Grape Salad is the EASIEST “salad” you will ever make with only 5 minutes of prep!
Creamy Grape Salad is an intoxicating blend of juicy, fresh grapes enveloped in luscious yogurt cream cheese dressing sprinkled with brown sugar and pecans. It is wonderfully easy and positively addicting. It’s sweet and creamy, cool and refreshing and so good I was eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner because the cravings would.not.stop. It keeps fabulously well, is make ahead friendly and can be served as a side dish OR dessert, and will be a hit at all your summer potlucks.
Easy Grape Salad
I am so sad I ran out of time to post this fabulous Grape Salad before Memorial Day – so that means you are going to have to make it for the 4th of July – and many times in between now and then. It’s as equally delicious as it is easy with ZERO fruit chopping! When was the last time you made a salad with no chopping?! You do have to chop the nuts, but that’s it!
But don’t let the simplicity fool you, this Grape Salad is about to become a new begged for, in-demand, light and refreshing summer favorite. And your favorite too because it’s the 5 minute answer to “what should I bring for?” graduation parties, pool parties, 4th of July, Father’s Day, barbecues or simply ANY potluck you’re invited too!
What is In Grape Salad?
If you haven’t heard of Grape Salad before, it’s a Midwest staple – and it’s a staple for a reason. There are many variations on Grape Salad but they all include this base with variations on measurements:
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream (I’ve subbed vanilla yogurt)
- granulated sugar (I use less)
- vanilla extract (I omit because of vanilla yogurt)
- grapes (red and/or green)
- brown sugar
- pecans or walnuts
I was a little skeptical the first time I was making Grape Salad but OH MY YUM, it is amazing. The cream cheese, vanilla yogurt, and sugar whip together to create a cheesecake-like dressing that is sweet, rich and creamy with a slight tang. The dressing is decadent but light at the same time and the perfect compliment to the sweet, chilled crisp grapes. And my favorite part – the grapes NEVER get soggy, just better with time!
Grape Salad with Yogurt Dressing
In my Grape Salad research, I was surprised to find all the popular recipes I looked at used sour cream instead of vanilla yogurt. When you look at the ingredient list, however, sour cream + sugar + vanilla extract = sour cream that tastes like vanilla yogurt. It just made sense to me to swap out the sour cream and vanilla extract for vanilla yogurt and use less sugar and the results were as sensational as I expected because vanilla yogurt alone is one of the most delicious, silky, sweet foods on the planet. I used nonfat vanilla yogurt and couldn’t tell a difference in the dressings thick, silky creaminess.
Using vanilla yogurt also makes me feel slightly less guilty about devouring this Grape Salad at any hour of the day and at any quantity because I can inhale a huge bowl of in one sitting. And I have. And will. And want to right now.
HOW MANY CUPS ARE IN A POUND OF GRAPES?
For this Grape Salad recipe, we use 4 pounds of grapes. 1 pound of seedless grapes contains about 2.5 cups of grapes so you will need want 10 cups of grapes for this Grape Salad Recipe.
What Grapes are best for Grape Salad?
Did you know there are over 10,000 varieties of grapes in the world? So while you can make an all red grape salad or all green grape salad, I prefer to use at least 2 of the grape varieties in the world and use half red grapes and half green grapes.
Feel free, however, to use whatever SEEDLESS grapes you find at your grocery store from white grapes to tiny champagne grapes to witch fingers grapes. Using a variety of grapes will not only make for a colorful, beautiful salad but will add varying textures and sweetness.
HOW DO I MAKE GRAPE SALAD?
It does NOT get any easier!
- Wash and thoroughly dry grapes. Remove stems.
Make sure grapes are completely dry so they don’t water down the dressing and cause the dressing to not cling properly to the grapes.
2. Beat cream cheese, vanilla yogurt, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until smooth.
To soften cream cheese, place block (WITHOUT foil) on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for about 15 seconds.
3. Add cream cheese dressing to grapes and fold in grapes until evenly coated.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferable overnight
5. Just before servings, sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans.
How long do you CHILL GRAPE SALAD?
You will want to chill your Grape Salad for at least one hour but chilling overnight is highly preferable. Chilling promotes flavor melding and allows both the grapes and the dressing to chill for far superior taste. The grapes stay fresh and crisp and just get cooler AKA better the longer the salad chills.
I love that you can make this Grape Salad ahead of time for the perfect stress free potluck or dinner side AND that it actually tastes better the longer it chills. There are very few salads, like my Italian Pasta Salad with Tortellini that stay fresh and ALL the ingredients taste better the next day.
How to Customize Grape Salad
I find this Grape Salad recipe perfect in it’s simplicity but there are also endless possibilities to customize your Grape Salad. Here are just a few ideas:
- Grape Salad with shredded cheddar (like Paula Dean’s)
- Grape Salad with toasted walnuts
- Grape Salad with Slivered almonds
- Grape Salad with toasted coconut
- Grape Salad with strawberries
- Grape Salad with blueberries
- Grape Salad with pineapple
- Grape Salad with Snicker
- Grape Salad with Butterfingers
LOOKING FOR MORE SUMMER SIDE DISH RECIPES?
- Italian Pasta Salad with Tortellini
- Baked Beans with Brown Sugar and Bacon
- Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Fruit Salad with Honey Citrus Vinaigrette
- BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon Chive Dressing
- Strawberry Avocado Broccoli Salad
- Pina Colada Fruit Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Grilled Pineapple Salsa
- Grilled Caramelized Pineapple
WANT TO TRY THIS EASY GRAPE SALAD RECIPE?
PIN IT TO YOUR SALAD, SIDE OR SUMMER BOARD TO SAVE FOR LATER!
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- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt nonfat is fine
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 pounds green grapes rinsed and patted dry stems removed
- 2 pounds red grapes rinsed and patted dry stems removed
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- Beat cream cheese, vanilla yogurt, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until smooth.
- Fold in grapes until evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, best if overnight.
- Just before servings, sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans.
- Salad keeps beautifully for 5 days.
- You will need 10 cups of grapes for this recipe.
- You can use any of combo of seedless grapes from all red or all green to half red and half green or a mixture of other varieties of SEEDLESS grapes.
- Dry your grapes thoroughly so they don’t water down the dressing
- You can customize how much sugar you use in this recipe to suit your own taste and the sweetness of your grapes.
- I used non fat vanilla yogurt and full-fat cream cheese. If you want to use less fat cream cheese, just be aware your dressing might be runnier.
You can customize your Grape Salad with any of the following ad-ins:
- shredded cheddar (like Paula Dean’s)
- toasted walnuts
- slivered almonds
- toasted coconut
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