This can be either a salad or a dessert. I will admit that we eat this mostly as a salad. If you are a member of the “Fruit is Not Dessert Club”, you will probably consider it a salad, also.
The recipe has probably made its rounds around the web in one for or another, but it is my “go to” fruit salad recipe because it is so versatile. The only two ingredients that you must have are the undrained pineapple and the instant pudding. After that, anything goes. This can be made with fresh, canned and drained or thawed and drained frozen fruit. I use either lemon or vanilla flavor pudding. The lemon pudding will keep the apples white, but kids usually like this better made with vanilla pudding. I use sugar-free. Pineapple tidbits are smaller so I like to use them, but chunks are OK.
I usually use a few maraschino cherries, quartered, for color, but if you prefer dried cranberries can be used instead. Sliced banana may be added just before serving.
This is quick and easy and can be made ahead.
Autumn Apple Salad
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits or chunks, undrained
1 small pkg. instant lemon or vanilla pudding mix, can be sugar free.
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
2 medium apples, peeled and chopped
1 can (15 oz.) fruit cocktail, drained or 1 can peaches or pears, drained and chopped or 2 fresh peaches or pears, peeled and chopped
8 maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
Pour pineapple chunks into a serving bowl. Add instant pudding mix and combine well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill a few hours to combine flavors. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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