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Classic Waldorf Salad

This Classic Waldorf Salad is full of fresh, crispy, apples, celery, grapes and walnuts with a creamy mayonnaise dressing served over a bed of lettuce. Serve it as a side dish or appetizer at Christmas or Thanksgiving. You can easily add chicken or turkey to make it a complete meal!

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Close up photo of a classic waldorf salad in a bowl with crispy, apples, celery, grapes and walnuts with a creamy mayonnaise dressing served over a bed of lettuce.

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Why you’ll love this recipe

You can serve this classic Waldorf Apple Salad over lettuce, combined with iceberg lettuce or on its own. Either way it’s a delicious take on a fruit salad that makes a great Easter side dish or Thanksgiving side dish. You can make this healthier by using Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise in the dressing, and add leftover chicken or turkey to serve it as an entrée on a warm evening by turning it into a Turkey or Chicken Waldorf Salad!

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White bowl of classic waldorf salad next to a small bowl of grapes, walnuts and other ingredients of waldorf salad.

What’s Waldorf Salad?

Waldorf Salad was created at the famous Waldorf Hotel in New York City in the late 1800’s, and has remained a superbly popular and iconic salad ever since! Traditional Waldorf Salad is made apples, grapes, celery, walnuts and mayonnaise. Updated versions of this recipe sometimes substitute yogurt for the mayonnaise and adds dried fruit such as raisins to the salad.

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What’s Waldorf Salad made of?

To make the salad into a complete meal you can also add cooked chicken or turkey.

Overhead photo of Waldorf Salad ingredients laid out: Close up photo of a classic waldorf salad in a bowl with crispy, apples, celery,  creamy mayonnaise dressing and lettuce.

For the salad you’ll need

  • Walnuts
  • Celery
  • Green apples (Granny Smith)
  • White seedless grapes
  • Iceberg lettuce – I find that iceberg lettuce is he best kind of lettuce for a Waldorf Salad

For the salad dressing you’ll need

  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Fresh lemon

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How to make Waldorf Salad

  1. Chop the apples into bite-size pieces and roughly chop the walnuts.
  2. Add all the ingredients of the salad, except lettuce leaves to a salad bowl. Toss them with mayonnaise, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Serve the salad by placing a few lettuce leaves on the bottom of individual bowls and then divide the salad into two bowls.
  4. Enjoy while fresh!
  5. Keep leftover in the fridge for up to three days.

Make this Waldorf Salad recipe, then check out my Montreal Steak Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Honey Mustard Dressing, Roasted Asparagus Caesar Salad, and Creamy Ranch BLT Pasta Salad and more of my healthy salad dressing recipes.  

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White bowl of classic waldorf salad on a bed of lettuce, with a grey napkin and two small white bowls in the background.

Substitutions and Twists on the Classic Waldorf Salad

Christmas Waldorf Salad

To dress up the classic Waldorf salad for Christmas or for Thanksgiving, add festive dried cranberries. This salad goes great with turkey or can be mixed with leftover turkey for a delicious meal in the days following Christmas.

Can Waldorf Salad be made with light dressing?

Yes, this salad can be made with a light mayonnaise dressing instead of mayonnaise for a lighter version.

Waldorf Salad with marshmallows?

A classic waldorf salad does not have marshmallows, however there are many Ambrosia Waldorf Salad crossover recipes that do have marshmallows.

Other Twists on the Classic Waldorf Salad

How long does waldorf salad keep

You can make your waldorf salad two, maybe even three days ahead and it will be just fine when you need it. However this salad cannot be frozen. Anytime you freeze a fresh fruit or vegetable, it will leak all the liquid out of its cells when thawed. That means those crunchy apples will go all soft and watery–and that will ruin your salad.

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Other classic salad recipes to try

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If you’re looking for a healthy fall salad then look no further because I’ve got a DELICIOUS recipe for you!

Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe

Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This classic Waldorf Salad is full of fresh, crispy, apples, celery, grapes and walnuts with a creamy mayonnaise dressing served over a bed of lettuce. Serve it as a side dish or appetizer at Christmas or Thanksgiving. You can easily add chicken or turkey to make it a complete meal!

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 cup white seedless grapes
  • ½ iceberg lettuce head

For the Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Chop the apples into bite-size pieces and roughly chop the walnuts.
  2. Add all the ingredients of the salad, except lettuce leaves to a salad bowl. Toss them with mayonnaise, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Serve the salad by placing a few lettuce leaves on the bottom of individual bowls and then divide the salad into two bowls.
  4. Enjoy while fresh!
  5. Keep leftover in the fridge for up to three days.

Notes

  • Replace walnuts with pecan nuts if desired.
  • Chop the lettuce with the rest of the ingredients if you prefer it that way.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 salad
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 6gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

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    This classic Waldorf Salad is full of fresh, crispy, apples, celery, grapes and walnuts with a creamy mayonnaise dressing served over a bed of lettuce. Serve it as a side dish or appetizer at Christmas or Thanksgiving. You can easily add chicken or turkey to make it a complete meal!
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