Waldorf Salad

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Waldorf Salad is a classic fruit and nut salad (or dessert!). A holiday favorite with apples, grapes, celery, and walnuts.

Fun and easy dessert Salads of yesteryear definitely have a fond spot for many people. If you love a classic Waldorf Salad you’ll also love Ambrosia Salad, Grape Salad and Watergate Salad (Pistachio Delight).

Waldorf Salad in white bowl

Waldorf Salad is a delicious, filling side dish that’s been around since the 1880’s. As far as fruit salads go, this one is one of the absolute easiest, plus you can make your own delicious salad dressing from scratch to go with it. Waldorf salad is great to make for potlucks, weekend get togethers, and weeknight dinners when you’re not all that anxious to cook anything complicated

For a while now, classic and comfort-evoking family recipes have been making a resurgence back into popular cooking — like potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw. Many people find these easy, fuss-free dishes to be delicious and satisfying. That’s why they’re classics and always the most popular recipes!

With red and green ingredients, this recipe screams holidays! Try serving this during big holiday pot luck meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The addition of cut up fruit that can sit without turning brown thanks to the dressing is a great addition to your holiday meal. Make your Classic Roast Turkey with a side of Green Bean Casserole, Baked Mac and Cheese and Easy Mashed Potatoes to serve with this Waldorf Salad. Holidays done! Well, not quite done. Make some Pies too.

Why is it called Waldorf Salad?

A man named Oscar Tschirky, aka Oscar of the Waldorf, was the maître d’ of New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1880’s, and he’s credited with inventing the original recipe for Waldorf Salad. This Waldorf Salad recipe is very close to the original.

He also invented Eggs Benedict, which you definitely need to try out. He also popularized Thousand Island salad dressing. He wrote a large cookbook, even though he wasn’t a chef, and his picture is up in the Hotel to this day.

How to Make Waldorf Salad

This is a very easy recipe. Just chop and mix! That’s it! You’re refreshing salad is ready!

  • Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.
  • Add in the apples, grapes, celery and walnuts and stir well together.
  • Serve chilled.

More Yummy Fruit Salad Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Waldorf Salad a side or a dessert?

Waldorf Salad is generally served as an appetizer or a light meal, but with so much fruit in it you can serve it as a dessert as well if you add just a bit of sugar to the mayonnaise dressing and cut back on the black pepper.

What can you add to a Waldorf Salad?

You can customize your Waldorf Salad with all sorts of additions. Try stirring in some cranberries, golden raisins, sliced pecans, chopped cauliflower, or even a handful of marshmallows. If you do go the marshmallow route you should wait to mix them in until you’re ready to serve the salad to keep the fruit juice from seeping in and making them soggy and disgusting.

How do you make a Waldorf Salad with chicken?

If you want to add some leftover chicken breast to your salad, you absolutely can. Cut the cooked chicken breast (you can use these Baked Chicken Breast or Grilled Chicken Breast recipes) into small bite sized pieces and stir them into the salad until they are thoroughly mixed in. The chicken tastes delicious served chilled, and the natural sweetness of the fruit compliments the flavor really well.

Ingredients of Waldorf Salad in metal bowl

Key Ingredients in Waldorf Salad

All the ingredients in this recipe can be easily found at your local grocery store, if you don’t already have them in your kitchen. 

  • Apples: Use fresh, crisp apples. Just about any red apple or green apple varietals is okay. 
  • Grapes: The grapes used in this recipe are the red ones, but you can use green colored grapes too. They’ll just add a bit more tart! Make sure they are seedless grapes!
  • Celery: Make sure to rinse the tall green crunchy stalks before chopping them. 
  • Walnuts: These wrinkled seeds are incredibly versatile. You should keep a bag of walnuts on hand in your pantry since they go will in a lot of recipes. 
  • Mayo: Use real mayo. Bonus points if you make your mayo at home!

Can Waldorf Salad be Made Ahead of Time?

Due to the nature of the ingredients, Waldorf Salad should be made and served the same day. If you’re making a bunch for a big party, like a wedding or fundraising gala, you could make your batches the night before. Just make sure to cover them incredibly well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container and keep in fridge until ready to serve. 

Don’t freeze Waldorf Salad, though, because the texture will change. 

Variations on Waldorf Salad

  • Meat: You can add cooked shredded chicken or turkey to your Waldorf Salad. Add a cup of cold shredded poultry and mix. You can add more if desired. 
  • Sauce: The original recipe utilizes mayonnaise. But you can actually add, sour cream, plain yogurt, or even greek yogurt if preferred. Make your creamy dressing by combining a quarter cup may with a quarter cup cream of your choice. 
  • Red or Green: You can make it all red with red grapes and red apples. You can also try green tart apples with green grapes. 
Classic Waldorf Salad in white bowl

What to Serve with Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad can actually be served on a bed of lettuce as a light meal in and of itself, especially when made with chicken or turkey. Check out some of these complimenting combinations:

How to Store Waldorf Salad

  • Serve: This salad is best served chilled, so it is recommend to keep it out of the refrigerator for longer than about 2 hours. It also has mayonnaise in it, which can go bad at room temperature if it’s out too long.
  • Store: Your salad will last up to 5 days in the fridge as long as you keep it wrapped up tight in plastic wrap or in a sealable airtight container.
  • Freeze: You shouldn’t freeze this salad because of the mayonnaise. The mayo doesn’t thaw out very well because ice crystals form and change the texture when it thaws out.

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Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad is a classic fruit and nut salad (or dessert!). A holiday favorite with apples, grapes, celery, and walnuts.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 fuji apples , cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups red grapes , halved
  • 2 stalks celery , diced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts , chopped


  • Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
  • Add in the apples, grapes, celery and walnuts and stir well together.
  • Serve chilled.



Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Photo used in a previous version of this post.

Waldorf Salad Collage
Waldorf salad

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Served this waldrof salad with our grilled chicken for dinner last night and it was such a remarkable dinner! This salad tasted so good and a crowd pleaser!

  2. Seriously the most refreshing salad I have ever had! My kids picked out all of the walnuts, so next time I will leave those out. Otherwise, A big hit in our house! Thanks for posting!!

  3. This is a staple at our of our holiday dinners! Especially Easter! It’s a delicious classic that fits right in with all our favorite foods.

  4. Yummy my husband really like it. I’m diabetic and I’m glad you had the carbs listed however I didn’t see the amount besides serving size. What is a serving size?
    Thank you

    1. The issue is that people will have ingredients of different sizes. Packaged products are weighed and measured at the time of creation which makes their measurements accurate. The only way to accurately know the measurements of meals is to weigh and divide.