Waldorf Salad is a classic apple salad that makes a delicious light lunch or appetizer. Made with a simple combination of apples, celery, walnuts, and grapes in a creamy dressing, it’s deliciously light yet oh so satisfying. The perfect salad for summer picnics or cookouts!
I clearly remember the first time I had Waldorf Salad. It was back in college, when we were all trying our hand at actually feeding ourselves, and one of my friends made it for lunch. And from that moment… I was hooked.
I had somehow made it through 18 + years of life without ever having tasted it, but I instantly fell in love. There’s something about the combination of crisp apples and celery with crunchy walnuts and grapes… and combined with the creamy dressing? It’s perfection!
I decided to add dried cranberries to this apple salad for a bit of tartness, and I love the different texture they add. I’ve also added chicken, which is a great option for a more substantial meal.
If you’ve never tried Waldorf Salad before… you’re missing out! And if you have, I hope you’ll give this version a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
There are many different variations of Waldorf Salad, but for this recipe I used a combination of red (Gala) apples, green grapes, chopped celery, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries.
I also chose to lighten up the dressing with fresh whipped cream that’s very lightly sweetened. I found that the whipping cream toned down the mayo for the perfect balance of flavors.
- 2 c. apples, chopped
- 1/3 c. green grapes, halved
- 1/4 c. celery, chopped
- 1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 c. craisins
- 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 c. mayo
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- pinch of nutmeg
This salad is easy to make in two basic steps: first, chop the fruits, celery, and nuts. Second, whip up the dressing. Once you have both steps done, it’s a simple matter of combining all the ingredients and refrigerating to let the flavors meld.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine chopped apples with lemon juice; toss to coat. (*This will help prevent browning.)
- Mix in grapes, celery, walnuts, and craisins.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whip heavy whipping cream on medium speed until peaks form. Add 1 tsp. brown sugar and stir to combine.
- Stir in mayo and nutmeg.
- Fold dressing into apple mixture, stirring gently to combine.
- Chill for 2 hours.
🍐 Recipe variations
As with any classic recipe, there are countless variations of apple salad in cookbooks, recipe websites, and restaurant menus. Here are some easy ways to mix things up!
- Substitute pears for apples or use a combination of the two
- Use pecans or almonds in place of walnuts
- Use a combination of red and green grapes
- Use Granny Smith apples for a tart flavor
- Add chopped chicken for protein
- Substitute raisins for craisins
- Substitute cool whip for heavy whipping cream and brown sugar (*will produce a sweeter flavor)
- Substitute plain Greek yogurt for the whipping cream/mayo combo
🌡 Storing leftovers
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 day
📖 History of the Waldorf Salad
This salad was first served at New York’s Waldorf-Asotia Hotel in 1896. It was actually created by the maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, and was an instant success.
The original recipe contained only apples, celery, and mayonaise. It has evolved over the years and there are now countless variations. Most variations also include chopped nuts and grapes.
🍇 Related recipes
- Ambrosia Salad
- Mojito Fruit Salad
- Watermelon Salad with Feta
- Strawberry Caprese Salad
- Summer Strawberry Salad
- Winter Fruit Salad
- Pina Colada Fruit Salad
- Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g