If fruit salad isn’t “your thing” maybe it’s because you’ve never really had a delicious one. Those sugary fruit cocktails or watery fruits thrown in a bowl could definitely use some improvement. Here are a few tips on how to upgrade the taste and appearance of your next fruit salad without a ton of effort. 

1. Choose the best fruits 

It might go without saying, but you can’t throw bruised or aging fruit into a salad and expect it to taste great. Buy fresh fruit so it’s at its peak flavor. 

2. Pick a variety

If it has just one fruit is it really a salad? Two types of fruit in a bowl is just boring — and still not really a salad. Choose three or more types of fruit for a nice mix. Four or five is easy to hit if you throw in fruits that require little prep like blueberries or blackberries. 

3. Taste the rainbow

Fruits come in a literal rainbow of colors. While strawberries, cherries, and watermelon might taste fine together, we eat with our eyes, and our eyes want variety. Choose fruits from that cover the spectrum.

3. Mix up textures and tastes

Your personal preference may vary, but combining fruits with varying textures makes for a more interesting salad. Firm grapes taste great with soft mangoes. Tart kiwis tastes great with sweet strawberries, and so on. 

4. Start with an affordable base and go from there

If you’re making fruit salad for a large group, you may want to start off with affordable fruits and like cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple. But be sure to mix in plenty of smaller more exciting fruits like blueberries, blackberries, or peaches. 

5. Add something exotic

For a “wow” factor, add something unexpected like star fruit, fresh currants, pomegranate seeds or dragon fruit.

6. Avoid watermelon (maybe)

If you really love watermelon, go for it. Otherwise, serve watermelon sliced as its own side dish. Ripe watermelon will fill your bowl up with juice that will overpower all of the other delicate fruit flavors.

7. Add something extra

Perfectly fresh fruit can be delicious all on its own. But if you’re feeling creative, consider a light sprinkling of vanilla, lime juice, or muddled herbs like mint. Even some spice like cayenne pepper or finely minced jalapeño can turn your fruit salad into something special. 

8. Prep, but do so wisely

If your salad is mostly balled melon, you can prep a day ahead of time (though you may choose to drain some of the liquid the next day before serving). You should, however, wait until the day of serving to slice and add soft fruits or those that may bleed color (like peaches or raspberries). 

Lime or lemon juice can help fruit salads maintain their bright color overtime, but keep in mind that fruits like apples and bananas start to turn brown within a few hours. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use them ever, but if you're making a salad that needs to last more than a few hours, it's something to consider.