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If you love fruit dip, then you are going to be as obsessed with this easy Creamy Grape Salad recipe as I am. It’s a cool, refreshing side dish or dessert made with sweetened cream cheese and sour cream and a crunchy sweet brown sugar pecan topping. You can even take it up a notch by mixing in chopped Butterfingers, Heath bars, or Snickers for a fun twist!
We love having friends over for a backyard barbecue during the summer and enjoying potluck salads like this one. Some of our other favorites are Classic Frog Eye Salad and Classic Potluck Broccoli Salad.
Creamy Grape Salad
I’m fully behind the idea of serving sweet, fruity “salads” as a side dish to a meal, even though they could really also double as dessert. This creamy grape salad is a perfect example.
It’s basically a fruit dip made with cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar, that gets poured over sweet, firm green and red grapes so that every bite is coated with that cheesecake-y goodness. Then to take it totally over the top, a mixture of brown sugar and chopped pecans is sprinkled over it so that every bite has an extra element of texture and sweetness.
It’s gooooooood stuff.
I think of this dish as something that is most often served at summer picnics and potlucks, family reunions, and cookouts, but I think lots of people also think of it as a Thanksgiving or Easter side dish as well.
I’m not totally sure where this creamy grape salad originated, but it’s a really well-known recipe in many parts of the Midwest and the South. It’s super simple and the kind of thing that people just cannot stop eating!
How to Make Creamy Grape Salad
- Wash and dry the grapes: It’s important that the grapes are dry so that the cream cheese dressing can coat them.
- Beat the cream cheese: Even with softened cream cheese, I find that it’s best to beat it using a hand mixer before adding the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in order to avoid a lumpy dressing.
- Fold the grapes into the dressing: Not much to this, but afterwards you can transfer to a clean serving bowl or large dish.
- Chill: This salad really needs to chill in the fridge for at least one hour but overnight is even better.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar pecan topping: The recipe for the topping makes a lot, but you pretty much want some with every bite! I like this salad best with pecans, but walnuts are a good substitute as well.
How many cups are in a pound of grapes?
1 pound of seedless grapes is about 2 1/2 cups, so you will need 10 total cups of grapes to make this recipe as written. It makes a ton, which is why it’s so perfect for potlucks, but you can easily cut the recipe in half, which is what I do if it’s just my family.
Tips for the Best Creamy Grape Salad
- You can absolutely substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in this recipe. It works great!
- You can substitute lower fat cream cheese, but I would not use fat free cream cheese.
- The grapes can be added whole or sliced in half. But I only make this salad if I can get crispy, firm grapes because it’s not nearly as good with soft, squishy grapes.
- I used both red and green grapes because I love the color contrast and I think their different flavors make the salad more interesting. But you can use all of one or the other if you want.
- Lots of folks LOVE to add 3-4 chopped candy bars to this salad by folding theme in with the cream cheese mixture and grapes. Butterfingers grape salad is a super popular variation on this recipe, but Heath Bars and Snickers are favorite choices as well. Some people even skip the brown sugar pecan topping and sprinkle chopped or crushed candy bars over the top instead!
- Another yummy choice is to swap out the brown sugar and pecans for crunchy granola like my favorite homemade granola.
- You might want to serve this out of a baking dish or large shallow platter so that the coverage of topping to salad is more even. When it’s in a bowl like I photographed it, I don’t actually use all of the topping until the salad is halfway gone. That way I can sprinkle the reserved topping over the bottom half of the salad so that everybody gets some of it.
- You could add other fruit besides grapes and this would still be a totally delicious salad. Strawberries and blueberries would be my top choices.
How long does grape salad keep in the fridge?
You can store leftover grape salad in the fridge for up to 3 days before the grapes start going soft.
More Sweet “Salads” That You Can Serve With Dinner
- Raspberry Pretzel Salad (always everybody’s favorite)
- Orange Jello Salad with Pudding Whipped Cream
- Coca-Cola Jello Salad
- Lemon Pineapple Jello with Pineapple Whipped Cream Topping
- Triple Layer Vintage Christmas Jello Salad
- Fruit Salad with Marshmallows and Whipped Cream
- Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing
- Cranberry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese Topping
- Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 pounds red seedless grapes
- 2 pounds green seedless grapes
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, sugar, and vanilla, and beat again until combined.
- Wash grapes and remove from stems. Pat dry, then transfer to a large bowl or 9x13-inch pan. Add the cream cheese mixture to the grapes and stir to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and chopped pecans, then sprinkle over the grape salad. If the salad is in a deep bowl, the topping might seem like too much so you may only want to use half, then sprinkle the remaining half over the rest of the salad once the top part is gone.
Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream in this recipe.
As a variation, you can add 3-4 chopped candy bars like Snickers, Heath bars, or Butterfingers to this salad by folding them in with the cream cheese mixture and grapes.
Adapted from Taste of Home.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 3g
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.