Waldorf Salad

Favorite Fall RecipesGluten-FreeVegetarianApple

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.

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 124 Comments / Reviews

  • Dharmadm

    Obviously, many of us tweak this recipe. I pretty much stick with it adding just a touch of a wonder fruit infused vinegar (from We Olive in Paso Robles CA) with the mayo. We add leftover roasted chicken and make that a complete lunch/supper especially on warm California days. Tonight we’re enjoying it with a Monte cristo sandwich which I grill not deep fry!
    Thanks to all for sharing ideas!

  • Joseph Castro

    is there such thing as a Waldorf spinach?

  • Mary Jane McCrory

    I made original Waldorf salad yesterday for Christmas dinner. I did not have grapes (the available grapes here recently have been large, tough- skinned and not very sweet), so I used raisins plumped in apple juice. Quite a good amount left over, which I devoured for lunch today. BTW, I used lemon juice and water to keep the cut apples from turning brown. I rinsed them thoroughly and also dried them on paper towels before mixing the salad. Drippy dressing is one of my pet peeves!

  • Paula

    I use lemon yogurt with some Hellmanns mayo for the salad dressing.

  • Karen Scott

    Just found out what I grew up calling “fruit salad” is a variation of a Waldorf salad; and yet very different! We chopped the lettuce and mixed it in the salad. The walnuts we coarsely ground. We used 3 different colored apples, slightly green bananas, crushed (drained) pinapple, miracle whip (with lemon juice mixed in it). We had it every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner most of my 54 years!

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