Apple Waldorf Salad may be old-fashioned but it never goes out of style. Crispy apples, celery and walnuts with sweet raisins make a perfect fall salad. Always great for a HOLIDAY meal.
Around the holidays we were talking with friends about some of their favorite family dishes and it reminded me that my mom would frequently make an apple Waldorf salad at Thanksgiving. I don’t know when this became old-fashioned or just not in style, but I haven’t had it in years. I generally just go with a classic cranberry relish, but there’s no reason you can’t do both.
While in New York one year we went to the Waldorf-Astoria just so we could order the salad for lunch, what a treat it was to eat in that beautiful lobby. Theirs was similar to my mom’s but they slivered the apples, while we always just chop them.
The Waldorf-Astoria in NY is currently closed for renovation so you’ll have to just try my version. It’s such a nice salad to round out a weeknight dinner or Holiday meal and it’s so simple to make.
What is Waldorf Salad
Waldorf apple salad was created in the late 1800’s at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NY for a charity ball and was still being served before they closed it for reconstruction. A Waldorf salad always has apples and celery with a mayonnaise based dressing. Some add grapes or chicken. You can tweak the recipe based on your preferences, but I think it should have raisins, walnuts and celery along with the apples.
What you’ll need for an apple salad
- Apples – Use an apple that’s crisp, it’s even more interesting if you use a variety, some sweet and some tart. Fuji are my favorite.
- Walnuts – but not just plain walnuts, toast them first.
- Celery – chopped small so you get a little crunch
- Raisins – to add a bit of sweetness
What’s in the DRESSING for Waldorf salad
The dressing is so simple with just three ingredients: mayonnaise, sugar and lemon juice. Choose your favorite mayonnaise, (Hellmans for me) and add just a little lemon juice and sugar to your taste. I like less dressing, just enough to coat the apples.
The lemon juice will keep your apples from turning brown so you can make this earlier in the day. It will still be good for at least 24 hours, but I think it’s best eaten the same day, as the apples tend to get a little mushy after 24 hours.
HOW do you make apple Waldorf Salad
There is nothing as easy as making a classic Waldorf apple salad.
Step 1: Whisk together the mayonnaise, just a little sugar and lemon juice.
Step 2: Don’t peel the apples, just cut into bite sized pieces and add raisins, walnuts and chopped celery. Add dressing and combine.
The lemon juice in the dressing will keep your apples from turning brown so you can make this earlier in the day. It will still be good for at least 24 hours, but I think it’s best eaten the same day. If you want to be fancy then you can do like they do at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel and cut the apples into match sticks.
This is a great idea if you need to bring something to a potluck. It goes with everything.
FAQ’s and tips
The best apples to use for Waldorf salad are the ones that you like to eat. They should be crisp and for a pretty salad, have red skins. I prefer fuji or gala or even a red delicious. I think Honeycrisps are too tart for this salad but that’s just my preference. For everything you want to know about apples, go to Stemilt’s website, they are my favorite brand.
You don’t need to peel the apples, just remove the core, cut into slices and cut slices into 1 inch bites. If you have a device that cores and slices, it makes it so much easier. I use this slicer all the time.
If you aren’t in the mood for an apple salad, then one of these might sound good
- Get your veggies with Corn and Cucumber Salad
- Simple but delicious Burrata with Oranges
- Feeling fruity, try Tequila Lime Blueberry Salad
- Broccoli Salad will go with any meal you are preparing
- Add some Cayenne for a spicy fruit salad
Can’t get enough APPLES, here are some more recipes
- Baked apple pancake
- Grilled apples
- Apple pear galette
- Apple hand pies
- Apple pie bars
- Apple cider muffins
- Apple Cobbler
- Pork with apples
- Apple dumplings
- Fried apples
- Spiced apple muffin
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Apple Waldorf Salad
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 4-5 apples cored and diced
- ½ cup celery thinly chopped
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
- Add toasted walnuts, celery and raisins to a large bowl. Add diced apples and toss. Spoon dressing over right away and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use a firm sweet apple like fuji or gala.
- Coat the apples with dressing as soon as they have been cut to prevent browning.
- To toast the walnuts, place in the oven at 350º for a few minutes watching to make sure they do not burn.
If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.