Tropical Fruity Brunch Salad


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(Note: this post was originally published on May 6, 2021. It has since been updated with a couple tweaks.)

A Fresh and Healthy Brunch Recipe

Spring and summer are the seasons for brunch. Between Easter, Mother's Day, baby showers, wedding showers, and warmer, sunnier days, brunching seems to be at the forefront of everyone's minds from April onward. However, a lot of the traditional brunch fare tends to be on the heavier side. I'm on a mission to change that with this tropical salad.

Whether you want to make a good-for-the-body feast or you just want include a healthy brunch recipe or two in your otherwise traditional menu, this delightfully fruity, very colorful, show-stealing brunch salad definitely belongs on your table. Half-way between a green salad and a fruit salad, this dish is special enough to feel worthy of an occasion, yet easy to make. Wouldn't it look beautiful in the center of your spread?

A beautiful brunch salad with colorful fruit

Fruity Abundance

The key to this tropical salad is to load it up with all the decadent, beautiful, unique fruits you can find. I've made this healthy brunch recipe many times with different fruit combinations, but shown here I have mango, green kiwi, red kiwi, Ojai pixie tangerines, mandarinquots, kumquats, dragonfruit, and blueberries. Choose what you love and whatever feels most special.

To balance the sweetness from the fruit, my favorite trick is to use radicchio mixed into the greens. Its bitter flavor is the perfect counterpoint in this brunch salad, plus the color is beautiful. In addition to the radicchio, I like to mix in romaine for crunchy texture and spinach for color, plus some sprouts since they just scream spring.

I like to keep the flavors in this springy dish delicate and fruity rather than super-savory. The dressing is a simple mixture of fresh-squeezed tangerine juice, macadamia nut oil (feel free to sub in another rich, flavorful oil if you can't find it), and a dash of maple syrup. The oil provides a bit of richness and decadent nutty flavor, while the tangerine juice provides acidity. The fruit adds so much flavor to this tropical salad that a simple dressing is all you need.

Tropical salad with mango, kiwi, and dragonfruit

Serving Suggestions

This healthy brunch recipe would be a stand-out addition to any menu. Because it's essentially just fruit, the flavors are quite versatile and pair well with other brunch fare. It provides some much-needed freshness to balance the more classic, heavier brunch dishes. Feel free to switch up the fruit to match your menu, the season, or even a specific color theme. As written, this makes a large salad, enough to serve about 6-8 people as a side dish. You can easily scale up or down as needed.

Make-Ahead Tips

To prepare this brunch salad ahead of time, you can make the dressing up to a couple days in advance and cut the fruit the day before; just keep it sealed in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, toss the greens in the dressing and assemble. Depending on your schedule, you could put the radicchio into the dressing up to an hour ahead, but no longer. I don't suggest preparing this salad farther in advance because the greens will wilt.

A healthy brunch recipe with greens and fruit

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here's what you'll need for this brunch salad, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Fresh-squeezed tangerine juice. Any orange juice would work fine in this brunch salad; just try to pick something super-flavorful (tangerine, clementine, mandarin, etc.) and definitely squeeze it yourself.
  • Macadamia nut oil. I'm in love with this gorgeous oil from Maiden Hawaii Naturals! If you can't find it, any rich nut oil (walnut, pistachio, etc.), will work, or even a robust olive oil.
  • Maple syrup. Honey would be great too if you don't need this salad to be vegan.
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small head of radicchio. The bitterness this ingredient provides is wonderful, so I wouldn't suggest substituting it. Or if you do, choose another bitter green like endive.
  • Romaine. I much prefer romaine to leaf lettuce in a tossed salad because it can hold up to dressing better and provides great crunch. I don't suggest leaf lettuce here since it will stick together and get wilty.
  • Baby spinach
  • Various fruit of choice. The star of this tropical salad! Shown here: mango, green kiwi, red kiwi, Ojai pixie tangerines, mandarinquots, kumquats, dragonfruit, and blueberries. Use what you love; just try to get a diversity of flavors, textures, and colors.
  • Sunflower sprouts. Or, any large sprout. These are mostly just for visual appeal, so you can omit them if you prefer.

Healthy vegan brunch salad for spring brunch parties

Closing Thoughts

I hope you love this brunch salad and that it brings many smiles to your celebrations this season. It's really a special dish that showcases the incredible beauty of fruit. This salad is pretty enough to act as a centerpiece but it's easy to prepare, meaning it's the perfect dish for an event.

I also hope this healthy brunch recipe changes how you think about your menu. The classics are great and there's certainly room for them, but why not introduce a couple plant-focused, lighter, more nourishing dishes as well?

Happy spring and happy brunch season!

A tropical fruit salad for healthy brunch

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Pink Dragonfruit Pineapple Rum Fizz

Golden Granola

Orange Ginger Blueberry Tahini Muffins

Nourishing Macadamia Orange Banana Bread

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Disclosure: I received free product from Maiden Hawaii Naturals. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Tropical Fruity Brunch Salad

Is it a fruit salad or a green salad? Who cares, it's perfect for brunch! This over-the-top tropical salad balances sweet and bitter flavors and will make a welcome, fresh addition to any brunch spread.



For the Dressing

  • 3 tbsp fresh-squeezed tangerine juice
  • 1 tbsp macadamia nut (or other rich nut) oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Very generous flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • Small head of radicchio
  • Romaine heart
  • 2 c baby spinach
  • Assorted fruits of choice
  • Handful of sunflower sprouts


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.
  2. Cut the radicchio into thin ribbons, add it to the dressing, and toss. Let the radicchio sit in the dressing while you cut the fruit; this will help it to tenderize and mellow. Don't add the other greens yet.
  3. Prepare the fruit as needed by peeling, slicing, removing seeds, etc.
  4. When ready to serve, cut the romaine into thin ribbons and add it to the radicchio. Add the spinach and toss.
  5. Transfer the greens to a serving platter and top with sliced fruit.
  6. Garnish with a handful of sprouts scattered across the top.

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Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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