This vintage creamy Grape Salad Recipe is an all-time favorite. It’s filled with seedless red and green grapes and toasted pecan pieces all smothered in a sweet creamy dressing. It can be served as a last minute side dish or an easy dessert, either way it’s delicious to the very last spoonful.
Best Creamy Grape Salad Recipe
What is a grape salad? It’s made with fresh grapes coated with a sweet cream cheese and sour cream dressing and toasted pecans. It’s been rotating through many kitchens for eons and served along with buffet meals, at potluck gatherings and a featured side dish for the holidays. It’s one of those retro recipes that bears repeating. The combination may sound odd if you’ve never heard of grape salad, but let me tell you once you try it you’ll be hooked!
How to Make Easy Grape Salad Recipe
When do you serve a creamy grape salad? These sorts of simple fruit salads serve double duty as both a side dish or a light dessert. I’ve seen it served on a bed of lettuce as a sweet and savory side dish with a slice of quiche for brunch and as a dessert along with the other seasonal goodies for the holidays. There’s no wrong time of day or occasion when a grape salad wouldn’t work.
- Ingredients you’ll need to make grape salad: 4 pounds of seedless grapes either a mix of Concord red grapes and green grapes or you can make this salad with only one kind, it’s your choice. For the dressing you’ll need 1 block of Neufchatel or regular cream cheese, 1 container of sour cream and 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus vanilla extract for added flavor. You’ll need 1 cup of toasted pecans or toasted chopped walnuts and light brown sugar to sprinkle on top just before serving.
- It’s important to choose super fresh grapes for this salad. Look for bunches of grapes with green pliable stems and grapes that are firm when gently squeezed. Mushy or soft grapes won’t do well with this grape salad and may cause the dressing to break down. Make sure the stems are all removed. I don’t recommend slicing them in half, whole grapes work best for this salad.
- The same amount of mascarpone cheese or regular cream cheese can be used in place of Neufchatel cream cheese for this easy grape salad. I grab Neufchatel as it has a softer texture and a more mild flavor plus it’s readily available and affordable.
- You’ll need a hand mixer to whip together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla for the dressing. There’s no real process here, it’s not like making a cake where the sugar has to be creamed with the cream cheese first. The main thing is, to beat it for 2-3 minutes so it’s perfectly creamy and combined and no lumps remain.
- You can adapt the amount of sugar for the grape salad dressing depending on the sweetness of the grapes you’re using.
- Plain Greek yogurt can use used in place of sour cream, if desired.
- It’s well worth the small amount of effort it takes to toast the pecans prior to adding them to the salad. You can also use toasted walnuts or almonds. If time allows, you may opt to use candied pecans that you’ve made yourself or purchased at the grocery store for added flavor.
- You can make this salad several hours up to one day in advance and store leftovers for up to 3 days. Possibly longer depending on the freshness of the grapes.
- Grape salad should be stored in an airtight container chilled in the refrigerator.
- I don’t recommend freezing grape salad.
More Easy Salad Recipes to Make
When you need a quick side dish a salad will usually fit the bill. More quick and simple salad recipes you may like to try:
- Punch Bowl Fruit Salad Trifle is filled with vibrant colors and cheesecake filled layers.
- Frozen Berry Fruit Salad for make ahead entertaining.
- A stunning Fruit Bowl Sundae is a super sweet ending to any warm weather meal.
- Easy Southern style Ambrosia turns canned fruit into a delightful treat.
- 5 Minute Strawberry Jell-O Salad from Six Sisters Stuff.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Grape Salad Recipe
- 2 lbs seedless red grapes rinsed and dried
- 2 lbs seedless green grapes rinsed and dried
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans toasted and divided
- 1 8 ounce block Neufchatel cream cheese, softened (Or regular cream cheese)
- 1 8 ounce container sour cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tbsp light brown sugar
- Rinse and pick over grapes, remove stems and dry completely.
- To toast pecans: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking pan. Toast for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool, then chop.
- To make the dressing: Add Neufchatel, sour cream, sugar and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Cream together using an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until smooth and fully combined.
- Use a large spatula or spoon to gently fold the grapes and toasted pecans into the dressing until evenly coated. (Reserve 3 tablespoons pecans for garnishing)
- Place into an airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Sprinkle the top with brown sugar and garnish with reserved pecans just before serving.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container chilled for up to 3 days.