Plump, juicy green and red grapes are tossed in a sweet and creamy dressing and garnished with brown sugar and pecan topping in this easy grape salad recipe. It’s the perfect dish for potlucks and BBQs that comes together in just minutes!
I love grape salad and I always struggle to define it as a side dish or a dessert. It’s naturally sweet and even though there’s sour cream involved, there’s also brown sugar and nuts, so, I tend to veer toward the dessert category. Of course, that doesn’t prevent me from dishing up a spoonful and adding it right next to the BBQ chicken on my plate, so it can double as a side dish, too!
Either way, it’s a great salad to make that requires minimal effort and that you know will be a hit with friends and family!
Why You’ll Love This Grape Salad
- It’s easy and can be made ahead or at the last minute. Win-win!
- It requires minimal ingredients.
- It’s sweet, creamy, crunchy, and irresistible.
- It requires zero cooking or baking skills.
- It’s a crowd-pleaser – even the kids will gobble it up!
Cream Cheese – Softened. I like full fat for the rich flavor, but reduced fat will work, too.
Sour Cream – I use full-fat, but reduced-fat is perfectly fine!
Sugar – I use granulated white, which gets added to the dressing to make it a little sweeter.
Vanilla Extract – Amps up the flavor of the dressing.
Grapes – Make sure you get seedless! I use half-green seedless and half-red seedless grapes.
Brown Sugar – Used as a garnish for the top along with the pecans.
Pecans – I add chopped pecans as a garnish on top, along with the brown sugar. Alternatively, you can mix them in with the salad right before serving, so they keep their crunch.
How To Make Grape Salad
- Remove stems from the grapes. Wash and dry the grapes thoroughly before cutting the grapes in half. Set aside.
- Cream together softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. You can use a whisk rather than a hand mixer if desired. Whisk until completely smooth.
- Add the grapes to the bowl and carefully fold them into the creamy dressing.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prior to serving, sprinkle the top with brown sugar and chopped pecans.
How To Serve Grape Salad
As I mentioned earlier, this salad can go two ways – as a side salad to be served with savory foods or as a dessert.
As a side salad, It’s perfect for picnics, BBQs, tailgating, or potlucks. It pairs well with burgers, sandwiches, chicken, and pork.
As a dessert, it’s the perfect light and fruity dessert to end summer dinner parties with. I like to serve it in individual parfait bowls to elevate it to dessert status!
Tips For A Yummier Grape Salad
- Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature before mixing it with the sour cream and sugar. You want the dressing to be smooth, not lumpy before you attempt to mix it with the grapes. Room temp cream cheese will make this easier to achieve.
- Make sure you wash your grapes ahead of time and let them dry completely. I set them out on a dish towel or paper towel to let them air dry. I pat them dry before cutting them in half just to ensure any water has been removed. This will help the dressing adhere to the grapes once you mix it all together.
- Only add the pecans and brown sugar garnish right before serving. This is especially important if you make this salad the night before; otherwise, the pecans will soften too much sitting on top of the creamy dressing and will lose their crunch.
How To Bring Cream Cheese To Room Temperature Quickly
If you’re making this on the fly and don’t have time to wait for the cream cheese to come to room temp, simply unwrap it from its foil and place it on a plate, and microwave it on medium power in 15-second increments, checking for softness. Do not melt it! You want it to be just soft enough to be blended easily with the sour cream.
Variations And Substitutions
- Feel free to use all one color or variety of seedless grapes.
- Substitute vanilla yogurt for the sour cream. If you do, omit the sugar and vanilla extract in the recipe.
- Substitute chopped walnuts for the pecans, or omit them all together to keep it nut free.
Can I Make This Salad Ahead Of Time?
Yes, this is what I do. I think it tastes better after it’s had a session in the fridge. That allows everything to chill to the same temperature and lets the creamy dressing really adhere to the grapes. You can make it the night before or the day of serving and give it 4-6 hours in the fridge to really chill.
How To Store Leftovers
Cover the leftovers with plastic wrap or keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. The leftovers will keep for up to 3 days.
More Easy Salad Recipes
Plump, juicy green and red grapes are tossed in a sweet and creamy dressing and garnished with brown sugar and pecan topping in this easy grape salad recipe. It's the perfect dish for potlucks and BBQs that comes together in just minutes!
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 pounds grapes in assorted colors, wash, drained, and stems removed
- 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons pecans, chopped
- In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.
- Add the grapes to the bowl and fold to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prior to serving, sprinkle the top with brown sugar and pecans.
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Nature's Eats Pecan Halves, 16 Ounce
Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract, 8 Oz
C&H, Cane Sugar, Golden Brown, 2lb Bag (Pack of 2)
Daisy, Regular Sour Cream, 8 oz
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Brick (8 oz Boxes, Pack of 2)
LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander - Professional Strainer with Heavy Duty Handles and Self-draining Solid Ring Base - Dishwasher Safe
Ifuerte 10-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
Amount Per Serving Calories 266Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 17mgSodium 22mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 46gProtein 3g