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.


  • 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 125 Comments / Reviews

  • Cynthia

    If you make this with non-fat Greek yogurt (with just a little Stevia added) even if you add grilled chicken, the only points on Weight Watchers come from the walnuts. Yes, I do like it better with mayo, but when it’s just a normal Tuesday and not a special occasion, this makes for a great go-to meal or snack. Like many mentioned you can keep a bowl mixed up in advance in the fridge and just scoop it out and eat on greens when you need something to reach for quickly.


  • 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.

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