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Overnight Fruit Salad Recipe

Making this amazing overnight fruit salad recipe could not be easier. You’ll definitely want to read below to find out what makes this recipe unique and special. This will be your new favorite summer fruit salad!

Pin that shows the fruit salad recipe but also has text on top that reads My Favorite Overnight Fruit Salad

My Favorite Overnight Fruit Salad Recipe

Let’s talk about fruit salad…and not the kind that you buy in the grocery store in a can and dump into a bowl ten minutes before a party to feel like there’s some more color and options on the food table.

Why is this an “overnight” fruit salad?

Well…this might seem redundant…but it’s because it should cool in the refrigerator overnight! My fruit salad recipe has some fun surprise ingredients that really come together after an evening in the fridge. It allows all the juices and flavors to really mingle and set up.

How far in advance can I make this fruit salad recipe?

I wouldn’t recommend making this fruit salad more than a day or so in advance. It’s great for a few days in the fridge but it will start to separate eventually and you don’t want your salad to look limp and lifeless at your BBQ or picnic, right?

Same goes for leftovers of this tasty fruit side dish, try and use them up within a few days of making the salad. Days 2-3 are really the sweet spot for eating this in my opinion!

Enough is enough, what’s the surprise ingredient?

It is…PUDDING! How awesome is that? It’s such a tasty addition to your fruit salad. We’re using vanilla pudding in this fruit salad recipe, not the instant kind though, hence the overnight-in-the-fridge business 🙂

I love secret ingredient recipes, like this secret ingredient lemon water for example! There’s so many great ways to serve up the flavors and textures we love. Mixing things up is a fun way to break out of that food rut!

three photos of the process of making fruit salad one image shoes fruit one shows it being mixed up one shows final in a bowl with a spoon.

What you need to make this amazing fruit salad recipe:

  • 1 small box of vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
  • 20 oz. of pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juices)
  • 15 oz. mandarin oranges, drained (reserve juices)
  • 10-15 maraschino cherries, halved
  • 2 bananas, sliced

You will also benefit from the following kitchen tools! In this fruit salad recipe I use my favorite mixing bowls, a small or medium saucepan, and a silicone whisk.

How to make an overnight fruit salad:

  1. Drain fruits and reserve 1 cup of the juice.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of reserved (pineapple and orange) juice with the vanilla pudding.
  3. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. While hot, pour over fruit.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Cover and refrigerate either overnight or until cool. Before serving, add the sliced cherries and sliced bananas. Eat within a few days.
square photo of finished fruit salad in a white bowl with a silver spoon in it.

Why am I not adding all of the ingredients at once?

Have you ever eaten a sliced banana in a recipe after a few hours in the fridge? Ew. No thanks! They just get a bit mushy and brown so when you are serving this to guests especially, it’s nice to wait to add the banana until you are ready to serve or until a few hours before serving.

As for the cherries, adding those at the last minute is a good idea because they are going to make your salad quite red if they go in and have a chance to impart their flavors and cherry color overnight.

Cherries and bananas are so soft and absorbent that they’ll quickly and easily meld with the other fruits. There’s no need to fret about adding these later, their flavors and texture will be incorporated in no time!

How many does this fruit salad serve?

One batch of this fruit salad is great for about 6 people to have 1/2 cup serving. Depending on the serving size, I know it can be hard to figure for parties when people are just scooping it out with a spoon, this will serve quite a few people.

However, this is a delish recipe…people will be back for more. You can easily double this recipe if you are planning on serving a crowd. For most of the ingredients doubling the recipe just means grabbing an extra of that item when you do your shopping for this recipe. Super convenient.

I usually try and have most of the ingredients on hand so I can throw this recipe together in a hurry if we have an impromptu invitation to a summer party.

Do you have other great side dish recipes I can try?

I do! I also have some other great dessert recipes you can try. Sometimes I make this fruity salad for dessert because it’s fresh and tasty and perfect for a sweet treat that is not too heavy.

image of the fruit salad in a tall image. fruit salad in a white bowl with spoon on it and plate under the bowl is also silver.

Jenny Gaschke

Tuesday 1st of November 2022

Can I use instant pudding? That’s all the store had. Thanks


Friday 4th of November 2022

It should work.

Millie Rocheleau

Sunday 27th of December 2020

How do I print this recipe?

Meagen Brosius

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

You can print it at the very bottom in the recipe card. When you click print it will open it on one new page where everything can be printed as one sheet :)