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Thanksgiving Fruit Salad

This easy Thanksgiving fruit salad recipe is loaded with delicious fall fruit, dried cranberries, and nuts, making it the perfect light and refreshing addition to your holiday table! With a simple mulled apple cider dressing, it comes together quickly and is sure to be a hit!

If you love fruit salad and are looking for more recipes, try our condensed milk fruit salad, strawberry banana cheesecake salad, and Christmas fruit salad.

two bowls of Thanksgiving fruit salad surrounded by fall fruit.

Easy fruit salad for Thanksgiving

This festive Thanksgiving fruit salad recipe is perfect for your Thanksgiving menu.

It looks beautiful on your holiday table and is full of delicious fruit, crunchy pecans, and a delightful apple cider dressing.

With all the feasting and indulging on Thanksgiving, I love throwing in this refreshing and light fruit salad.

You can serve the fruit salad with the main course or the dessert. It’s great to offset some of the pumpkin pie and banana pudding I know we’ll eat.

The recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients. Bookmark this for your fall gatherings, potlucks, and Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving fruit salad ingredients.
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Ingredients

I love how the colors of the fruits make this Thanksgiving fruit salad extra festive! See the recipe card at the end of the post for exact measurements.

  • Green apples: You can use any sweet or tart apple you like. I love Golden Delicious and Honeygold, but sometimes also add a Granny Smith for a spark of tartness. Cut the apples into thin slices.
  • Red grapes add a refreshing crunch to the salad. I recommend seedless red grapes. Simply rinse and dry them and they are ready to add to the salad.
  • Oranges add a citrus component. The orange juices also prevent the apples from browning. I like to cut the oranges into wedges and then separate the flesh from the peel.
  • Blackberries add an extra layer of fall vibes and natural sweetness. The dark color is a nice contrast with the other fruit. Rinse them under cold water and dry them on a kitchen towel.
  • Pecans provide extra texture and crunch. The warm, nutty taste goes so well with the apples and grapes.
  • Dried cranberries boost the sweetness and fruity flavor. They soften as they sit and absorb some of the dressing.

Dressing

  • Apple cider is the foundation of the dressing and plays up the fruity flavors in this salad.
  • Spices infuse the apple cider with warmth and cozy aroma. I like to use cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, and a splash of vanilla.
  • Honey makes the fruit salad taste sweet and yummy.
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How to make Thanksgiving fruit salad

My holiday fruit salad takes less than 15 minutes to throw together. It tastes as good as it looks beautiful.

step 1 mull apple cider.

1. Mull apple cider

Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan and add the spices. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Then, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cold, remove the spices.

step 2 combine fruits.

2. Combine fruit

Place the apples, grapes, orange slices, blackberries, pecans, and dried cranberries into a large mixing bowl.

Gently stir together the fruit and be careful not to smash any of the blackberries.

step 3 add fruit salad dressing.

3. Add honey and dressing

Drizzle the honey and cooled apple cider over the fruit.

Gently toss to coat with the dressing and combine everything.

step 4 serve Thanksgiving fruit dessert.

4. Serve

When you’re done making the salad, refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Tips for success

  • Choosing fruit: Be sure to use firm and fresh fruit without soft or brown spots.
  • Preparing fruit: Clean and wash your fruit before adding it to the salad. I recommend drying the fruit before mixing everything together to keep the fruit from getting mushy.
  • Apples: Once you cut the apples, make sure to drizzle them with the orange juice. This will keep them from turning brown.
  • Serving vessel: You can fill the fruit salad in any kind of bowl. A trifle dish or a glass dish is a great way to show all the beautiful colors of the salad. a pie plate is fitting for Thanksgiving.
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Variations

This Thanksgiving fruit salad recipe is not set in stone. Feel free to swap things and get creative with the ingredients to make it perfect for you.

  • Fresh fruit: Add pears, Asian pears, plums, persimmons, blood oranges, green grapes, pineapple, or figs.
  • Canned fruits are an excellent way to incorporate out-of-season fruits. Try peaches, apricots, cherries, or mandarin oranges.
  • Berries: Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are good swaps for blackberries.
  • Nuts: Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios are tasty options if you’re not big on pecans.
  • Dried fruit: Turkish apricots, raisins, prunes, dried cherries, dried apples, and dried pears add sweetness and more fruity flavors.
  • Candied ginger will add a lovely heat and peppery aroma to the fruit salad. Finely chop a few slices and stir them into the salad.
  • Dressing: You can mull the apple cider with any spices you like. Apple cider can be substituted with unsweetened apple juice. And maple syrup is a great alternative to honey.
overhead shot of two bowls of Thanksgiving fruit side dish.
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Serving suggestions

The fruit salad is a lovely Thanksgiving fruit dessert and side dish. You can serve it as is to keep it light and refreshing.

Or enjoy it with a spoonful of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you want something more decadent.

The fruit salad tastes divine with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yum!

It also goes great with about any Thanksgiving dessert you can think of. Serve it with:

Here are a few more serving ideas:

top shot of white serving dish full of holiday fruit salad.
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Make-ahead

Thanksgiving is a busy time in the kitchen. So good news because the dressing can be prepared 2 to 3 days before use.

You can also assemble the holiday fruit salad recipe 1 day ahead of time. I wouldn’t go further than that, or the fruit might lose its crunchy bite.

Be sure to store the fruit salad in an airtight container in the fridge.

I like to spritz the fruit with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Take the fruit salad out of the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving so it has time to warm to room temperature.

You can also serve the fruit salad cold. Or zip in the microwave and serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream.

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Storing leftovers

Store Thanksgiving fruit salad

This Thanksgiving fruit salad can last for a few days in the fridge. It’s yummy to snack on, so cross your fingers you have some leftovers!

  • Refrigerator: Store your fruit salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for 3 to 4 days.
  • Tip: Drizzle a splash of lemon juice over the salad before storing it to keep the apples and other fruit from browning.

Can you freeze Thanksgiving fruit salad?

You can freeze leftover holiday fruit salad in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. However, the texture of the fruit will change, and it will be softer after thawing.

Since my family aren’t fans of the softer texture, I like to turn frozen fruit salad into compote.

After thawing overnight in the fridge, place the fruit salad into a saucepan, add a sprinkle of brown sugar, and let simmer on the stove (medium heat) for 15 to 20 minutes.

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More fruit recipes

Fruit desserts are the best because they fit with every meal and are welcome at any time of year. Here are a few more fruit recipes that I know your family will go crazy over!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!

If you had any issues, I’d appreciate the chance to help you troubleshoot before you rate.

Thanksgiving fruit salad.

Thanksgiving Fruit Salad Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This easy Thanksgiving fruit salad recipe is loaded with delicious fall fruit, dried cranberries, and nuts, making it the perfect light and refreshing addition to your holiday table! With a simple mulled apple cider dressing, it comes together quickly and is sure to be a hit!

Ingredients

Apple Cider Dressing

  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml / 4 fl oz apple cider
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit Salad

  • 3 medium green apples, cut into slices
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups / 225 g / 8 oz seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz blackberries
  • 1/2 cup / 65 g / 2.2 oz pecans
  • 1/2 cup / 65 g / 2.2 oz dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup / 80 g / 2.8 oz clear honey

Instructions

  1. Mull apple cider. Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan and add the spices. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cold, remove the spices.
    Tip: You can infuse the apple cider 1 to 2 days ahead of time so it is ready to go when you assemble the fruit salad.
  2. Combine fruit. Place the apples, grapes, orange slices, blackberries, pecans, and dried cranberries into a large mixing bowl. Gently stir together the fruit and be careful not to smash any of the blackberries.
  3. Add honey and dressing. Drizzle the honey and cooled apple cider over the fruit. Gently toss to coat with the dressing and combine everything.
  4. Serve. When you’re done making the salad, refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Variations

  • Fresh fruit: Add pears, Asian pears, plums, persimmons, blood oranges, green grapes, pineapple, or figs.
  • Canned fruits are an excellent way to incorporate out-of-season fruits. Try peaches, apricots, cherries, or mandarin oranges.
  • Berries: Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are good swaps for blackberries.
  • Nuts: Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios are tasty options if you’re not big on pecans.
  • Dried fruit: Turkish apricots, raisins, prunes, dried cherries, dried apples, and dried pears add sweetness and more fruity flavors.
  • Candied ginger will add a lovely heat and peppery aroma to the fruit salad. Finely chop a few slices and stir them into the salad.
  • Dressing: You can mull the apple cider with any spices you like. Apple cider can be substituted with unsweetened apple juice. And maple syrup is a great alternative to honey.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 136Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 1g

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