Make the holidays extra merry and bright with this Christmas fruit salad!
It’s an easy recipe that you can even make ahead of time for your gatherings. It’s the perfect dessert to bring to your Yuletide celebrations!
This salad tastes amazing, and the presentation is just gorgeous. Look at all those colors! Green grapes, red cherries, and mini marshmallows make it a feast for the eyes.
The combination of textures is mind-blowing as well. There are various levels of tenderness and crunchiness no one can resist. Get ready to be impressed!
Christmas Fruit Salad
Christmas fruit salad has a medley of fruits, marshmallows, and nuts tossed in a creamy, egg-based dressing.
Unlike traditional salads, this one uses egg yolks to thicken the dressing. Does it mean it’s more difficult to make? Nope.
Instead, you get an even richer and creamier salad ideal for every festive occasion.
What Does a Christmas Fruit Salad Contain?
- Egg Yolks, White Vinegar, and Salt – Cooked together, this trio creates a thick, mayo-like mixture. It makes the salad dressing extra rich and creamy.
- Whipped Cream – This recipe calls for freshly whipped cream. But Cool Whip works, too.
- Mini Marshmallows – Their plump and pillowy nature gives this salad so much personality.
- Green Grapes – For sweetness and crunch. Be sure to use seedless for easier eating.
- Pineapple Tidbits – Crushed pineapple is okay, too. Be sure to drain it well.
- Mandarin Oranges – Besides the flavor, you’ll also love the pop of color it adds to the salad.
- Red Maraschino Cherries – Because all desserts are better with cherries.
- Chopped Pecans – For that crunchy, nutty element.
- Lemon Juice – To contrast the sweetness of the fruit.
How to Make Christmas Fruit Salad
Start by making the dressing. Unlike typical fruit salad recipes, this one calls for egg yolks. This means you’ll do a little bit of cooking. Don’t worry, it’s a cinch.
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. In the pan, whisk together the yolks, water, vinegar, and salt. After a few seconds of stirring, the mixture will turn into a thick sauce.
Take an instant-read thermometer and check the mixture’s temperature. If it reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s done. Just in case you’re curious, 160 is the temperature at which eggs begin to cook.
Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool completely. Then, gently mix in the whipped cream. You can use either freshly whipped or Cool Whip. Cool Whip yields a more stable dressing.
Now, it’s time to assemble the salad. In a large bowl, add the marshmallows, grapes, pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, cherries, pecans, and lemon juice.
Pour the dressing and gently toss the ingredients together to coat everything well. Be careful not to crush the fruits.
Now, for the hardest part: let the salad chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours. It takes time for all the flavors to meld together.
Serve it chilled, and enjoy!
How Do You Keep Fruit Salad From Getting Soggy?
Whether you’re using fresh or canned fruit, be sure to dry and drain them well. Any excess liquid will blend with the dressing, making it runny.
Tips for Making The Best Salad
- Be patient. It’s tempting to serve and devour the salad right away, but give it time. If you want all the flavors to meld together, the salad needs at least 24 hours in the fridge.
- Be gentle: Mandarin oranges are super fragile, so be very gentle when tossing them with the rest of the ingredients. Or better yet, add the oranges at the last minute. This eliminates the possibility of tearing them apart.
- Fresh is best! If you have fresh pineapple and oranges on hand, use them, by all means.
- Spice it up. A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg in the dressing will give the salad a deeper, more complex flavor. It’s a must-try!
- Add extra nuts. Want more crunch in your salad? A sprinkling of nuts will take care of that. This recipe already calls for pecans, but you can add more! Roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds all work well.
- Add more color. Make the salad more kid-friendly by using rainbow mini marshmallows. The more color, the better.
- Hold off on adding the cherries. If you don’t like a pink salad, add the maraschino cherries right before you serve it. If you add the cherries early, their red hue will bleed into the dressing, making it pink.
- Throw in some cheese. Give your sweet salad a salty surprise with feta, cottage, or goat cheese crumbles.
- Save your leftovers. Store the leftover salad covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Don’t leave the salad at room temperature for over 2 hours, or the dressing will begin to melt.
- Freeze it for later. You can freeze the salad but don’t thaw it. The fruit will release liquid while defrosting, which will cause the dressing to break. Instead, just enjoy the frozen salad as is, like ice cream.
- Try homemade whipped cream. Freshly whipped cream or Cool Whip? If you want the dressing to be more stable, go for Cool Whip. But if you’re after that fresh, whipped cream flavor, you know what to do.
More Cream-Based Salads You’ll Love
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