This is the best berry salad I’ve ever had! Beautiful fresh mixed berries tossed in an orange vanilla dressing makes a colorful side dish for any meal or brunch.
I’m thinking this needs to be part of our Easter brunch spread. Yes.
Out of all types of fruit, I’m 100% a berry girl. I LOVE fresh berries — especially blackberries.
While eating them plain at their peak of ripeness is truly the best way to eat them, I REALLY loved them in this berry fruit salad.
And the orange vanilla dressing is such a fun twist! It creates a fruity creamsicle situation that I AM HERE FOR.
First let’s talk about berries.
How to choose good berries for berry fruit salad
Choose berries that are bright in color, but not mushy or too soft.
The bulk of this summer berry salad is strawberries. Fresh strawberries compliment this dressing SO well and they’re sturdy and can handle being stirred around.
For the rest, you can choose whatever mixed berries you like. I liked a combination of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
TIP: Make sure your raspberries aren’t too soft or they’ll break apart in the salad and become part of the dressing. Actually that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re not wanting that, choose ones that are more firm. And fold them in at the very end.
How to wash and store berries
Berries are notorious for molding quickly — especially after washing. Here’s a little trick to store berries after washing so they don’t spoil as quickly.
TIP: Soak berries in a very large bowl with 3-4 Tablespoons of white vinegar for 15 minutes or so. Rinse well. Spread them out on a clean kitchen towel to dry COMPLETELY before transferring them to a paper towel lined lidded container to chill.
This vinegar soaking method also helps to remove any pesticide residue if your berries aren’t organic. Organic berries can be pricey and when my kids can eat entire containers in minutes… I don’t always buy organic.
Dressing for berry salad
I really love orange with berries. And I love vanilla with berries. And I love orange and vanilla.
So, recipe math suggests… berries + orange + vanilla = steller combo.
And it was. Holy cow. I LOVED the way this vanilla orange honey dressing added a little more sweetness and citrusy goodness to this mixed berry salad recipe.
Ingredients for berry salad dressing
- Fresh orange juice & zest
- Fresh Lime juice
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Sea salt (just a pinch!)
How to make mixed berry salad
Just whisk the dressing together in a big bowl, add the berries, then fold them carefully to get them all coated well.
Like I said before, if you’re worried about your raspberries falling apart, fold them in after you’ve mixed the dressing into the salad to avoid breakage.
Can fruit salad be made ahead of time?
Berries start to break down really quickly after coated in citrus. You can probably get buy with an hour or two ahead of time, but no longer than that. Just keep it chilled until you’re ready to eat.
Alternately, you can put the berries in a serving bowl and keep the dressing in another container, then combine them right before serving. That will save you a few minutes of prep time.
Can I use the orange vanilla dressing in a regular fruit salad?
Sure! I can see this dressing being really great in a salad with apples, grapes, mandarin orange slices, and strawberries!
Can I add yogurt to the fresh berry salad?
Adding yogurt to this salad might make it really soupy since there’s already liquid from the dressing and some that the berries will naturally release.
I recommend adding plain yogurt to individual servings instead of mixing it with the whole salad. I ate some of this salad with a dollop of Greek yogurt and it was delicious that way.
If you need this berry fruit bowl to be dairy free, use vegan yogurt.
Can I omit the honey?
Sure! If your berries are really ripe and sweet you might not need the extra bit of sweetness from the honey.
Should I use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste?
Either works well! I tried both and really loved the extra punch of vanilla from vanilla bean paste, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
Can I use frozen berries in this salad?
As soon as the frozen berries thaw out, they’ll be a mushy mess. I suppose you could toss the dressing with frozen berries and eat it immediately… But don’t let it sit for a while.
What to serve with this Mixed Berry Salad
If you’re serving this fresh berry salad as part of a brunch spread here are some things that would go well with it!
More Fruity Salad Recipes on Perry’s Plate
If you like this mixed berry fruit salad, try one of my other salad recipes with berries and other types of fruit!
If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!
- 1 orange
- 1 lime
- 3-4 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 1 pound mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
- Zest the whole orange (about 2 teaspoons) and juice it (about 1/2 cup). Whisk together the orange zest, juice, juice from the lime (about 4 teaspoons), honey, anthe first 5 ingredients in a medium to large serving bowl.
- Trim the greens off the strawberries and quarter them. Add the strawberries to the bowl along with the rest of the berries.
- Stir gently to coat everything in the dressing. Serve immediately or chill and serve within 2 hours.
- Make sure your raspberries aren't too soft or they'll break apart in the salad and become part of the dressing. Actually that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're not wanting that, choose ones that are more firm. And fold them in at the very end after mixing the salad together.
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