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Waldorf Salad Recipe

Waldorf Salad is a side dish that is a fabulous fusion of wholesome ingredients like apple slices, walnuts, leafy greens, and a creamy dressing that is out of this world. It’s a perfect classic crowd-pleaser to serve any time of the year.

wooden bowl filled with healthy Waldorf Salad

Serve this creamy delicious fruit-filled salad as an appetizer, lunch, or light dinner. It’s perfect for parties and entertaining! And, it goes well with these easy Cucumber Sandwiches to make a terrific light meal.

This recipe is from Chef AJ’s cookbook, “Unprocessed” (2022), Book Publishing Company. It is published here with permission. See the ‘About the Chef’ section below.

Waldorf salad with red grapes, celery, fresh green apple, walnuts, raisins on a pad of fresh lettuce leaves on a white plate on a wooden table, vertical view

What is Waldorf Salad?

Waldorf is certainly a strange name for a salad, and I wondered how that came about, as I’m betting you are too. Come to find out, Waldorf Salad is said to have originated as far back as 1896 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York when it was created for a charity ball and obviously became a huge hit.

The all-American dish is a fruit and nut salad that has over time developed many variations, but the basic recipe usually always includes some combination of apples, walnuts, greens, and a creamy unique dressing.

Ingredients in Waldorf Salad

  • Apples
  • Spinach or other greens
  • Walnuts
  • Seeds like pomegranate or sunflower seeds
  • Other fruit such as grapes
  • Vegetables often include celery, carrots, and beets
  • Creamy dressing

Best apples to use

Pretty much any apple variety can be used to make Waldorf Salad. My personal preference is one that is a combination of both sweet and tart. Here are some of the most common ones used.

  • Red Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Fuji
whole apple and diced apple on cutting board with knife

How to make Waldorf Salad

  1. There is no cooking required to make this recipe, and it only takes a few minutes to pull it all together.
  2. Begin by making the dressing in a blender. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Set it to the side while you prep the fruit and veggies.
  3. Chop the apples and spinach leaves into bite-sized pieces. Next, shred the carrots and beets.
  4. Place the chopped and shredded fruit and vegetables into a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Stir to coat each piece well and serve immediately.

Variations & Tips

  • Mix up the fruit- The basic Waldorf Salad will always have apples. Try adding grapes, pears, and other fruits for variety.
  • More crunch- Most of the time walnuts are part of this salad. Consider adding pomegranate seeds or sunflowers seeds for a different twist.
  • Toast nuts- To add even more flavor, toast the nuts to intensify their natural flavors.
  • Dried fruit- Add raisins, cranberries, or pineapple for an even sweeter taste.
  • Add more veggies- Shredded carrots, beets, and diced celery are also commonly used.
  • Experiment with greens- Bite-sized spinach, kale, and Romain leaves add more color and fiber.

Can it be made ahead of time?

Technically, yes. However, the apples will begin to turn brown if it’s made more than an hour or two ahead of time.

If you store this salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it will still be good the next day even if the apples have turned a little dark. Just don’t try to freeze it, because it won’t turn out well.

How to serve Waldorf Salad

This fruit salad is best served chilled, so you might even consider refrigerating the apples before slicing them and adding them to the other ingredients.

Here are some creative ways to serve it:

  • On a bed of greens
  • In a clear drinking glass
  • Stuffed in a hollowed-out baked sweet potato
  • In a tortilla (or large green leaf) to serve as a wrap

Try pairing this light salad with dishes like a Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich or even something like Black Bean Burgers. Chef AJ’s Black Bean Soup is another great serving option.

white bowl filled with healthy Waldorf Salad on dark background

More healthy salad recipes

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

white bowl filled with healthy Waldorf Salad on dark background

Waldorf Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Waldorf Salad is a side dish that is a fabulous fusion of wholesome ingredients like apple slices, walnuts, leafy greens, and a creamy dressing that is out of this world. It's a perfect classic crowd-pleaser to serve any time of the year.

Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups apples, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup beets, shredded
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  1. There is no cooking required to make this recipe, and it only takes a few minutes to pull it all together.
  2. Begin by making the dressing in a blender. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Set it to the side while you prep the fruit and veggies. NOTE: You may not need all of this dressing. Use any leftovers as a dressing for garden salads.
  3. Chop the apples and spinach leaves into bite-sized pieces. Next, shred the carrots and beets.
  4. Place the chopped and shredded fruit and vegetables into a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Stir to coat each piece well and serve immediately.

Notes

This recipe is from Chef AJ’s cookbook, “Unprocessed” (2022), Book Publishing Company. It is published here with permission. See the ‘About the Chef’ section above.

Variations & Tips:

  • Mix up the fruit- The basic Waldorf Salad will always have apples. Try adding grapes, pears, and other fruits for variety.
  • More crunch- Most of the time walnuts are part of this salad. Consider adding pomegranate seeds or sunflowers seeds for a different twist.
  • Toast nuts- To add even more flavor, toast the nuts to intensify their natural flavors.
  • Dried fruit- Add raisins, cranberries, or pineapple for an even sweeter taste.
  • Add more veggies- Shredded carrots, beets, and diced celery are also commonly used.
  • Experiment with greens- Bite-sized spinach, kale, and Romain leaves add more color and fiber.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1+ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 10gSugar: 16gProtein: 14g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

About the Chef

Chef AJ

CHEF AJ is a chef, culinary instructor, and professional speaker, Chef AJ is well-known in the health and wellness community.  Her successful daily YouTube broadcast, Chef AJ Live!, has 146,000 subscribers and 1,500 videos.

Chef AJ received her certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University

As Executive Pastry Chef at Sante Le Brea Restaurant in Los Angeles, she became famous for her desserts (free of gluten, sugar, oil, and salt) and has an upcoming release of these recipes. 

She is the creator of the Ultimate Weight Loss Program which has helped hundreds of people achieve optimal health through her delicious recipes and straightforward (while humorous) coaching style.

She co-authored with Glen Merzer The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss (2018) and Unprocessed (2010 & 2022) and contributed 75 recipes to Glen’s book Own Your Health (2021). She has been eating a plant-inclusive diet for over 43 years. For more information visit her website ChefAJ.com.

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