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This creamy Waldorf Fruit Salad with yogurt dressing is perfect and light for breakfast or brunch. It’s a sweet and juicy mixture of healthy seasonal fruits lightly coated in a creamy mixture of honey and Greek yogurt with some toasted nuts for crunch. The colors make it so festive for Christmas, but you can enjoy it any morning of the year!
Originally published on Dec 8, 2013. Updated with new photos, additional information, and video in 2019.
Christmas Fruit Salad
This easy fruit salad recipe is made extra special with a simple yogurt dressing with honey and orange juice. It is sweet and creamy with the crisp of the apples, juicy oranges and grapes, soft bananas, and crunchy toasted nuts. While you can enjoy it for breakfast or brunch any day of the year, the festive colors of the seasonal fruits make it perfect to serve for Christmas.
Do you make a special breakfast on Christmas morning? I always see recipes for holiday-inspired cinnamon rolls, or hear people talking about their tradition of making and eating a mountain of pancakes, and I am kind of jealous.
We’ve never really had a Christmas morning breakfast tradition. Partially because when I was growing up we had to get in the present opening before heading off to church or to visit family. And now that I have kids of my own, the last thing I want to do is slave away in the kitchen when I could be watching them unwrap all of their brand new toys and games and other cool stuff.
So over the years, this Waldorf Fruit Salad recipe has become part of our Christmas Eve breakfast-for-dinner tradition with something like Hawaiian Cheesy Scrambled Eggs. But you can definitely enjoy it first thing in the morning or with brunch or brinner, and during the holiday season or any time of the year!
What is Waldorf Salad?
Waldorf Salad is typically an appetizer salad consisting of apples, celery, grapes, and walnuts tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing that sometimes contains orange or lemon zest. It is usually served on a bed of lettuce. But over the years, many have taken inspiration from these ingredients to turn it into something new like Waldorf Chicken Salad with Grapes or even Waldorf Quinoa Chicken Salad.
This Waldorf Fruit Salad recipe swaps a few of those ingredients to make it a sweeter fruit salad. You can then enjoy it for breakfast or brunch, a healthy snack, or even a light dessert. The celery is omitted, and oranges and bananas are added.
The apples add a nice crunch against the soft and juicy grapes and bananas. A mixture of red and green grapes give it festive holiday colors. Then gently toss it all in a light coating of honey yogurt dressing with some nice, toasty walnuts, and you have something more fun and festive than a plain old fruit salad.
And the dressing is made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and lightly sweetened with honey and orange juice.
How do you make a good fruit salad?
Fresh fruit with a combination of flavors, colors, and textures will give you the best-tasting fruit salad. And a light Greek yogurt dressing pulls it all together for a creamy dish with an extra bit of sweetness. As an added bonus, besides adding flavor, it also helps prevent the fruit from turning brown, meaning you can make it in advance. And don’t forget some toasted nuts for a bit of crunch.
The best fruits for fruit salad
Typically you’ll want to choose fruits that are in season so that they taste the best. Summer fruit salad often contains berries and watermelon and other fruits that grow in the warm weather. This can be more challenging in the winter. But there are some types of fruit that still taste fresh, sweet, and delicious even around Christmas. When when you make your fruit salad with yogurt dressing, it brightens up the flavors even in the colder months.
- Apples – use your favorite variety based on how sweet or tart you like them. I usually use Gala or Fuji apples. You can peel them or leave the peels on for more color.
- Grapes – I like to mix red and green grapes for the colors, but you can just use one type.
- Oranges – cut off the peel and the white pith and cut the orange into segments. Then, once you have cut the orange from the membranes, squeeze the extra juice into a bowl to use in the yogurt dressing
- Bananas – you’ll want them to be ripe but not too soft.
- Walnuts – not a fruit, but they do add a nice crunch. You can also substitute pecans, or even try Honey Glazed Walnuts.
You can substitute pomegranate seeds for the walnuts to give it a more festive color and as a nut-free option.
You only need three simple ingredients for a sweet, creamy, and delicious yogurt dressing.
- Yogurt – plain Greek yogurt is recommended, but you can use regular or non-dairy yogurt too, though the dressing will be a bit thinner. If you use vanilla or another sweetened yogurt, omit or reduce the honey.
- Orange juice – reserved from segmenting the oranges.
- Honey – you can also use maple syrup.
Stir these together, pour over the fruit, and toss until coated.
Tips for Success
How do you cut oranges for fruit salad?
For this fruit salad, you will want to segment the oranges, also known as cutting it into supremes. This ensures that you have removed all of the pith, or white part, which can be bitter. It also gives you bright pops of color without the chewy membranes in the fruit salad. Then you can squeeze the juice from the membranes for the dressing so you don’t have to use an additional orange.
Here is what you need to do:
- Using a serrated knife, cut off the top and bottom of the orange. BRIANNE’S NOTE: This is the serrated knife I use.
- Place one of the flat sides down on the cutting board and cut the peel off from top to bottom, ensuring that you have removed the pith. Do this all the way around the orange.
- Then cut off each segment, or supreme, by cutting as close to the membrane as possible to slice out each wedge.
- Once you have removed all of the segments, squeeze the juice from the membranes into a bowl and set aside.
Can I make it the night before?
Yes, you can make this Waldorf fruit salad the night before, or save any leftover for the next day. If you are making it in advance, I recommend leaving the nuts on the side and mixing them in or just sprinkling them on top right before serving
I’ll make it up the day before (leaving the walnuts on the side so that they don’t get mushy overnight), and then for those that just want a light breakfast, they can grab a bowl, and for those that want to pick on some cookies or pastries that we undoubtedly have around, this is a nice, healthy breakfast “side dish”.
How do I keep fruit salad from turning brown?
Once peeled and cut, fruits like apples and bananas can start to turn brow. Generally, the way to prevent this is by tossing the fruit in acid such as lemon juice, or, for a less tart option, pineapple juice.
In this recipe, the yogurt is acidic, and it is mixed with orange juice. That is why making a fruit salad with yogurt dressing will prevent the fruit from turning brown rapidly. I still recommend eating it within a couple of days.
Waldorf fruit salad completes your Christmas breakfast or a brunch any time of the year. You can pair it with so many of your favorite morning dishes.
- Start your brunch with muffins like Zucchini Carrot Healthy Muffins or Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins.
- Eggs are always great for brunch, especially Turkey Swiss Quiche or Feta Spinach Frittata, but don’t forget the bacon and sausage.
- Treat yourself to Gluten Free Eggnog Coffee Cake or Nutella Cheese Danish Ring.
- Sprinkle some Gluten Free Granola or Eggnog Granola on top.
Waldorf Fruit Salad
- 2 apples, peeled (if desired) and chopped
- 2 oranges, cut into supremes or segments, juice squeezed from membranes after cutting out the segments, and reserved (see Note 1)
- 1 banana cut into chunks
- 2 cups grapes, halved if desired (I like to use a mixture of red and green)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon honey or to taste
- 1/2 cup walnuts toasted
- Combine all of the fruit in a large bowl and mix.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, and juice reserved from the orange and stir until smooth.
- Pour the yogurt mixture over the fruit, add the walnuts (see Note 2), and toss gently to combine.