Waldorf Salad

5 from 30 votes

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This Waldorf Salad recipe is simple, delicious and can be made using everyday ingredients in just 15 minutes. It’s the perfect salad for summer meals, or take it to potlucks and family gatherings. I love that it makes tons of servings for easy meal planning!

Waldorf Salad on a plate of lettuce greens.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Waldorf Salad Ingredients
  2. Ingredient Additions and Substitutions
  3. Waldorf Salad Dressing
  4. Crunchy Apples are a Must
  5. More Delicious Salad Recipes
  6. How to Make Waldorf Salad
  7. Waldorf Salad Recipe

My family has been making this classic Waldorf Salad recipe for holidays and special occasions for years. It is one of the most favorite recipes I have ever tried because it’s so healthy and tasty. This recipe is so unique because you can use almost any kind of fruit or veggie that you have on hand or in season.

It’s great as a main dish or with simple sandwiches. Sometimes I make this salad to go with our lunch or dinner as a meal on hot summer days or nights. It is a great addition at Holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas because it’s colorful and light, a perfect complement to turkey or ham dinners.

Waldorf Salad Ingredients

  • crisp apples – (Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, or Gala)
  • lemon juice
  • red grapes – halved
  • celery sticks – chopped
  • walnuts – halved (optional-toast the walnuts a little in the oven on a baking sheet)
  • mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • green leaf lettuce, mixed greens, or other lettuce leaves – for a nice presentation, we like to serve in individual leaf cups rather than the large bowl for nice occasions.

Ingredient Additions and Substitutions

The original Waldorf Salad recipe contained only apples, celery, and mayo. Dress it up with any of the following:

  • Grapes: I always add red or green grapes to my salad. If they are large grapes, cut them in half.
  • Turkey or Chicken: For a main course salad, add a protein like turkey or chicken. Cut it into cubed, bite-size pieces. This is a great way to incorporate leftovers into a meal.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: These seeds add a fresh splash of color and taste to the salad.
  • Pineapple Tidbits: Fresh or canned pineapple gives the salad a more tropical taste.
  • Raisins, dried cranberries, or dates: Add some sweetness and chewy texture to this salad by adding raisins, dried cranberries or dates. If grapes are not in season, this is the next best option.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts have become a traditional ingredient in Waldorf salad. I love the added crunch in addition to the crunchiness of the apples. 
  • Pecans: Many people have allergy issues with walnuts, making pecans the next best option.
  • Mini Marshmallows: a fun addition for kids
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower: Either of these vegetables are great choices because of their mild flavor and health benefits.
  • Optional ingredients: blue cheese crumbles, feta cheese, mustard, salt and pepper
  • Lemon zest: also optional but brings the flavors to life.
Ingredients to make Waldorf Salad including grapes, lemon, red and green apples, lettuce, celery, walnuts and mayo.

Waldorf Salad Dressing

This recipe uses the same creamy dressing as the original Waldorf salad recipe – mayonnaise. The sweetness of the apples and raisins complements the mayonnaise without it overpowering their flavor. Variations have been added to this dressing over the years. For a sweeter dressing, mix 2 teaspoons of sugar or 1 teaspoon of honey into the mayonnaise before it is added to the salad. Stir in a little lemon juice for a fresh, citrus flavor. Substitutions for the mayonnaise can be made as well. For example, use non-fat yogurt, Miracle Whip, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or light mayonnaise for a lighter dressing.

Hand holding a wooden spoon with Waldorf Salad.

Crunchy Apples are a Must

The best apples for a Waldorf salad are crisp and crunchy! I like using two different varieties of apples when I make it. I prefer a Granny Smith apple and a red-skinned apple, but if they aren’t in season I will use whatever tart apples I can find that are crisp. Honey Crisp, Gala, Fuji, Sweet Tango and Pink Lady apples are some of my favorite, but you can use any apples you have on hand.

Coring and slicing apples on a cutting board for Waldorf Salad.

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More Delicious Salad Recipes

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How to Make Waldorf Salad

Plates of Waldorf Salad on lettuce with a fork.

Waldorf Salad

5 from 30 votes
Waldorf Salad is fresh, crisp, crunchy, and sweet. So refreshing and filling, the perfect side dish to any meal!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 12



  • 3 Fuji, Gala, or Pink Lady apples, chopped
  • 3 crisp Granny Smith apples, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 ribs)
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup walnuts, halved
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • 3 cups green leaf lettuce or mixed greens


  • Place apple chunks in a bowl and toss in lemon juice.
    Coring and slicing apples on a cutting board for Waldorf Salad.
  • Mix celery, grapes, and walnuts in with the apples. Add mayonnaise or yogurt and stir until the fruit and nuts are well coated.
    Glass bowl of grapes, apples, celery and walnuts for Waldorf Salad.
  • Refrigerate salad until ready to serve.
    Bowl of mixed Waldorf Salad. Wooden spoon on the side.
  • Serve on a bed of green leaf lettuce or mixed salad greens.
    Hand holding a wooden spoon placing Waldorf Salad on top of lettuce greens.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 99mgPotassium: 179mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 755IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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  1. 5 stars
    First kitchen in 4 years due to assisted living and stroke…could not remember what went into Waldorf Salad and recipes went with the sale of the house. Thanks for helping me recover a skill that was important to me!

    1. 5 stars
      I am so happy you are doing better. I hope you have continued to improve. I love this recipes simplicity.

  2. 5 stars
    A big hit at a dinner party with my family at home. Everyone including the children loved the freshness of this salad. And everything just fits great together!

  3. 5 stars
    Super yummy! I love a good Waldorf salad! This has all the best stuff in it! Perfect crisp apple, sweet grapes, crunchy protein filled nuts…a lovely dressing! So delightful!

  4. 5 stars
    Nummy, nummy! Made this tonight. Delicious, quick and easy and full of healthy ingredients. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Nummy, nummy! Made this tonight. Delicious, quick and easy and full of healthy ingredients.
      Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    What a lovely, cool, delicious, and refreshing salad to enjoy as a ‘side-dish’ with dinner on a hot summer’s evening! (BTW, your choice of apples is ‘spot-on’!) Also, for those of us who like to eat ‘lite’, I’d cook a chicken breast, cool it, dice it, and add it into the salad. This would also make it a nice & lite luncheon dish. I’m anxious to try it.