April 2, 2013

Can you tell I’m the direct opposite of the “a magician never reveals his tricks” philosophy? This cook always reveals her tricks. So, what’s this fruit salad’s secret? It’s wonderfully simple. Dry instant vanilla pudding mix! The powder mixes with the juices of the fruits to make a delightful fruit salad dressing.

Below I’ve listed one combination of fruits for the salad, but of course this can work with any varieties.

And related! Here’s a way to actually get your produce really clean. (It’s easy and you have everything you need for it already.)

Secret Fruit SaladSecret Fruit Salad
Serves six

1 pound of strawberries, quartered
1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
2 peaches, sliced
2 cups grapes
2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix powder

Toss fruit with pudding mix powder.

Secret Fruit Salad

4.7 from 14 reviews
  • 1 pound of strawberries, quartered
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix powder
  1. Toss fruit with pudding mix powder.


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  • […] are another very important part of balanced nutrition. This Secret Fruit Salad takes a picnic classic and puts a unique, tasty spin on it! Mix fresh ingredients such as […]

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad… […]

  • This is a very clever idea. My husband likes to add a Sprite to fruit salads o help sweeten and draw out the juices but the pudding powder sounds better because it will thicken just a bit and so not be runny. I am pinning to try soon!

  • Pamela P

    Thank you so much! It turned out beautifully and everyone raved! You made me look like I knew what I was about. xx

  • […] a secret fruit salad but I’m not telling what the secret is all about. It sure looks […]

  • […] Recipe courtesy of Rachel Schultz. […]

  • Anonymous

    Was wondering if you use frozen fruit do you thaw in the refrigerator first before mixing?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I use fresh personally.

  • Anne

    Tastes great, but the pudding mix gets set and it looks unappetizing….. Any suggestions?

  • […] Secret Make-Ahead Fruit Salad […]

  • drb

    I am making Secret Fruit salad for a luncheon tomorrow. Can I mix today ? I am cutting fruit now.

    • Rachel Schultz


  • […] Secret Fruit Salad | Rachel Schultz […]

  • […] SECRET FRUIT SALAD – So, can you guess the secret? […]

  • Should the salad be soggy

  • Anonymous

    Should the salad be soggy or dry cause mines sorta soggy.

  • courtney

    hi, im making for my parent-tot group of 27 people. i cant imagine using 5 boxes of each ingredient like strawberries for instance. i am in Canada so this fruit is not cheap.
    What can go as a side to this for a snack?

  • De Ann

    Can you substitute sugar free vanila pudding?

  • Anonymous

    Loving that secret ingredient!

  • teri

    can you put watermelon in this fruit salad?

  • Annabelle

    Please advise what the purpose of the pudding is. Does it change the flavor of the fruit? Does it thicken the fruit salad. I’m confused but it sounds interesting.

  • Clarissa

    What if I only have butterscotch instant pudding and I’m in a pinch? Do you think it would work to substitute?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I think so!

  • Vicki

    Can use sugar free pudding?

  • Sheri

    Can this recipe sit for 2 days before serving

  • Helen

    can you use regular pudding?

  • Amy Nordstrom

    Does this recipe help with preserving the fruit and keeping it fresh? We are thinking of doing this ahead of time for a wedding.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Sorry, Amy. It would not

  • Laura

    I would like to make this for a party forabout 40 people.
    Could you please let me know much fruit and
    pudding mixi would need. Thank you. Can’t Waite to try

    • Patty

      Simple-when the recipe says it serves 3 to 4 and you want to serve 40 people: 40 divided by 4 equals 10. Now, multiply each ingredient by 10 and you will have the amount necessary to make the recipe. If your guests tend to be hungrier then divide 40 by 3 which is about 13. Now multiply each ingredient by 13. It’s that easy.

  • Tia Scott

    This is so YUMMM! I could literally devour the entire bowl in one sitting! Very fresh, fragrant and delicious! Thank you for sharing your secret;)

  • Erica

    If I were to use canned pineapple chunks, how much would I use?

  • Thanks for this recipe! I had it at a recent family dinner and everyone loved it! I reviewed my experience with it at:
    Hope you can check it out! Thx!!

  • Judy

    Question….strawberries are not in season and don’t look very pretty. Can I use frozen ? Making for Christmas

    • Rachel Schultz


  • great recipe

  • Jen in Florida

    I have made this for our work potlucks (8 qts
    at a time) on several occasions with one small
    addition of about 1 to 2 shots of orange liquer and
    I cut the fruit into 1/2 inch pieces(this seems to
    help the fruit absorb the pudding and liquer flavors
    a little bit better). There is never any left overs!

  • I served this fruit at a picnic and everyone wanted to know the secret. I hope you don’t mind that I told them.
    It is so simple and tasty!


  • Leila

    I made this for a group lunch and everyone wanted to know how I made the wonderful glaze on the fruit salad! It made me giggle :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Looking for new ideals help with students lunch and to encourage them eat fruit vegetable would hear your feed back thanks

  • tracy

    I would like to expand this receipt for a large party of 50. What are your suggestions for increasing the ingredients for a party of 50.

  • We made this for 4th of July last night. CROWD Pleaser! Great job. Thank you.

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad […]

  • dorothy white

    Never thought about pudding on fruit , but sounds good , am making tonight. Thank you.

  • […] Go to full Instructions […]

  • […] Food Porn of the Day: Secret Fruit Salad – Rachel Schultz […]

  • leticia

    One question, could you replace the dry pudding mix with turmeric for more of a health benefit?

    • Cheree Mathers

      I think you mean tapioca instead of turmeric? Turmeric is one of the key ingredients in yellow curry powder; whereas tapioca is a type of starch used for thickening much like cornstarch.

  • Heather Guthrie-Hoey

    Delicious!! BIG TX hit at our daughter’s high school track party! We did pineapple, blueberries, strawberries and black berries. Perfectly Sweet Healthy Blend! :-) THANK YOU RACHEL!! Sunny Blessings~

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad: The secret is dry vanilla pudding mix. It combines with all the juices from the fruit & makes a scrumptious dressing that coats every bite. *this is a recipe we have enjoyed for years~you would never guess the pudding in it. Great any time of the year!*Recipe […]

  • […] Chill them for a quick, refreshing snack that requires little prep, chop fruit up for a delicious fruit salad or rainbow fruit skewers. Craving more of a sweet treat? Add some light whipped cream to a […]

  • hi! this looks amazing! has anyone tried it with another flavor pudding like cheesecake or white chocolate?

  • Anonymous

    Secret Fruit Salad

  • Mary

    Can you use the cook type pudding? My grandson is allergic to some of the ingredients in instant pudding.

  • […] Go to full Instructions […]

  • I make fruit salad all the time but would have never thought to have added instant pudding mix! Trying this soon….thanks!! (Maybe that’s why I garden more so than cook =)

  • kim

    I tried this and my fruit came out pastey. It still tasted yummy but had a pastey film over it that did not look appealing. Any ideas?

    • Jen

      I had the same issue as Kim with fruit looking pasty. So I let fruit sit to release some juice and then took orange juice and poured just a small amount over top of the fruit. I then gently stirred fruit. Came out awesome and everyone loved it.

      • Kate

        My mom always made this but she mixed the pudding with pineapple juice.

  • Anonymous

    hi fruit salad

  • Anonymous


  • Brenda Davis

    If you use bananas will the pudding powder keep them from turning brown or do I need to use something else?

  • What a simple, yet superb idea, Rachel! Love it! I am going to try butterscotch pudding mix next – my favorite. I am sure it will taste just as good. Thanks for this tip.

  • Anonymous

    Love this #winkyface

  • […] See Full Recipe on […]

  • […] Go to full Instructions […]

  • I never would have thought to add pudding mix. This is genius!

  • […] Images 5|6 […]

  • Donna

    Tried the instant vanilla pudding with a different mix of fruit, oranges, apples, strawberries and banana’s – it was great! Wonderful at a breakfast Christmas party and the leftovers disappeared later at a family Christmas gathering. No one could figure out the dressing and were amazed when I told them.

  • Anonymous

    Looks really good!

  • Lisa

    Does it matter whether you use regular or sugar free pudding?? Thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no data backup.
    Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes, I use vaultpress.

  • Karen

    Hi. What’s pudding powder?

  • […] RECIPE […]

  • Anonymous

    Looks good

  • Branon

    Do you know how many calories are in each serving and how many servings it makes?

    • Amber Leigh

      It should be about 183 calories per serving.

  • This looks amazing girl!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Dana! Great to hear from you.

  • Sondra

    I never would’ve thought to use the instant pudding mix to flavor fruit salad!! So glad I stumbled across this little secret. :) My whole family loves it!!

  • Pmiller

    I’ve been making something similar for ages but ai use Jello instead of pudding. Definitely trying it with pudding.

  • Anonymous

    Try this

  • Paula

    I have never tried this but sounds yummy! Can you add watermelon to this recipe?

    • Deana

      I made it tonight with my kiddos and we used watermelon, strawberries, grapes and and raspberries with some pineapple juice since I didn’t have any pineapples. It was the fruit I found on sale and the kids loved helping at the pudding and stiring.

  • Anonymous

    Made this today for a potluck…it got rave reviews!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely delicious!!!

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad […]

  • Kim

    I used cheesecake pudding it was a huge hit!!

  • Holly

    Hi Rachel, I was wondering if you could tell me the nutrition facts on your secret fruit salad recipe. It would help me A LOT! Thank you!

    • Tina

      Nutrition facts, seriously? It’s fruit and jello pudding mix. Just look on the box silly! :-)

  • Tried it tonight and my guests thought it eas yummy!

  • Becky

    How long will this stay good refrigerated? If I am cutting the fruit, but not serving immediately, would I be better to wait until right before serving to add the pudding mix?

  • Tried this tonight and oh,the compliments! Big flavor difference…… it and thanks.

  • […] to a BBQ hosted by his aunt (who happened to also be celebrating her birthday on July 4).  I made this secret fruit salad to bring to the party. It was incredibly easy to make: just clean and cut the fruit (strawberries, […]

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad {378,000+ Repins!} […]

  • linda

    Hi Rachel, do you just sprinkle the pudding mix over the fruit?
    Or, am I missing something?

    Here’s another recipe for you. Use all the fruit you can get your hands on and here’s the dressing: 8oz softened cream cheese and l large tablespoon of sour cream. Mix together and stir into fruit. Enjoy!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yep, that’s correct. Thanks for the recipe too!

  • […] secret fruit salad […]

  • Amanda

    You need a printer friendly button to print recipes. :(

    • Rachel Schultz

      It’s on every recipe’s page. It’s a yellow button.

      • Michelle R.

        I don’t see a yellow print button anywhere.

        • Rachel Schultz

          Whoops! You’re right. Should be there now.

  • Anonymous

    try this recipe

  • Debbie

    Growing up my mom always served frozen fruit cocktail. Freeze can, thaw slightly in warm water, open end of can slide out and slice. She would serve a slice on a bed of lettuce.

  • sherry

    can you use greek yogurt in stead of pudding mix ? if i add bananas what do i add so they don’t turn brown ? thanks

    • A splash of lemon juice will work… though not sure how that will affect the flavor of this recipe.

  • Kat

    I have made this salad a few times and it is always a hit! This time I doubled the recipe for my sister’s bridal shower and had a few cups leftover. I have been using a cup of the fruit, 1 banana and 1/3 cup almond milk and blending it together in my blender. It is a quick and delicious fruit smoothie! Thanks for the great recipe :)

    • Rachel Schultz

      You’re welcome!

  • This sounds delicious!

  • nona

    My aunt used to take canned (undrained) fruit cocktail and add a couple of tablespoons of Jello lemon instant pudding to it and it was refreshing and light. I have used both sugar free and regular and they both work.

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad, so good! The secret is 2 tablespoons of dry vanilla pudding mix. […]

  • Karen Ayers

    Sounds awesome. Am trying it for tonight’s dinner.

    Thank so much for sharing it.

  • […] via Christy on […]

  • Thank you, thank you! Just made it and it’s almost gone – what a great idea :D

  • Kate

    It’s the sugar in the pudding that releases the fruit’s natural juices. Regular pudding works much better than the sugar free type.

  • Deborah

    The hubby and kids Loved this . Great idea!,,,

  • Sandy

    Got to try this-looks delicious!

  • Mary Furbee

    Place leftovers in blender and process until smooth adding a few tbsp yogurt. Whaa-laa and instant smoothie! YUMM

    • Rachel Schultz

      great tip!

  • Candice

    Anyone ever tried using watermelon in this recipe?

  • I’m in the UK so our idea of ‘pudding’ is probably not the same! What sort of mix is this? I.e. cooked for its intended purpose, what does it come out like? :)

    • Candice

      Here in the USA, a “pudding” is a creamy, dairy desert, traditionally made by slightly scalding milk in a pan with sugar and a couple of other ingredients. IT really means nothing else. But the British seem to call a lot of other things pudding. For example, “Yorkshire Pudding”, which includes chicken, pork or beef cooked in a crispy outer-batter.

    • Anonymous

      The UK version would be similar to a custard but not as thick. However I do believe you can buy custard powder there, might work if you can find an instant type, meaning not cooked over heat.

      • Marie

        It is Jello brand instant pudding. Don’t they sell it out there?

        • Katherine

          Custard powder isn’t as sweet as our instant pudding. Wouldn’t be the same. :o( I’ve never seen anything in UK shops that is equivalent. Sorry!

        • Katherine

          Custard powder (like Birds) isn’t as sweet as our instant pudding. Wouldn’t be the same. :o( I’ve never seen anything in UK shops that is equivalent. Sorry!

  • My Website / Blog | Secret fruit salad

    […] via secret fruit salad. […]

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad […]

  • Jan

    A friend made it with lemon pudding….. Very good!

  • How long will it last, want to make tonight to take camping on saturday?

  • Barbara

    Can you use frozen fruit and serve it ASAP and can you use the frozen fruit and keep it in the fridge without turning brown?

  • […] summer feast is complete without a sweet fruit salad! Rather than simply cutting up fruits and tossing them in a bowl, look around for simple tricks to […]

  • Corey

    Could you use sugar free pudding?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Sure can!

  • Awesome!!!!

  • Anonymous

    made it loved it!thanks

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great! I’m glad.

  • Marilyn

    Would canned pineapple chunks work in this

    • Rachel Schultz


  • […] Recipe: Secret Fruit Salad […]

  • Roxie

    Thank you so much for sharing! Def going to make for Mother’s Day!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great idea! Happy mother’s day!

  • […] Secret Fruit Salad (the secret is in dry vanilla) • • • • • • • • • • • • Strawberry Champagne Jello • • • • • • • • • • • • Strawberries + Mini Cream Eclairs […]

  • jennifer velazquez

    ok so i just made this and i accidently used the whole box of pudding mix. i added fresh orange juice and a little pineapple juice to try and loosen it up. any ideas???

    • Anonymous

      One full tub of cool whip topping. Seriously.

  • Linda

    Looks great! Could I use fat free pudding?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Gayla

    This is delicious !!!

  • […] Baker    ROW 2: Honey Feta Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds by Branny Boils Over // Secret Fruit Salad by Rachel Schultz // Magnolia Bakery’s Banana […]

  • Malena

    Made it today! I used cantaloupe and since I didn’t have pineapple I used a little bit of orange juice and it made a delicious dressing:))

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great idea! Glad you liked it.

  • […] credit:duvet // smoothie  // fruit  // […]

  • audrey

    can i mix the pudding with the pinapple juice that io planned on adding instead?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Stephanie

    I found that if you sift with a sifter the pudding mix it doesn’t clump. I used sugar free cheesecake flavor mix and it was delicious!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Good to know! Thanks.

  • I have a box of instant cheesecake pudding mix will that go well with mixed fresh berries?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes, that would work.

  • Niki

    I notice it says “sprinkle with pudding powder”. So you don’t mix or stir it into the fruit? Thanks for the recipe–can’t wait to try it!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes, you should stir. Thanks for the comment. I’ll clarify it in the recipe.

      • Niki

        Thank you–I am not a cook so I get to ask the stupid questions :)!

  • Mandy

    I am very excited to try this recipe but I am horrible at doubling recipes. If servings are 12-20 persons, what is the recommended amount of pudding mix and powder?
    Thank you for sharing : )

    • Rachel Schultz

      I would start with a 1/4 cup.

  • Anonymous

    Will the fruit turn brown or soggy if left in the fridge overnight?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Keli

    I did this and I found it just clumped really heavily. Any tips on how to prevent this?

    • Rachel Schultz

      How much powder did you use?

  • Nancy

    Will this work with bananas and fresh peaches?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes, basically any fruit is great for this!

  • Bridgegal

    Would this work with melons added too?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • carol buecker

    thanks for some wonderful ideas. so glad i found you

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks! I’m glad too.

  • Monica

    Will this work with frozen fruit?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Anonymous

    Would this work on frozen mixed fruit?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Would this work on jarred fruit salad? I am doing a meal for several hundred this weekend. We are putting out fruit salad that comes in gallon jugs. I am thinking this would make it more elegant.

    • Rachel Schultz


      • I will try it and let you know how it worked. Thank you!!

    • Anonymous

      In response to the canned or jarred fruit salad, I say yes! It is also known as Ambrosia Salad. Mix with some of the juice!

  • You know, I just had a strawberry pie on Easter that used pudding mix. It was a graham cracker crust, and then the sliced up strawberries were glazed with a mixture of pudding and jello boiled in water. I never would have thought of it, but it tasted great!

    • Rachel Schultz

      I know! Pudding mix, what a little gem.

  • yum! I can’t wait to try this.

    • Jamie

      I’m going to try it with sugar-free
      pudding mix.

      • Rachel Schultz

        I think it will work the same.

        • Anonymous

          Would cook and serve powder work as well?

          • Rachel Schultz

            I haven’t tried it, I only know that instant pudding works for sure.

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