Waldorf Salad

If using yogurt, omit the lemon juice. You may also want to add a little honey to balance the tartness of the yogurt.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

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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Comments

  • Cedrick Jay Delacruz

    Its so delicious

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • julie

    The best Waldorf salad I have tasted

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  • 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!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Toni

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

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • 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!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • 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.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • susan

    amazing

  • Bhuwan Bahadur gurung

    I love❤ salad

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  • Mariella

    Love this salad! I sometimes use ricotta cheese instead of yoghurt and balsamic vinegar not lemon juice. Yum!

  • Sheryl

    I like to add a little nutmeg!

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  • marline

    I am planning on using wedges for this because it’s for 80 people. My mind is drawing a blank on how much I will need to cover the wedges. Any idea?

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Marline — I think that would depend on how big the wedges are. This recipe serves four so scaling it up for 80 is a pretty big task. I would multiply it by 20 to get the servings you need. Good Luck!

  • Joan

    I’m particular to the classic version using black grapes in place of red, and using fresh juice instead of reconstituted .. lime juice is a welcome change. I also use honey crisp and granny Smith apples. A summertime and holiday favorite.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Maya

    I make mine with butter lettuce, pear, apple, walnuts, golden raisins and yogurt. Yummy!!!

  • [email protected]

    I don’t know what I did but it wasn’t as sweet as I remembered I will take the blame

  • Philip

    Good mayo dressing and overall GOOD with both crunchy and chewy textures including with 1/2 cup CRAISINS w/o grapes quick prep time.

  • Mark

    Similar is six cup salad. Apples, mandarin oranges, green seedless grapes, strawberries, walnuts, whipped cream or yogurt.

  • Nic Beevers

    Smoked mackerel gives it another flavour

  • Clare

    I put carrots in mine and cranraisens

  • mark

    You forgot one thing , MINIATURE MARSHMALLOWS !

  • Glenna

    Followed the recip as Is……so simple! …My whole family LOVED it!! Thank you! Elise. ..I’ll be making this again soon.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Patti

    To make this salad using less mayonnaise, you can add some cool whip. It adds extra sweetness and makes it light and fluffy. Still love the original recipe too!

    • Sheryl

      Patti

      I always make my salad with a little cool whip ,and omit the lemon juice.

  • Jan

    In the south of New Zealand we have a traditional apple salad that is pretty similar. Consists of diced apples, celery, chopped red onion, roughly chopped walnuts and chopped hard boiled eggs. Dressing is tin of sweetened condensed milk, cup of malt vinegar, teaspoon of dry mustard powder and half teaspoon of salt all mixed through.

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  • Therese Lally

    I’ve never used salt or pepper with this recipe. Will have to try. Plus I always use raisins over grapes and many times I just leave the skins on the apples. One of my favorite recipes!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Barry Reilly

    Simple recipe the family enjoy!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Agnes

    Hi Elise, and what about half & half mayo and yogourt?
    I’m planning make it for New Years Eve.

  • Mary

    We use bananas, apples, grapes and what ever nut you choose and home made whip cream to bring it all together. Fabulous !

  • Kelly

    How far ahead can this be made before serving?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Kelly! You can mix the apples, grapes, and celery with the mayo mixture a few hours ahead. I’d wait to add the walnuts or the lettuce until just before serving. Enjoy!

  • Karen Modisett

    In Girl Scouts we hollowed out an apple and called it Walking Apple Salad. I use Lite Marzetti Cole Slaw dressing…no mixing or measuring needed. It’s ready to go. I also just add ingredients until I think I’ve got enough. If I make too much no problem. I have leftovers for me.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Bill Alexander

    My departed Mom’s version was lightly sweetened: add 1/4 c sugar to the dressing. She added 1/4 tsp. Ground cardamom to the dressing, as well, mixing it with fresh lemon juice: she cut the apples and celery into lightly salted cold water, and preferred to used at least two different apples for color contrast. She used golden raisins for special occasions, and as we’re in the South (North Carolina) used pecans, with English walnuts for special occasions..once she tried black walnuts (which we have in abundance) and dried cherries in lieu of raisins. Opinions on it were divided.

  • Vivian

    My all-consensus…a beautiful delicious side salad dish. Try Water Chestnuts, red sliced and peeled apples, Walnuts and Pecans slightly toasted, sliced and peeled wine grapes red/green, tbsp. Dried currants and raisens; mayonnaise, mint leaf. (stirred and combined))

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Barbara

    I tripled this recipe for a dinner party of 20, it was perfect. I used honey crisp apples.

  • Eileen

    Hi Elise, I am making this to take to Christmas dinner (25 people). When you calculate your servings is it for an individual appetizer portion? I am making a bowl full to everyone can help themselves buffet style. Any suggestions on how to adjust the portions?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Eleen, great question! The way we’ve portioned this recipe, each serving has a half an apple, a quarter cup of grapes, a 1/4 cup of celery, and a 1/4 cup of walnuts. That’s a generous single serving. I think if I were bringing this as a potluck for a group, where there would be a lot of other food, I would cut the single serving in half. So this recipe would then serve 8. If you triple it, that would bring it up to 24.

  • Fae

    I love it. Made the yoghurt version.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jeff trout

    cranberrys instead of grapes

  • Sheri

    I made this for a 1930’s Manhattan themed dinner party, and it was THE HIT! I don’t think that I’ve ever had it before–I generally am not a mayo fan, so this salad was always a turn off for me. Boy, I did not know what I’ve been missing!! I plan to take this to Thanksgiving tomorrow (along with Rumaki–totally going old school)! And, btw, I can attest to the fact that it is just as delicious the next day.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Brenda

    Can this salad be made a day ahead of the day I plan to serve it?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Brenda, It’s a pretty sturdy salad as long as you don’t include the lettuce. It should be able to hold up for a day before.

  • Kathy

    Delicious….very nice accompaniment with anything. Might hold for 1 day.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kathleen

    Love your picture, Elise! I have made this every year since I was a very small girl. I add banana slices and use half whipped topping/half mayonnaise. I use walnuts because I usually have them on hand but I actually like it better with pecans! One final touch–I add halved maraschino cherries and a few mini marshmallows for the kidlets. We love this salad!

  • Jessica

    My family makes this every thanksgiving. We don’t use celery or black pepper though. We add heavy cream and mini marshmallows.

  • Jessica Dillon

    My mom would make this for us every holiday thank you for bringing back a sweet memory.

  • Erlee

    I use half Mayo and half Whipped cream, a little Maple syrup for dressing. I also used can pineapple tidbits to add something that’s easier to chew, dry cranberry or raisin. I also use walnuts and pecan baked at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, then slightly chopped. Apples and celery are chopped smaller and grapes cut in half when it’s quite huge.

  • Catherine Locke

    Love this I used pecans instead of walnuts and added bananas family loved it

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Nancy Z

    I have a little Southern twist. I used the mayonnaise (Dukes brand) dressing. I added golden raisins, red grapes, celery, red and green apples, pecans rather than walnuts (chopped) and celery.
    Delicious!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Lisa

    This was so good. My mother used to put rinsed/drained red kidney beans in hers. I wonder if she cooked/cooled them.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Sheri

    I did not expect to like this salad, because I am not a big mayo fan (and the yogurt option did not appeal to me). But, I was having a 1930’s Manhattan themed dinner party, and thought that this would be the perfect salad. And, it was!! It was a big hit with everyone! Super easy to make and very autumnal as well! Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Geri

    Great, but I use mix of mayonnaise and yoghur, and use raisins/sultanas instead of grapes. That works well too

  • Natalie

    Simple to make in a snap! That’s what I like.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Narasimha

    so so so nise salad I love this

  • Diane

    Made exactly as written. Perfect Waldorf Salad, just like my grandma used to make. Does not need to be sweeter or have marshmallows added unless you’re making it for dessert. As is, this makes a great side dish and a nice change from a green salad.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Judith Jesse

    It was wonderful.Thanks for the nice recipe

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jeanne

    I followed the recipe perfectly and it turned out very delicious. I appreciated it’s simplicity. I added a small amount of lemon juice to keep the apples from darkening.

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  • Rhonda

    I used vanilla yogurt in my salad and added more than what he recipe and make w/o grapes, forgot and didn’t have any

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  • Tam Courtice

    I made it with pepper corn ranch & blueberry yogurt.

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  • Carla

    Wonderful just modified it to our fruit here on island! No grapes star fruit works banana too !

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Naveed sheraz

    Superb

  • Elisha Payumo

    I had this salad at a Wendy’s here in the Philippines. The dressing they made was sweeter than just mayo. Will try adding cream and sugar next time. They also used “candied walnuts” which I copied by toasting walnuts in sugar and maple syrup.

  • Sam

    Too Much salt. Tried it 2 times the salt at most be a. Pinch

    I threw 2 salads away

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sam, if there was too much salt for you the first time, why did you use the same amount the second time? Next time if the salad is too salty, either use less salt, or add more of the other ingredients to spread the salt out further. No reason to throw it away.

  • LavenderBee

    Gelson’s supermarket deli section(Southern California based) has the most amazing Tropical Waldorf salad you can imagine. It has green & red apples, raisins, dried apricot, celery, walnuts, shredded coconut enrobed in a rich coconut flavored dressing. Wish I had the recipe.

  • Nancy

    I did add a pinch of sugar to the mayo and added some dried cranberries. Delish.

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  • Mary

    I add a pinch of nutmeg. Yummy

  • mike

    Spot on, a fine, very fine sprinkle of paprika on top, wow

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  • Rose Sexson

    This is fantastic!! I made this ahead of time, by the time my husband gets home it will be chilled and so ready to eat as a refreshing side dish.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Louise White

    I cannot tolerate celery. Does anyone have a good substitute? I am thinking cucumber might work.

    • Terri Bisett

      Iuse to make it replacing the celery with cauliflower florets. I called it “Sort of Waldorf Salad”.

    • Barbarous

      Try raw fennel instead, has a more aniseed flavour but similarly crunchy…

      • LavenderBee

        excellent substitution

    • Motheroflittle

      Try chopped jicama(hee-cama) for crunch instead of celery. Make sure you peel it.

    • Nance

      Water chestnuts!!

    • Terri

      Water chestnuts!

  • Anna

    Love this salad. I use mayo but add a large teaspoonful of creme fraiche to it as it makes it really creamy.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • B. Booth

    Every now and then I get a craving for this, and when I do I make it even more special by getting a roasted chicken breast from the grocery store and adding pieces of it making it into a Chicken Waldorf Salad. The addition of the chicken turns it into a complete luncheon or light dinner. So good!

    • Suzanne

      Hi B. Booth,

      I also love the Waldorf salad with chicken. I add all of traditional ingredients plus chicken. Makes a great lunch.

      S. Payton

    • Meta Sienkiewicz

      Since I like to make the Waldorf Salad for Thanksgiving (a family tradition) I sometimes have the leftover Waldorf with the leftover turkey.

  • Brenda Bailey

    I also fold in a small carton of heavy whipping cream I beat cream until thicken & soft peaks form also add marshmallows!!!!

  • Sandy

    I forgot to buy grapes too, but I had Trader Joe’s dried cherries. I took a hint from Frank W below. Yummy

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Vicky

    My mother used raisins too, and it was delicious!!

  • Frank W

    Forgot to buy grapes so used dried cranberries instead. Delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Frank

    We sometimes will add sliced and sugared strawberries to our Waldorf Salad. Delicious

  • Delores Tabor

    Can I use whipped cream cheese for dressing

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Delores! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. We haven’t tried this with whipped cream cheese, but I think it should work just fine. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!

  • 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.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • 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!

  • Rebecca smith

    I worked in a retirement facility and we made Waldorf salad with tuna

    • Sherry

      The hotel where I worked did that too and it was wonderful

  • Sally

    I haven’t made Waldorf Salad in years! My mom used to make it with Red Delicious apples, celery, walnuts and mayonnaise. I used half Granny Smith apples, with the other ingredients being the same. Grapes were never included, but sound good. I’ve had it made with half mayonnaise and half whipped cream or with Miracle Whip. I like them all.

    Thanks for reminding me of this simple, tasty dish.

    • Nancy Gillard

      Definitely add whipped cream BTw not coolwhip or whipping cream with the vanilla and sugar. Just the dairy heavy whipping cream or half &half. Iit really makes the “mayo dressing” smooth.

  • Susan

    Whenever we make Waldorf salad, we substitute unsweetened applesauce for 1/3 to 1/2 of the mayonnaise. It lightens the salad
    up a bit but isn’t really noticeable.

  • Kim

    I didn’t know so many different ways my grand mother always made it with dates, celery, granny Smith apples, walnuts and hellmans, lemons on the apples from turning. Tradition to me.

  • Robert A Jones

    For Christmas, my mother always served a variation with whipped cream, apples, bananas, and walnuts.

  • Maurice Reyna

    I am a Venezuelan in Japan and love this salad. it is great accompanying roasts… I use 1/2 mayo 1/2 plain yogurt and dip the cut apples in water slightly salted to avoid the apples turning brown. instead of grapes or dried fruits I use small dices of pineapple, hard mangoes or kiwis, to add the tropical touch. the basic recipe is the classic Waldorf. (when using pineaple i toss it with a touch of nutmeg. … Bon Appétit!!!

  • EINZ

    I made mine for lunch today.. used green n red apples, celery, walnuts, pistacio, almonds, figs, mayo, blackpepper and some parmesan… :p

  • 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.

    • Kimberly Adele

      This always better if it is refrigeratorated over night before serving.

      • Jen

        Great tip!

      • Tricia

        What’s the ratio for the mayo and whipped cream?

        • Mona French

          Please let me know…The ratio of the mayo and the whipping cream?
          Thank-you

    • Roxanne

      Can I made this a day before

      • Sue K

        it is better if it sits at least overnight. I agree with another that it is better to put the lemon juice directly on the cut apples to keep them from turning brown. One thing I always add is the mini marshmallows.

        • Deb M

          Great idea!

  • 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.

    • Amy

      Should I use whipping cream whipped or just use the cream not whipped? Or use the can of whipped cream

      • Sue K

        not whipped

  • em ziri

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

  • J White

    Hi! Am I supposed to use plain yogurt, or vanilla flavored? Thanks!

  • Amy

    Love the variations! Only one comment from me : in my part of the country (northern ohio) THE mayo is Hellman’s.

    • Trish

      Amen!

    • Robert A Jones

      In the West, Hellman’s is Best Foods and it’s the only good mayo.

    • Bekkispeeks

      Dukes in the South!

      • Stacie

        Happy Thanksgiving, Yes Dukes Mayonnaise is the best ever! I live in AZ and have my sister send me some.

    • Vicky

      Truth!!

  • Karen Puccio

    I make mine with thinly sliced Tuscan kale using dried cherries. Mine is also mayo based. What a great time of year to make this!

  • Sandy S

    Most of the time this is the recipe that still is made for our table. These days, when I often find alternatives for mayo (I solely supported Best Foods for the first 50 years of my life… just saying!) but Waldorf Salad is the exception that proves the rule and I still make it with mayo. Variations only happen when I am missing an ingredient and need a substitute. When I do not have sweet apples, like Red/ Yellow Delicious, Jonathan on hand, and need to use tart apples like Granny Smith, or other pie apples, I thin the mayo with a little milk or cream ( coconut milk in my house) and add a pinch or two of sugar. No marshmallows for me, though I love them when camping! I have add chopped dates in place of grapes or raisins with quite good results. Sometimes organic or older celery can have a too strong/bitter flavor which I have cured by dicing fine and mixing with a little shredded coconut. Pecans have occasionally been used, but they are the only nut other than walnuts that I really like in Waldorf Salad. Though all of these variations have turned out very good, if I have everything for the original recipe, it’s the one that gets made. Just look at that list of ingredients! It’s already ‘different’ . Just make it! :)

  • Shelby Brisendine

    Have always loved this salad- we add bananas instead of grapes just because we always have bananas and they add the sweetness we like.

    • Elise Bauer

      What a great idea to add bananas Shelby. I hadn’t thought of that, thank you!

  • Susan C.

    I like to make my “Waldorf” using HONEYCRISP apples, craisins, toasted pecans or walnuts, and vanilla or honey yogurt. Very yummy! Even kids will eat it.

  • Merridy Cross

    I use all the above additions with the exception that instead of mayo I use a lightly sweetened
    whipped cream,. Oh yum.

  • Bonnie Hembree

    Has anyone got a recipe that,calles for using both salad dressing an cool whip my grandmother use to make this dish but in her passing we have loss her recipe .you could make our family so happy it would be like having granny with us ! Thanks!

  • Rocanna Angelica Contreras

    Waldorf Salad I add crab meat , yellow raisins and chopped onions . Add all ingredients together and combine to Ina Gardens superb recipes. I watch all her fabulous cooking shows . She is professional and has such grace.

  • dianne miller

    Does anyone ever add mini marshmallows

    • Linda

      I have eaten with marshmallows , also with shredded coconut.

    • Betty Brown

      Yes and the marshmallows are a nice contrast to the apples if they’re a little tart and another texture combination..

  • Pat LaRock

    I’m from the Pacific NW, so I add filberts (hazelnuts) instead of walnuts (even tho’ our farm raises both nuts). Yum…

  • Bruce Alan Wilson

    If you want a one-dish meal, you can add some cold cooked chicken or turkey.

    • Dana Pottratz

      Yes, it’s great with chicken!

  • Cynthia

    I used dried cranberries instead of grapes/raisins when I made a Waldorf salad for Thanksgiving. It was pretty fabulous.

    • Bette Westman

      Thank you, I have cranberries in the fridge. Will use them.

  • J.Smith

    I use plain non fat Greek yogurt, tub cream cheese, vanilla extract, fresh grated nutmeg, and a bit of orange or apple juice to sweeten and thin. I came up with this after my son-in-law said he didn’t like it made with mayo. I don’t really either. This is always a hit. And I use pecans instead of walnuts, as I have a few allergic to walnut. And always toast the pecans – the flavor is amazing.

  • karenemi sugihara

    this salad is a family favorite starting in October, learned from my mom (including it’s history)…with a large family, for many many years I was in charge of this salad making. here’s what I did a few times: I cut red apples, with skin on, and immediately lightly squeeze either lemon,lime or orange juice, this makes tangy and keeps apples from starting to ‘brown’. use chopped celery an chopped walnuts, as in most recipies. my trick, now gently fold in mini-marshmallows. make a dressing using mayonnaise AND plain yogurt and mix in. then sprinkle with cinnamon. arrange salad on large lettuce or other large green leaves. ‘dress’ with small tangerine wedges along outer edge of bowl!! it’s a basic classic-with 3 sweet flavors mixed with the savory and tartness of the celery and walnuts. optional – one last addition=white raisins.

  • Nan

    OK, I love waldorf salad, although my family and my friends all enjoy bananas in it too. I made it tonite just using what I could remember went in it and it ws great. THEN I looked it up to see if I remembered right….wow lots of new things to try! Can someone tell me what the “Ritz” salad consisted of? I’d be curious to taste it….

  • Chila-Keeli

    Thanks, Elise, for providing the simplified, classic-style recipe! I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to recipe appellations (e.g., all the versions with other fruits and marshmallows is more of a creamy fruit salad in my book), but I also enjoy trying new tastes. A gastropub in my area serves a delicious salad with the basic Waldorf ingredients, and adds grilled chicken, bleu cheese, and a raspberry dressing, without referencing Waldorf. Oh, and some of the reader comments were LOL hilarious (“Trashy Waldorf” was probably my favorite so far—props to “K” for the laughs).

  • Gabi

    I would NEVER add salt as it would ruin the taste. I don’t even add pepper. I use half and half mayonnaise (Hellmans) and full fat Greek yoghurt as base for the dressing, with just a teaspoon full of horseradish and just a a knife tip of mustard, I am one of those mad people who cannot resist putting garlic in just about everything, so a crushed garlic clove has to join the party. As to the ingredients, I stick to thinly sliced Braeburn apples, celery and walnut halves as skeleton, with thinly sliced chicken and grapes.
    It is yummy and can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Carla

    Hi,
    Could you tell me how far in advance I can make a Waldorf Salad? Do the apples brown if I make it the day before a party?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Carla,
      Good question! I haven’t made this salad far in advance but I’m guessing that the dressing will help keep the apples from turning brown. Apples turn brown because they are exposed to oxygen in the air. If they are coated with dressing, the air doesn’t reach the apples.

    • Sue K

      the day before is perfect. I think it is much better if made the day before

  • Alicia

    One of our families favorite dishes is my grandmother’s version. It is similar to the above recipe but includes poached chicken and fresh pineapple. The dressing is always Miracle Whip loosened with a bit of milk and sweetened with a touch of sugar. My mother started a tradition of serving it in the hollowed out pineapple with warm croissants. It is a perfect summer supper that we have several times a year.

  • georgia

    I have always made Waldorf salad with red delicious apples, crisp celery chopped half inch, and red grapes, halved, and walnuts. I cut the apples in about half inch cubes and put them in lemon water, then drain well. Mix all together. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar over and mix again. I use only Miracle Whip and only enough to coat everything lightly. I am tempted to add the pineapple tidbits but if I changed this in any way the family would be very unhappy. And no way would I add marshmallows.

  • Jacqueline

    Alright, dumb question, but this is a Thanksgiving emergency! ;-) What is the best kind of lettuce to use? Looks like maybe butter lettuce? Please help! Thanks!

    Whatever lettuce you like. Red leaf or butter lettuce would probably work best, though we often use iceberg because that is what we have on hand. ~Elise

  • Jilly

    Great blog. I guess I am a Waldorf Salad snob or something, isn’t it interesting how so many are married to their version of this side dish. So am I. I make it minutes before dinner is served, and I use the following, all chilled, every single time I make it, I’ve been known to send someone to the store for a missing ingredient:
    any crisp red apples, freshest celery, chopped walnuts, raisins, and cold mayo, gotta be Best Foods. I toss it all lightly. I am bringing it this year and am going to a dinner at someone else’ house for a change. I chop everything about 1/2 inch pieces, so you can have a couple of tastes in each bite. My Mom made this every Christmas and by the time I was 12 I was in charge of making the “Waldorf”. Now I am retired and I still enjoy it very much. A holiday must.

  • Cathy

    I make the traditional recipe; apples, golden raisins (sweeter and plumper), walnuts, celery and Miracle Whip. In our family it’s the Miracle Whip that gives it the savory, sweet, familiar flavor!

  • carrie

    the way my family always made it was:
    3 red apples
    3 green apples
    green grapes
    red grapes
    mini marshmallows
    chopped walnuts
    mand. oranges
    sour cream
    mayo
    cool whip
    mix all the cut up fruit, marshmallows and nuts, then add the wet ingredients to taste. pour a tiny bit of the juice from the mand oranges. save some cool whip and marshmallows for rigth before serving..it is delish!!!!!We always serve at special family get togethers, and it has always been a hit, so enbjoy!!!

  • Dianne Hawkins

    I love waldorf salad with a passion. For my money, the Walorf Astoria makes the most unbelievable version of this salad I have ever eaten. I live in Australia, and we are returning to NYC next week. Guess where I’m headed. ? Their apples are wafer thin and the walnuts are caramelised and sit only around the edge of the plate. I can’t wait to re-aquaint myself with this little gem of a salad and the Waldorf. !

  • Andrew

    My Mom used dried cranberries for us when big brother ate all of the grapes she bought. My sister does not like walnuts, so Mom toasted some slivered almonds in a dry skillet for her salad. I like the green apples better, so Mom tries to have the red grapes available. I like it when she uses alot of good crisp celery. I like to cut the apples.

  • Jeanne

    I make my Waldorf salad similar to the way my mother, who was a professional chef, made it, and that is with the apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, lettuce and a squirt of fresh lemon, but to the mayo or Miracle Whip, although it contains high fructose corn syrup, which I prefer to avoid) I add a bit of sour cream and a bit of whipped cream (the real stuff). It is fine to customize to suit one’s own taste, such as substituting (or adding) raisins for the grapes. No need to peel or slice the grapes – just toss them in whole – delicious and nutritious! It’s also okay to add cut up pieces of chicken or turkey. It’s especially elegant and beautiful when served on a separate salad plate on a bed of lettuce with a lemon slice as a garnish.

  • Jimena Aliaga

    Greetings from Peru!

    It’s summer here so it’s time for salads. I decided to look for a recipe that used ingredients that could be found here and after checking them all, I decided to make this one. I confess that at first I was skeptical but I’m most decidedly converted now. It was very good. Thank you for sharing this, Elise!

    Jimena

  • debra abate

    All sounds delicious, but we ALWAYS used dates instead of raisins or grapes – guess that’s because we grew up in California?!

  • MaryLou

    This salad is great the day after Thanksgiving. I add cubed turkey and curry powder for a different taste. I may try adding some scallions as well this year.

    • Elise Bauer

      Oh I like the idea of adding curry powder, that would be good.

  • arlene

    Hi. Tried this recipe last weekend. It was just perfect! My kids and friends love it. So easy to prepare and refreshing. Thanks!

  • Olly Carhart

    I personally enjoy the Fawlty Towers recipe, seriously – have any of you tried a “Ritz Salad”? It’s DELICIOUS! Anyway, back on the subject of the Waldorf Salad, I enjoy Celery, Apples, Walnuts and Grapes in a Mayonaise sauce. Simple. No addidtions. But try and reduce the amount of walnuts you use, it spoils the taste.

    ~Olly

  • MelVas

    Great recipe! I did it for christmas dinner and it was great! I feel unconfortable with mayo, so I decided to use yogurt(apple yogurt) and everyone loves it. This was my first time so I can say well done! Try it and taste something different.

  • Lillie Brown

    I used the above recipe without the celery and lettuce. I also used raisins instead of grapes. This was a taste that brought back memories of my childhood holidays.

  • Tuannee

    All of the variations sound wonderful. I didn’t grow up eating this salad, however, my first encounter was from the kitchen of a co-worker. She prepared it this way, but added cubes of mild cheddar. It was oddly wonderful!!

  • Kate

    To be honest, at 19 years old, I wasn’t even aware that a traditional Waldorf salad was made with mayo! My mom has always made it with sweet whipped cream (I know I know, this is no longer a salad, more like dessert).
    Two types of apples, raisins, celery, two kinds of grapes and a couple handfuls of chopped pecans, all mixed into fluffy goodness.

    Topped with a few mandarin orange slices. Perfection.

  • Shantal

    I usually soak my apples in iced sugar water for an hour and then add the rest of the ingredients.

  • MEGZ

    Mine was perfect.

  • katie

    In my salad I prefer to use a low fat vanilla yogurt. It gives the salad a sweeter taste compared to a more bitter taste with regular yogurt. The “low fat” yogurt works well because it doesn’t have that thick of a consistency, yet still holds the ingredients together nicely. I also add a bit of cinnamon when using the vanilla yogurt. :)

  • Mary in Indiana

    I use pecans because my dad has at least a hundred pecan trees so pecans are readily available. I add a dash of nutmeg and sometimes one drop of walnut extract to the salad dressing/milk mixture. I also added the craisins this year. Wonderful addition.

  • Pat in Arizona

    Great ideas.

    I’m making “Holiday Waldorf” today. Heavy cream whipped and folded with some mayo, plus a little honey and lemon juice. A package of “dried cranberries mixed with golden raisins” and a few black raisins, all soaked to plump. Gala apples, cut into lemon juice to save the color, celery, and toasted pecans. Maybe I’ll sugar them.

    Easy on the dressing, so the pieces will show up as jewels.

    Now, I’m thinking that’ll be festive.

    Pat

  • Fran

    I am 70 y/o and have eaten “Waldorf Salad” all my life. The recipe I learned as a young girl is …diced apples, red or green grapes, pineapple tidbits, small marshmallows, and walnuts. Mix mayo with reserved pineapple juice and when all ingredients are mixed add sliced bananas just before serving.

    • Robert A Jones

      That’s how my Mom made it, except I don’t remember grapes in hers.

  • Mary in AR

    I got my first recipe for Waldorf salad from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook in the 1950’s. It calls for apples, celery, 1/2 cup nuts (I like walnuts and 3/4 cup). It calls for whipped topping but I still prefer mayo.

  • Socal Scott

    I would like to say thanks for the recipe. I had never tasted it with grapes before (raisins only) but they had some nice holiday seedless reds at the store so I got some and used them. Excellent flavor. I think the salad will be a big hit at dinner tomorrow. Thank you everyone and happy Thanksgiving.

  • Sunny

    I had a Waldorf salad today at a work potluck. It was so yummy. Not sure why I have never made it. The gal that made the salad used apples, celery, grapes and walnuts (need to ask her if she toasted them) she used sour cream and mayo for the dressing. She added some cinnamon for a different touch….. was such a yummy addition,

  • Lillian

    I made a Waldorf salad for the first time today and I’m hooked! I used English cucumbers, Macintosh apples, cranraisins, sour cream, sugar, parsley and chopped walnuts. It was amazingly good!

  • Wisconsin

    Anyone else add fresh pineapple? It keeps the apples from browning.
    Our family version is: Apples, red grapes, pineapple, celery, walnuts or pecans, M-whip mixed with a little pineapple juice. Some of us like marshmallows others are fruit purists.

  • B-Notable

    Here is my family’s version. In a large bowl combine 6 unpeeled golden and red delicious apples, cored and cubed, 1/2 bag mini marshmallows, 2 sticks of celery cut into 1/4″ slices, 1 cup raisins, 1 lb. green seedless grapes cut in half and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.(I don’t like walnuts)to this mix add one cup Miracle W**p (not mayo) fold in gently until all is covered. Optional: 1 1/2 cup mandarin orange pieces.

  • Rhonda F.

    Try adding a little cinnamon (about 1/2 tsp….hmmm,hmmm!

  • LaurieB

    I started by botching this recipe. I put my walnuts in the oven to “lightly toast” and started chopping my apples. In a little while I noticed a funny smell – cajun walnuts – into the trash with them!

    Onward and forward! I decided that I wanted my salad a little sweeter than I remembered a traditional Waldorf being, so I added about a 1/2 c. sugar to the mayo/lemon blend. Then I added a little extra lemon juice. Didn’t add salt and pepper. It is soooooo good! I am tempted to pour the mixture in a cup and drink it. :-0

    Yummy, yummy salad for a hot afternoon. Add some crusty bread or muffins and some sweet green iced tea and you’ve got a tasty hot weather meal.

    Laurie

  • Lillie

    Hi, I was going to make Waldorf salad for the first time at some point this week, it’s hot and I don’t want to cook, but I was wondering if anyone has tried putting in some thinly sliced (or chunked?) pieces of candied ginger in it? I am going to use yogurt in mine, maybe grapes if their cheap, but anyone have any input on ginger? Thank you!

    • Norma Olday

      Finely chopped stem ginger and adding a little of the syrup into the mayo/yoghurt dressing. Yum.

  • Carol

    I love your recipe, try sprinkling with dried salted sunflower seeds.

  • willy

    I’ve tried and experimented what were already suggested, adding blue cheese and caramelized walnuts made my experimented waldorf salad unforgettabe to my guests.

  • Rachel

    My family has been making Waldorf for years and, after introducing it to my husband’s family, they’ve begun to request it!
    I’ve been using gala apples lately, but dream of trying honeycrisp (missed the season this year though…).
    I’m not a huge mayo fan, so I do one part mayo, three parts heavy cream (whipped till it peaks, then some more for good measure). This way it’s really more desert like. I love it cold out of the fridge.
    Really interested in trying the yogurt suggestion! Thanks! (forehead smack!)

  • Juliana Andrea

    My recipe is from the Hotel “Oesterr. Hof” in Salzburg/Austria, because I got this salad quiet often as a treat from my grandparents. ! They used julienne-cut celery roots (sligthly steamed and cooled) instead of celery stalks and there was cooked chicken added. After mixing every ingredient let stand in the fridge for 45 Min. to emulgate.

    Guten Appetit ! Enjoy !

  • Lynn

    I have just “discovered” your blog. Love the recipes. I make Waldorf salad exactly like this except use some Granny Smith and some Gala apples – leave the peel on for color. A really good alternative to the mayo dressing is poppy seed dressing – I use LaMartinque. But of course this makes it sweeter. I go back and forth between the two.

  • Renee

    Last night, I made a similar salad. I used slivered almonds instead of walnuts, no celery (my family doesn’t like it), and added little tomatoes! I used celery salt for seasoning. The result was loved by everyone!

  • Barbi

    I’ve been looking for a good Chicken Salad recipe for some time and I thought this sounded delicious, but made a few changes to make this a bit heartier. I guess you can call it my version of a Chicken Waldorf Salad. I added a can of chicken meat, drained, used glazed walnuts, sliced green grapes, and used about 2/3 cup of mayo so that the mixture was nice and creamy and rich. I added about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice because I love the taste. Spread a generous amount on whole grain wheat bread. Oh my gosh, what a delicious sandwich! Way better than any overpriced sandwich from a deli. Thanks for the recipe Elise, this one is going into my regular rotation.

  • ron

    Any holiday meal in my family contains something similar to this. We use granny smith apples along with a few macintoshs. Add mayonaise and raisins and you’re good to go!

  • Susan from Food Blogga

    Isn’t it amazing that a dish could remain as popular as Waldorf salad for well over a century? I’ll admit, I’m in the yogurt camp, and I’ve even made it with dried cranberries, which adds some zing as well.

  • libby

    I made this today for lunch and added a poached chicken breast and substituted a bit of dijon mustard since I was out of lemon. Absolutely delicious!

  • Susie

    We always made Waldorf Salad with a small can of Manderine Oranges (well drained)and just before serving added sliced bananas. The dressing was made with a half pint of whipping cream beaten to stiff peeks and Miracle Whip. Absolutely no salt or pepper. But our recipe was with 3 lbs of Macintosh apples, so you know it was a BIG salad. We prefered the grapes to rasins, although I’ve had both ways and I think they are equally good. The rest of the recipe is the same. Always a family favorite. :)

  • Tracy27

    Waldorf Salad has always been my dad’s contribution to family holiday meals. Your recipe is pretty similar to his, although we add marshmallows, too. When I make it now, I prefer using dried cranberries or cherries instead of raisins, and pecans instead of walnuts.

  • natasa

    I adore it in all versions. I usually make it using whipped cream mixed with some greek joghurt instead of mayo, since these I usually have in the house and it is great. as for the size, I like to cut the stuff to about a size of larger beans. I also use white grapes and sour apples instead sweet apples and red grapes. The idea for me is, to have sth sweet, sth sour, sth juicy, mixed with sth crunchy, salty and fat :D
    Have fun!

  • Eve

    I use cream cheese in place of the Mayo — yummy.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone tried greek yogurt? or perhaps the tzatziki (cucumber yogurt)sauce? Just a suggestion.

  • kochen

    That is my first time that I make an English recipe, delicious and simple great salad recipe, now I bookmark this site. I will come back more. Thanks Elise

  • MaKe, the American in China

    My mother always made waldorf salad for the holidays and I guess she didn’t read a recipe as she put sweet cream in the salad instead of the mayonaise. Consequently, substituting lightly sweetened yogurt for the cream or mayonaise doesn’t bother me a bit. I also omit all of the pepper and all but a pinch of salt. Granted not per the recipe, but I find my variant better than the ‘kosher’ variety with the mayonaise, salt and pepper.

  • Jim

    A couple of years ago I ran across an interesting variation using a mixture of the mayo and sour cream, which made the binding less tart. I tried it once with unsalted peanuts, and that was a hit. I’m making a variation for tomorrow with pine nuts and walnuts and 5 or 6 different types of apples. We’ll have to wait and see how that one goes. Thanks everyone for some great options.

  • Jim B.

    The mini marshmallows were the best part when I was a kid, turning something I wouldn’t have eaten into a favorite! Also try adding diced pears to the classic recipe. Fantastic!

  • Lady Amalthea

    You inspired me to make a Waldorf Salad tonight and it was great! Unfortunately, my partner hates mayonnaise, so instead I did a combination of a fruit-flavoed mustard and aioli. While not a “traditional” Waldorf salad (and I am usually in favor of traditional recipes), it was delicious.

  • Peggy Gould

    I had planned to add honey to the plain yogurt, but being out of honey, I added pure maple syrup. Tasted good to me…..

  • K.

    Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete with my mother’s Waldorf Salad. She has completely bastardized it over time, however, and if we don’t make it precisely this way, my brothers have a howling fit, even at age 40+. Take the above recipe, and, for the moistening agent, use equal parts mayo and non-dairy whipped topping. To the apple-celery-walnut-raisin base (grapes? heavens no, you need raisins), also add the zested rind of an orange, a couple squirts of the orange juice, and pretty much an entire bag of mini-marshmallows. There you have it. Trashy Waldorf.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Pickles – I don’t know, medium I guess. Not too fine, not too big. This is one of those things that you make to taste. So if you want the ingredients chopped finer, then go ahead.

  • pickles

    Elise, do you have any idea how finely chopped the ingredients should be in a traditional Waldorf? I think you chopped them fairly fine, right? I have had it sometimes with huge chunks of apple and somehow the flavors just don’t blend.

  • Marie

    Once at an office potluck, a guy brought the salad. He introduced it as Mock Waldorf. He substituted new potatoes for the apples. My tastebuds cried that day.

    P.S. Elise, you are the coolest blogger of all.

  • Sue Young

    I add crumbled blue cheese and pomegranate seeds to Waldorf Salad; sometimes I substitute a mustard-based vinaigrette for mayo.