23 Savory Recipes That Feature A Fruity Twist

Add a slither of quince jelly to a cheese cracker, and the creaminess is lifted by the fruity condiment. Serve curry with mango chutney, and the heat is balanced with sweetness. Make a cherry sauce, serve it with roasted lamb, and the sourness picks up on the sweet, tender taste of the meat. From pineapples to oranges, pomegranates to butternut squash, and lemons to cranberries — fruit is a vibrant ingredient to add to so many dishes. 

Fruits often add a bright color and sometimes sweet or sour notes to meals. And while a homemade apple pie is incredible, what about pairing apples and pork for dinner? You can make dishes from American, North African, and Southeast Asian cuisines by using fruit and a balance of salty, spicy, and cheesy ingredients. When you want to create dishes that embrace lots of different flavors, check out these savory recipes that feature a fruity twist.

1. Squash Pomegranate Salad

A bit like tomatoes and avocados, squash is actually a fruit even though it's treated as a savory vegetable most of the time. In this salad, the juicy bursts of pomegranate seeds add a fruity twist. The ruby-like color and sweet-sour taste complement the bright orange, sweet-tasting butternut squash, and contrast deliciously with the saltiness of feta cheese. 

Roasting squash brings out a sweeter taste and fall flavors, but make sure you let the pieces cool down before adding the other ingredients. You don't want your kale and spinach to wilt.

Recipe: Squash Pomegranate Salad

2. Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

If you find the idea of pineapple on pizza strange, then you might need some persuading to add it to a teriyaki chicken recipe. If you can't source fresh pineapple, then use canned chunks instead. You can blend these to make the juice for the sauce as well. 

Soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil mixed with the juice and brown sugar give the flavor a salty, nutty bite. What about going all in with fruity flair and serving this dish not only with rice, but also with a pineapple Mai Tai cocktail

Recipe: Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

3. Fruit And Nut Basmati Rice Pilaf

You might have heard of fruit and nut chocolate, but what about fruit and nut rice? This is a great side to serve during fall or to add festive flavor to dinner. The sliced apple and dried cranberries add a fruity twist without being too sweet. 

The tartness works well with the crunchy slivered almonds, herby parsley, and sweetness of shallot. Sauté the rice in butter to create a terrific toasted taste. Don't forget to rinse the grains first to get rid of the starch, and fluff up when cooked.

Recipe: Fruit And Nut Basmati Rice Pilaf

4. Quick And Easy 15-Minute Jackfruit Tacos

Southeast Asian jackfruit has a leathery texture which makes it a fantastic plant-based alternative to meat. If you shred it — as you're going to for this terrific taco recipe — it has the texture of pulled pork. Unlike plenty of other fruity savory dishes, this one isn't sweet at all. The fruit absorbs the flavors of the smoked paprika, chili powder, and onion powder.

Lime juice adds a zingy fruity burst and honey brings much-needed sweetness. Serve in taco shells with slices of tomato and avocado. 

Recipe: Quick And Easy 15-Minute Jackfruit Tacos

5. Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

A great cheeseboard is often adorned with grapes and figs. Another great fruit and cheese combo is soft, flavorful brie and the crunch of sweet and sour cranberries. These bites are an absolute must at any festive party as they literally sparkle. 

After coating the berries in homemade syrup, leave them for a few minutes so the coating can set a little before rolling them in sugar. That way you'll get a gorgeous, dusted look. Add the cheese just after toasting the baguette slices to melt the brie a little.

Recipe: Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

6. Homemade Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is a savory dish with a fruity bite popularized in the '80s by the Panda Express restaurant. It's sweet, sour, and salty, and what really makes this recipe zing is using the zest of an orange as well as the juice. Brown sugar adds a sweet boost and ginger, chili, and green onions bring the heat. 

To infuse the chicken with the orange sauce, try using it as a marinade. Once it's cooled down, add the cooked syrup to the raw meat. Reserve some of the sauce to add it while serving. 

Recipe: Homemade Orange Chicken

7. Glazed Pineapple Ham

In the U.K., it's customary to serve gammon ham steaks with grilled pineapple on top. The fruity flavor is the ideal accompaniment to the saltiness of the meat. So, too, is this glazed ham with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries that's a popular nostalgic U.S. dish.

Using an uncut cooked ham makes it easier to secure the fruit, and canned pineapple also simplifies the recipe. To sweeten up the glaze, add a little more of the juice from the can. Orange zest can pep it up, too.

Recipe: Glazed Pineapple Ham

8. Cranberry Orange Cheese Ball

What's not to love about this festive, fruity cheese ball? It's got it all! What's a lovely surprise is that you add dried cranberry bits, orange zest, and juice to the cream cheese, while also adorning the outside with fruit. Pecans add the crunch. 

You might find it easier to roll the orb around in the fruit, nut, and herb coating if you chill it first. Enjoy this sweet and savory sphere with crackers. What about serving it with some leftover turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Recipe: Cranberry Orange Cheese Ball

9. Easy Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes

Lemon juice is one of the ingredients that will give fresh tomatoes an unexpected flavor. In this recipe, use it to brighten up quinoa to make stuffing for tomatoes before you roast them in the oven. Tomatoes — which are also a fruit — are the star of this dish, and adding feta crumbles to the filling lifts the taste with a salty contrast. 

Roasting brings out the sweetness of this fruity, savory dish which you can serve as a side or main course. If you've got the patience, why not stuff cherry tomatoes, instead? 

Recipe: Easy Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes

10. Saucy Apricot Chicken

One of the must-try savory recipes that feature fruit is this apricot chicken. You give this dish a double fruity blast, too, using fresh apricots that you've peeled, pitted, and chopped for an intense flavor, then add apricot jam to lift the sweetness a few notches. 

To get the full flavor and saucy texture, you'll need to blitz the fresh fruit in a blender or food processor. Beyond this, you only need to add salty and sour elements. Chicken stock, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and garlic amplify the taste perfectly.

Recipe: Saucy Apricot Chicken

11. Traditional Tomato Pie

Some of the best savory recipes that feature fruit are made with tomatoes. This salad fruit adds a subtle sweetness to dishes and combines with a creamy, cheesy filling in this pie perfectly, especially with the buttery taste of the crust. It's similar to a quiche, except you use mayonnaise instead of cream and eggs. 

It's vital that you salt the tomato slices and lay them on a kitchen towel to absorb the extra moisture. If not, the water in the tomatoes will make the end result soggy. 

Recipe: Traditional Tomato Pie

12. Slow Cooker Pork And Sauerkraut With Apples

Every foodie who loves meat with a condiment knows that pork and applesauce are meant to be. Adding crisp Granny Smith apple slices to a slow cooker with onions and a boneless pork shoulder joint, along with apple cider vinegar gives this recipe the right amount of sweet and tart flavor. Adding sauerkraut enhances this fruity tang.

Cut the apples into eighths so that the wedges are thick enough to withstand the cooking. Core the fruit first or cut the edge off each piece.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pork And Sauerkraut With Apples

13. Pomegranate Couscous

Adding a fruity twist to savory couscous is a traditional way to make this North African dish. The nuttiness of the semolina and toasted pine nuts provides a flavor profile against which sweet and sour pomegranate seeds can really pop. The jewel-like fruit adds vibrant color, along with mint and cilantro which complement the tanginess. 

Don't feel like picking seeds out of a whole fruit? Deli counters often sell pomegranate seeds separately, which is a time-saver and saves on cleaning up a mess. Lemon juice lifts the fruity taste, too, with a citrus hit. 

Recipe: Pomegranate Couscous

14. Strawberry Walnut Salad

The key to making savory recipes that feature fruit is to pair and contrast the ingredients. Fruit and nuts work well together because you've got sweetness and an oily, crunchy texture. Strawberries and bitter-tasting walnuts are insanely good, but to really marry them together for this amazing salad you definitely need some other ingredients.

Goat cheese adds tang, apple cider vinegar brings sourness, while honey and sea salt enhance the sweet and salty flavors. What you'll also love is the strawberry vinaigrette. Serve with steak or roasted root veggies.

Recipe: Strawberry Walnut Salad

15. Fig Grilled Cheese

When you want a quick comfort food supper, you can't go wrong with a fruity grilled cheese. Toast sourdough slices are wonderful with nutty, creamy Gruyère. And for the sweet element? It has to be fig. 

If you don't have any fig jam or spread on hand then use fig butter instead, and be generous with it. Brown the bread in a skillet cheese-side down first so that it melts before flipping. Turn back over again if the cheese isn't quite gooey enough, or take off the heat and cover the pan. 

Recipe: Fig Grilled Cheese

16. Easy Air Fryer Green Tomatoes

You don't have to visit the Whistle Stop Café to enjoy these easy air fryer green tomatoes. To get just the right crunchy texture, make sure you pat the sliced tomatoes dry before dipping them in flour to bread them more easily. Avocado oil is best for cooking these tomatoes as it's got a high smoke point. 

Enjoy the tart taste of the fruity savory slices with whatever dip you like. Make a smoky remoulade sauce or combine mayo and Sriracha if you like creaminess with a little heat. 

Recipe: Easy Air Fryer Green Tomatoes

17. Mango Quinoa Salad

If you're looking for a fiber-rich salad that's gluten-free, then quinoa is a great choice. However, it's one of those foods that benefits from more flavorful additions. This is where you can add fruit as an ingredient, and for this recipe, you're going to add three, not one. 

The fragrant, tropical taste of soft cubes of mango stands out in this dish, but it's not the only fruit. Chop up avocado and cherry tomatoes and mix these in, too. Marvel at the colors and serve with grilled meat or tofu for a vegetarian meal. 

Recipe: Mango Quinoa Salad

18. Air Fryer Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Air-frying super-cute cherry tomatoes makes them sweeter. Cut them in half before coating them with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried basil. A great hack is to sandwich them between two plates, and using a serrated knife, slice through to cut them all at the same time. 

To bring greater depth to the flavor, sprinkle on chili powder, cumin, or garlic. Paprika and onion powder work well, too. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, and try these gorgeously soft tomatoes on toasted ciabatta for a taste of the Mediterranean.

Recipe: Air Fryer Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

19. Old-Fashioned Baked Pineapple Casserole

Have you ever come across a recipe for a baked pineapple casserole? It's a dish that originates in the South and it's about as far from haute cuisine as you can get. Combining cans of the fruit with cheese and crackers, as well as sugar and butter, sounds a little strange, but the salty-sweet taste is moreish. 

Use a sharp cheddar so that it contrasts with the sweetness of the fruit. You can use fresh fruit or a combination of canned pineapple chunks, tidbits, and crushed fruit. 

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Baked Pineapple Casserole

20. Simple Pan-Fried Bitter Melon

You'll be forgiven for thinking that all savory recipes that feature fruit are always sweet. However, that's not the case, and this bitter melon side is anything but. You'll need to add salt and pepper to this gourd fruit to tone down the bitterness. 

If you want to create a more fragrant taste, then you could add some garlic and ginger. It's also delicious if you give the flavor a boost with cumin, paprika, or your favorite seasonings. Scoop out and discard the seeds before slicing and sautéing. 

Recipe: Simple Pan-Fried Bitter Melon

21. 20-Minute Pineapple Fried Rice

Since fried rice is an Asian dish and pineapple is a tropical fruit, it makes sense that they go together. In fact, it's common in restaurants serving Chinese and Thai cuisine to serve pineapple rice in a scooped-out fruit. You could do this for this recipe if you're using fresh pineapple and serving it at a dinner party, but canned chunks are fine.

Soy sauce and fish sauce bring saltiness, with rice wine vinegar adding a little sour tang, and Sriracha hot sauce giving the pineapple rice a little heat. 

Recipe: 20-Minute Pineapple Fried Rice

22. Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine

A tagine is a North African dish named after the pot it's cooked in. You can capture all the savory and fruity flavors of this culinary great using a slow cooker. The must-have fruit to pair with chicken is apricots, and this recipe uses dried ones. Lemon brightens up the sweet and sour flavors, too, while making sure the meat is juicy. 

Ginger, cumin, turmeric, and paprika add warmth and marry the taste of the chicken thighs and apricots. Serve with rice or simply spoon it in bowls like a stew.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine

23. Air Fryer Plantains

Plantains are similar to bananas, but are starchier and not as sweet. This makes them a great fruit to turn into a savory dish. Stick them in the air fryer and you've got a great snack or side. How you season them is up to you. Cinnamon boosts the sweetness, while salt brings out the flavor, and garlic powder enhances the taste so well. 

You'll have to flip and add seasoning to both sides to get an even color and flavor. They also taste great as a side to pork and beans. 

Recipe: Air Fryer Plantains