Not complicated, but so yummy! You only need 20 minutes to make this crunchy, tangy, and refreshing fruit and vegetable salad, which is delicious either as a side dish or a light entree on a hot summer evening!
Now that warmer weather is finally here, I am really in the mood for fresh produce. Basically this salad was created taking some of my family's favorite fruits and vegetables, chopping them up, adding a citrus-y dressing and VOILA!
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
So many reasons to love this recipe!
- This recipe is guilt-free. So you can heap a big bunch on your plate and munch away!
- The dressing is super easy to make without any weird components like some of the store-bought dressings. Only 3 ingredients!
- It's a great way to get your kids to eat fruits and veggies. (There are many variations so you can pick the ingredients your kids will be most likely to eat.)
- The sunflower seeds add a nice nutty crunch, which I love!
- It looks so colorful, fresh, and pretty, especially when served in a crisp, green romaine lettuce leaf.
The best part of this for me is that I can just keep munching and munching on it and not have to worry about consuming a lot of carbs or calories. It reminds me of one of my favorite snacks, Chipotle Lime Edamame, which has SO much flavor but is also really good for you (and also has sunflower seeds...hmmm, I am sensing a theme here!)
Another good-for-you snack that I love is my Raspberry Frozen Yogurt (no sunflower seeds in this one, LOL).
How to make Fruit and Vegetable Salad - Step by Step
You will need cucumbers, strawberries, grapes, a red bell pepper, fresh basil, olive oil, a lime, salt, and sunflower seeds. Optional is romaine lettuce leaves for serving.
Chop the cucumber and red bell pepper.
Slice the strawberries and halve the grapes.
Chop the basil leaves.
Juice the lime, and mix the juice with the olive oil and salt.
Place the fruits and veggies in a bowl, with the basil and sunflower seeds, and pour the dressing over it.
Mix thoroughly and spoon into romaine lettuce leaves for serving.
FAQs ABOUT FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SALAD
Is this really good for you? Don't fruits have a lot of sugar?
Fruits do have sugar, but it is a natural sugar and not a processed sugar. Fruits are more satisfying in general than items containing processed sugar, so you are less likely to overeat them. And, they also contain fiber, vitamins, antioxidants!
Can I make this fruit and veggie salad ahead of time?
This recipe really tastes best when it is served immediately after preparing it. However, you can do the chopping ahead of time and store the piece in the refrigerator until ready to put it all together.
Can I use bottled lime juice?
Yes, I often use bottled lime juice because most of the time I forget to buy that lime, lol.
Can I make this into a pasta salad?
Absolutely! Rotini or penne work great. You will want to make some extra dressing to make sure everything gets well-coated!
MORE TIPS FOR MAKING FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SALAD
- Don't forget to wash your produce thoroughly and pat it dry. You don't want any extra liquid in the finished salad, so patting dry is important.
- If you are making the salad and then transporting it to a picnic, I recommend that you leave the sunflower seeds out until right before serving. That way they will still be nice and crunchy when everyone digs in.
- If your family likes basil, go ahead and add more than called for in the recipe. I often add more basil because we all enjoy it so much.
Variations for your Fruit and Vegetable Salad
- Not a fan of red bell pepper? Substitute chopped or shaved carrot.
- You don't have a lime or lime juice handy? Go ahead and use lemon juice!
- Forgot the cucumber? Substitute 4 stalks of celery, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
- Slicing strawberries is too much work? Substitute raspberries.
- Want to make the salad go farther? Add cooked chilled pasta, like rotini or penne, or even macaroni.
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FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SALAD
This is a great side dish to serve with hotdogs and hamburgers, barbecued chicken, or any picnic food. You can serve this as a main entree for a light, meatless, oven-free meal. (Sometimes that's the best kind of dinner on a hot summer day!)
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Fruit and Vegetable Salad
- Chop the cucumber, strawberries, grapes, and red bell pepper into bite sized chunks.
- Chop the basil leaves.
- Juice the lime. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, and salt.
- Place the chopped fruits, vegetables, and basil in a large bowl. Add the sunflower seeds.
- Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss to combine everything thoroughly.
- Spoon the salad onto romaine lettuce leaves for a fresh, pretty presentation.
- Make sure you pat the produce dry after washing. You don't want any extra liquid in the finished salad.
- This dish is best eaten right after preparing it. If you need to, chop the fruit and veggies ahead of time and then store in the refrigerator. That way you can quickly combine everything right before serving.
- If you need to make the fruit and veggie salad and then transport it to a picnic, it's a good idea to leave the sunflower seeds out until right before serving so they don't get soggy during the trip.
- If you don't have a lime, you can use about 2 1/2 tablespoons of bottled lime juice instead.
- Mix in some cooked chilled pasta for a heartier salad.
- Substitute celery for cucumber, raspberries for strawberries, or carrot for red bell pepper, if your family would prefer any of those.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in June 2013, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in May 2019.
If you are a fan of veggie salad
If you like fruit in your salad
Try this amazing Apple Walnut Salad - the flavor profile is fantastic! This is hearty enough to serve as a light meal, but it's also a perfect side salad for a weeknight dinner and an impressive side dish to serve during the holidays!
Check out my Dizzy Busy and Hungry store on Amazon for other great kitchen products I love!