Waldorf Salad is an easy and popular recipe. It has fresh crisp apples, grapes, and crunchy walnuts which makes this side dish a winning combination. A refreshing vegan Waldorf salad is a perfect side dish to any meal.
Waldorf Salad is named from the original recipe that showed up at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City in the year 1893. Can you believe that?
The fact that it's still being made and served on many holiday tables proves how delicious a simple salad can be. And this popular recipe is also easily turned into a Vegan Waldorf Salad by simply switching out the mayonnaise for an egg-free one.
The original recipe was just apples, celery, and mayonnaise. No nuts were included but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cookbook in 1928. So if you want to omit the nuts you sure can.
Of course, to make it fancy it is also served on a bed of lettuce. There again, it is your choice to serve it fancy on lettuce or, still delicious, in a salad bowl. You could line the bowl with lettuce just for the color. That would be pretty.
Juicy grapes, sweet crunchy apples and celery makes this vegan Waldorf Salad a must-try and is perfect to make ahead of time. Because of this it's a major contender at the holidays but can also be served as a side dish with a sandwich any time of the year.
How to make Waldorf Salad
It's an easy recipe and the ingredients are in season all year long so there is nothing hard about it. Not even the shopping.
Get the ingredients together.
Core and dice the apples and cut the celery into small pieces. Leave the grapes whole or slice in half. Or you can have a combination of both.
Keep them all about the same size as in the photos. This distributes the textures and tastes more evenly.
Make the dressing first so that you can toss the fruit and vegetables right away after cutting. This keeps the apples nice are bright.
Now place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. You can just scrape in the ingredients from the cutting board. I just separated them like this for the photo and for clearer instructions.
Now add the premade dressing and start tossing. It just takes seconds to mix it all together.
Place in the refrigerator and the salad is best eaten cold. I've had it at room temperature though and that is still delicious. I have sensitive teeth so that is my preference anyway.
- I don't want to tempt you to mess with a good thing but you can definitely add many other ingredients to this recipe. Here are a few good choices.
- Diced pineapple really would pump up the sweetness.
- Raisins or dried cranberries would add another texture.
- Chopped dates are delicious and because they are so sweet this would be a nice addition to Granny Smith apples.
- Pecans could be substitutes for the walnuts.
- Red onions for more contrast of flavors.
- Seeds could replace the walnuts. Seeds such as sunflower seeds or pistachios.
All about the apples
Crisp apples are a major player for this dish. You can use one variety or mix two different ones as a contrasting flavor.
Mixing up the skin color makes the recipe pretty too. Use Granny Smith as the green-skinned apple and there are many red-skinned apples to choose from.
The easiest to find that are crispy apples are Gala, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, and Fuji apples are also delicious. Red delicious apples are good when they are fresh off the tree but they go mealy fast so I would skip Red Delicious - just in case.
Waldorf salad dressing
The original dressing was straight mayonnaise. We have added just a touch of sugar and lemon for more flavor. It is very subtle and makes a delicious dressing.
You are safe to make it three days ahead of time.
Yes, all you have to do is heat the oven to 350° F and place the walnuts on a baking sheet. Toast for about 8 minutes and let cool completely.
Crisp apples are the best. You can use a tart Granny Smith apple but the salad would be better if it were mixed with a sweet crisp apple such as the gala variety.
More delicious salad recipes
- This Mediterranean Chickpea salad has no lettuce and also makes a very nice and filling lunch.
- Unusual but delicious you must give this Jicama Salad a try.
- A warm and hardy Mushroom Potato Salad is reminiscent of German Potato Salad.
Vegan Waldorf Salad
- ¼ cup Egg-free mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Organic granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 ½ cups Apples - 2 large or 3 small apples, like Gala
- 1 cup Red grapes - halved
- 1 cup Green grapes - halved
- 1 cup Celery - thinly sliced
- ½ cup Walnuts - chopped - plus more for garnish, if desired
- Dash Salt and ground pepper
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg-free mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice,
- Chop, dice, and slice all of the fruit and celery.
- Add the prepared grapes, apples, celery, and walnuts.
- Stir to combine well and season with salt and pepper.
- Top with more walnuts, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.