21 Ways to Use Grapes

Top 21 Ways to Use Grapes from
California in Foodservice

… and counting! 


Grapes in citrus bowl

1. Bake– Grapes act like any other berry – which is what they are – in baking applications, including tarts, cakes, breads, and pizzas (or focaccia, too). Baked brie en croute with grapes is a classic for buffets.

2. Blend– Toss them – skins and all – into a blender to create smoothies, cocktails, and other tasty drinks.

3. Blister– High heat is the trick (try grape seed oil for this). Cook just until the skins are taut.

4. Broil– Try grapes wrapped in prosciutto for a riff on Angels on Horseback.  Great for tapas.

5. Clip– The best way to present grapes on a fruit platter or as a plate garnish is to clip them into smaller clusters. Grapes provide coverage, color, dimension, and simply great taste.

6. Cup– Check out the Grape Lemon Cup garnish.

7. Decorate– With three vibrant colors to work with grapes are a caterer’s dream. So go ahead, drape, nestle, be-ribbon – imagination is the only limit.

Chocolate dipped grapes

8. Dip – Rich chocolate – dark, milk, white – and grapes make a delightful pairing. Find the recipe here.

9. Dress – Grapes blend particularly well with salad dressing of all types, offering their own juicy flavors of sweet and tart to the mix.

10. Freeze – Freeze grapes in single layers and add to beverages, ice creams, gelato, and sorbets.

11. Frost – Grapes “frosted” with sugars are an elegant garnish for flans
and brûlées, cakes, and dessert plates. Find the recipe here.

12. Grab ‘n Go – Pack ’em in clam shells, plastic tumblers – whatever you’ve got – as a stand-alone grab ‘n go or as a side or accompaniment to sandwiches and wraps.

13. Grill – Skewer the grapes, brush with a glaze, then grill and serve warm as a side, garnish, or for dipping.

14. Layer – Grapes are juicy, nutritious, and beautiful in breakfast parfaits.

Grapes in a glass with water

15. Pickle– Check out this recipe here. It’s a wonderful side for a Ploughman’s Lunch or a piquant accent to an appetizer combo of pate, cheese, and crackers.

16. Roast– Just like with roasted vegetables, grapes also caramelize, yielding a flavor that is wholly unique. You can top your dish with roasted grapes as-is or turn them into a luscious sauce.

17. Sauce – Think of the classic Sole Veronique and then create a signature sauce with grapes. Consider grape skillet sauces made with wine or other flavorful liquids, herbs and spices, shallots, and garlic – improvise at will.

18. Sauté – Grapes tossed in hot oils and fats are literally ready to burst with flavor.

19. Skewer – Replace tomatoes with grapes and skewer a Caprese Salad bite. Alternate grapes with cheese cubes or grill them on a kebob with meats, fish, or shrimp.

20. Smoke – For a unique flavor dimension try smoked grapes.  They pair well with cheese, seafood, antipasto, and more.  Chicken crostini with smoked grapes anyone?

21. Swap – Replace tomatoes with grapes: grapes can go anywhere a tomato goes…and beyond. Think salsa, salads, gazpacho, skewers, roasted in sauces, and more. The possibilities are endless!


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Californians have been cultivating grapes for more than two centuries. Today, 99 percent of U.S. table grapes are produced in California's warm, dry climate that is ideal for grape growing. With 89 grape varieties grown, California grapes come in three colors—green, red, and black—and are in season from May through January.

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