Waldorf salad is a classic side dish with a nostalgic flair!

Apples, walnuts, celery, grapes, and raisins unite in a simple mayonnaise dressing for a unique flavor combination!

Prep it ahead for your next holiday dinner or throw this easy salad together in minutes when something different is needed on the table.

a bowl of Waldorf salad with serving utensils

What is Waldorf Salad?

  • The original Waldorf salad recipe was created by the maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The classic Waldorf salad recipe only contained apples, celery, and mayonnaise.
  • This Waldorf salad recipe is a spin on the classic with its vintage ingredient list that includes fruit, nuts, and raisins!
  • It’s super easy to prepare, even small kids can help!
  • The crisp sweetness of apples offsets the walnuts and celery perfectly.
  • A classic Thanksgiving or Christmas dish that will be a hit served as an appetizer or a side dish.

Waldorf Salad Ingredients

Apples – Crisp & sweet red apples are the best apples to use. Go for Honey crisp for the best texture or classic MacIntosh. Red delicious, Gala apples, Fuji, or pink lady will all work. If you prefer tart apples, green Granny Smith apples will make a very tart Waldorf salad!

Grapes & Raisins – This salad uses a combo of red grapes and green grapes. Regular sultana raisins are typical in Waldorf salad, but dried cranberries add a bright and tangy burst. Experiment with different dried fruits like blueberries, goji berries, or dried cherries.

Walnuts – Walnuts give this salad extra crunch and flavor! Other nuts and seeds to try include crushed Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, or toasted sunflower seeds. Go for unsalted nuts to keep the flavors clean. Watching calories? Simply replace nuts with extra celery!

Dressing – Simple mayo with sugar added keeps this salad creamy. Try swapping half the mayo for sour cream or for a lower fat option, swap for plain Greek yogurt.

Variations – Make it into an entree salad or sandwich filling with the addition of chopped chicken and onion or serve it over a bed of lettuce leaves. Add in some pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), mini marshmallows, poppy seeds, or even hemp hearts for extra protein.

Ingredients for Waldorf Salad

How to Make Waldorf Salad

Simple is the name of the game with this recipe:

  1. Wash and chop apples, slice celery, and halve grapes. If using whole walnuts, chop them.
  2. Whip mayonnaise with sugar.
  3. In a large bowl, toss apple mixture (per recipe below) with dressing, taste and add salt & pepper to taste, and chill.
Untossed Waldorf Salad

Can It Be Made Ahead?

To make Waldorf salad ahead of time, chop the apples and toss them in a lemon juice and water mixture, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated. This will keep the apples from oxidizing and will add a bright, citrusy element to the dressing.

Overhead Waldorf Salad

Storing Waldorf Salad

Store leftover salad in an airtight container, and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Drain the liquid off before serving, then mix in a teaspoon or two of fresh mayonnaise with a sprinkle of sugar and perhaps a squeeze of lemon. Delish!

Sweet and Savory Salad Recipes

Did your family enjoy this Waldorf Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Overhead Waldorf Salad
5 from 54 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a nostalgic 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 54 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
Waldorf Salad with text
a bowl of prepared Waldorf salad with text
A bowl of Waldorf Salad with serving utensils with text
Top image - prepared Waldorf salad in a bowl. Bottom image - ingredients to make a Waldorf salad in a bowl with text


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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. Is the serving size based off of using it as a side dish or as the main dish? I’m looking to make this for a dinner theatre and will use it as a side so I am trying to figure out how much I need for 100 people.

  2. 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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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!