Pineapple & Melon Fruit Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing – A super refreshing fruit salad made with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, orange segments, grapefruit segments, chopped mint, and a hint of honey. The perfect addition to any summer party, picnic, or BBQ!
The start of summer is just around the corner. That’s right, Memorial Day is in just 20 days, people! It feels like just yesterday that I was celebrating the beginning of Spring and its gorgeous weather. Now, I gotta hurry up and get in swimsuit shape. Ummmm…I’ll just stick to a one piece this year.
We may have 20 days of spring left but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking ahead for my summer recipes. One of my absolute-favorites for summer is this Pineapple & Melon Fruit Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing. Doesn’t it just sound refreshing?!
The inspiration for this recipe was a chopped fruit salad from a local sandwich shop. But it most definitely was not love at first sight. As I was waiting for the salad to arrive with my order, a few things went through my head:
- Not sure if I’ll like this since I do NOT like mint
- Wait, this fruit salad has orange AND grapefruit. Intriguing…
- I hate melon. Why am I getting this salad again?
So yeahhhhh. Based on my first impression, this salad did not stand a chance. But it was a hot day and I was not about to order chips or potato salad as a side. So fruit salad it was.
After my first bite, literally the first bite, my mind instantly switched from skeptic to believer. This salad was so refreshing! The mint flavor, which is what I was most concerned about, was slightly muted by the juices of the fruit and the sweetness of the honey so it wasn’t too intense.
And don’t even ask me to explain how all these melons, the fruit that is always left for last on a fruit platter, happened to rise from oblivion. I can’t! But somehow the whole thing came together to make one incredible salad. I even drank the juice afterwards like it was leftover cereal milk! No shame.
I usually make it for my weekly lunches since the melon can usually hold up for a few days without getting mushy. But this all depends on the ripeness of the fruit that you’re using. It’s also an amazing dish to take to picnics and BBQs!
This salad is so super easy to put together. But here are a few tips that I’ve learned after making it a few times:
- If you want a mild mint flavor, I recommend cutting the mint into thin strips (aka the chiffonade method). To do this easily, roll your leaves into a tube like a cigar. Then, starting at the top, slice the mint into thin strips. Once you’re done, the mint should look like little ribbons. If you want the mint flavor to be more prominent, you can dice up the mint into smaller pieces.
- If you are buying any of your fruit pre-cut (I did this for the pineapple), throw all the leftover juice into the salad. You will not regret it.
- It can be a little tricky to know how to cut segments from the membranes of citrus. I learned from years of watching Food Network shows. But here’s a great tutorial from Serious Eats to help you, if you need it. Just scroll to the bottom of that link. But I recommend that you use a paring knife, not a huge chef’s knife that they use in the tutorial. Not safe. After you’ve cut out the segments, squeeze the leftover membranes into the salad for extra juice.
Okay kids…that’s all there is to it! How excited are you to try this now?! I hope this recipe changes your mind about melon (and mint!) like it did for me. Let me know how you like it in the comments below!
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Pineapple & Melon Fruit Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing
- 3 cups watermelon diced in 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups cantaloupe diced in 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups honeydew diced in 1 inch cubes
- 1 whole pineapple diced in 1 inch cubes
- 2 large oranges
- 1 large pink grapefruit
- 1/2 ounce fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup honey
- Place cubes of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple into a large bowl (about 4 quarts). Toss together. Set aside.
- Grab one orange and slice off the skin so that the segments are exposed. Using a paring knife, carefully slice out the segments from the membrane and place on top of the melon mixture. When all segments are removed, squeeze the membrane over the salad to remove the extra juice. Repeat with second orange and with the grapefruit.
- Chop or chiffonade the mint and sprinkle over the salad. Drizzle the honey over the salad. Gently toss together to combine but be careful not to break apart the citrus segments since they're so delicate.
- Cover and let it chill for a couple hours to let the flavors come together. Depending on how ripe the melon is, it can last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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