The traditional recipe for five-cup fruit salad combines 1 cup each of mandarin oranges, pineapple, sour cream, miniature marshmallows and coconut flakes, but there are several good variations of this classic dish. Thrifty Northwest Mom recommends fruit cocktail instead of mandarin oranges and says that any fruit may be substituted.
A good recipe for those who prefer a sweeter, less tangy fruit salad mixes crushed pineapple, coconut, miniature marshmallows and fruit cocktail with whipped cream instead of sour cream. Some individuals may want to decrease the amount of whipped cream to slightly less than a cup, depending on taste preferences.
Another good variation, from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, tosses 1 cup of pineapple chunks and 1 cup of mandarin oranges with 1 cup of chopped apple pieces and 1 cup of halved grapes. The fruit combination is then mixed with 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and 1/2 cup of sour cream.
Five-cup fruit salad is an easy recipe to customize according to seasonal fruit selections or personal taste preferences. Some variations use fresh fruits, such as bananas, strawberries and kiwi, while others use canned varieties. For best results, most recipes recommend draining the juice from canned fruits.
Another well-rated recipe variation suggests substituting a fruit-flavored yogurt, such as lemon or apricot for sour cream, and some people prefer a 5-cup fruit salad recipe that uses fruit-pie filling, such as cherry or apple, along with 4 cups of fruit instead of marshmallows, coconut and sour cream.