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Classic Waldorf Salad

Classic Waldorf Salad

Who knew such an old recipe could be so delicious after so many years? You’ve likely come across Waldorf salad at least once or twice in your life. It’s simple, fresh, and filled with tons of fruits and nuts. Now, don’t let its simplicity fool you — this dish is refined and elegant enough that it came from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. You can serve this dish at a gathering, or simply make it for yourself – sharing not required.

If you love a tasty, creamy fruit salad, check out Grandma’s Ambrosia Salad as well.

Why Our Recipe

  • A simple version of the historic dish from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
  • Creamy and fruity, with that little crunch of celery and nuts.

A close view of a bowl of Waldorf Salad with a wooden spoon.

The classic Waldorf salad recipe was first seen way back in 1896. Named after – and created by – the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, the salad was served at a charity ball for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Chef Oscar Tschirky – widely known as ‘Oscar of the Waldorf’ –  included it in his cookbook, The Cook Book, published in 1896. This recipe has changed over time, seeing as the original salad only included apples, celery, and mayonnaise; seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients for a Waldorf Salad laid out on a table.The ingredients for a Waldorf Salad laid out on a table.
  • Granny Smith apples: Choose an apple that won’t brown quickly and pay attention to its texture and taste. We love Granny Smith apples for their crunch and tart flavor, but you can also use Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, or Gala.
  • Lemon juice: This helps keep your apples from browning and adds a touch of tang.
  • Granulated sugar: This is optional, but we love the touch of sweetness.
  • Red grapes: We typically use red grapes as they add a pop of color and are just sweet enough — green grapes tend to be a bit too tart.
  • Celery: This salad is all about the crunch and celery brings it to the table.
  • Walnuts: These add a really nice texture and we love the rich and nutty flavor they bring. We even like to toast our walnuts before adding to the salad to elevate this recipe even more! But you can skip them if you want.
  • Dressing: We love plain Greek yogurt (you could instead use sour cream), mayonnaise (which helps carry the flavor and brings a smoothness to the salad), and salt. Simple and delicious.

Grape Cutting Tip

Our classic Waldorf salad recipe includes a healthy helping of fresh grapes! To cut your grapes, place them –  single layer – on a plate and place another same-sized plate on top. Then, take a serrated knife and cut horizontally between the two plates. You’ll save a lot of time and effort compared to halving them individually.

A photo showing the delicious ingredients of in a bowl of made Waldorf Salad.A photo showing the delicious ingredients of in a bowl of made Waldorf Salad.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days – if it lasts that long!

More delicious fruit salads…

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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Classic Waldorf Salad
Classic Waldorf Salad

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