This easy Grape Salad is sweet, tangy and so refreshing. With juicy grapes, cream cheese and crunchy pecans, it’s an easy salad recipe that makes a great snack, side dish, or dessert. It’s perfect for parties and potlucks!
Each bite will reveal the perfect balance of silky sweetness of the vanilla dressing, the pop of each grape as you bite into them, and the pecans giving that bit of crunch.
I’ve had this vintage recipe in my Mothers recipe box for so many years. It’s apart of all her best recipes, yet it’s one that I had never made.
Many times I’ve flipped past the creamy grape salad recipe index card, worn and food-stained from years of use. Yet it never looked like a recipe that I’d like, so I had always passed over it.
Fast forward decades: someone brought this creamy grape salad to a potluck dinner. I noticed that so many in attendance were raving about this salad.
Still very doubtful yet wildly curious, I finally tried it for the first time. Well, colour me wrong.
This salad is truly love at first bite.
Right now fruit prices are less than desirable. Yet fresh grapes seem to always be a frugal price, so I’ve been buying quite a lot of them.
While we’ve been eating them at home and taking on the go, I was still swimming in grapes.
So one day I made both my Southern Chicken Salad with Grapes, and this Southern Grape Salad. I served the salad for guests weeks ago for a celebration and summer cookout.
Deja vu, this easy grape salad recipe was a crowd pleaser and a hot topic of conversation that day. I’ve been fielding requests for this easy recipe ever since.
So to those who have been waiting for this post, you’re welcome.
What is Creamy Grape Salad?
This salad dances on the line between side dish and dessert. Much like Ambrosia Salad, it’s both. After all, with all the savoury flavours of a meal, a sweet something is always most welcome.
A cool salad ideal for summer, this will also be your go-to for holidays and special occasions all year long. The various textures and tastes will convince you to go for seconds.
Ingredients and Tips
This easy salad recipe takes only a few simple ingredients to make. As always, all the details are on the printable recipe card below.
- Cream Cheese – For tang. Start with room temperature cream cheese to prevent lumps in the dressing.
- Sour Cream – Another tangy ingredient to the dressing.
- White Sugar – To add some dissolved sweetness to the dressing.
- Vanilla Extract – For that beautiful vanilla flavour. I use real Mexican vanilla, yet any will do. Add an additional teaspoon, it won’t hurt.
- Red Grapes and Green Grapes – You’ll need about 4 pounds of grapes for this recipe, and use seedless grapes. You can do one colour or the other if you need to, but I love using both to make this a colourful salad.
- Pecans – While this can be optional for allergy reasons, they add a delightful crunch to each bite.
- Brown Sugar – Sprinkled on top right before serving, it adds additional sweetness which melts on your tongue and not into the dressing.
Use Toasted Pecans
To bring this recipe to the next level, use toasted pecans. To make simply preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out pecans in a single layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes, stirring half-way through cooking. When done, remove from oven. Once cool, chop and add to the salad.
How to Make This Recipe
Note: This makes a big batch of salad. Feel free to half the recipe if needed.
- Make the cheesecake dressing – Place the softened cream cheese and sour cream into a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed, combine until creamy and smooth. Then add in the granulated sugar and the vanilla extract, and mix well.
- Add the grapes and pecans – Add the whole grapes that have been rinsed and dried and half of the chopped pecans. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.
- Allow to Chill – Cover the prepared salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour (3 hours to overnight gives the best results).
- Serve Chilled – Before serving, add the brown sugar and the remaining chopped pecans to the top of the salad.
Make Individual Servings
Rather than serving this in one big serving bowl, place into individual dishes or small bowls for your guests. You can do this before or after refrigerating.
Grape Salad Storage:
Place salad leftovers into an airtight container or cover well with plastic wrap. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. Give it a quick stir before serving again.
- Try chopped walnuts instead of pecans
- I use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream for my recipe, yet feel free to use light cream cheese and light sour cream if you so choose. Or, try plain greek yogurt.
- If the grapes really large or there are small kids dining on this recipe, it might be a choking hazard. Feel free to cut them into halves for safety.
- Dry the grapes after washing and adding them into the salad. The dressing will stick better to dry grapes.
- Try topping with toffee bits, or chopped chocolate bar.
This delicious cheesecake dressing can also be used as a fruit dip. Use this cream cheese dressing with a variety of other favorite fruit to make an easy fruit salad, such as: strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, and melon.
More Salad Recipes
- Broccoli Salad
- Classic Potato Salad
- Mexican Macaroni Salad
- Ramen Noodle Salad
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Taco Salad
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup granulated Sugar
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 5 cups Grapes, both green and red
- 1/3 cup Pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- Place cream cheese and sour cream into a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, and mix again.
- Fold in the grapes and half of the pecans into the mixture until combined well.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.
- Just before serving, sprinkle on remaining pecans and brown sugar.
- This is a large portion, half the recipe if needed.
- Add in all pecans before refrigerating if you wish, or all after. You can also omit pecans entirely if necessary, or use walnuts.
- If the grapes are large or there are small children eating this salad, cut your grapes in half before folding them in to prevent chocking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g