Waldorf Salad Recipe
Apples, celery, grapes, and nuts provide the perfect combo of crunchy and sweet in this classic Waldorf salad recipe. This dish will add a touch of class to any holiday meal year round!
Waldorf salad is great for any time of year, and we like to serve it at holidays. We most like it at Easter, pairing it alongside honey glazed ham, macaroni salad, and duchess potatoes. It not only gives your spread that finishing touch of a well rounded meal, but it only takes 15 minutes to make!
If you’re hosting Easter dinner this year make sure to check out our guide on hosting Easter dinner for 6-8 people.
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Ingredients for Waldorf Salad
- Mayonnaise – You can substitute sour cream or plain yogurt if you prefer.
- Lemon juice – This not only adds a little citrus zest to your dish, but also helps keep your apples from browning.
- Salt – We use Kosher salt for this recipe.
- Apples – The crisper the better. We prefer red-skinned apples but you could mix in Granny Smith if you like something a little less sweet.
- Celery – Fresh celery adds to the crunch factor.
- Red grapes – These add just enough sweet to counterbalance the tart apples.
- Walnuts – These give your salad a great texture and crunch.
- Lettuce – We like to use a nice spring mix or some bright butter lettuce leaves to create an eye pleasing presentation.
Best Apples to Use
While classic Waldorf salad recipes use red delicious apples, we prefer gala or fuji apples. These apples are sweet but also add a nice tartness to the dish as well as a crisper texture.
We also sometimes like a mix of granny smith and sweet red. Feel free to use whatever apple is your favorite.
Step 1 – Make the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt.
Step 2 – Assemble the salad. In a large bowl combine the chopped apples, celery, and red grapes. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the fruit and toss together then gently fold in the walnuts.
Step 3 – Serve. Spoon the salad over a bed of lettuce before serving.
More Classic Salads
- Quick and Easy Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Classic Three Bean Salad Recipe
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
Dressing for Waldorf Salad
For our dressing, we use mayonnaise as a base and add lemon juice to help keep the apples from browning so quickly, and salt to add some additional flavor.
Traditional dressings for the Waldorf salad use mayonnaise but if you would like to cut the fat (or just despise mayo) feel free to substitute sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
We are giving you the traditional Waldorf salad recipe, but it is very easy to make substitutions to this recipe based on your likes and dislikes. The flexibilty of this recipe is one of the things that makes it such a great choice as a side dish.
- Instead of walnuts, you can try almonds, pecans, or even a mix of nuts. Just make sure the nuts you choose and unsalted.
- We gave you our preference of apples, but you can try any variety you wish. You can even mix different kinds together.
- While we use red grapes, you can use green or mix green and red grapes together. You can even substitute them with dried cranberries or raisins if you prefer.
- If you aren’t a celery fan, you can easily substitute it with chopped fennel bulb or jicama to put your own spin on the dish.
- You can even make it a full meal by adding cooked chicken, using canned or rotisserie if you’re short on time!
Waldorf salad is named for the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, where it was created in 1896 by the maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky for a charity ball for the St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Later that year, Tschirky published a recipe book simply titled “The Cook Book” in which the recipe for Waldorf salad appeared, allowing everyone to bring this famed salad to their dinner tables.
How to Long Does It Last?
This dish will last up to the three days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. However, we do not recommend making this dish ahead of time as the apples may brown slightly while stored, despite the lemon juice. It is best when freshly made.
Looking for More Salad Recipes?
- Like the sweet, salty, and crunchy? Try our broccoli salad with mango chutney dressing!
- Want something filling, yet low carb? Try our shredded chicken taco bowl!
- Curious about more options? Check our list of all types of salads!
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Apples, Crisp apples such as Gala or Fuji, cored and diced
- 1 cup Celery, chopped (about 3 stalks)
- 1 cup Red grapes, halved
- ½ cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
- In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt.
- In a large bowl combine chopped apples, celery, and red grapes.
- Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the fruit and toss together.
- Gently fold in the walnuts.
- Serve over a bed of lettuce.