This simple Grape Salad Recipe is full of fresh red grapes that are tossed in a sweet cream cheese dressing and sprinkled with brown sugar and pecans. It can be served as a side dish or dessert, and it’s perfect for spring, summer, holidays, and parties! If you’re looking for something a little different for your holiday menu, this would be a wonderful addition.
Delicious and Easy Grape … Salad?
Can we talk about how I never even heard of grape salad until a few years ago? I saw a video for it in my Facebook feed, and I thought it looked … interesting. I’ll admit that I was totally skeptical.
One day not long after, we were at my in-laws for lunch, and my mother-in-law served up grape salad. It was … delicious!
That night, I Googled “grape salad” and lo and behold, it’s totally one of those old recipes that it seems everyone and their grandma have a (very, very similar) recipe for. (Except for our family, apparently!) It was new to all of us, and we’re absolutely smitten!
Essentially, grape salad consists of whole grapes tossed in a sweet vanilla cream cheese dressing and then garnished with brown sugar and chopped pecans. It might sound bizarre, I know, but trust me. You’ll love it!
Here’s the breakdown of grape salad (which was nearly identical in every single recipe I found online while I was researching):
- Seedless grapes (either all red, all green, or a mixture of the two)
- Cream cheese (one 8-ounce block softened to room temperature)
- Sour cream
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract (1-2 teaspoons, to taste)
- Brown sugar (you can use anywhere from a few tablespoons to a full cup)
- Chopped nuts (usually walnuts or pecans, and again anywhere from a few tablespoons to a full cup)
As you can see, there is a standard list of ingredients that was the same in every recipe I found, but some of the quantities varied. So, feel free to play around with some of the amounts!
How To Make the Sweet Cream Cheese Dressing
This is a super simple creamy “salad” dressing to make! In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer at medium speed. Beat together the softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and thick (about 3 minutes). That’s it!
How To Make This Dish
- Add the grapes to the bowl with the cream cheese dressing. Gently fold the grapes into the cream cheese mixture using a rubber spatula until everything is evenly coated.
- Refrigerate this easy grape salad for at least 1 hour before serving or up to overnight.
- Prior to serving, sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped pecans. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (Beyond that, it will get watery and the grapes will lose their crisp.)
Tips for Success
- You can use all red grapes (my favorite!), all green, or a mixture of the two based on your personal preferences.
- I used full-fat cream cheese and sour cream because I wanted a nice, thick mixture. Low-fat alternatives have higher water content. So, if you use low-fat just be aware that your “dressing” could be thinner or slightly more watery.
- For a lighter version, use yogurt in place of the sour cream.
- Some recipes use Cool Whip and/or marshmallow creme along with the cream cheese, which also sounds utterly amazing.
- You can sprinkle the brown sugar and pecans before chilling, and the brown sugar will sort of dissolve into the mixture (SO GOOD), but be sure to give it a stir before serving if you do this!
- You definitely want to chill this for at least an hour before serving, but the longer the better, which makes this a perfect dish to prep the day before serving. I love how fresh and crisp the grapes stayed, even days later.
- There are many recipes out there that include chopped up candy bars like Butterfinger or Snickers. Who am I to oppose that?!
- Consider toasting your nuts before chopping them and tossing them in this grape salad for a deeper flavor and more crunch!
- Double or triple this recipe to feed a crowd!
- Want more crunch? Add some toasted, shredded coconut! Pomegranate arils would also be delicious here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many cups are in 1 pound of grapes?
One pound of seedless grapes contains about 2.5 cups of grapes.
Can I slice my grape in half for this grape salad recipe?
I do not recommend doing that, as it will release their juices and cause the grape salad to become watery. If needed, you could slice before serving to people who may need it.
More Dessert Fruit Salads To Try
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Taffy Apple Salad
- Grandma’s Ambrosia Salad
- Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
- Waldorf Salad
- Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream
Yield: 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Refrigeration time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
This simple Grape Salad Recipe is wonderfully fresh, creamy, and sweet. It can be served as a side dish or dessert, and is perfect for spring and summer holidays and parties!
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (230 ml) sour cream
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 pounds (1.81 kg) red seedless grapes, rinsed and drained well, about 10 cups
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (99 g) chopped pecans
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and thick, about 3 minutes.
Add the grapes to the bowl and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the grapes into the cream cheese mixture until everything is evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, or overnight.
Prior to serving, sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped pecans. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Grapes: You can use all red grapes (my favorite!), all green, or a mixture of the two based on your personal preferences. Leave them whole
- Cream Cheese and Sour Cream: I used full-fat cream cheese and sour cream because I wanted a nice, thick mixture. Low-fat alternatives have higher water content so if you use low-fat just be aware that your “dressing” could be thinner or slightly more watery.
- Lighter Alternative: Use yogurt in place of the sour cream.
- Brown Sugar Topping: You can sprinkle the brown sugar and pecans before chilling, and the brown sugar will sort of dissolve into the mixture (SO GOOD), but be sure to give it a stir before serving if you do this!
- Make-Ahead: Chill the mixture for at least 1 hour before serving and up to overnight.
- Storage: Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, the grapes will lose their crispness and the mixture will get watery.
Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 252kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 61mg, Potassium: 293mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 360IU, Vitamin C: 3.8mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 0.7mg
Course: Side Dish
Photography by Dee Frances.