Rustic Fall Fruit Salad with Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons


Appetizers and salads are a great way to curb overeating around the holidays, while still getting a delicious taste of the season. This fresh fall fruit salad is low in fat, but rich with autumn’s bounty. Spiced homemade croutons and dried cranberries add complimentary sweet flavors.

Rustic Fall Fruit Salad with Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons

Special Diet Notes & Options: Fall Fruit Salad

This fall fruit salad can be dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian, depending on the bread that you choose. We often use homemade whole wheat bread, but there are many other dairy-free options available. My childhood favorite was Roman Meal (This recipe was shared with us by Roman Meal bread – no strings attached!), and following is some other free-from options I recommend for adding crunch to this fall fruit salad.

For nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan: Look for Rudi’s Organic Bread. Their sliced bread is free of dairy and these other top allergens.

For gluten-free: Rudi’s Gluten-Free or Udi’s Gluten-Free (yes, they are different brands!) are both readily available in natural food stores (and some conventional grocers), and made without gluten or dairy.

Rustic Fall Fruit Salad with Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The recipe and image were shared with us by Roman Meal Bread (my childhood favorite!). Please note that not all varieties of Roman Meal are dairy-free. At last check, both the 100% Whole Grain and 100% Whole Wheat were, but of course, check the ingredients, and production process if needed.
Serves: 8 servings
  • 4 slices 100% whole grain dairy-free bread (or gluten-free bread)
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine or coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar (see notes in post above for sugar alternative)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups pears, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups apples, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted (omit for nut-free)
  1. Trim crusts from bread slices and cut into ½-inch cubes. Spread out on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and let stand for 2 hours or overnight, to become stale.
  2. Place bread cubes in a medium bowl; drizzle with margarine or oil, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Stir gently until evenly coated. Return to baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, or until cubes are crisp. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
  5. Gently toss the pears, apples, cranberries and lemon juice together in a serving bowl.
  6. Just before serving, top with cinnamon-sugar croutons and nuts, if desired.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Oh how I adore pears!! And in salad is simply a bonus. We do a few salads over Thanksgiving weekend and pears seem to always make their way into the greens one way or another. Loving this version!

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