Waldorf Salad Recipe

The classic Waldorf salad, originally created at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, is a delightful blend of fresh apples, celery, grapes and walnuts all tossed in a creamy dressing. It's a refreshingly crisp and crunchy salad that's perfect for any time of year but particularly wonderful during the warmer months.

Waldorf Salad Recipe

Most of the ingredients in this salad are commonly found in many homes. However, the one to potentially look out for is walnuts. If you don't have them in your pantry, you will find them in the nuts and dried fruits aisle in the supermarket. Keep in mind, they play a vital role in adding that special crunch and nutty flavor to this classic salad.

Ingredients for the Classic Waldorf Salad

Mayonnaise: This provides the creamy base for the salad dressing.

Sugar: A small amount is used to slightly sweeten the dressing.

Celery: Adds a nice crunch and freshness to the salad.

Grapes: Can be either red or green, they add a sweet and slightly tart flavor.

Apples: Use a crisp, tart variety for the best flavor contrast.

Walnuts: They add a crunch and a lovely nutty flavor to the salad.

Raisins: These add a sweet chewy texture to the salad.

One reader, Andrus Greenfield says:

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This classic Waldorf salad recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh apples, crunchy celery, juicy grapes, and toasted walnuts, all coated in a creamy, sweet dressing, is simply divine. It's a refreshing and satisfying dish that's perfect for any occasion. Highly recommended!

Andrus Greenfield

Key Techniques for a Perfect Waldorf Salad

How to prepare the mayonnaise mixture: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sugar until well mixed. Set aside.

How to chop the celery: Wash the celery and trim off the ends. Cut the celery into small, bite-sized pieces.

How to prepare the grapes: Wash the grapes and slice them in half, removing any seeds if necessary.

How to prepare the apples: Wash the apples, core them, and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. You can leave the skin on for added color and texture.

How to toast the walnuts: Place the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.

How to assemble the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the celery, grapes, apples, walnuts, and raisins. Then, stir in the prepared mayonnaise mixture until everything is evenly coated.

Enjoy your classic Waldorf salad!

How To Make Waldorf Salad

A classic Waldorf salad like this one traditionally has fresh apples, celery, grapes, raisins, and walnuts. It’s the perfect salad for summer.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • ½cupmayonnaise
  • 2tspsugar
  • ½cupcelery,diced
  • 1cupgrapes,red, green or both
  • 2apples,cut in thin chunks
  • ½cupwalnuts,chopped
  • ¼cupraisins,optional


  1. Combine mayonnaise and sugar. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, toss together all remaining ingredients.

  3. Stir in the mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine.


  • Calories: 209.13kcal
  • Fat: 15.23g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.27g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.76g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 9.10g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.41g
  • Fiber: 2.06g
  • Sugar: 15.29g
  • Protein: 0.63g
  • Cholesterol: 7.51mg
  • Sodium: 119.60mg
  • Calcium: 12.88mg
  • Potassium: 181.62mg
  • Iron: 0.30mg
  • Vitamin A: 4.43µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.00mg

Crucial Technique Tip for a Delicious Waldorf Salad

When chopping the apples for your Waldorf salad, make sure to leave the skin on. Not only does it add a pop of color to your salad, but apple skin also contains a significant amount of nutrients, including fiber and vitamin C. Also, to prevent the apples from browning, you can toss them in a bit of lemon juice before adding them to the salad. This will keep your salad looking fresh and vibrant.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Classic Waldorf Salad

Prep ahead: Chop the celery, apples, and walnuts in advance and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will save time when you're ready to assemble the salad.

Use pre-cut fruits: Consider using pre-cut grapes and pre-chopped walnuts to cut down on prep time.

Multi-task: While the mayonnaise and sugar mixture is setting aside, use that time to prepare the other ingredients to maximize efficiency.

Organize your workspace: Before you start, make sure all your ingredients and tools are easily accessible to avoid wasting time searching for items while cooking.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the recipe to avoid unnecessary experimentation and potential mistakes that could cost you time.

Substitute Ingredients For Waldorf Salad Recipe

  • mayonnaise - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to mayonnaise and provides a tangy flavor that complements the other ingredients well.

  • sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey adds a natural sweetness and a unique flavor profile to the salad.

  • celery - Substitute with fennel: Fennel has a similar crunchy texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor that works well in place of celery.

  • grapes - Substitute with dried cranberries: Dried cranberries provide a sweet and tart flavor, adding a chewy texture to the salad.

  • apples - Substitute with pear: Pears offer a similar crisp texture and sweet taste, making them a great alternative to apples in the salad.

  • walnuts - Substitute with pecans: Pecans have a similar rich, nutty flavor and crunchy texture that complements the salad.

  • raisins - Substitute with dried apricots: Dried apricots add a sweet and chewy element to the salad, enhancing its flavor and texture.

Best Presentation for a Classic Waldorf Salad

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the Waldorf salad in a circular mold to create a neat and elegant presentation. Use a ring mold to create a perfect, compact shape that will impress the judges.

  2. Garnish with precision: Sprinkle finely chopped walnuts on top of the salad for a sophisticated and visually appealing finish. The precision in garnishing will demonstrate attention to detail and finesse.

  3. Incorporate color contrast: Introduce vibrant grapes and raisins to add pops of color against the creamy mayonnaise and the earthy walnuts. The contrast will make the dish visually striking.

  4. Balance textures: Ensure a harmonious blend of textures by finely dicing the celery and slicing the apples to create a balance of crunch and juiciness in every bite.

  5. Create a focal point: Place a single, whole grape on top of the salad as a focal point, drawing attention to the dish's freshness and quality of ingredients.

  6. Emphasize symmetry: Arrange the salad components with precision and symmetry, showcasing the chef's attention to detail and culinary expertise.

  7. Use high-quality serving ware: Present the Waldorf salad on a pristine, white, fine china plate to highlight the elegance and sophistication of the dish. The choice of serving ware will elevate the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making a Waldorf Salad

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It's great for quickly preparing the celery, apples, and walnuts for the Waldorf salad.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the ingredients of the Waldorf salad, allowing for easy tossing and stirring of the mayonnaise, sugar, celery, grapes, apples, walnuts, and raisins.

Storing and Freezing Homemade Waldorf Salad

Here are the storing and freezing guidelines for classic Waldorf salad:

  • Refrigerate the salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The apples and celery may soften slightly, but the flavors will meld together beautifully.
  • If you want to make the salad ahead of time, prepare the mayonnaise dressing and store it separately from the other ingredients. Toss everything together just before serving to keep the apples and celery crisp.
  • Freezing the salad is not recommended, as the texture of the mayonnaise and vegetables will become unappetizing when thawed. The apples and celery will become mushy, and the dressing may separate.
  • If you have leftover salad that you don't want to waste, consider repurposing it as a filling for chicken or turkey sandwiches. The creamy texture and sweet-tart flavor of the salad pair well with poultry and can add a gourmet twist to your lunchtime routine.

Interesting Trivia About Waldorf Salad

The Waldorf Salad was first created in the 1890s at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. It was originally made with only apples, celery, and mayonnaise, but over the years, various ingredients such as grapes, walnuts, and raisins have been added to the classic recipe. This salad has become a timeless favorite and is often served as a side dish or a light meal. Its refreshing combination of flavors and textures makes it a versatile and delicious option for any occasion.

Is Making Waldorf Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this Waldorf salad recipe is quite high. The ingredients are commonly found in households, making it a budget-friendly option. With mayonnaise and sugar as the main components, the overall cost is minimal. The combination of celery, grapes, apples, walnuts, and raisins adds a delightful mix of flavors and textures. This recipe earns a solid 8/10 for its affordability and simplicity. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10, making it an economical and tasty choice.

Is the Waldorf Salad Healthy?

The classic Waldorf salad recipe, while tasty, may not be the healthiest option due to a few key ingredients. The mayonnaise, which serves as the dressing base, is high in fat and calories. Additionally, the sugar added to the dressing increases the overall sugar content of the dish. The walnuts and raisins provide some nutritional benefits, such as healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, but they also contribute to the calorie count.

On the positive side, the salad incorporates a variety of fruits and vegetables, including celery, grapes, and apples, which offer dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The combination of these ingredients creates a balance of flavors and textures that can be satisfying and enjoyable.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap the regular mayonnaise for a lighter version or a combination of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise to reduce the fat and calorie content
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the dressing or use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
  • Increase the proportion of fruits and vegetables in the salad to boost its nutritional value
  • Opt for unsalted, raw walnuts to minimize the added sodium and potential for unhealthy additives
  • Serve the salad over a bed of mixed greens to add more fiber and nutrients

By making these adjustments, you can transform the classic Waldorf salad into a more balanced and nutritious dish that still retains its delightful flavors and textures. Experimenting with different ingredients and proportions can help you find the perfect combination that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs.

Editor's Opinion on This Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe

This classic Waldorf salad recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The creamy mayonnaise and sugar dressing perfectly complement the crisp apples, crunchy celery, juicy grapes, and nutty walnuts. The addition of sweet raisins adds a pleasant contrast to the savory elements. This salad is a timeless favorite and makes for a refreshing side dish or light meal. It's a versatile recipe that can be enjoyed year-round and is sure to impress with its balance of sweet and savory flavors.

Enhance Your Waldorf Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese
Grilled Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with toasted almonds
Roasted Chicken: Juicy herb-roasted chicken with a crispy golden skin
Fruit Tart: Buttery pastry crust filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with an assortment of fresh seasonal fruits

Delicious Alternatives to the Classic Waldorf Salad

Savory Beef Stew: This hearty stew is packed with tender beef, carrots, and potatoes, simmered in a rich and flavorful broth.
Citrus Glazed Salmon: This succulent salmon is marinated in a zesty citrus glaze and then grilled to perfection, creating a delicious and healthy meal.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: These refreshing popsicles are made with fresh mango, coconut milk, and a hint of lime, creating a tropical treat that's perfect for hot summer days.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Pair with Waldorf Salad

Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Creamy and indulgent, this classic Italian dish features tender chicken and al dente pasta smothered in a rich, cheesy Alfredo sauce. It's the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in.
Beef Wellington: A show-stopping dish fit for a special occasion, Beef Wellington features a succulent beef tenderloin wrapped in flaky puff pastry and served with a decadent mushroom duxelles. It's a true culinary masterpiece.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth after a meal.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender baked apples, a crispy oat topping, and a hint of cinnamon. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful treat.

Why trust this Waldorf Salad Recipe:

This classic Waldorf salad recipe is a timeless favorite, featuring crisp apples, juicy grapes, and crunchy walnuts for a delightful texture. The creamy mayonnaise dressing, sweetened with a touch of sugar, perfectly complements the fresh ingredients. With the added crunch of celery and the sweetness of raisins, this salad is a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Trust this recipe for its simplicity, balance, and the timeless appeal of its ingredients. Enjoy the trustworthiness of this classic Waldorf salad recipe and savor every bite!

Share your thoughts on this Waldorf Salad recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out for you!
What type of apples should I use for the Waldorf salad?
I recommend using crisp and slightly sweet apples such as Gala, Honeycrisp, or Fuji for the best flavor and texture in the salad.
Can I substitute the mayonnaise with a different dressing?
Yes, you can substitute mayonnaise with Greek yogurt for a healthier option or a light vinaigrette for a tangy twist.
How far in advance can I make the Waldorf salad?
You can prepare the Waldorf salad up to 24 hours in advance. However, it's best to add the dressing right before serving to maintain the salad's freshness and crunch.
Can I omit the nuts from the Waldorf salad?
Absolutely, if you have a nut allergy or prefer not to include them, you can simply omit the walnuts from the recipe without compromising the overall flavor of the salad.
What can I serve with the Waldorf salad?
The Waldorf salad pairs well with grilled chicken, roasted turkey, or even as a side dish for a brunch spread. It's a versatile dish that complements a variety of main courses.

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