classic waldorf salad, plus some twists on the original

classic waldorf salad

Everyone’s had a classic Waldorf salad right? Sliced or julienned apples, see celery, implant walnuts and mayonnaise? Wikipedia says the Waldorf salad dates back to 1893 and was first served at The Waldorf Hotel (later the Waldorf-Astoria of many-movie fame). It’s sweet and tangy and crunchy. Perfect for a summer BBQ, more about you can make it a few hours in advance and best of all, you only need four ingredients.

The classic Waldorf is great. If you’ve had it, you know it’s pretty perfect. But some people don’t like mayonnaise. Some people want something more inventive. Some people (me) just can’t leave a recipe alone. So, I’m proposing some variations and twists on the original recipe. There’s really no way to mess this up, so feel free to play with the proportions and substitute anything you think might work here. Just make sure you taste it constantly so you know you’re on the right track.

Some twists on the classic (recipe for that below):

  • Substitute thinly sliced fennel for half of the apple amount
  • Add tarragon to the classic
  • Add thinly sliced Napa cabbage (or sub for half the apple amount)
  • Substitute plain Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise
  • Add some curry powder to the classic (or yogurt version)
  • Substitute any other nuts for walnuts
  • Add fresh basil, cilantro and mint (would be perfect in combination with the Napa cabbage)
  • Make it your own

Classic Waldorf Salad

6 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
5 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup mayonnaise (just enough to coat everything – this should be done to taste)

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve chilled.


  1. I also like adding red grapes, dried cranberries, and paprika.

  2. How many does this serve?

  3. Shirley – Depends. If its a side dish at a buffet, I’d say about 10. If it’s going to be more of a main side dish, then about 8.

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