African Fruit Salad Recipe - A Delicious and Exotic Treat

African Fruit Salad

African Fruit Salad Recipe - A Delicious and Exotic Treat
Region / culture: Africa | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Servings: 6


African Fruit Salad
African Fruit Salad

African Fruit Salad is a vibrant and refreshing dish that combines the rich flavors and textures of various fruits, greens, and nuts, dressed in a tangy lime-infused mayonnaise. This salad is not only a feast for the eyes but also a nourishing treat for the body, offering a unique blend of tastes that capture the essence of African culinary diversity. Perfect for any occasion, this salad is sure to impress with its balance of sweet, sour, and creamy elements.


The African Fruit Salad is a testament to the continent's rich agricultural heritage, showcasing a variety of fruits that are native to or thrive in Africa's diverse climates. Historically, salads in Africa have always been more than just side dishes; they are a celebration of seasonal produce and local flavors. This particular recipe, with its use of tropical fruits and a unique lime dressing, reflects the fusion of indigenous ingredients and colonial influences, evolving over time into the delightful dish we enjoy today.


Lime Dressing

How to prepare

  1. In a 2-gallon bowl, stem, wash, and tear into medium-sized pieces: raw spinach, romaine, chicory, and lettuce.
  2. Fill the bowls with the mixture of greens.
  3. Use any fresh fruits, coconut, and chopped peanuts in combinations like this:
  4. Fresh pineapple cut into fingers, about 3 per bowl.
  5. Fresh mango in strips, about 2-3 per bowl.
  6. Avocado, dipped in lemon juice and cut into strips.
  7. Fresh coconut, cut into thin slices.
  8. Oranges (California type), thinly sliced with skins left on.
  9. Bananas, cut into chunks, thinly coated with mayonnaise and dipped in chopped peanuts (or coconut).
  10. And 1 pt (473 ml)-basket strawberries or any berries in season.
  11. Arrange the fruits attractively in the individual salad bowls or in one large bowl.
  12. Serve with lime dressing

Lime Dressing

  1. Grate limes, and add grated rinds with their juice to 1 qt (946 ml) mayonnaise.
  2. Fold in whipped cream sweetened with 2 tbsp sugar and a few drops of green vegetable coloring.


  • Tropical Twist: Add kiwi, papaya, and guava for an even more tropical flavor.
  • Nutty Delight: Incorporate a variety of nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans for added crunch and nutrition.
  • Citrus Burst: Include grapefruit and tangerines for a tangier salad.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and presentation for your African Fruit Salad, consider the following tips:

- Use the freshest fruits available for maximum sweetness and texture.

- When preparing the greens, make sure they are thoroughly washed and dried to avoid a soggy salad.

- Coat bananas in lemon juice not only for flavor but also to prevent them from browning.

- For a lighter dressing, you can substitute half of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.

- Add the dressing just before serving to keep the salad crisp.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is perfect as a standalone meal for lunch or as a refreshing side dish for dinner. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats or fish, adding a fresh and fruity contrast to savory flavors.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in preparing this salad involve properly washing and preparing the greens and fruits, and carefully folding the dressing to maintain a light and creamy consistency.

Ingredient Substitutions

Vegan Mayo: Use vegan mayonnaise in the dressing for a plant-based version.

- Honey: Substitute sugar in the dressing with honey for a natural sweetener.

- Yogurt: Use Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise for a lighter dressing.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the fruits and greens ahead of time, storing them separately in the refrigerator. Mix the dressing in advance but combine all elements just before serving to maintain freshness.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a large, clear bowl to showcase the colorful layers of fruits and greens. Garnish with edible flowers or mint leaves for an extra touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this salad with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a light Pinot Grigio, to complement the fresh flavors of the fruits.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day. Avoid reheating to maintain the texture of the fruits and greens.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

The calorie content per serving will vary based on the specific ingredients and their quantities. On average, a serving of African Fruit Salad can range from 200 to 400 calories, making it a relatively light yet satisfying option.


This salad is a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the fruits used. Fruits like bananas, mangoes, and pineapples are rich in natural sugars, providing quick energy. The total carbohydrate content will vary depending on the specific fruits and quantities used.


The main source of fats in this salad comes from the mayonnaise in the dressing and the natural fats found in avocados and nuts. Using a light or reduced-fat mayonnaise can lower the overall fat content. The fats present are a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats, important for a balanced diet.


Proteins in this salad are found in smaller amounts, coming from the nuts and the mayonnaise. For an added protein boost, consider incorporating grilled chicken strips or tofu for a more substantial meal.

Vitamins and minerals

This salad is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, thanks to the wide variety of fruits and greens used. Vitamins A, C, and E are abundant, along with minerals like potassium and magnesium, contributing to overall health and well-being.


Common allergens in this recipe include nuts and mayonnaise (which contains eggs). Always check with guests for any food allergies and adjust the recipe accordingly to ensure it's safe for everyone to enjoy.


Overall, the African Fruit Salad is a nutritious dish, offering a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a healthy option that doesn't compromise on flavor or satisfaction.


The African Fruit Salad is a celebration of flavors, textures, and colors, offering a nutritious and delicious option for any meal. With its rich history and versatility, this salad can be adapted to suit any taste or dietary need, making it a timeless dish to enjoy with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear memory of the first time I saw this recipe for African Fruit Salad. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Africa. My grandmother, who was known for her amazing cooking skills, had invited some friends over for a special dinner. As I watched her prepare the meal, I couldn't help but be drawn to the vibrant colors and exotic flavors of the dishes she was creating.

One dish in particular caught my eye - a beautiful fruit salad made with a mix of tropical fruits, tangy citrus juices, and a hint of spice. I had never seen anything quite like it before, and I was immediately intrigued. As I watched my grandmother carefully slice and dice the fruits, adding just the right amount of each ingredient, I knew that I had to learn how to make this delicious salad myself.

After the dinner was over and our guests had left, I approached my grandmother with a shy smile and asked her if she would teach me how to make the African Fruit Salad. She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and agreed, saying that it was a family recipe that had been passed down through generations. I was thrilled at the prospect of learning this special dish, and eagerly followed her into the kitchen.

As we began to gather the ingredients, my grandmother explained the significance of each one. The mango, she said, represented the sweetness and abundance of life. The pineapple symbolized hospitality and friendship. The papaya stood for health and vitality. And the kiwi added a touch of exoticism and mystery to the mix.

I watched in awe as my grandmother expertly peeled, pitted, and sliced each fruit, her hands moving with a grace and precision that only comes from years of practice. She showed me how to combine the fruits in a large bowl, gently tossing them together to ensure that the flavors melded harmoniously.

Next, she taught me how to make the dressing - a simple yet flavorful concoction of fresh lime juice, honey, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. She explained that the tangy citrus juices would help to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruits, while the spice would add a subtle kick to the salad.

Finally, it was time to assemble the dish. My grandmother scooped the fruit into individual serving bowls, drizzling the dressing over the top and garnishing each one with a sprig of fresh mint. The colors of the fruits popped against the white porcelain bowls, creating a stunning visual display that was almost too beautiful to eat.

But eat we did, savoring each bite of the African Fruit Salad with delight. The flavors exploded on my tongue, a symphony of sweet, tart, and spicy notes that danced together in perfect harmony. I felt a sense of connection to my heritage and my ancestors as I enjoyed this traditional dish, knowing that I was carrying on a culinary legacy that had been passed down through generations.

As I grew older and ventured out into the world, I took my grandmother's recipe for African Fruit Salad with me wherever I went. I shared it with friends and family, impressing them with the exotic flavors and colorful presentation. And every time I made the salad, I felt a sense of pride and gratitude for the woman who had taught me how to create such a delicious and meaningful dish.

Now, as I look back on that day in my grandmother's kitchen, I realize that the recipe for African Fruit Salad is more than just a dish - it is a piece of my family's history, a connection to my roots, and a reminder of the love and care that went into every meal my grandmother cooked. And every time I make the salad, I am reminded of her wisdom, her passion for cooking, and her generous spirit that continues to inspire me to this day.


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