Classic Waldorf Salad {Sweet & Crunchy!}

The Classic Waldorf Salad is a historic combination of fruit and nuts, crunchy veggies, and creamy dressing that will always be in style! This is one of those recipes that never gets old.

overhead picture of bowl of salad

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

What is Waldorf Salad?

The famous Oscar Tschirky was the brains behind the delicious recipe and first created it in the Waldorf Astoria hotel in 1896.

The original recipe only included apples and celery arranged over lettuce and drizzled with mayonnaise. Over the years many people have added their special touch and flavor to this traditional salad.

This Waldorf salad recipe is a blend of crisp apples, crunchy celery, sweet grapes, walnuts, and tossed a mayonnaise dressing acting as the perfect side dish for any meal.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
labeled picture of waldorf ingredients

What’s in Waldorf Salad?

  • green apples
  • celery
  • white seedless grapes
  • walnuts
  • lettuce

Apples – Feel free to use red apples or another variety but it will change the tart contrast of the salad. Sprinkle with lemon juice or store in water to keep them from browning.

Grapes – I like to use green seedless grapes (no one likes to eat seeds) but feel free to use red grapes if you like. Just make sure they are firm.

Walnuts – Toasted nuts are better than raw ones. It brings out their buttery nutty flavor even more. Feel free to use toasted pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios, or your favorite nut.

Lettuce – This is just used as a base for the salad but feel free to shred and incorporate it into the salad if you like or leave out all together.

Waldorf Salad Dressing

  • mayonnaise
  • lemon juice
  • salt

The purpose of the dressing is to be simple and not overpower the flavors of the salad itself. If you want to switch it up a bit, use Greek yogurt, honey, or a pinch or two of sugar if you so desire.

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How to make Waldorf Salad

STEP ONE: Chop the apples, grapes, and celery into bite-size pieces and roughly chop the walnuts.

STEP TWO: In a small bowl, add the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, combine the apples, celery, grapes, and nuts. Drizzle with mayonnaise mixture. Toss to coat.

STEP THREE: To serve, layer a few lettuce leaves in the bottom of a bowl. Spoon the apples, celery, grapes, and nuts mixture onto the lettuce. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy chilled!

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

overhead picture of salad and nuts

Can you make Waldorf Salad in advance?

Yes! You can make this salad up to two or maybe even three days before you need it. In fact, the combination of flavors really comes together overnight in the fridge.

How to store leftovers

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Other ingredients to add

What is great about this recipe is that it is so versatile. You can really add any combination of sweet fruit and crunch and enjoy it! Some of my favorite additions are

  • cranberries
  • red onion
  • marshmallows
  • raisins
  • shredded carrots
  • different types of apples or grapes
  • different nuts like toasted pecans
  • grilled chicken breast or shrimp

Is Waldorf salad vegan?

This recipe is made with mayonnaise, so it is NOT vegan. However, you can easily make it vegan by replacing the mayo with vegan mayo or vegan yogurt.

Can I freeze this salad?

I do NOT recommend freezing this salad. All the crunch will turn soft and the dressing will turn very watery.

two bowls of salad

Tips for no leftover Waldorf Salad

  • Chop the lettuce with the rest of the ingredients if you prefer it that way.
  • Use yogurt instead of mayonnaise in the dressing
  • Use pecans instead of walnuts or try a new nut.
  • Try red grapes for a pop of color
  • If you like your salad on the sweeter side, substitute half the mayo with whipped cream.
  • Sprinkle your apples with lemon juice to keep them from browning while chopping.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

bowl of salad with text "waldorf salad"

I’m obsessed with an easy side salad to complete a meal! Be sure to check out some of my other favorite easy-to-make salads below!

other easy salads to make

Waldorf Salad Recipe

bowl of waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup walnuts (toasted)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 green apples (diced medium)
  • 1 cup white seedless grapes (halved)
  • ½ iceberg lettuce head (leaves separated)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon


    1. Chop the apples, celery, and grapes into bite-size pieces and roughly chop the walnuts.
    2. Add all the ingredients of the salad, except lettuce leaves to a salad bowl.
    3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl to make the Waldorf salad dressing.
    4. Pour the dressing over the apples, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Toss to coat.
    5. When ready to serve, place a few lettuce leaves on the bottom of the bowls. Divide the apple mixture evenly between the four bowl.
    6. Enjoy!


*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Recommended Products

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 482mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 6gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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