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
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
Photography by Dee Frances.
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