This old-fashioned Fruit Salad with Cool Whip is a delightful recipe that everyone loves. Fresh sweet & juicy fruit folded with creamy whipped topping is so easy that you will be making this all spring & summer. And trust me, no one will complain about that.
Beat the heat this summer with a refreshing Fruit Salad featuring the cooling sensation of Cool Whip - a delightful combo that'll keep you coming back for more! This is one of the quickest fresh fruit salads you can make.
This fruit salad is an easy dessert, snack, or side when you want something sweet but not too heavy. Perfect for summer cookouts, BBQs, parties, picnics, beach days, & potlucks. It goes perfectly with Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwichs or a quick kid's lunch with Microwave Grilled Cheese.
Ingredients for Cool Whip Fruit Salad
All you need is 6 fresh fruits & a container of frozen whipped topping for this recipe. No canned fruit in juice or syrup here. The key to making the best fruit salad with Cool Whip is using fresh whole fruits that are in season.
You can buy them already washed, prepped, & cut if you wish to save time. I personally like to cut fruit at home so that it is as juicy & fresh as possible.
Think of this simple recipe as an ambrosia salad without marshmallows, pudding, or coconut. It has some of the traditional ambrosia fruits such as pineapple & grapes but this recipe is even better. It has 5 colorful fruits that really pack in the flavors & nutrients.
- Pineapple - a whole fresh one cut into bite-sized pieces is best.
- Strawberries - stem and diced into small pieces for something red & antioxidants plus Vitamin C.
- Blueberries - plump and juicy ripe berries for color & a delicious healthy superfood.
- Grapes - seedless Thompson/Sultana add a pop of green color.
- Bananas - peel and dice it up.
- Cool Whip - one tub defrosted until soft and creamy.
- Cherries - fresh or maraschino for optional topping.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Fruit Salad with Cool Whip
It takes just 10 minutes to prep this recipe. Plus it is just beautiful with a variety of fresh berries & fruits that are like a rainbow - green, red, blue, & yellow.
Here are the easy steps for making fresh fruit with whipped topping. If the Cool Whip is not already defrosted, place it on the kitchen counter to soften. It should take about 20-30 minutes.
Begin by washing the berries & grapes. Let them dry while prepping the pineapple.
To cut the pineapple use a sharp chef's knife & follow these 4 steps:
- Cut off the top and bottom.
- Slice off the outside rough rind/skin.
- Slice the pineapple into spears & remove the core.
- Dice into bite-sized pieces.
Next, cut the grapes, banana, & strawberries into small pieces. Add the blueberries & all the cut fruits to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Using a rubber spoonula spatula, add the defrosted Cool Whip to the bowl.
Gently fold the softened whipped topping into the bowl with the fresh-cut fruit pieces. Make sure the fruit is evenly coated with Cool Whip. Be careful to not over mix or press too hard. You want the fruit to stay intact and not get smashed or bruised.
Hint: if the Cool Whip is not completely defrosted or is partially frozen, do not try to speed up the process. Let it thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not try to microwave or run the container under hot water - it will only separate the solids & isn't safe or tasty.
Look how fluffy & light the cream that dresses the fruit looks. Every berry, grape, banana slice, & pineapple bite is dressed in Cool Whip.
Serve the recipe for fresh & creamy Fruit Salad with Cool Whip immediately. Plate as a side dish for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Or scoop into small individual bowls to serve as a snack or dessert.
A holiday favorite at Easter, Mother's Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, & Labor Day. It is easy to double, triple, & multiple this recipe for big parties, events, & to feed a crowd.
Substitutions & Variations
This recipe works with any combination of cut fruit and whipped topping. Keep the ratio of 6 cups of fresh fruit to 1 tub of Cool Whip & use your favorites.
- Berries - use whatever combination of berries you like - raspberries, blackberries, etc.
- Pineapple - use drained canned tidbits if fresh is not available.
- Grapes - use red seedless if you prefer that as a substitute for the Thompson green variety.
- Cool Whip - for a non-dairy & vegan option use So Delicious brand CoCo Whip.
- Hawaiian - use tropical fruits only such as adding mango, papaya, guava, & passionfruit to the pineapple instead.
This recipe is already gluten-free & vegetarian. For a sweet & savory salad with berries, try my recipe for Strawberry Arugula Salad.
Here are the to help dice the fruit & mix this salad.
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This recipe is best enjoyed fresh. It can be stored for up to 2 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Keep in mind the whipped topping may separate. Simply stir to combine or add more Cool Whip to freshen it up.
I do not recommend freezing this. Refreezing the Cool Whip and some of the fruit - like the bananas, do not freeze well.
All of these great tips are shared in the post. But these are so good and important they are worth mentioning again so you don't miss them.
- Defrost the Cool Whip at room temperature so it is thawed & creamy.
- Dice the banana just before serving, all other fruits can be cut ahead of time.
- Enjoy within 1-2 hours for the freshest salad.
- To store the salad, place it in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 1-2 days. Stir to combine or add more Cool Whip to refresh the fruit salad.
Cool Whip is not dairy-free. There are dairy products in the ingredients, including skim milk & soldium casienate. It's not good for those that are lactose intolerant or vegans.
Once the fruit & whipped topping are combined, it is best to serve & eat this within 1-2 hours. You can prep this ahead of time for a party or meal planning. Simply dice up all the fruit, except the banana which should only be cut right before serving. When it comes time to enjoy, add the banana and defrosted Cool Whip.
This recipe is similar but not the same as ambrosia. First off, ambrosia uses canned fruit & I have substituted fresh fruit for a healthier version. Also there are no marshmallows of sweetened coconut flakes. So though it is a sweet dessert salad it is more healthy than classic ambrosia.
Yes, you can substitute the whipped topping for fresh whipped cream. You will need the same amount. Whip up 1 cup of cold heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract & 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Beat on medium to medium-high until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Frozen fruit will not hold up as well as fresh whole fruits. Once frozen fruit is defrosted it will be softer & soggy. Liquid and juices will run off even well drained defrosted fruit. That results in a soupy salad & water-downed Cool Whip - not so yummy. I recommend only used fresh fruit.
Fruit Salad with Cool Whip
- 1 8-ounce tub Cool Whip defrosted & soft
- 1 ½ cup pineapple cut into small chunks
- 1 ½ cup green grapes cut into pieces
- 1 cup strawberries diced
- 1 cup banana diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- If the Cool Whip is not already defrosted, place it on the counter to thaw. This takes about 20-30 minutes. I like to defrost it the night before overnight in the refrigerator s it is all ready.
- Wash the berries & grapes. Let them dry while prepping the pineapple.
- Remove the skin & core the pineapple. Cut the pineapple into small bite-sized pieces.
- Next, cut the grapes, banana, & strawberries into small pieces. Add the blueberries & all the cut fruits to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Using a rubber spatula, scoop out the defrosted Cool Whip & add it to the bowl.
- Gently fold the softened whipped topping into the bowl with the fresh-cut fruit pieces. Make sure the fruit is evenly coated with Cool Whip. Do not overmix or press hard - this helps the fruit stay plump & intact.
- Serve immediately.
- Store covered or in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Stir to refresh & add more Cool Whip if needed.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4.2g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 3.9g||20%|
|Total Carbohydrate 33.8g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.4g||12%|
|Total Sugars 25.9g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
|Recipe analyzed by|