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Creamy Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

This creamy fruit salad with cool whip will instantly become your favorite summer fruit salad. It uses simple ingredients and is a cinch to make. Your kids can even make this recipe in no time!

fruit salad with cool whip and cherries

What is Fruit Salad with Cool Whip?

This easy, homemade, old fashioned recipe is reminiscent of those that our grandmothers used to make.

It is cool and delicious and perfect for summer picnics or any special occasion.

This fresh fruit salad is sure to become a family favorite at all of your get-togethers, especially church potlucks.

Also known as ambrosia salad, fruit salad with cool whip consists simply of canned fruits mixed together with whipped cream. 

Alternatively you can use fresh fruit, such as fresh pineapple or diced apples, and add shredded coconut and nuts as well. The sweetness of the fruit is what makes this salad so yummy.

It is such a versatile recipe and can be made in a variety of ways and changed up to fit your occasion and your taste.

Fruit salad tastes amazing as a brunch side dish along with an easy quiche. Or, pair it with my delicious French Dip Sandwiches!

fruit salad in a big bowl with cool whip and garnished with daisies

Why you’ll love this Fruit Salad with Cool Whip recipe

  • It’s refreshing!– This great recipe is wonderful during the hot summer months served chilled right out of the refrigerator. Perfect for those hot days and humid evenings, it is one of our family favorites.
  • It is a crowd pleaser!– Fruit salad with cool whip is the perfect addition to a summer picnic, Sunday dinners, family gathering, or any special occasion. Everyone will be asking for this recipe, which is a great thing because it is such an easy recipe.
  • It is simple and delicious!– This is an easy fruit salad recipe that the kids will be excited to help put together and that can be made quickly. It is perfect for any day of the week. Fruit salad is great for everyday meals or holiday meals.
  • It is versatile!– You can change this recipe up over and over again to suit your flavor and to make it unique. Make this all summer long and in many different ways by adding different fruit or by tossing in some mini marshmallows.
ingredients for fruit salad in a bowl

Tell me about this Fruit Salad with cool whip

  • Taste-  This delicious and creamy fruit salad with cool whip tastes refreshing, light, and full of flavor. It is cool on a hot day and it is fruity and creamy with texture throughout. You can simply change out the fruits that you use to change the flavor and to make it your own.
  • Texture– The texture of this delicious fruit salad is light with added texture and a variation of flavor throughout. By adding shredded coconut and chopped nuts you can add to the texture of this salad. If texture isn’t really your thing you can forgo the nuts and the shredded coconut for a creamier version of this salad as well.
  • Ease- This is an easy dessert salad recipe that can be made often with ingredients that you have on hand. It only requires a few ingredients, little time, and a large bowl.You can use what fruits are in season which makes finding what you need at the grocery store a breeze and ensures that your fruit salad with cool whip is fresh. Whether fresh or canned, using cool whip or homemade whipped topping, it comes together with ease. 
  • Time– This recipe can be put together quickly and can be made as a last minute side dish or dessert that won’t add too much time to your meal plan so if you’re in a pinch and need something quick this recipe is a great one to pull together and is still a great homemade option instead of store bought. 
ingredients for fruit salad on a cutting board

Ingredients for this Easy Fruit Salad

  • mandarin oranges– Mandarin oranges add a tangy flavor to your salad.
  • pineapple tidbits- Pineapple adds some tartness and texture to this creamy salad.
  • maraschino cherries- Cherries add a burst of flavor and color throughout.
  • shredded coconut- Coconut adds some variety of texture and flavor to this dish.
  • chopped pecans (optional)- Nuts can add nutty texture throughout your salad.
  • Cool Whip or real whipped cream- The cream is what pulls this recipe all together and adds a creamy coolness to this fruit salad.
fruit salad in a big bowl with cool whip and garnished with daisies

How to Make Fruit Salad with Cool Whip in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Combine Ingredients- In a medium bowl add mandarin oranges, pineapple, chopped maraschino cherries, and pecans and mix to combine.
  2. Add Whipped Cream- Add your cool whip, or whipping cream, and gently mix.
  3. Add Coconut- Sprinkle the fruit salad with the shredded coconut.
  4. Serve Fresh- This recipe is best served immediately.

Can you use Homemade Whipped Cream for Fruit Salad?

Yes! Alternatively you could make homemade whipped cream since it is easy and a healthier option than Cool Whip. 

This is a simple way to elevate this dish and it is another fun and quick recipe to make with your kids.

To make homemade whipped cream add:

  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

Miix and with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

fruit salad in a big bowl with cool whip and garnished with daisies

Tips for this Simple Fruit Salad with Whipped Cream

Make this recipe either the day of or the night before to ensure that it is at its freshest and make sure that you wash your fruit thoroughly if using fresh fruit.

If you are using canned fruit be sure to strain them well so that your dessert salad isn’t watery. Chop everything into small bite sized pieces.

Substitutions for Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

  • Fresh fruit instead of canned
  • Fruit cocktail for a fruit cocktail salad
  • Fresh or chunked pineapple
  • Strawberries instead of cherries
  • Toasted coconut 
  • Slivered almonds
  • Flavored Cool Whip or Whipped cream
  • Marshmallow Fluff in place of cool whip for a fluff salad
  • Vanilla Pudding and Sour Cream for the creamy Cool Whip
fruit salad in a big bowl with cool whip and garnished with daisies

Alternative fruit flavor themes for this salad

  • Strawberry– Use strawberries, pineapple, and cottage cheese for a creamy strawberry flavor.
  • Tropical– Add fruits such as pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges, mangos, or papaya for a tropical flavor.
  • Nutty– Use pistachio pudding and chopped nuts for more of  a nuttier flavor.
  • Mixed berry- Use your favorite berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
  • Marshmallow– Add marshmallows either plain or multicolored for a fun and colorful marshmallowy version of this dessert salad. This one would be great for a children’s birthday party.

What to serve with Fruit Salad with Whipped Cream

This classic recipe is the perfect side dish for your meals and will be one of your favorite recipes for any family dinner.

  • Hamburgers and hotdogs– Fruit Salad with cool whip is a cool side dish to any meal cooked out on the grill.
  • Sausages or bratwurst- Sausages and bratwurst are another popular grilled meal that would go great with this sweet and creamy fruit salad.
  • Barbecued, fried, or grilled chicken- BBQ is yet another cookout that this recipe pairs well with as a side or as dessert.
  • Ribs– Nothing says summer cookout more than ribs on the grill. Again this recipe is a great pairing at any summer picnic or BBQ.
  • Corn on the cob- Another summer favorite is corn on the cob. The heat of the corn will compliment the coolness or the fruit salad.
  • Cole slaw, macaroni salad, or potato salad- These salads will compliment fruit salad with whipped cream by adding sweet and savory to any meal.
  • Mixed green salad- Salads are always a good healthy option to add to any meal.
fruit salad in a big bowl with cool whip and garnished with daisies

Add ins for Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

  • Berries, grapes, green apples, or dates
  • Miniature Marshmallows (regular or multicolored)
  • Pistachio Pudding- Give a nutty flavor.
  • Cottage Cheese- Add in some protein.
  • Lemon juice- This adds a bit of acid which gives great flavor and preserves the fruit.

How to Store Leftover Fruit Salad

IF there are leftovers, store them in the refrigerator for two to three days in an airtight container.

Don’t worry it probably won’t last that long because you will want to keep eating this classic fruit salad recipe.

If you don’t have an airtight container, cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this Cool Whip Fruit Salad in advance? 

Yes. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days but is best fresh or the next day. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve so that it doesn’t wilt and get soggy.

Can I use fresh fruit for Fruit Salad?

Yes! Fresh fruits such as pineapple, cherries, berries, grapes, and green apples can be used instead of canned fruits. Use what fruits are in season or choose a specific flavor pallet for your fruit salad such as creamy strawberry, tropical, or mixed berry.

Fruit Salad with Cool Whip Recipe

creamy fruit salad in a large serving bowl

Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

Liz Quick
This creamy fruit salad with cool whip will instantly become your favorite summer fruit salad. It uses simple ingredients and is a cinch to make. Your kids can even make this recipe in no time!
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 95 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 6 ounces maraschino cherries, chopped and drained
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 8 ounce tub of Cool Whip, 2 cups of real whipped cream

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl add mandarin oranges, pineapple, chopped maraschino cherries, and pecans and mix to combine.
  • Add your cool whip, or whipping cream, and gently mix.
  • Sprinkle the fruit salad with the shredded coconut.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Add ins for Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

  • Berries, grapes, green apples, or dates
  • Miniature Marshmallows (regular or multicolored)
  • Pistachio Pudding- Give a nutty flavor.
  • Cottage Cheese- Add in some protein.
  • Lemon juice- This adds a bit of acid which gives great flavor and preserves the fruit.
Keyword fruit salad with cool whip

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