Waldorf Salad

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Waldorf Salad is a favorite around here, particularly in the fall when apples and walnuts are in season. It’s especially popular around the holidays, gracing many a Thanksgiving and holiday spread.

According to the American Century Cookbook, the first Waldorf Salad was created in New York City in 1893, by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria.

The original recipe consisted only of diced red-skinned apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts were added later to this now American classic.

Waldorf Salad

Some prefer their Waldorf salad made with yogurt, instead of mayo. I usually stay in the mayonnaise camp (which is what we are using in this recipe), but feel free to substitute yogurt for the mayo if you prefer. In which case you may need to add some honey to offset the added tartness of the yogurt.

Seems like everyone has their favorite version of Waldorf Salad! If you have one you would like to share, please tell us about it in the comments.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2007.

Waldorf Salad Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

If using yogurt, omit the lemon juice. You may also want to add a little honey to balance the tartness of the yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp mayonnaise (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sweet apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half (or 1/4 cup of raisins)
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
  • Lettuce

Method

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or yogurt), lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.

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Waldorf Salad

Showing 4 of 89 Comments

  • J White

    Hi! Am I supposed to use plain yogurt, or vanilla flavored? Thanks!

  • Amy

    Love the variations! Only one comment from me : in my part of the country (northern ohio) THE mayo is Hellman’s.

  • Karen Puccio

    I make mine with thinly sliced Tuscan kale using dried cherries. Mine is also mayo based. What a great time of year to make this!

  • Sandy S

    Most of the time this is the recipe that still is made for our table. These days, when I often find alternatives for mayo (I solely supported Best Foods for the first 50 years of my life… just saying!) but Waldorf Salad is the exception that proves the rule and I still make it with mayo. Variations only happen when I am missing an ingredient and need a substitute. When I do not have sweet apples, like Red/ Yellow Delicious, Jonathan on hand, and need to use tart apples like Granny Smith, or other pie apples, I thin the mayo with a little milk or cream ( coconut milk in my house) and add a pinch or two of sugar. No marshmallows for me, though I love them when camping! I have add chopped dates in place of grapes or raisins with quite good results. Sometimes organic or older celery can have a too strong/bitter flavor which I have cured by dicing fine and mixing with a little shredded coconut. Pecans have occasionally been used, but they are the only nut other than walnuts that I really like in Waldorf Salad. Though all of these variations have turned out very good, if I have everything for the original recipe, it’s the one that gets made. Just look at that list of ingredients! It’s already ‘different’ . Just make it! :)

  • Shelby Brisendine

    Have always loved this salad- we add bananas instead of grapes just because we always have bananas and they add the sweetness we like.

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