November 29, 2022

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Waldorf Salad – The Cookie Rookie®

Waldorf Salad is a classic, fresh and fruity recipe that can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a refreshing light lunch! It features apples, grapes, celery, candied walnuts and mixed greens all tossed together in a creamy homemade dressing.

Waldorf salad on a table along with a cloth napkin, fork, glasses of water, and a small bowl of walnuts

Apple Waldorf Salad

When you’re craving a salad that’s equal parts sweet and fresh, look no further than this classic Waldorf Salad recipe! It’s got all the ingredients you know and love, tossed together in the most delicious creamy dressing. The dressing features mayo, honey, lemon juice, and just a pinch of salt and pepper. So simple, so satisfying!

This American salad has been around since the 1890’s, and it’s not hard to see why it’s lasted the trials of time. If anything, the Waldorf Salad just gets more and more popular as the years go by! I don’t think that the ingredients in this fruity salad or the sweet and creamy dressing will ever go out of style.

Why You’ll Love this Waldorf Salad Recipe:

  • CLASSIC: It’s always fun to make old school recipes! This one has been around since 1896, making it certified vintage. Why mess with the original when it tastes this good?
  • FRUITY: The apples and grapes lend a fruity flavor to every bite, which is beautifully complimented by the sweet honey and fresh lemon juice in the dressing.
  • THE TEXTURES: You have leafy greens, candied walnuts, juicy grapes, crisp apples, and crunchy celery in this salad. All of those varying textures make for seriously satisfying bites!

When you’re craving a fruity salad that’s on the sweeter side, a Waldorf Salad is the tried and true recipe for you! And this isa holiday favorite for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Waldorf salad on a plate
close up on a bowl of salad topped with grapes and walnuts

How to Make Waldorf Salad

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Make the Waldorf dressing by whisking together the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine!
how to make a Waldorf salad step by step photo instructions
What is a Waldorf salad?

Waldorf salad is a salad named for the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, where it was created. It includes fresh apples, celery, walnuts, and grapes coated in a mayonnaise dressing and served over a bed of lettuce.

Is Waldorf salad sweet or savory?

It’s a little bit of both! The fruits and nuts contribute sweetness and tartness, the celery adds saltiness, and the dressing adds a savory, creamy component.

What are the best apples for Waldorf salad?

You can use any kinds of apples you like in this salad. I like to do one red apple (like Honey Crisp or Gala) and one green apple (like Golden Delicious or Granny Smith) for more variety and color.

How do I prevent the apples in Waldorf salad from browning?

To prevent browning, toss the cut apples in lemon juice.

Serving Suggestions

  • You can enjoy a Waldorf Salad all by itself as a light lunch! You could even add some grilled chicken or salmon.
  • Start your dinner party off deliciously by serving this for the salad course.
  • Need to freshen up your dinner plate? It works so well as a side dish.

Use freshly-squeezed lemon juice in the dressing for the best flavor! Oh, and always try to use good quality honey that lends real flavor, not just sweetness.

Waldorf salad filled with greens, grapes, walnuts, apples, and celery
close up on a classic Waldorf salad

Make Ahead Instructions

Waldorf salad can be prepared and fully assembled up to 2 hours in advance of when you plan to serve it. Store the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Storage Instructions

Waldorf salad is best enjoyed on the day it is made; however, it will remain fresh for up to 1 day if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve cold. I do not recommend freezing this salad.

Variations

  • You can substitute Greek yogurt for up to half of the mayonnaise in the dressing.
  • For a sweeter salad, you can fold some whipped cream into the dressing and mini marshmallows into the salad.
  • Use your favorite variety of apples in this salad, or try it with chopped pears!
  • You can use red or green grapes in this salad, or try a mix of both.
  • Instead of walnuts, try pecans, almonds, or pistachios!
  • Try adding dried fruits, such as raisins, dates, or dried cranberries!
  • Instead of mixed greens, you can serve over any lettuce you like or enjoy the salad as is without lettuce.
  • Add leftover shredded or diced chicken, turkey, or tofu to this salad to make it a meal. It’s great as a sandwich!

Tips for the Best Waldorf Salad

  • Use crisp varieties of apples. Crisp apples will stay crunchy for longer once dressed. Honey Crisp, Gala, and Red Delicious are great crisp red apples, while Golden Delicious and Granny Smith are great crisp green apples.
  • Try to chop all of the ingredients to about the same size. It’ll make the salad more uniform and allow you to get a bit of everything in each bite.
  • Sprinkle the cut apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. You can add a little sugar to enhance the sweetness as well.
  • Toast the nuts for a deeper flavor.
  • Mix the dressing together before adding the fruit to ensure that everything gets evenly coated.
  • Add the nuts just before serving. Nuts go stale quickly, especially when refrigerated.
plated Waldorf salad set on a table scape

This easy Waldorf Salad recipe has everything you already know and love about this classic fruity salad! It’s sweet, fresh, and has the most scrumptious creamy dressing. Serve it at a picnic or right before dinner – there’s really no wrong way to enjoy it!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!