Winter Fruit Salad

A fruit salad for the months when fresh fruit is scarce, a combination of fresh, frozen and canned fruit, brightened with lemon peel and Grand Marnier. Winter Fruit Salad is a beautiful fruit salad for buffets, brunches and other family gatherings. Early Easter, anyone?
Winter Fruit Salad ♥, when fresh fruit is scarce, a combination of fresh, frozen and canned fruit brightened with lemon peel and a fruity liqueur like Grand Marnier. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.


It’s here! Or in the North, as the calendar promises, it’s coming, truly, it is!

Outside, spring’s arrival is manifested in nature’s simple gifts. Tiny rabbit tails on the pussy willows. Crocuses poking out of the earth as if to thumb their colorful noses at remaining bits of snow cover. The first flush of green in the tree tops.

When it comes to fresh fruit, however, we must do without a bit longer. Even supermarket strawberries are unpredictable right now. They were beautiful two weeks ago. But last week? None to be found.

Whether you make this fruit salad in late winter or early spring, it makes the wait a bit easier for it’s as good as any summer batch.

Lemon peel for Winter Fruit Salad ♥

So Little Fruit During the Winter

While a summer fruit salad is lovely, during the winter months fresh fruit (if it can be found at all) is just too expensive and not all that good. This recipe is surprisingly good, a perfect mix of fresh, frozen and canned fruit.

There's one trick to Winter Fruit Salad. It's important to use lemon peel, not lemon zest. The peel adds a bright burst of lemon! For lemon peel, use a paring knife or a potato peeler to remove thin strips of all peel, leaving the bitter white pith behind. It'll come off the lemon in swaths, then use a knife to cut the lemon peel into tiny slivers.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Makes 8 cups
  • 12 ounces frozen strawberries, sugared or unsugared
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (use 4 tablespoons if the strawberries are unsugared)
  • 15 ounces canned peaches (no sugar added), drained and chopped or 12 ounces frozen peaches
  • 15 ounces canned pineapple (fresh if available), drained and sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tart apple, preferably a Granny Smith for color, skin on, chopped
  • 8 ounces seedless red grapes
  • Peel from one lemon, slivered (essential)
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier orange-flavored liqueur, another fruity liqueur or Marsala or dry sherry

Cut the still-frozen strawberries into bite-size pieces, then stir the strawberries and sugar together in a large bowl, be gentle but stir to help the sugar dissolve. Stir in the remaining ingredients and combine well but gently.

Refrigerate for at least an hour (longer is fine), occasionally stirring gently to distribute the sugar and juices, until the strawberries are no longer frozen but still cold.

Stir one last time, then transfer to a pretty clear glass bowl for serving.

Can be made several hours in advance but if so, I do recommend adding the banana and apple just before serving.

ALANNA's TIPS Frozen strawberries and canned peaches are actually preferred so don’t be tempted to use fresh fruit. I also have great luck with frozen peaches. For a crowd, to my taste, it's best to keep the same amount of pineapple (which can take over, a bit) and instead add more apple and banana. Naturally, this is fruit salad so go ahead, add what tastes good, what's available. I especially like to add fresh tangerines cut into thirds and half circles of kiwi. On occasion, a handful of frozen sweet or sour cherries are wonderful. Be careful, canned pears are too soft for this fruit salad, avoid them! All that extra fruit fills my trifle bowl that's pictured, that's about 14 cups of fruit. Because I leave the sugar and liqueur amounts the same, it also helps with the calories and Weight Watchers points! For dieters and diabetics, Splenda can be substituted for the sugar. Serve this in your prettiest glass bowl at brunch or as a simple dessert one evening. After ripening in the fridge a few days, Winter Fruit Salad is delectable served atop vanilla ice cream or with a drizzle of Greek yogurt. For a non-alcoholic fruit salad, I'd make a lemon simple syrup or a ginger simple syrup, I think it would be wonderful!
Per cup as written: 145 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 34g Carb; 4g Fiber; 27g Sugar; 2mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 8 & Freestyle 2
Per cup when made with extra fruit yielding 14 cups: 95 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 23g Carb; 3g Fiber; 19g Sugar; 1mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1.5 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 2

Let's Talk Weight Watchers SmartPoints Do we like 'em or not? In late 2015, Weight Watchers switched its point system again. I'm actively updating the point information in some 1700 recipes (yikes) between A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade. And I'm tracking the difference in points between the most recent PointsPlus and the new SmartPoints. I find little point change in most of my main dishes, the portion sizes are reasonable, most include vegetables, etc.

But for sweets? Wow, look out, there are big point changes. While I'm fine that Weight Watchers steers our diet choices away from processed sugars and sweets, the new SmartPoints really do add up, even for something as simple as fruit salad. For me, Weight Watchers is losing its appeal that you can "eat anything, just make smart choices". Just look at the numbers for fruit salad with minimal added sugar. I dunno. Thoughts, anyone?

Freestyle: A Course Correction And then just a year later, Weight Watchers announced a major change in how it counts SmartPoints. The point calculations itself remains the same. But what does change? Some 200 different ingredients (mostly vegetables and fruits but also select lean proteins and dairy) are "free" – their calories/nutrition are not included when the Freestyle points are calculated. That's better, Weight Watchers!

More Fruit Salad Recipes

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2003, 2008, 2015 & 2016 (repub) & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This fruit salad looks (and sounds!) fantastic! I have frozen peaches and blueberries from picking season - yum! And you're right - perfect for Easter. Thanks, as always!

  2. Graceeeee! on Pinterest7/31/2020

    Missing the kiwi lol added OJ instead of sugar


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna