Thanksgiving fruit salad will be a colorful side dish for your holiday feast! With fall fruits, maple syrup and cinnamon, these seasonal flavors are a fresh and healthy addition to any Thanksgiving menu.
Ever since we added this creamy Christmas fruit salad to our Christmas menu, I’ve been wanting to make a similar but Thanksgiving version of fruit salad.
Some form of fruit salad almost always makes an appearance at my family’s gatherings throughout the year, so why not Thanksgiving too?
Plus, I always feel like Thanksgiving dinners are so hearty, that I am always craving some fresh fruit. (And not in the form of apple crisp, though I want that too!)
I’m so glad I took the time to figure out this new recipe — Thanksgiving fruit salad is everything I’ve ever wanted.
Thanksgiving fruit salad recipe
With the perfect blend of tart and sweet fall flavors, you’re going to love this Thanksgiving fruit salad recipe!
It’s made with chunks of red apples and green pears, pieces of clementines and pomegranate seeds. I dressed it with chopped nuts, ground cinnamon and a maple lime dressing.
The varying textures of soft pears, crisp apples with crunchy nuts and pomegranate seeds make this fruit salad really fun to eat. So fun, it was hard to keep my kids from gobbling it down in one sitting!
This fall fruit salad travels really well, so it would be perfect to bring to a Friendsgiving or if you are asked to bring a dish to Thanksgiving dinner at someone else’s house.
Use a big mixing bowl with a lid or cover it in plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge as soon as you arrive.
Ingredients and Substitutions
You only need a few ingredients to make a simple fruit salad, but what’s so great about it is that you can skip any ingredients you don’t love, or substitute them for other things.
Apples: I prefer gala or Honeycrisp apples, but feel free to use any apple you like. I used red apples to go with the green pears and to give it a more colorful look. Use an apple corer and slicer to help you get perfectly-sized pieces.
Pears: I used green Anjou pears, but you can use Bartlett pears. Feel free to use Asian pears, which are brown, but also very tasty. You can also substitute for a green apple such as Granny Smith.
Clementines: I love clementines for their tiny, sweet-tart slices. We always have them around for the kids. You can also use mandarin oranges (rinsed first if they are in juice) or cut-up slices of navel oranges.
Pomegranate seeds: These ruby red gems add color and crunch to your fruit salad, but you’ll want to learn how to cut a pomegranate without the mess. If you’re not a pomegranate fan, feel free to sub them for dried cranberries or raisins.
Chopped nuts: Pecan chips are my choice, but you can also use sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pine nuts.
Lime juice: To keep the fruit fresh, you will want to use a citrus dressing similar to my orange juice fruit salad. I chose lime juice for its tart flavor and added some extra wedges for a bright and colorful presentation. Fresh juice is always best, but you can use the concentrated stuff in a pinch.
Maple syrup: Make sure to use real 100% maple syrup. You can also use honey or agave nectar if you don’t have maple.
Ground cinnamon: I love plain cinnamon in this, but you can also sub in apple pie spice if you like.
More Thanksgiving fruit salad ingredients
You could also add these ingredients to your fall fruit salad. The important thing is to make Thanksgiving side dishes your own.
My tip is to choose a mix of ingredients that are colorful to add a centerpiece to your Thanksgiving food spread.
- Red or green apples
- Pomegranate seeds
- Dried cranberries*
- Red or green grapes
- Chopped walnuts
- Sliced almonds
- Pine nuts
- Dried or fresh figs
- Pineapple chunks
*Note: Fresh cranberries can be a bit too tart, but you can use fresh ones as well.
Thanksgiving Fruit Salad with whipped Cream or without?
Another topping that we often add to our fruit salads is whipped cream. Whipped cream fruit salad is such a delicate treat, to me.
I love mixing in homemade whipped cream, or Cool Whip in a pinch.
If you want to make this Thanksgiving fruit salad with whipped cream, skip the lime juice and use maple syrup to sweeten the whipped cream instead of honey. Stir cinnamon into the whipped cream, too.
I can’t wait to try that variation next!
- 2 red apple, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 green pears, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 clementines, peeled and separated
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼-1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Toss apple, pear, clementine slices, pomegranate seeds and pecans together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk together lime juice, maple syrup and cinnamon until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to coat.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g