Fruit Salad With Vanilla Pudding

Made with an assortment of juicy fruit combined with creamy vanilla pudding, you’re going to love this easy 3-ingredient fruit salad recipe.

Cup of fruit salad with vanilla pudding.

This recipe for fruit salad with vanilla pudding is absolutely delicious and Mama and I have been enjoying it for over 20 years. A friend on a diet passed on the recipe back in the day and she called it “super fruit salad”, so that’s what we’ve always called it. We make ours with no added sugar and it ends up counting as a fruit in most diets but with a lot more flavor and variety than eating a single banana or an apple. 

This fruit salad recipe with vanilla pudding is just so stinking good, so stinking easy, and if you choose your ingredients right you can reduce the sugar compared to normal fruit salads. The three simple ingredients we’re using are canned fruit cocktails, canned mandarin oranges, and vanilla pudding. The instructions are just as simple. All we need to do is make the vanilla pudding (which we mix with the canned fruit juice to make it into an extra flavorful vanilla sauce) and combine it with the canned fruit. It will take like 5 minutes.

The only downside is you need to refrigerate the fruit salad for several hours before enjoying it, so all those flavors mingle together and the fruit soaks up that creamy vanilla pudding. But let me tell you, this fruit salad is worth the wait. Ready to make my easy fruit salad recipe? Let’s go!

Ingredients for fruit salad with vanilla pudding.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • No-sugar-added fruit cocktail (any kind)
  • No-sugar-added fruit of your choice (I’m using mandarin oranges)

How to Make Fruit Salad With Vanilla Pudding

Drain juice from canned fruit into a bowl.

Drain all of the juice from your cans into the bowl.

Canned fruit juice in a bowl.

Like this.

Add dry pudding mix to fruit juice in bowl.

Pour your dry pudding mix over the top of it.

Whisk together pudding and juice.

Stir that up really good with a wire whisk.

You can also just shake all of this up in a quart-sized mason jar or even mix it up with an electric mixer if you want. This recipe can be prepared according to your mood.

If you end up with a few lumps, don’t worry about them. Once this has set for a while, you can stir the fruit up again and the lumps will go away easily.

They also taste pretty good if you get a hold of one on your spoon.

Add canned fruit to pudding in bowl.

Dump in your fruit.

Mix ingredients together.

Stir that up well.

Cover and refrigerate fruit salad for several hours.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

I like to leave it overnight to let the flavors mingle together.

Cup of fruit salad with vanilla pudding.


If you’ve never had fruit salad with vanilla pudding before, you’re gonna be surprised at how good it is.


If you just use canned fruit in your fruit salad, it will last up to 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. However, if you opt to throw in some fresh fruit, it will only last about 2 to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

  • Other canned fruit options rather than mandarin orange segments include peaches and pineapple chunks.
  • While I’m using sugar-free and no-sugar-added options, you don’t have to.
  • For a burst of citrus flavor, add the lime zest or lemon zest from 1 lime/lemon, or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or lime juice.
  • For a sweet touch, add 1 cup of miniature marshmallows.
  • Feel free to change up the pudding flavor as well. Butterscotch pudding would be perfect for fall.

Recipe FAQs

What other fruit can I add to my fruit salad?

Feel free to add some frozen fruit or fresh fruit to your salad, such as a chopped apple, sliced strawberries, chopped grapes, blueberries, or sliced bananas. Opt for about 2 cups overall. Just keep in mind that the fruit you add will most likely lessen the amount of time this stays good in the fridge. 

How do you serve fruit salad?

This is a crowd-pleasing dessert as is. However, you can also serve the fruit salad topped with Cool Whip or whipped cream, spooned over vanilla ice cream or plain Greek yogurt, or with a slice of pound cake.

I think you’ll also enjoy these fruit salad recipes:

5 Cup Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad With Honey Lemon Dressing

Snickers Caramel Apple Salad

Festive Holiday Fruit Salad

Front Porch Fruit Salads

Aunt Cathie’s Southern Grape Salad

Fruit Salad With Vanilla Pudding

Made with an assortment of juicy fruit combined with creamy vanilla pudding, you're going to love this easy 3-ingredient fruit salad recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fruit, salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 50kcal


  • 2 10-ounce cans no-sugar-added fruit cocktail
  • 1 12-ounce can no-sugar-added mandarin oranges
  • 1 1-ounce box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix


  • Drain juice from all cans into a medium bowl. Pour pudding over the top and stir with a wire whisk until smooth.
    2 10-ounce cans no-sugar-added fruit cocktail, 1 12-ounce can no-sugar-added mandarin oranges, 1 1-ounce box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Dump in fruit and stir until well combined.
    2 10-ounce cans no-sugar-added fruit cocktail, 1 12-ounce can no-sugar-added mandarin oranges
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 45g
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

A few years back I did a post with more diet-friendly and lower recipes called the Lighter Side Of Southern. Click here to visit that post. 

Dolly Parton on responding to critics and people who gave her a hard time: 

“I didn’t listen to any of those people, I never do.

I simply chose to toss their negativity onto the express train that ran

in one ear and out the other.”

~Dolly Parton

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  1. Thanks for a sugar free receipt – Can’t get too many of them – especially when someone in the family is diabetic….

  2. Wow your timing is perfect!….We have a “Martha & Mary” ministry at church where once a month we get together & cook and take food to those in our community that might could use a little extra attention. Weather it’s the arrival of a new baby or maybe someone who has a run of unfortunate circumstances we make a list, plan, and get to work. We feed on average around 30-35 people..which is made up of families ect. We are in a small community & serve not only those within our church but someone may have a neighbor friend or co-worker who needs a little TLC. !The menu for next week is Roast, Potatoes, salad, rolls, fruit salad and cookies….so this would be a wonderful fruit salad to take! and that is what I signed up to Bring….we have fun eating together, packaging the food and sharing recipe during this time of service to others….Thanks Christly for another SP recipe to share…;)

  3. Isn’t this along the lines of your other fruit salad? This is more a short cut and sugar free version right? I love the other one need to cut some calories may try this soon. Keep up the great work. Hope all is well with family.

  4. Thumbcat is cute. I had a polydactyl and his name was Digit. He was also adopted. I make this fruit salad all the time with fresh fruit and canned mandarin oranges and pineapple. I do however, make it with a little whipped cream on occasion ;).

  5. It’s OK for you to take a break but we NEVER get tired of your “ramblings”! Hope and pray the family situation is for fun and not sickness! Love your web site and your ramblings!

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