Waldorf Salad is a classic summer salad that combines celery, grapes, apples, walnuts, and raisins in a creamy base. Serve this crunchy side salad at a potluck or barbecue along some pulled pork sandwiches for the perfect meal.

This original Waldorf salad recipe was created in New York by the head chef of the Waldorf hotel in 1896. It was created for children at a charity ball in honor of St. Mary’s hospital!

We love bringing this dish with us when we head to a party but it also makes for a wonderfully fresh lunch every day of the year. It’s make ahead, simple, travelable, and goes perfectly with just about any spread. Serve on its own, on a bed of lettuce or with Oven Baked Chicken Breasts, this recipe fits right in to any menu!

Waldorf Salad with spoons

Waldorf Salad Recipe

I love serving waldorf salad as a side dish, but you can easily create a main with it. The only addition you need is poached chicken or grilled chicken breasts, and you’ll have a beautiful chicken waldorf salad. I love serving this alongside some homemade dinner rolls in the summertime, it’s one of our favorites!

With Waldorf salad, it’s best to make it ahead of time. This allows the sweetness from the apples and grapes to infuse into the mayonnaise, creating a delicious sweet dressing for the salad. This makes it absolutely perfect for potlucks, it’s ready before you are!

Ingredients for Waldorf Salad

What Is Waldorf Salad

This is a classic salad made from celery, grapes, apples, walnuts, raisins, and mayonnaise. It is most often served on a bed of lettuce.

Waldorf salad has the perfect balance of sweetness, nuttiness, crunch, and flavor. Everything just works together.

If you have any other ingredients on hand, feel free to test them out. We love making cranberry waldorf salad, but other great additions include a squeeze of lemon juice, chiffonade carrots, other berries, pecans or other nuts.

Untossed Waldorf Salad

How To Make Waldorf Salad

Making an easy Waldorf salad is as simple as 1.2.3. To make this easy side dish:

  1. Prep the fruit and veggies
  2. Mix dressing ingredients
  3. Combine, chill and enjoy

For best results, don’t forget to cover and chill the waldorf salad for about an hour.

Waldorf Salad Dressing

There really isn’t much to Waldorf salad dressing, it’s pretty much just mayonnaise and a bit of sugar. Some add salt, pepper or a squeeze of lemon juice. I’ve also seen honey and yogurt used in the dressing.

I prefer to keep it traditional and simple but feel free to make it your own by adding your favorite flavors.

Overhead Waldorf Salad

I find that anything barbecue goes perfectly with this fresh crunchy salad. Like coleslaw, the sweetness just pairs flawlessly. We love serving it alongside burgers, grilled chicken, or pulled pork.

More Easy Salads

Overhead Waldorf Salad
5 from 41 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a classic sweet summer salad that combines celery, grapes, apples, walnuts, and raisins in a creamy base.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • 1 cup grapes red, green or both
  • 2 apples cut in thin chunks
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins optional


  • Combine mayonnaise and sugar. Set aside 
  • In a medium bowl, toss together all remaining ingredients.
  • Stir in the mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine.


Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Stir before serving again. 
5 from 41 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 264 | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Love some of the recipes but just too many. I have made a number of the dishes. Just got a ninja air fry flip. Would like some recipes. Thank you

  2. Hello I didn’t make the wardorf salad because my son-in-law has a nut allergy could I replace the nuts with granola possibly?

    1. I’d think that granola may soften in the dressing. Perpas pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds would work?

  3. One of my favorites. Had it served where I live today, and the recipe seemed very sweet, so I went looking. I guess it can be depending on who is making it. We like to make a chicken curry version: apples, celery, walnuts, raisins, poached chicken cut up, about 2 tsp lemon juice and about 2 -3 tsp curry powder added to the mayo before we mix it up. Amount of curry powder depends on type and show I am making this for. Some like it HOT!. Letting is sit for a couple of hours so the flavors can meld is crucial for the curry powder not to taste raw. I do prefer raisins to grapes, I must say….but the original seems to have called for apples, celery and lettuce only. We have come a long way in 100+ years.

  4. I made just two changes to this recipe, last-minute. The red grapes were omitted after discovering they had soured. I compensated with a handful of raisins on my portion, as I’m the only raisin lover in the family. Also, we’re a Miracle Whip family, mayo wise, and it tends to be more tart than regular mayo. The simple, two-item sauce was great, in large part because I was able to scale down the quantity of the ingredients. All in all, high praise from those who ate it last night (including me) and will probably request me to make another batch today, as our supermarket-roasted chicken will supply us with at least one more and maybe two meals. Thanks, Holly5 stars

  5. The version of waldorf salad i grew up with apples, celery(sometimes to stretch the recipe), dates, and walnuts with a mayonnaise based salad dressing.

    1. I finally found the exact recipie one of my grandmas had. In stead of raisins I do coconut! My family went for second helpings . And I will have it for breakfast! Lol very Very Good!5 stars

  6. I should have known just to click on your site for this recipe. Every time I am looking for something and your site comes up I know it’s going to be simple and delicious. Thank you HOlly

    1. If you are serving this to guests, I would suggest cutting the apples the day of serving so they don’t brown. The rest can be prepared ahead of time. Enjoy!