Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad with logo on bottom of image

Old-Fashioned Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad Recipe

Combine delicious fruit with whipped topping and freeze it together to make frozen fruit salad, a wonderful, light summer dessert sure to please everyone.

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I’ll be the first to admit, this looks a little strange and it’s hard to tell what it is. But this has probably been one of the hardest recipes to photograph decently in a long time. The first time I had this was when Grammie (my dad’s mom) brought it over for Christmas dinner one year and for a few other holiday gatherings after that. Her frozen fruit salad had nuts on it, which I don’t like, so I had to eat around those a bit.

When she started telling me everything about this vintage recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. It’s filled with a lot of fruit and a bit of whipped topping so it’s a great way to get some fruit in, even as a dessert. I love getting great recipes from family like this. It’s fun to add recipes from my childhood to my (digital) recipe box. 

As I said, she made it with walnuts on top, but I skipped those since the boys and I don’t like them. We did have some walnuts in the pantry from other recipes, though, so Justin was able to add them to his bit when he ate it. Next time I may make half with the walnuts and half without them. If you want to add walnuts, place them in a single layer on top of the dish before putting it in the freezer. 

This old-fashioned frozen fruit salad recipe is really easy to put together and easier to serve than a fresh fruit salad. You just have to mix a few things up in a large bowl, place it in a dish, and let it freeze. I like to remove the frozen dish from the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before serving so it can thaw just a little bit. Otherwise, it’s very hard to slice, scoop, and eat! You want it to be a slightly slushy fruit salad. 

List of Ingredients

Pineapple Tidbits

There are a few options when it comes to the pineapple in this recipe. You can purchase canned pineapple tidbits which is the easiest option. Otherwise, purchase pineapple chunks and cut them into smaller pieces. Or, for those who want to use a fresh pineapple, make sure to cut it into small pieces and save all of the pineapple juice that comes out as you cut the pineapple. When I know we need to save the juice, I like to cut it over one of my baking sheets with sides to keep all of the juice from spreading out on the counter. 

​Sliced Bananas

Although most recipes want overripe bananas, this works best when the bananas are still fresh. They will slice easier and won’t brown as quickly while you are getting the frozen fruit salad ready. 

Cranberry Sauce

While I am not normally a fan of cranberry sauce, cranberry salad, or anything else with cranberries, they work really well for this recipe. You can purchase the canned cranberry sauce like you would get at Thanksgiving, and then use a spoon or fork to fluff it up a little bit. 

Sugar

I know the fruit already has natural sugar in it, but adding a bit of granulated white sugar brings out the sweet flavor in the dish. 

Whipped Topping

Frozen Cool Whip works well for this recipe as long as you make sure it’s thawed. I know it will be frozen again, but you need it soft enough to fold into the rest of the ingredients. 

​Serving Suggestions

  • Make individual servings by placing the finished creamy fruit salad in muffin tins and freezing. Then move to a freezer zip lock bag or airtight container for storage.
  • Mix in your favorite types of fruit such as mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, dark sweet cherries, or a can of fruit cocktail. 
  • Switch the cranberry sauce for cherry pie filling, strawberry pie filling, or blueberry pie filling. 
  • Prepare this delicious treat for holiday meals, as a fun summer side dish or frozen dessert, or for a party. 

Frozen Fruit Salad Tips

  • The frozen fruit salad needs to thaw a little bit, but don’t let it get too warm. If it gets to room temperature it will be a watery mess. 
  • If your bananas are a little overripe, mix in some lemon juice to keep them from getting brown while you prepare the creamy ambrosia-style salad.
  • Don’t forget to thaw your whipped topping the night before in the refrigerator. 

Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 20 oz pineapple tidbits
  • 5 bananas (sliced)
  • 16 oz cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz whipped topping

Instructions

Drain the juice from the pineapple into a medium mixing bowl. Set the pineapple aside for use later. Slice the bananas and add those to the pineapple juice. Stir gently to coat the bananas.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cranberry sauce and sugar.

Add the pineapple to the bowl and mix gently with a rubber spatula.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the bananas from the pineapple juice and add those to the cranberry mixture.

Fold the whipped topping into the fruit mixture.

Pour everything into a glass baking dish or casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. I used an 8×8 dish for a really thick dessert, but it takes longer to freeze. You could use a 9×13 baking dish to freeze quicker.

Freeze until the fruit mixture is solid. This took about 4 hours with an 8×8 dish.

Remove from the freezer about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad vertical image

Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad Leftovers

Storage: Any fruit salad not eaten should quickly be put back in the freezer. You don’t want it to continue to thaw and refreeze.

Recipe

Originally Published On: June 10, 2019

Updated On: June 28, 2024

Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad on a plate with milk in the background

Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad

Combine delicious fruit with whipped topping and freeze it together to make frozen fruit salad, a wonderful, light summer dessert sure to please everyone.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Freezing Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course:
Dessert
Cuisine:
American
Diet
Vegetarian
Keyword:
fruit
|
whipped topping
Dietary Needs:
Egg-Free
|
Gluten-Free
|
Nut-Free
Servings: 20 servings
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients

  • 20 oz pineapple tidbits
  • 5 bananas (sliced)
  • 16 oz cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz whipped topping

Instructions

  • Drain the juice from the pineapple into a medium mixing bowl
  • Set the pineapple aside for use later
  • Slice the bananas and add those to the pineapple juice
  • Stir gently to coat the bananas
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cranberry sauce and sugar
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the bananas from the pineapple juice and add those to the cranberry mixture
  • Add the pineapple to the bowl and mix gently
  • Fold the whipped topping into the fruit mixture
  • Pour everything into a glass baking dish or casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer
  • Freeze until the fruit mixture is solid
  • Remove from the freezer about 15-20 minutes before serving
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Nutrition Facts
Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 122 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 15mg1%
Potassium 158mg5%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 5.7mg7%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

Pineapple Recipes to try

30 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Fluffy Frozen Fruit Salad Recipe”

  1. #NAILEDIT – seriously though. This looks like a show-stopping crowd pleaser!! I think this would be BOMB to serve up on 4th of July when everyone is so dang HOTTTT cause I know here in LA it’s going to be brutal. I can just feel it.

    1. It’s going to be hot for us too…. I will be in Orlando over the 4th this year. So hot and muggy in Florida. This would be great, but needs to be eaten quickly so it isn’t a mushy mess!

  2. I love the combination of cranberry, pineapple, and bananas. Until now I haven’t had a recipe with that flavor profile. I agree with Elise this would be a great recipe for the 4th of July.

    1. I wasn’t so sure at first because I am not a fan of cranberries, but it works so well in this recipe. And yes, perfect for a 4th of July party or any summer party as long as you can keep it cold until it’s served.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this such a delicious recipe. I can’t wait to try this on my own and I love all the fruits added to this, Thanks for sharing

    1. Isn’t it funny that these types of recipes always seem to come from our grandma’s?! My grandma was the one who always made this, too. I hope it’s similar enough to her recipe and you all enjoy it!

  4. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe Stephanie! I’m glad you excluded the nuts because I’m allergic to those, LOL! Otherwise it looks pretty easy to make and I know my children will love it!

    1. I’m not allergic, I just don’t care for them. My husband added them to his. It works well because you can make it without then easily sprinkle some on top for those who may want nuts on the dessert.

  5. You can serve it in cupcake papers to fit in with the theme of your event. If you serve it in a big bowl, garnish it with a puff of whipped topping in the middle, with strawberries on the top of that. If you are really getting fancy, you can garnish the salad in the cupcake papers with a spoonful of topping and a whole strawberry or sliced ones.
    Older children love the taste and look of these.

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