Waldorf Salad

First presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1893, this all-American Waldorf salad recipe includes chopped apples, celery, grapes, and toasted walnuts in a mayonnaise dressing.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

  • 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.


  • 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


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 103 Comments

  • Kimberly Adele

    I use my great grandmother’s recipe. Red apples, granny smith apples, red and green grapes, celery and walnuts. For the dressing I use mayonnaise and whipped cream, not cool whip. The lemon juice is added to the apples to keep them from turning brown. This is absolutely delicious and is always a big hit. I’m making it for Christmas dinner this year for a new group of friends. I recently moved to Florida from Illinois. Hoping the south likes it just as much as my northern friends.

  • Norm

    I am making this salad for our Christmas Eve dinner. This is my first time to make it. I hope it turns out well. I am from the Philippines. I am a proud dad of two kids, 12yo and 7mo.

  • charlotte boehm

    this is great! I grew up having this salad and sometimes forget that I know how to make this yum yum..well, I remembered yesterday for our xmas party dinner and it was so odd to me that out of 10 people, only 3 had ever had the original salad, such as this one is…a healthy HIT!

  • Arlene Gould

    My Irish Grandma, Bridget, made this salad every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her dressing was whipped cream with sugar and vanilla. My favorite and that’s how I make it.

  • em ziri

    At the Waldorf, they serve it in a radiccio bowl. Lovely.

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