You can omit the mini marshmallows if you’re not a fan. I’d recommend adding more of one of the fruits to make up for the missing ingredient.
  • If you don’t like pecans, you can swap them out for another chopped nut – try walnuts or pistachios!
  • Add extra texture with additional mix-ins like coconut flakes, cottage cheese, or chopped maraschino cherries.

What to Serve with Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad

This tasty treat is perfect as a side dish or sweet dessert after a meal. The fun mini marshmallows, sweet fresh fruit, and smooth creamy base make for the perfect mixture of flavors and textures. It’s always a crowd favorite when served at our house! Here are some dishes to pair easy fruit fluff salad with:

More Easy Fruit Salad Recipes

Close overhead shot of Spring Fruit Salad in a bowl

Fresh Fruit Fluff Salad

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Refrigeration Time 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 (1/2-cup servings)
Calories 191 kcal
This fresh fruit fluff salad recipe is made with sweet, juicy fruit and a creamy vanilla whipped topping. It's simple, classic, and perfect for just about any special occasion!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1 pkg (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup mini-marshmallows
  • ½ cup (2.25 ounces) chopped pecans
  • 1 ½ cups thawed whipped topping (I used Cool Whip Free)

Instructions

  • Mix first 8 ingredients (strawberries through pecans) in large bowl until well blended.
  • Gently fold in whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Notes

  • Make Ahead: You can make this fruit fluff salad recipe up to a day ahead of time, and it will taste just as great the next day.
  • Storage: Fruit salad fluff should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days for the best taste.
  • Freezing: I would not recommend freezing fruit fluff. Even though whipped topping comes frozen, once you add the fruit mixture, the texture will change, and it won’t be appetizing.
  • If you’re using Cool Whip, make sure to thaw it in advance. I love Cool Whip Free – the fat free version – but any variety will work in this recipe.
  • You can omit the mini marshmallows if you’re not a fan. I’d recommend adding more of one of the fruits to make up for the missing ingredient.
  • If you don’t like pecans, you can swap them out for another chopped nut – try walnuts or pistachios!
  • Add extra texture with additional mix-ins like coconut flakes, cottage cheese, or chopped maraschino cherries.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 92mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 2gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 45IUVitamin C: 30.7mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword: fruit fluff, fruit salad
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
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

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    What a pretty fruit salad! This definitely reminds me of warmer days, which is perfect since it snowed yesterday and is freezing outside! Definitely perfect to feed a crowd with! 🙂

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Gayle! It’s definitely perfect for a crowd!

  2. Jen | Baked by an Introvert says:

    You have such creative fluff ideas! I love this spring inspired one. It is getting me in the mood for warmer weather and fresh spring fruits!

    1. Blair says:

      Hah! We LOVE fluff around here, Jen. It’s one of the kids’ favorite ways to eat their fruit (no surprise)! 🙂

  3. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says:

    Blair, you ALWAYS bring me back! This was a family staple for Easter feasts. It’s been YEARS but I think I must have it again. Fruit and fluff = a match made in heaven…

    1. Blair says:

      Oh, Chrissa — just wait until your son gets a taste of fruit served this way! He’ll DEFINITELY be in heaven! 🙂

  4. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners says:

    5 stars
    I’m so ready for Spring, Blair! Even though our winter has been fairly mild, I’ve had enough, lol. You’ve opened up the doors and I’m going to start posting Spring dishes now too! This looks so delicious and I can see that it would be a favorite with both kids and adults. Perfect for Easter. Sharing 🙂

    1. Blair says:

      YES, let’s open the doors to SPRING, Robyn! It can’t come soon enough, in my opinion. 🙂

  5. Annie says:

    5 stars
    What a fun salad! I love all the good things you packed in this! I am SO ready for spring, it has been such a dreary winter this year!

    1. Blair says:

      Totally agree, Annie. I can’t take much more of the cool GRAY weather. 🙁

  6. ellen says:

    do you make the pudding mix with milk, as directed on pkge, or just use the powder in the spring fling fluff salad? thank you.

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Ellen! You just use the powder! 🙂

      1. ellen says:

        thought so….just needed to be sure. couldn’t be any easier! can’t wait to try it. thanks very much.

        1. Blair says:

          You’re welcome!! Enjoy! 🙂

  7. Marilyn (Lott) says:

    5 stars
    I think I remember a version of this from at least 30 years ago involving fruit cocktail, lime pudding mix, and marsmallows and cool whip. Here I am, 4:00 a.m., and I think I need to get right down to the kitchen! I can’t wait.

    1. Blair says:

      Hah! That’s funny, Marilyn! I think that there are a zillion different recipes like this floating around out there. They’re totally retro, but that’s part of what makes them so fun! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you enjoy!

  8. Marcia says:

    I have a question. When you make the spring fling-fluff-fruit- salad do you make the pudding as directed or do you use the dry pudding mix and with the whip?

    1. Blair says:

      Hey, Marcia! You just use the dry mix — do NOT prepare the pudding according to the package instructions. 🙂 Enjoy!

  9. Marilyn (Lott) says:

    Me again. Can I skip the marshmallows, and maybe a second package of pudding mix and some extra cool whip? I really don’t like marshmallows (heresy, I know). I’ll keep everyone posted.

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Marilyn! Sure — you can definitely skip the marshmallows. I would just substitute with an equal amount of additional fruit (whatever you like)!

  10. Marilyn (Lott) says:

    Works for us! Can’t wait. What are you? The queen of fluff!!

    1. Blair says:

      Hah! That sounds about right, Marilyn!! 🙂