Waldorf Salad

Favorite FallGluten-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

  • 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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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250 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Julie

    I like to add some fresh cream & orange juice to my mayonnaise…yummy

  2. Carole

    I fold whipped cream into the mayo dressing and add chopped dates!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Karrie Warsaw

    Thanks Elise! My recipes are packed somewhere as in process of downsizing I knew I added real whipping cream to mine somewhere throughout the yrs so I added to yours but both excellent!!

  4. Kay Cramer

    I make mine with grapes plus dried cranberries and all the other ingredients except for salt and pepper. I learned from my mother-in-law 40+ years ago to use Miracle Whip in place of Mayo, and to chill in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, spoon in a cup of Cool Whip and stir well. Then top with Maraschino cherries to make it festive.

  5. Jo

    Everything is great except it’s too much salt for my taste. Next time I’ll cut the amount of salt in half. But now that it’s made, what do you suggest I add to counteract the saltiness? More mayo? Some sour cream? A little apple cider vinegar?

    xxxxxyyyyy

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