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 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!
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.
How To Make Waldorf Salad
Making an easy Waldorf salad is as simple as 1.2.3. To make this easy side dish:
- Prep the fruit and veggies
- Mix dressing ingredients
- 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.
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
- Ambrosia Salad – 5 ingredients!
- Watergate Salad
- Millionaire Cranberry Salad
- Greek Tortellini Salad – fresh favorite!
- Zucchini Salad (spiralized) – So easy!
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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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
You can see all of our air fryer recipes here Jan!
I usually make the waldorf salad with mayo & whipped cream combined……
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?
I’d think that granola may soften in the dressing. Perpas pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds would work?
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.
That sounds delicious Judy, thanks for sharing your chicken curry version!
Love it. Just like my mom always makes except she adds maraschino cherries.
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, Holly
I leave out the nits , but add cut up snicker bars.always a big hit
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.
Substitute stevia for sugar and double the recipe because it is delicious.
So glad you think so Ramona!
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!
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
Aww, thank you so much!! Enjoy the recipe. :)
Can’t wait to try out these recipes as they are some of my favorite dishes!
We have made this for over 30 years every Thanksgiving .Love [email protected]
Thank you Heather, it sure is!
Awesome awesome awesome! Best I’ve ever eaten!!
Yay! So happy this recipe was a hit for you Joanne!
Can the Waldorf salad be made the night before for a noon luncheon?
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!
I have been looking for your cranberry salad for years I am so happy that I found you..
I am so glad you found the recipe you wanted Debbie!