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

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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219 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sue

    Love this salad tho I make a bit hardier by adding cubed baked chicken breasts. I don’t use apples but I do add a can of drained, crushed pineapple. This is a meal in itself!


  2. Toni

    I loved it, but I made 2xlarge batch and put both grapes and cranberries. It turned out wonderful.


  3. DiaPat

    I freaking love this salad!! I’m usually scared of fruit in my salad, but this is really good. I don’t like pasta salads, potato salads…any creamy salad–except this one!

    I the first time I made it. I used cashews instead of walnuts. I didn’t have raisins, so I used dried cranberries. Instead of lettuce, I used kale. I like the heartiness of the kale. Super tasty!


  4. Donna Vestre

    This is very close to the Waldorf Salad I’ve been making for years. I do add about a tablespoon of honey or sugar to the mayonnaise/yogurt dressing (I typically make it 50/50 with the mayonnaise and yogurt mix. I have been adding the zest of one large orange along with some juice to the dressing as well. It’s amazing how the added zest and juice brighten up this salad. I’ve received rave review every time I bring it to church for a potluck.


  5. susan


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