Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe : 6 Easy Steps

The Culinary Commander Top-Grain Leather | Professional Chef's Kitchen Apron | Dalstrong ©The Culinary CommanderTop-Grain Leather | Professional Chef's Kitchen Apron | Dalstrong ©

Quick Steps Overview: Classic Waldorf Salad

  1. Set up the cooking station
  2. Prep the oven
  3. Toast the nuts 
  4. Prepare the dressing 
  5. Add apple, celery, and raisins 
  6. Toss, plate, and serve

On days you feel like having something light and refreshing for lunch, a classic Waldorf Salad makes the perfect dish. If you like chicken salad, spinach salad, or pasta salad, I'm sure you'll love a classic Waldorf salad as well. Be it an intimate family meal, a quick and easy dinner, a big get-together, a picnic out in the park, or a potluck, this salad is loved by everyone.

Chef Knife 8" Shadow Black Series | RED Edition | Dalstrong

Chef Knife 8"Shadow Black Series | RED Edition | Dalstrong

1. What Is Waldorf Salad? 

Waldorf salad is a classic summer salad that combines grapes, apple, celery, walnuts, and raisins in a creamy base that is often made of Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Often, this salad is served on a bed of lettuce.

This salad is the perfect balance of sweetness, nuttiness, crunch, and flavor. While the ingredients mentioned above are enough to give your salad a fresh burst of flavor, you can also throw in any other ingredients you have on hand, like cranberries, a squeeze of lemon juice, chiffonade carrots, and other berries, pecans, or other nuts. 

2. Origin of Waldorf Salad

The Waldorf salad was introduced on March 14, 1893, at a charity ball honoring St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. The debut of this salad coincided with that of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, and the charity ball was the very first event held at the hotel. 

The salad was created by Edouard Beauchamp, Waldrof’s original executive chef, and Oscar Tschirky, its maitre d’hotel. While this salad was created over 100 years ago, its simplicity is one of the biggest reasons for its success.

3. Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe

Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4


  • ½ cup Walnuts (halved)
  • ½ cup non-fat Plain Yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons Light Mayonnaise (or whipping cream)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, Flat-leaf Parsley (minced) 
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • ½ Lemon (zest, finely grated)
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt (to taste)
  • 2 large crisp Apples (Granny Smith apples or Gala)
  • 2 ribs Celery (with leaves; sliced into ½-inch-thick pieces) 
  • ¼ cup Golden Raisins
  • ½ Lemon (juiced) 
  • 1 head Boston Lettuce (trimmed, washed, dried)

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Set up the cooking station. Gather all the ingredients listed above and set up your cooking station before you get to making the salad.
    2. Prep the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
    3. Toast the nuts. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool and break the nuts up into small pieces. 
    4. Prepare the dressing. In a large bowl whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, honest, and lemon zest. Season generously with pepper. 
    5. Add apple, celery, and raisins. Halve, core, and cut the apples into ¾-inch pieces, leaving the skin intact. Add the apple, celery, and raisins to the bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss the salad with the dressing.  Cover and refrigerate if you are not serving it immediately. 
    6. Toss, plate, and serve. When ready to serve, toss the walnuts into the salad. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter, or divide them among 4 salad plates. Place the salad on the lettuce. Serve as a side or a light meal by itself. 

      4. What To Serve With Waldorf Salad? 

        You can pair the Waldorf salad with some honey-glazed ham, baked chicken, classic macaroni salad, chicken salad, duchess potatoes, or any other potato recipes. Love fresh veggies? You can also serve this salad with roasted brussels sprouts with bacon bits, grilled asparagus with olive oil and parmesan cheese, green beans almondine, and grilled zucchini with parmesan cheese, steamed broccoli, roasted butternut squash with brown sugar and cinnamon, sauteed mushrooms with thyme, or potato salad. 

        5. How To Store Waldorf Salad?

        Serve the salad

        This salad tastes best when served chilled, so I recommend you don’t let the salad sit outside the refrigerator for longer than an hour. Mayonnaise can go bad at room temperature so it is best to refrigerate it if you aren’t serving it immediately.

        Store the salad

        While it is recommended to finish the salad on the same day as it is the freshest then, you can store the salad in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remember to tightly wrap the salad in plastic wrap or an air-tight container. Even sealable zip lock bags will help do the trick. 

        6. Tools You Will Need To Make Waldorf Salad

        1. 12 Quart Stock Pot- Oberon Series | Dalstrong

        12 Quart Stock Pot Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

        Be it stirring up a stew or tossing a creamy Waldorf salad, this tall stockpot will assist you with all your daily kitchen tasks. 


        • The pot boasts impeccable conductivity to quickly heat up and evenly cook anything you place inside it. 
        • The pot comes with 2 side handles that make it easy to lift the pot to move around or when tossing a salad. 
        • Not only is the pot compatible with all stovetops and induction tops, but is also oven and broiler safe up to 200 degrees F. It is also freezer, dishwasher, and refrigerator safe. 


        • If you have a compact kitchen, you can go for one of the smaller stock pots that would be easier to store.
        • The all-steel handles of the pot tend to get very hot when exposed to heat. You will need a kitchen cloth or mitts to lift the pot off the gas. 

        2. 12” Frying Pan & Skillet- Avalon Series | Dalstrong 

        12” Frying Pan & Skillet- Avalon Series | Dalstrong

        From frying and sauteing vegetables and meats to roasting nuts in the oven, this skillet can handle almost anything thrown its way. 


        • This professional piece of cookware allows for precise searing, browning, sauteing, deep-frying, quick boiling, and even baking, making this a very versatile item to invest in. 
        • The exterior of this skillet is mirror polished with a brush finish bottom for enhanced grip on smooth-top electric ranges, induction cooktops, and gas stoves. 
        • This true heavy-gauge cookware comes with a 2.5mm thickness that will never dent or warp under prolonged heat and will give consistent cooking results every time.  


        • The skillet comes with a big price tag that might not make this everyone's first choice. 
        • The stainless steel lid of this skillet might make it difficult to keep a check on the food cooking inside. In that case, you can take a look at the other skillets available. 

        3. Paring Knife 3.5”- Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong

        Paring Knife 3.5”- Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong

        This knife is a precision specialist and comes with a small narrow blade that tapers to a point. From deboning meat to cutting up delicate fruits and vegetables this versatile knife can do it all. 


        • The 67-layers of high carbon stainless steel cladding give this knife incredible strength, durability, and stain resistance. 
        • The blade of this knife is nitrogen-cooled for enhanced hardness, flexibility, and corrosion resistance. 
        • The precisely tapered blade of this knife also minimizes surface resistance fr buttery smooth cuts of meats, fruits, and vegetables. 


        • You might want to go for a longer bladed paring knife if you are someone that handles large chunks of meat and vegetables regularly. 
        • For those who do not spend too much time in the kitchen, this 3.5” blade might seem a little pricey. 

        4. Food Tong 12”- Scalloped Silicone Tips | Dalstrong

        Food Tong 12”- Scalloped Silicone Tips | Dalstrong 

        Toss your quick and easy Waldorf salad with a pair of dependable tongs. Not only will they help you toss up a quick salad, but will also act as an extension of your hands when you need to deal with the high heat of a direct flame. 


        • These tongs allow you to reach fearlessly into flaming-hot environments to better control your process and nudge the food towards perfection. 
        • The silicone tip of the tong protects your nonstick-coated pans and pots from any accidental damage or scratches. 
        • The tongs are very easy to close and reopen to use and take up very little space in your kitchen. 


        • If you have a compact kitchen, you can also go for the 9” tongs which are easier to store. 
        • It might get a little difficult to pick up smaller, more slippers ingredients with this silicone-tipped tong. 

        5. Lionswood- Teak Cutting Board | Dalstrong

        Lionswood- Teak Cutting Board | Dalstrong

        This board functions as your all-purpose chopping, slicing, dicing, and serving board. Get uniform pieces of apples, celery, and grapes or your Waldorf salad with this sturdy base. 


        • The unique checkered construction offers a slip-resistant surface that absorbs impact and makes sure that your knife remains sharp for longer. 
        • The board is thicker than other cutting boards and the end-grain fabrication makes it resistant to warping. 
        • The board comes with 2 steel handles that easily convert this cutting board into a serving board to present your finest roasts, charcuterie, bread, cheeses, and more. 


        • This is a large-size cutting board that can be difficult to store, especially if you have a compact kitchen. In that case, you can take a look at the other cutting boards to find one that fits your kitchen needs. 
        • This cutting board is slightly more expensive than the regular ones you would find in the market, but if you are someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, this investment is totally worth it. 

        7. Frequently Asked Questions

        What is Waldorf salad dressing made of?

        Waldorf salad dressing for this salad is made of mayonnaise and a bit of sugar. Some also add salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon juice. You can also add honey and plain Greek yogurt to your dressing. 

        What is Waldorf salad?

        A Waldorf salad is made of fruits and nuts. It also includes fresh red delicious apples, celery, walnuts, red grapes, and dried cranberries. The salad is dressed in mayonnaise, and it's traditionally served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer for a light meal.

        Why is it called Waldorf Salad? 

        Waldorf salad is named for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary’sHospital for Children on March 14, 1896.

        Written by Himani Vaid
        Toronto-based food nerd turned food storyteller, Himani is a connoisseur of all things delish. Currently, busy thinking about what to eat next.

        Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe : 6 Easy Steps

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