Summer Fruit Salad with Kefir Poppy Seed Dressing

summer fruit salad with kefir poppy seed dressing in two glass bowls

Summer Fruit Salad with Kefir Poppy Seed Dressing is one of my favorite ways to cope with the avalanche of fruit that tumbles into my kitchen every year, right about now. Our eyes are always bigger than our fridges when it comes to late summer fruit, and this is one delicious solution.

Summer fruit salad in a glass bowl with kefir poppy seed dressing

I really look forward to making one of these ginormous summer fruit salads every year…just like the Thanksgiving turkey, or my collection of holiday cookies, this colorful tradition marks the end of summer like nothing else. I make it just when I’ve got so much fruit I don’t know what to do with myself. There are blueberries left over from a blueberry cake, figs from a fig salad, and all sorts of cherries, berries, and random stone fruit ~ in fact every time I go shopping I come home with more, it doesn’t even begin to  fit in the fridge. Time to get serious.

a bowl of fresh fruit for a late summer fruit salad

Full disclosure ~ I’m not always so virtuous, sometimes when we’re up to our eyeballs in fruit I will make another one of the family’s favorites ~ a Summer Jumble Fruit Crumble…i.e. I pile it into my gratin dish, top it with a quick crumble, and bake it off into one irresistible dessert. It’s a good way to use up all that ice cream that we seem to have accumulated in the freezer, too 🙂

a large glass bowl of late summer fruit salad with kefir poppy seed dressing on a marble counter

But today I am feeling the health vibe…the fruit is left naked, just chopped or sliced into bite sized pieces, and tossed into a large bowl. I love watching the heap grow as I chop and slice away, with each new fruit adding its own special color and flavor to the mix. The best part is that delicious mixed fruit nectar that starts to collect at the bottom of the bowl…yum.

For my summer fruit salad I used:

  • watermelon
  • kiwi
  • peaches
  • plums
  • grapes, all colors and types
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • papaya
  • mango
  • cherries
  • currants

but of course I could have used other summer fruit like melon like cantaloupe and honeydew, strawberries, pineapple, etc. In fall and winter I’d use apples, pears, figs, citrus, pomegranates, persimmons, cranberries, etc.

summer fruit salad with kefir poppy seed dressing in two glass bowls

The kefir poppy seed dressing is simple, but tangy and delicious. Kefir, if you haven’t had it, is cultured milk, very much like a thin yogurt. It’s got probiotics just like yogurt, and is super healthy

The dressing can be changed up just like any yogurt or buttermilk based dressing. I left it simple today because we’re eating our fruit for breakfast, but you could add lemon, honey, mint, vanilla, or any number of flavors.

kefir poppy seed dressing for summer fruit salad

Ingredient spotlight: KEFIR


Kefir is a cultured milk product similar to yogurt, with lots of health benefits (you can read more about it here.)  You can drink it as is, make smoothies, use it as a buttermilk substitute in recipes, or make dressings, ice cream, soups, and more with it.

Depending on where you shop you should find kefir in the refrigerated dairy section. You can also make it yourself, easily, with Kefir Starter Grains.

a bowl of summer fruit salad with kefir poppy seed dressing

When the annual fruit avalanche hits your kitchen, I hope you’ll try this! It’s a great dish for entertaining, I like to serve it for brunch, especially. And keep this idea in your back pocket for the holidays, too, there are plenty of great fall and winter fruits than can stand in for the berries, etc.

summer fruit salad with kefir poppy seed dressing in two glass bowls
5 from 4 votes

Summer Fruit Salad with Kefir Poppy Seed Dressing

This Summer Fruit Salad with Kefir Poppy Seed Dressing is a healthy and delicious mixed fruit salad ~ it’s versatile, too, it works any time of the day, from breakfast to dessert.
Course Breakfast, brunch, or dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Calories 110kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 8 cups assorted summer fresh fruit and berries (allow about a cup of chopped fruit per person)


  • 1/2 cup kefir or yogurt thinned with milk. For vegan use thick coconut milk or non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • honey to taste optional, I didn’t use
  • lemon juice to taste optional, I didn’t use


  • Cut large fruit in bite sized chunks, and smaller fruit like cherries, grapes, or blackberries in half. Leave other berries like blueberries and raspberries whole. Arrange them in a wide shallow bowl. (This helps keep the weight of the fruit from crushing the delicate berries, etc.)
  • Blend the kefir with the poppy seeds, and the honey and or lemon, if using.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the fruit just before serving.
  • Note: The dressing can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated, but the fruit should be cut as close to serving as possible.


Calories: 110kcal
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make this summer fruit salad your own ~

  • Make it with yogurt ~ just add milk to thin it down.
  • Make it vegan and dairy free ~ try thick coconut milk  or coconut yogurt instead of kefir.
  • Make it dessert ~ consider macerating the fruit first, that is, toss with some sugar and the seeds of a vanilla bean, and let sit for an hour in the refrigerator to get the juices flowing. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Late Summer Fruit Salad with Kefir Poppy Seed Dressing ~ a healthy and delicious mixed fruit salad that goes from breakfast to dessert ~ can be vegan too! #recipe #easy #healthy #forparty #dressing #fresh #summer #ambrosia #foracrowd #brunch #dessert #vegan #kefir #probiotics #yogurt #poppyseeds #berries #melon #plums #peaches #currants #grapes

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Susan Cuevas
    August 17, 2018 at 3:41 am

    That looks TASTY! I mean so many flavors in a bowl.
    Fresh fruits are awesome!!
    Can’t get enough of them.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    August 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Oh those colors Sue! The best of what summer has to offer. And that dressing is just perfect!

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    August 15, 2018 at 7:25 am

    That dressing looks dynamite! And what a nifty way to use all the great fruits that summer brings us. Brilliant recipe — thanks.

  • Reply
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    August 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

    OMG I always buy WAY too much produce at the farmers market this time of year. It’s a serious problem. But everything is just so good! I’m definitely make this – I have a fridge full of fruit! Love the dressing, too!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 15, 2018 at 6:36 am

    A perfect time of year for this fabulous fruit salad! Loving the Kefir dressing, too 🙂

    • Reply
      August 15, 2018 at 7:11 am

      It really is a tradition in our house, I have no willpower when it comes to buying fruit :/

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    August 15, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Gosh I wish I lived next door. This salad is a work of art! You have a special gift with color, textures and creative ways to use fruit and vegetables. I love Kefir and haven’t had any in a long time. This must be fantastic!!!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2018 at 3:43 am

    Had a huge glass of kefir this morning after my weight training….your fruit salad looks really nice :-))

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