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With seasonal ingredients and honey-yogurt dressing, this Creamy Winter Fruit Salad makes a lovely addition to a holiday breakfast or brunch. We’ve been making it for Christmas breakfast and even a Thanksgiving snack for decades! The festive colors and flavors ensure that it looks gorgeous on the table, but the bowl will be empty in minutes.
Why You’ll Love this Winter Fruit Salad
Do you make a special breakfast on Christmas morning? I always see recipes for holiday-inspired , or hear people talking about their tradition of making and eating a mountain of pancakes, but in our family, we always just seem to grab a nibble of cookies or whatever is around in between opening presents and getting ready to visit family.
But one thing we always had was a bowl of what we always called Waldorf Fruit Salad. It’s a sweet and wholesome mixture crisp apples, juicy oranges and grapes, soft bananas lightly coated in a creamy mixture of honey and Greek yogurt with some toasted nuts for crunch. Now it is part of our Christmas Eve breakfast-for-dinner tradition with something like Hawaiian Cheesy Scrambled Eggs.
Here’s why we love it so much, and you will too:
- So festive. Not only are the apples, oranges, and grapes in season, making them delicious, the colors of the fruit are so perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
- Simple to prepare. Chop the fruit, stir the dressing, toast the nuts, and toss it all together. It’s as easy as that, and you can even make it the night before.
- Fresh and healthy. Among the selection of holiday cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip pancakes, it’s a nice, light option to balance out the holiday indulgence.
How to Make Winter Fruit Salad
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need and how to assemble it. The full amounts and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Fruit Salad Ingredients
Wash your fruit and prep each one as instructed, then toss them all into a bowl.
- 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, or peel them. Cut them into chunks.
- Grapes – I like to mix red and green grapes for the colors, but you can just use one type. If they are very large, you can cut them in half.
- 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. Cut them into thick slices or chunks.
- Walnuts – not a fruit, but they do add a nice crunch. I recommend lightly toasting them in a skillet first. You can also substitute pecans, or even try Honey Glazed Walnuts. For a more festive color and nut-free option, try substituting pomegranate seeds.
Yogurt Dressing Ingredients
You only need three simple ingredients for a sweet, creamy, and delicious yogurt dressing. Stir these together, pour over the fruit, and toss until coated.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 you make your fruit salad with yogurt dressing, it brightens up the flavors even in the colder months.
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 creamy fruit salad 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.
Yes, you can make this Waldorf fruit salad the night before, or save any leftovers 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”.
This winter 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 Gluten Free Pumpkin 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 Gluten Free Honey Buns.
- Sprinkle some Gluten Free Granola or Eggnog Granola on top.
Creamy Winter 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.