This 5-ingredient grape salad is bright, full of texture and perfect served for brunch, lunch or dinner. Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s a great take on a classic fruit salad that can also be served as a side dish with just about any type of meal.
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
Being from the Midwest, we’re very used to creamy-style grape salad made with sour cream, cream cheese or yogurt and loads of brown sugar. Us Midwesterners like to take the word “salad” and strip it of all its meaning. Well, that’s not the case with this salad or this midwesterner!
Our version of grape salad is far lighter, tangier, and in our opinion, way tastier.
Instead of a cream cheese mixture, we’re tossing the grapes with a lemon vinaigrette. And for a bit of crunch we add a handful of finely diced celery. Then to take it to the next level, we add a bit of chew in the form of tart golden raisins.
To ensure the vinaigrette mingles with the grapes—instead of rolling right off their slick skins—we slice the grapes in half. This allows them to shed some of their sweet juices and soak up the tart vinaigrette.
And finally, you gotta season it with salt and pepper. It may feel counterintuitive to season a fruit salad, but just a pinch or two will bring out its sweetness and make it much more balanced in flavor.
Ingredients in this Grape Salad
For the most flavor, opt for extra-virgin olive oil. You could even play around with other oils like walnut oil or infused oils like lemon or basil oil.
To keep the salad bright and light, we use lemon juice and zest instead of vinegar. For zesting any kind of citrus, we always use a microplane.
Quite frankly we add celery purely for its texture. It adds great flavor too, but tiny bites of crisp celery just takes this salad to a whole new level. Feel free to play around with how much you add, we wouldn’t be mad if you added more.
In keeping with the grape theme, we feel raisins are only fitting. Truth be told though, we’re after them for their chewiness. They add a lovely sweetness, but their chewy texture is what we notice the most in this salad.
Golden raisins are best, but regular will work in a pinch. And make sure you use fairly fresh raisins—those raisins that have been hanging out in the back of the cupboard for about a year are likely pretty dry and will only distract from the salad.
Fresh herbs are always delicious in fruit salad—we love adding mint, cilantro, and tarragon, but for this grape salad we opt for basil. It pairs wonderfully with the olive oil, lemon and grapes. Play around with how much you like in your salad, there’s no hard or fast rule here!
- Play around with the citrus you use—orange or lime would be a delicious swap for lemon.
- Mix up the herb you add. Instead of basil try mint or parsley.
- If you don’t like raisins, try diced dried apricots, diced dates, or currants.
- Add toasted and chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds or pistachios.
You can make this grape salad up to 1 day ahead of time. Hold off on adding the basil until right before serving. Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this grape salad will last up to 4 days.
No, this grape salad should not be frozen.
As is true for most things in cooking, the best type of grape is the one you like. We recommend using a mix of red and green seedless grapes, but use what you like best.
More Simple Salads to Try…
- This Simple Fennel Salad is a favorite around here, flavorful, easy, and super refreshing.
- Our radish salad is crunchy, creamy and totally surprising.
- And if you’ve got some leftover celery, try our celery salad. It’s a crisp delight!
Simple Grape Salad Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Cracked black pepper and kosher salt
- 1 pound seedless red grapes, halved
- 1 pound seedless green grapes, halved
- ½ cup diced celery (3 small stalks)
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest, ½ teaspoon black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Add grapes, celery, raisins, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.