Better Fruit Salad


This fresh and fruity salad is a potluck staple for good reason – it comes together in a flash and keeps everybody happy. Both kids and adults will dive into the sweet, tropical flavors. The cherry pie filling provides a pop of color as vibrant as the taste.

With just a few pantry ingredients, you can whip up this easy crowd-pleasing dessert salad. Thanks to canned fruit and condensed milk, prepping it takes mere minutes. But the flavor payoff is immense. Sweet cherry pie filling and pineapple provide tropical flair, while toasted pecans and coconut add crunch. The end result is a salad bursting with flavor and texture.

This no-fuss fruit salad is about to become your go-to potluck contribution. It handles the crowds, travels well, and satisfies sweet tooths of all ages. Canned fruits and condensed milk mean you likely have most of the ingredients on hand already. Simply mix up the goods, chill it briefly, and head out the door. This make-ahead dessert lets you enjoy the party instead of stressing in the kitchen.

Bright, sweet and creamy, this fruit salad never disappoints. Pineapples, cherries, and pecans give it a vibrant tropical vibe. Thanks to convenient canned ingredients and just a few minutes of hands-on time, it couldn’t be easier to prep. You’ll breeze through step one, two and three – open, drain, mix. Then kick back until it’s time to dig in!

What type of canned fruit cocktail works best for this recipe?

For this fruit salad, you can use any variety of canned fruit cocktail packed in juice or light syrup. Just be sure to drain off any excess liquid before adding it to the recipe, so the salad doesn’t get too watery. Fruit cocktail typically contains a mix of diced peaches, pears, grapes, cherries and pineapple. Feel free to use generic or store brand fruit cocktail to save money.

Can I substitute frozen whipped topping for homemade whipped cream?

Yes, frozen whipped topping can easily be substituted in this recipe. Thaw an 8-ounce container of frozen whipped topping overnight in the refrigerator or quickly at room temperature. Make sure it is completely thawed and smooth before folding it into the fruit mixture. The frozen whipped topping will work nicely in place of homemade whipped cream.

What if I want to omit or substitute ingredients like coconut or marshmallows?

You can absolutely customize this fruit salad by omitting or substituting mix-in ingredients to suit your personal taste preferences. If you want to leave out the marshmallows, simply omit them from the recipe. In place of the coconut, consider additions like chocolate chips, dried fruit, chopped nuts, or other mix-ins you enjoy. Feel free to get creative!

How long will this fruit salad keep in the refrigerator?

Properly stored in an airtight container, this fruit salad will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. The flavors continue to develop nicely as it chills. Gently stir before serving to redistribute any liquid that has settled. You can also add a bit more whipped topping or nuts on top if desired.


  • 1 (15 oz) can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1⁄2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1⁄2 cup mini marshmallows


  1. Drain the fruit cocktail and pineapple chunks in a colander to remove excess juice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the drained fruit cocktail and pineapple chunks together.
  3. Add the cherry pie filling and gently fold until the fruit is fully coated for vibrant color.
  4. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir evenly to distribute. Recipe by
  5. Fold the thawed whipped topping into the fruit mixture until fully incorporated.
  6. Add the pecans, coconut flakes, and mini marshmallows. Gently combine.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.
  8. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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