Best Waldorf Salad Recipe – How to Make At Home 2021

Best Waldorf Salad Recipe – How to Make At Home

A Waldorf salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of fresh apples, celery, walnuts, and grapes, dressed in mayonnaise, and traditionally served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal. The apples, celery, and grapes can all be green, which harmonizes the color palette of the dish.

Waldorf Salad is a side dish that originated in New York City at the Waldorf Hotel. The original Waldorf salad recipe had only four simple ingredients: apples, celery, mayonnaise, and lettuce. A Swiss immigrant by the name of Oscar Tschirky is credited for creating this salad in 1893. It became famous and is still a favorite today.

Waldorf Salad was a staple at nearly every Sunday or holiday meal in my husband’s family. It’s truly the perfect side dish because most of the ingredients you usually have on hand. It’s light, refreshing, crispy and satisfying. Sometimes we will make this salad to eat as a main dish or with simple sandwiches on hot summer nights when I just can’t face turning on the stove or oven.

Because this recipe makes a huge salad, I love taking it to church or family potlucks. It serves 12-16 people depending on serving sizes. And we always serve this at Thanksgiving and Christmas because it’s colorful and light, a perfect complement to turkey or ham dinners.

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Crunchy Apples are a Must

Crisp apples are the most important ingredient in this salad! I like using two different varieties of apples when I make it. I prefer a Granny Smith apple and a red-skinned apple, but if they aren’t in season I will use whatever apples I can find that are crisp. Honey Crisp, Gala, Fuji, Sweet Tango, and Pink Lady apples are some of my favorites, but you can use any apples you have on hand.

Waldorf Salad Dressing

This recipe uses the same salad dressing as the original Waldorf salad recipe – mayonnaise. The sweetness of the apples and raisins complements the mayonnaise without it overpowering their flavor. Variations have been added to this dressing over the years.

For a sweeter dressing, mix 2 teaspoons of sugar or 1 teaspoon of honey into the mayonnaise before it is added to the salad. Substitutions can be made as well. For example, use non-fat yogurt, Miracle Whip, or light mayonnaise for a lighter dressing.

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How Do You Keep Apples From Browning In Salad?

The dressing for this salad contains lemon juice which helps to keep the apples from browning. It’s important to toss the apples in the dressing as soon as they’re cut so that they make contact with the acid in the lemon juice.

Waldorf Salad Variations

While I typically make this salad exactly as written, sometimes I switch up the ingredients a bit for a different flavor experience.

Protein: This salad is great with grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.
Dressing: While mayonnaise is the traditional base for the dressing, plain yogurt is also a great choice.
Dried Fruit: Dried cranberries or raisins would be a great addition to this salad.
Nuts: While walnuts are a popular choice for this salad, you can also use pecans or almonds if you prefer.
A serving spoon in a bowl of apple walnut Waldorf salad.

Can You Make Waldorf Salad In Advance?

You can make this salad up to 4 hours before you plan to serve it. Store the salad in a covered container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat. Add the parsley and any additional fruit you’d like to garnish with right before serving.

There’s a reason why this salad has stayed popular for so many years – it’s totally delicious! This salad is a welcome addition to a potluck, you can serve it in lettuce cups as an appetizer, or even add some chicken and serve it on bread as sandwich. Regardless of how you choose to serve it, this salad will be a hit.


Best Waldorf Salad Recipe

Why is it called a Waldorf salad?

Waldorf salad is named for the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, where it was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896. In 1896, the salad appeared in The Cook Book by “Oscar of the Waldorf“.

When was Waldorf salad popular?

After the Waldorf Hotel opened in March 1893, the writer Oliver Herford quipped that it “brought exclusiveness to the masses.” The same could be said for the famous Waldorf salad, a dish that was made for New York City’s elite but that became, through the 20th century, a staple of Americana.

What is the best time to eat salad?

To make sure you eat your veggies, lose weight, and keep digestion in check, the best time to eat salad is before the main course or as a meal in itself. If you are looking for salad recipes that are inspired, creative and anything but boring you will love my cookbook Healthy Fresh Salads.


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