Classic Waldorf Chicken Salad Recipe | Easy & Tasty

waldorf chicken salad recipe

Looking for a delicious and easy chicken salad recipe? Look no further than the classic Waldorf chicken salad. This homemade chicken salad is a delightful blend of crunchy apples, tender chicken, and walnuts. With a creamy dressing made of mayo and sour cream, it’s a perfect combination of flavors and textures that will satisfy your taste buds.

Key Takeaways:

  • The classic Waldorf chicken salad is a delicious combination of crunchy apples, tender chicken, and walnuts.
  • The recipe is easy to make and requires common ingredients like mayo, sour cream, and fresh fruits.
  • Customize the salad by adding your favorite ingredients like celery, raisins, or almonds.
  • Serve the Waldorf chicken salad on its own, as a sandwich filling, or as a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
  • Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days to maintain freshness and food safety.

Ingredients and Preparation

To make this classic Waldorf chicken salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • chopped walnuts
  • cooked rotisserie chicken breasts
  • seedless red grapes
  • dried cranberries
  • Granny Smith apple
  • red onion
  • mayonnaise
  • vanilla yogurt
  • lemon juice

Start by roasting the walnuts in the oven until fragrant and browned. Then, combine the chicken, grapes, cranberries, apple, walnuts, and onion in a salad bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon juice to make the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat everything evenly.

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Variations and Substitutions

There are many variations of the classic Waldorf chicken salad that you can try to add your own unique twist. Whether you’re looking for a healthier option or want to experiment with different flavors, there are plenty of substitutions and additions you can make.

Healthy Chicken Salad Options

If you prefer a healthier version of the Waldorf chicken salad, you can make a few simple swaps. Instead of using traditional mayonnaise and sour cream for the dressing, you can opt for Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt adds a tangy flavor while reducing the overall fat content. You can also use a light or reduced-fat mayonnaise if you want to strike a balance between taste and healthiness.

In addition to swapping the dressing ingredients, you can also incorporate more nutritious elements into your salad. Consider adding extra vegetables like celery for added crunch and freshness. Celery is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a healthy addition to any salad. You can also throw in some raisins or dried cranberries for a hint of sweetness and added antioxidants.

Exploring Flavors and Textures

The Waldorf salad is known for its combination of textures, with the crunchy apples and nuts contrasting with the tender chicken. If you’re looking to explore different flavors and textures, you can experiment with various ingredients.

Instead of using walnuts, the traditional choice for a Waldorf salad, you can try using pecans. Pecans have a slightly sweeter and milder flavor compared to walnuts, but they still add a nice crunch to the salad. You can also substitute the chicken with other proteins such as turkey or even tofu for a vegetarian version.

For a burst of freshness and acidity, consider adding a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar to your dressing. This will help cut through the richness of the salad and enhance the overall flavor profile.

Make It Your Own

The beauty of the Waldorf chicken salad is its versatility. Feel free to experiment and make this salad your own masterpiece. Add your favorite ingredients, incorporate seasonal produce, or try different flavor combinations to suit your taste.

Remember, the key is to balance the flavors and textures to create a well-rounded and enjoyable dish. Take inspiration from the classic Waldorf salad and add your personal touch to make it a healthy, delicious creation.

healthy chicken salad

Try different variations and substitutions to make the classic Waldorf chicken salad uniquely yours. Explore healthy ingredients, play with flavors and textures, and create a salad that suits your taste preferences. With its endless possibilities, the Waldorf chicken salad is a versatile and satisfying dish that you can enjoy time and time again.

Serving Suggestions

This Waldorf chicken salad can be served in a variety of ways, making it a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

  1. Enjoy it on its own as a light and refreshing lunch or dinner option.
  2. Serve it on a bed of crisp lettuce for an extra burst of freshness.
  3. Bring it to picnics and potlucks as a delicious and convenient dish. Remember to keep it chilled until ready to serve.
  4. Use it as a filling for sandwiches, wraps, or pita pockets for a satisfying meal on the go.
  5. Top crackers or crostinis with this flavorful chicken salad for an appetizer that will impress your guests.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this Waldorf chicken salad recipe is sure to be a hit! Its combination of crispy apples, tender chicken, and creamy dressing creates a delightful flavor experience that will leave everyone wanting more.


“I served this Waldorf chicken salad at my latest gathering, and everyone loved it! The blend of flavors and textures was a real crowd-pleaser.” – Sarah

“I make this chicken salad regularly, and my family can’t get enough of it. It’s become a staple on our menu!” – Michael

Serving SuggestionsDescription
Serve on lettucePlace the chicken salad on a bed of fresh lettuce for added crunch and freshness.
As a sandwich fillingSpread the chicken salad between two slices of your favorite bread for a tasty and satisfying sandwich.
As an appetizerScoop the chicken salad onto crackers or crostinis and serve as a delicious appetizer.

Tips for Making Ahead and Storing

Planning ahead and ensuring proper storage can help you enjoy your homemade chicken salad for longer. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Keep Pecans Separate

When making your Waldorf chicken salad ahead of time, it’s best to keep the pecans separate until ready to serve. This prevents them from becoming soggy and maintains their crunchiness, enhancing the overall texture of your salad.

2. Store Properly

After preparing your chicken salad, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. This helps maintain its freshness and flavor. Avoid leaving the salad at room temperature for extended periods, as it can spoil quickly.

3. Refrigeration Time

The chicken salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s advisable to consume it within this timeframe to ensure optimal taste and quality. Beyond 3 days, the texture and flavors may deteriorate.

4. Chilling for Picnics or Potlucks

If you plan to bring your homemade chicken salad to a picnic or potluck, ensure it stays chilled until ready to serve. Place the container in a cooler with ice packs to maintain a safe temperature and preserve its freshness.

5. Prompt Refrigeration of Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, refrigerate them promptly. This helps prevent bacterial growth and maintains the quality of the salad. Enjoy the remaining portions within 3 days for the best taste.

By following these storage tips, you can savor your creamy chicken salad for longer periods, ensuring its freshness and deliciousness.

homemade chicken salad

Nutritional Information

This Waldorf chicken salad is not only tasty but also relatively healthy. It contains approximately 476 calories per serving, with 34g of fat, 30g of carbs, and 18g of protein. It’s a good source of vitamin C and calcium, and it also provides essential nutrients like iron and potassium. Remember that these values may vary depending on specific brands and variations in ingredient quantities.

Personal Experience and Recommendations

Waldorf chicken salad is truly a culinary classic that has stood the test of time. As someone who enjoys exploring different flavors and textures, I can confidently say that this salad is a delightful combination of creamy and crunchy elements. With every bite, you’ll savor the creamy dressing paired with the refreshing sweetness of apples, and the satisfying crunch of nuts.

I highly recommend trying this Waldorf chicken salad recipe for yourself. While the traditional recipe is fantastic as is, don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it. You can personalize the salad by adding your favorite ingredients or experimenting with substitutions to suit your tastes. This versatility is what makes Waldorf chicken salad so appealing.

Whether you’re looking for a light and satisfying lunch option, a flavorful sandwich filling, or a crowd-pleasing party appetizer, Waldorf chicken salad fits the bill perfectly. Its versatility makes it a go-to dish for any occasion.

“The combination of flavors and textures in Waldorf chicken salad is simply amazing. From the creamy dressing to the refreshing apples and the nutty crunch of the nuts, it’s a truly blissful experience for the taste buds!”

– Emily Smith, Food Enthusiast

Favorite Additions and Variations

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding some additional ingredients to your Waldorf chicken salad. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Try adding diced celery for extra crunch.
  • Add a handful of raisins or dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness.
  • Swap out the walnuts for pecans to add a different nutty flavor.
  • Consider adding some grilled chicken for a smoky twist.

Feel free to get creative and make Waldorf chicken salad your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find the combination that suits your palate.

Now that you have a taste of what Waldorf chicken salad has to offer, it’s time to head to the kitchen and give it a try. Trust me, it’s a recipe that’s sure to impress!


The classic Waldorf chicken salad is a timeless dish that combines the freshness of apples, the creaminess of the dressing, and the crunchiness of nuts. This versatile recipe can be easily customized to suit individual preferences, making it a great option for gatherings or everyday meals. Whether you’re a chicken salad enthusiast or new to this culinary delight, the classic Waldorf chicken salad recipe is definitely worth adding to your repertoire.

Enjoy the delightful blend of flavors and textures that this easy and tasty dish has to offer. The crunchy apples, tender chicken, and nutty walnuts create a harmonious melody of taste that will satisfy your cravings. It’s a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, making it a crowd-pleaser for all occasions.

With its simple preparation and accessible ingredients, this chicken salad recipe is a practical choice for those who want to enjoy a delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Follow the steps outlined in the recipe, and in no time, you’ll have a satisfying and flavorful dish ready to be served.


What is a classic Waldorf chicken salad?

A classic Waldorf chicken salad is a delicious blend of crunchy apples, tender chicken, and walnuts, combined with a creamy dressing.

What ingredients do I need to make a Waldorf chicken salad?

You will need chopped walnuts, cooked rotisserie chicken breasts, seedless red grapes, dried cranberries, Granny Smith apple, red onion, mayonnaise, vanilla yogurt, and lemon juice.

Can I customize the Waldorf chicken salad?

Yes, you can customize the salad by adding ingredients like celery, raisins, or almonds for additional crunch and flavor.

How can I serve the Waldorf chicken salad?

You can enjoy it on its own, serve it on a bed of lettuce, use it as a sandwich filling, or as a topping for crackers or crostinis.

Can I make the Waldorf chicken salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can make it ahead of time, but it’s best to keep the nuts separate until ready to serve to prevent them from becoming soggy.

How long can I store the Waldorf chicken salad?

You can store the salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Is the Waldorf chicken salad a healthy option?

Yes, it is relatively healthy as it contains essential nutrients and provides a good source of vitamin C and calcium.

Do you recommend trying the classic Waldorf chicken salad recipe?

Yes, I highly recommend trying this recipe as it is a timeless dish that combines delicious flavors and textures.

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