Grape Salad Recipe
After my husband's graduation in May, we had a celebratory BBQ with some of our close friends from the school and our families. Aside from the high of seeing my husband receiving his diploma, there are two things I don't think I will ever forget about that BBQ:
1) It was so hot, I thought my face was going to melt off. Seriously. It was completely ridiculous for May.
2) Grape Salad.
One of my good friends and her mom came over to make the salad at our house the night before. After a cursory glance at the ingredients they used, I was pretty sure I could guess how it would taste. I thought it was going to be good. Nothing surprising. But good.
What I didn't expect was how good it would taste. That it was basically crack in the form of grapes, cream cheese, and brown sugar. The combination of tastes and textures in this salad is utterly and completely addictive, and it's darn near impossible to stop eating once you start.
The good news is: it's not all that bad for you as is. A teeny bit sugar and fat laden… well, sure. But it's full of fruit, so that's good, right? But beyond that, I've actually found a way to make it healthier and decrease the fat and sugar substantially.
Which is a good thing too… since we've (honest to goodness) had a bowl of this in our refrigerator constantly since love at first bite.
(I'm not kidding. It's in the fridge right now. I didn't even have to make a new batch for the photo shoot.)
I'll include notes on how to make this healthier at the bottom of the recipe, but here's a portion control tip (uh, because you will definitely need it):
We like to keep a big batch of this salad on hand without the brown sugar and pecan topping. When we're ready to eat a bowl (I've figured about 150 cals for 200g), we add the brown sugar and pecans after a serving of the salad has been portioned out. That way we can add a little less of the brown sugar and/or pecans if we want (plus, it's like impossible to know how much brown sugar and pecans you're eating if you don't measure them separately per serving). OR sometimes we'll even eat it without the topping– it's still delicious (albeit a little less crack-like).
This grape salad is seriously SO easy to make (like, 10 minutes including washing the grapes and removing them from their vines), perfect for a hot summer day, relatively healthy, and insanely delicious.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!! (And shout out to Mackenzie and her mom for bringing this tastiness into my life).
- 2 lbs grapes (about 2 bags)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- approximately 1 cup brown sugar for topping
- approximately 1 cup chopped pecans for topping
- Rise grapes and remove from the vine. Be sure to toss any soft or damaged grapes as you go.
- In a small food processor* blend together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the grapes and stir to coat.
- Place grape mixture in serving dish. Chill until serving (you can serve it immediately, but it's best if everything is chilled well). Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans over top before serving.
*I like to use a food processor, because that way I don't have to soften my cream cheese. However, if you need to use a stand mixer or hand mixer, be sure to soften the cream cheese first.
You can substitute low fat (or fat free) cream cheese for the cream cheese. You can also use light (or fat free) sour cream OR greek yogurt (I've used Chobani vanilla and loved it). Also consider using sliced almonds instead of the pecans.
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