This grape salad recipe is a creamy fresh fruit salad with a crunchy topping.

Fresh grapes are tossed in a simple sweetened cream cheese mixture and topped with crushed pecans and brown sugar.

This dish is best made ahead of time so it’s great for almost any gathering.

close up of Grape Salad

An Easy Dessert Salad

Grown-ups and kids alike love this sweet, crunchy, fruit-based salad!

  • Six ingredients and three steps? Yes, please!
  • Grape salad is ready in one bowl in less than 10 minutes!
  • Serve it as a side dish or a dessert.
  • This recipe is potluck perfect since grape salad is best made ahead of time.
ingredients for grape salad

Ingredients in Grape Salad

Grapes – Choose seedless red grapes or green grapes (I use both if I can find them). We prefer smaller grapes for this recipe, if the grapes are really large cut them in half.

Dressing – The grapes are tossed in a sweet creamy dressing. We find full fat cream cheese gives the best flavor. Brown sugar adds sweetness while whipped topping lightens the texture. Fresh whipped cream can be added in place of whipped topping.

Garnish – Finely chopped pecans (and a sprinkle of brown sugar) add a nutty sweet crunch to this grape salad. Swap them out for Walnuts (or any kind of nuts you have) if you’d prefer or use candied nuts, no brown sugar needed.


  • Swap the whipped topping for marshmallow creme or even vanilla yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar mixed in!
  • For a less sweet salad, replace the whipped topping with Greek yogurt.
  • Try other extracts in place of vanilla extract (maple or rum are great choices).
  • Add in some chopped candy bars like Snickers or Butterfingers if you’d like.
process of adding ingredients to bowl to make Grape Salad

How To Make Grape Salad

  1. Mix cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Stir in whipped topping, brown sugar, and vanilla per the recipe below.
  2. Toss with grapes and refrigerate.
  3. Sprinkle with the topping before serving.

Kitchen Tips for Grape Salad

  • Use seedless grapes.
  • If the grapes are very large (or if you will be serving kids) cut the grapes in half lengthwise.
  • Ensure cream cheese is at room temperature ad mix with an electric mixer for best results.
  • If time allows, toast the pecans in a dry non-stick pan until golden and fragrant. This adds extra flavor.
Grape Salad with pecans on top

Got Leftovers?

Grape salad tastes best when it’s chilled, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve. If using whipped topping or yogurt, then leftovers will keep up to a few days in the refrigerator.

If using real whipped cream, this salad is best served the same day. While the salad will still taste great, the whipped cream may not hold up and it can get watery.

More Dessert Salad Recipes

Did everyone love this Grape Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

top view of Grape Salad in a bowl with a spoon
5 from 19 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Creamy Grape Salad Recipe

Grape salad is a quick and versatile side dish or dessert that adults love just as much as kids!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings


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  • 4 cups whole seedless grapes green, purple, or both
  • ½ cup pecans chopped


  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 cup whipped topping such as cool whip


  • Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer on medium until fluffy. Mix in whipped topping.
  • Add grapes to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top with pecans and additional brown sugar if desired.


Store salad in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Stir before serving. 
  • Make sure the grapes are seedless.
  • If the grapes are very large (or if you will be serving kids) I would suggest cutting the grapes in half lengthwise.
  • Ensure cream cheese is room temperature so it mixes smooth and fluffy.
  • Mix the topping with an electric mixer for best results.
  • Toast the pecans in a dry non-stick pan until golden and fragrant. This intensifies their flavor and makes them extra crunchy!
  • This recipe can be doubled.
5 from 19 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 189 | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Grape Salad in a bowl with a title
close up of Grape Salad with cream cheese and writing
plated Grape Salad with pecans and writing
Grape Salad plated and close up with writing


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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5 from 19 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. because we have nut allergies in the family we always top this with brown sugar and crushed/broken pretzels in a side dish to be sprinkled on when served to provide a nice salty crunch to balance the sweetness…

  2. This recipe is just great as is. Have made this a couple of times and was a huge hit. I just forgot to comment. Will be making this forever. Thank you!5 stars

  3. This is my favorite fruit salad ever. I took it to a potluck class reunion and it was a huge hit. You really must try it with the pitted cherries as it adds additional flavor to the salad. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is.5 stars

  4. A tip for cutting the grapes. Take a plastic container lid, place grapes on it in a single layer, top with another plastic container lid. With your hand holding the top lid down gently, use a serated knife to cut the grapes in half. This also works for cutting cherry tomatoes.

    1. Been making this for years & never cut the grapes. Leave them whole so juices don’t water down the creamy mixture. Lasts longer in the frig, too!

      1. I would think that kids would love this sweet grape salad so I would definitely cut the grapes in half to prevent possibility of choking.

  5. Hi Holly; Here are some variables that would work with your fruit salad.

    Fruit Salad

    Dressing #1
    With electric beaters whip 12 oz. heavy whipping cream too soft peaks with 1 tsp. coconut extract and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Then add a small pkg. (3 1/2 oz.) of cream cheese cubed. About 1/2 or a little more of a 22 oz. container of Real Cream of Coconut, and about 1/2 of a 14 oz. pkg. of shredded Coconut. Continue to mix with beaters until well blended. This should make about 1 quart of dressing. Gently mix to taste into fruit of choice. If you haven’t used Real Cream of Coconut before you will find it next to the wine in the drink mix section.

    Dressing #2
    Mix a 6 oz. pkg. of COOK & SERVE pudding mix with the juice from a 20 oz. can of Pineapple Tid Bits, cook until thickened. Then gently blend with fruit of choice. You can use any flavor of COOK & SERVE pudding to go with your fruit but if in doubt use Vanilla. I like Butter Scotch.

    Now the fruit
    You can use just about any fresh or well drained canned fruit cut to bite size. Grapes are always good. Core your apples but don’t peal. Cantaloupe and Honey Dew are exceptionally good and of course all kinds of berries. Bananas are very good but begin to oxidize if held more than two days. Chopped Walnuts or Pecans are also a good choice.

    You will need about 1 cup of fruit per serving and the Dressings as listed will dress about 6 to 8 servings (Depending on who you are feeding, Some of us eat more than we should). The salads are best if allowed to rest in fridge for a couple of hours before serving.5 stars

    1. Both of these dressings sound delicious for fruit salad Billy! Thanks so much for sharing them and I am going to try your second dressing with butterscotch, that sounds really yummy!