21 Fruit Salads That Are Anything but Boring

Cherry Plum Black Rice Salad
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Whether you're pairing it with savory ingredients or keeping things on the sweeter side, fruit contributes terrific tang and texture to fresh salads. No matter the time of year, there's always a peak-season fruit to add interest to whatever salad you're tossing. Spring strawberries provide pops of color and flavor alongside feta, almonds, and baby lettuce; summer stone fruit makes for endlessly delicious salad combos, as does citrus in the colder months. And of course, autumn salads are great with the added crunch of apples and pears. With this recipe roundup, we've put together more than 20 fantastic fruit salads to fit your fancy.

01 of 21

Greens, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad

Greens, Avocado and Blueberry Salad
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Food scholar and cookbook author Jessica B. Harris keeps specialty salts and vinegars on hand to bring instant interest to salad dressings. Here, a honey-ginger white balsamic is the backbone of a sweet, fragrant dressing that adds a mildly piquant kick to the fresh peppery greens and creamy avocado in this colorful side salad. 

02 of 21

Stone Fruit Salad with Collard-Peanut Pesto

Stone Fruit Salad with Collard Peanut Pesto
Photo by Jessica Pettway / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Paola Andrea

In this savory fruit salad, roasted peanuts, collard greens, and Parmesan yield a hearty pesto that's the perfect partner for honey-dressed wedges of plums and nectarines. Fonio, a West African grain similar in texture to couscous, soaks up the pesto, flavoring each bite of this salad.

03 of 21

Mission Fig, Elderberry, and Mixed Greens Salad

Mission Fig, Elderberry and Mixed Greens Salad
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

This salad of seasonal fruits, herbs, and flowers is balanced with bold leafy greens and a simple, bright lemon dressing.

04 of 21

Shaved Beet and Carrot Salad with Citrus-Scallion Dressing

Shaved Beet and Carrot Salad with Citrus Scallion Dressing
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

When salad greens become scarce in late fall, try making this gorgeous, colorful salad of thinly shaved beets, carrot ribbons, and rounds of juicy clementine, served atop arugula and dressed with a citrus-scallion vinaigrette. Topped with nutty almonds, this salad is special enough to serve as part of a large feast and just as delicious as a quick, light lunch.

05 of 21

Anu's Noodle Salad with Crunchy Fruit

Anu's Noodle Salad with Crunchy Fruit
Jennifer Chong

Restaurateur Anu Mahendro's refreshing salad combines crisp bell pepper, juicy grapes, pineapple, chewy egg noodles, carrots, and fresh apples dressed with a homemade vinaigrette. To maintain the textures, serve the joyful romp of textures chilled.

06 of 21

Peach, Tomato, and Feta Salad with Candied Jalapeño Dressing

Peach, Tomato and Feta Salad with Candied Jalapeno Dressing
Guillermo Riveros / Food Styling by Dana Beninati

Tangy, sweet tomatoes and peaches are one of our favorite combinations for late summer eating. Here, they star in a salad atop a bed of peppery arugula and basil. The salad gets even more zip with a sweet-spicy vinaigrette made with candied jalapeños or pepper jam. The feta and sliced onion scattered on top add more contrast and flavor, and the final sprinkle of za'atar lends this salad an extra level of texture.

07 of 21

Black Rice Salad with Cherries and Plums

Cherry Plum Black Rice Salad
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Fresh plums and cherries add pops of juicy sweetness to this hearty summer salad. Black rice gives the dish a dark, moody hue and an extra textural bite. The salad builds to a delicious crescendo with its finishing touch: crunchy, craggy, blue cheese–infused breadcrumbs, which provide a lovely textural reprieve to the chewy rice and fruit.

08 of 21

Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula and Almonds

Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula and Almonds
© Reed Davis

Chef Suzanne Goin typically makes this savory and sweet salad with whatever fruit looks best at the market. Ripe green or black figs are some of her favorites and a couple of crushed ones can be used as the base for the vinaigrette, in place of the nectarine.

09 of 21

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime
© John Kernick

Chef Matt Neal calls this supremely simple fruit salad the ultimate refresher on a hot day. For a grown-up version, he adds splashes of rum. "It's even more satisfying then," he jokes.

10 of 21

Fennel and Citrus Salad with Mint

Fennel-and-Citrus Salad with Mint

© Con Poulos

For his light, simple salad, chef Matthew Accarrino mixes grapefruit and orange segments with shaved fennel and a sweet-tart honey-lemon dressing.

11 of 21

Peach and Fennel Slaw

Peach-and-Fennel Slaw
© Line Klein

This sweet and crunchy salad is delicious with grilled pork or in a pulled pork sandwich. To wilt the fennel slightly, chef Michel Nischan briefly marinates it in vinegar and salt before tossing it with firm, ripe peaches.

12 of 21

Persimmon and Burrata Salad with Sesame Candy

Persimmon-and-Burrata Salad with Sesame Candy
© Luis Garcia

The Fuyu persimmon that chef Helene Henderson uses in this beautiful salad is light orange and shaped like a tomato; don't confuse it with the Hachiya variety, which is a deeper orange, heart-shaped, and only edible when very soft to the touch. When she can't find good persimmons, Henderson makes the salad with other seasonal fruit, like nectarines.

13 of 21

Green Mango Salad

Green Mango Salad
© Maura McEvoy

Use firm, underripe mangoes in this jalapeño-spiced salad: They add an essential tang to the recipe.

14 of 21

Baby Lettuces with Feta, Strawberries, and Almonds

Baby Lettuces with Feta, Strawberries and Almonds
© Peden + Munk

This salad is an extraordinary combination of ingredients that may surprise you: feta, strawberries, and almonds.

15 of 21

Avocado, Grapefruit, and Hearts of Palm Salad

Avocado, Grapefruit, and Hearts of Palm Salad
© Keller & Keller

This recipe features traditionally Caribbean ingredients (avocados, hearts of palm) tossed in a dressing featuring Asian flavors (tamarind, fish sauce).

16 of 21

Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad

Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad
© Marcus Nilsson

Here, chef Mike Price drizzles blood orange slices with a Greek olive oil called Iliada. Pressed from kalamata olives, the oil's gentle fruitiness and lack of bitter finish make it ideal for salads. If blood oranges aren't available, navel oranges or tangerines are excellent substitutes.

17 of 21

Asian Pear and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

Asian Pear and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese
© Rinne Allen

This simple salad has a perfect mix of bitter (arugula), sweet (Asian pear), tangy (lemon dressing), and crunchy (pumpkin seeds). Try it with green apples or Bosc pears if Asian pears are hard to find.

18 of 21

Sweet and Savory Summer Fruit Salad with Blue Cheese

Summer Fruit Salad with Blue Cheese

© Fredrika Stjärne

“Salads get a bad rap because people think, ugh, it’s just lettuce and dressing,” says chef Edward Lee. “But salads can be a mix of sweet and savory ingredients, like corn and blueberries.” Lee makes this salad once a week in the summer when corn and berries are at their peak.

19 of 21

Celery, Fennel, and Apple Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts

Celery, Fennel and Apple Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts
© Fredrika Stjärne

“In the winter, I love to have a bright-tasting salad,” says designer and blogger Athena Calderone about this side dish. Honeycrisps are her favorite apples, for their sweet-tart flavor and crisp, juicy texture, but you can use the variety you like best.

20 of 21

Spinach, Basil, and Plum Salad

Spinach, Basil and Plum Salad
© John Kernick

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi likes using tangy yuzu (a sour Asian citrus fruit) in the vinaigrette for this simple salad.

21 of 21

Kiwi, Banana, and Passion Fruit Salad

Kiwi, Banana and Passion Fruit Salad
© Cedric Angeles

In the dead of winter, even the humblest grocery stores on St. Bart's stock fresh tropical fruits of astonishing sweetness. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten selected a few of his favorites for this salad.

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