Creamy Grape Salad

updated Oct 23, 2023
summer
Grape Salad Recipe

Grapes tossed in a sweetend cream cheese and sour cream sauce topped with toasted pecans and tarragon

Serves4 to 6

Makes5 1/2 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook5 minutes

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grape salad in a bowl
Credit: Photo: Chris SImpson; Food Styling; Jessie YuChen

I’m not a huge fan of grapes. Sure I’ll snack on them from time to time, but I never really seek them out. But this creamy grape salad turned me from a grape skeptic into a voracious grape eater. All it takes is a handful of pantry ingredients and a few minutes of effort. It’s fresh and cool and makes the perfect side dish.

Key Ingredients in Grape Salad

  • Cream cheese and sour cream: The combination creates a perfectly silky sauce that coats each grape.
  • Brown sugar: A quarter cup of light brown sugar helps to balance the tang of the cream cheese and sour cream.
  • Vanilla: Just a splash goes a long way!
  • Pecans: For some added texture, I throw in toasted pecans, which balances out the whole salad in texture and flavor. Toasted walnuts would also work.
Credit: Photo: Chris SImpson; Food Styling; Jessie YuChen

Tips for Making Grape Salad

  • Go for seedless grapes. They make eating the salad easier.
  • Add tarragon. The recipe says it’s optional, but I highly recommend including it. The tarragon complements all the flavors and adds some elegance to the dish.
  • Look for different types of grapes. Instead of using just green or red grapes, try using a combination of different varieties of grapes. I love Muscat, Cotton Candy, and Champagne grapes, all of which have a sweeter profile.
  • Substitute different creamy ingredients. This recipe is flexible and would work well with other creamy ingredients like crème fraîche, mascarpone cheese, Greek yogurt, or evaporated milk. Vegan? You can substitute dairy-free cream cheese and sour cream.

Grape Salad Recipe

Grapes tossed in a sweetend cream cheese and sour cream sauce topped with toasted pecans and tarragon

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Makes 5 1/2 cups

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 3/4 cup

    pecans or walnuts

  • 1

    small bunch fresh tarragon (optional)

  • 1/2 cup

    sour cream

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 2 pounds

    assorted seedless red and green grapes, such as or cotton candy, muscat

Instructions

  1. Place 4 ounces cream cheese in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature until softened, about 30 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave the cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl until just softened, 10 to 15 seconds.)

  2. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts. Cook in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden-brown, about 4 minutes. (Alternatively, bake on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400ºF oven until toasted and golden-brown, about 6 minutes.) Let cool completely, then coarsely chop.

  3. If using, pick the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh tarragon until you have 1 1/2 tablespoons, then finely chop. Transfer 1 tablespoon to the bowl of cream cheese.

  4. Add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and whisk to combine.

  5. Pat 2 pounds red and green seedless grapes dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and halve any grapes that are large. Add the grapes and 1/2 cup of the toasted nuts to the dressing. Gently stir until the dressing coats everything evenly. Transfer to a serving platter and top with remaining nuts and tarragon if using.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.