Learn how to make the original Waldorf Salad (a classic!) lightened up with yogurt then give it a Spanish flare with the addition of dried apricots, almonds, sherry vinegar and parsley!

Photograph of diced apple salad in a white bowl on a cream-colored marble table.What is Waldorf salad?

The Waldorf salad was originally created in New York at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1890s.

What’s in the original Waldorf salad recipe?

The original salad was very straightforward, containing just  apples, celery, mayonnaise and lettuce. Oh, and salt and pepper.

Walnuts were later added to the famous salad. And depending on who is making it, you’ll often see blue cheese added as well.

So how do you make a Waldorf salad?

Well it really couldn’t be simpler, here’s all it takes.

  1. Dice up some apples and celery.
  2. Mix up a creamy dressing made of mayonnaise and/or yogurt, zest, vinegar or lemon juice, and sometimes honey.
  3. Toss the apples with the dressing to coat.
  4. Toss in some toasted nuts (optional).
  5. Serve over lettuce (optional).

How to make Waldorf salad with yogurt:

In most mayo-based salads (potato, macaroni, the Waldorf), it’s pretty easy to swap the mayo out in exchange for lighter, healthier yogurt. Although there are a few things to take into account when you make this swap. 

  1. You’ll need to add a bit of acid to whatever dressing you’re making. Mayonnaise contains either vinegar or lemon juice, so to maintain a similar flavor when using yogurt, this is an important ingredient to add.
  2. Not in all cases, but often times you’ll want to use full-fat or low-fat yogurt, instead of nonfat, because they offer a better mouthfeel. Or, if you choose to use nonfat yogurt, I recommend adding a tablespoon of heart-healthy fat, such as olive oil, to the dressing.
  3. Be generous with your seasonings. Since you can’t rely on the bold flavor of mayo, it’s important to season the creamy dressing and the salad once it’s all tossed together.

How long does it keep/can it be made ahead of time?

To make this salad ahead, I recommend preparing and storing the salad ingredients and the dressing separately. The quality of the apples decreases more rapidly once they are tossed with the dressing.

How I recommend preparing and storing a Waldorf salad ahead of time:

  • Dice apples and toss with a splash of lemon juice; cover and refrigerate.
  • Combine almonds and apricots; cover and store at room temperature.
  • Whisk together dressing ingredients; cover and refrigerate.
  • Chop parsley and toss everything together day-of.
Photograph of diced apple salad in a white bowl on a cream-colored marble table.

What goes with Waldorf Salad

I love this salad for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons I love it is because it’s incredibly versatile and goes with a variety of different meals. I love to serve this Spanish Waldorf Salad with any kind of grilled fish or meat or as a side dish to soups and sandwiches. It’s also perfect for potlucks and backyard BBQs.

Some ideas of what to serve Waldorf Salad with:

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Photograph of diced apple salad in a white bowl on a cream-colored marble table.

Spanish Waldorf Salad

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad/Side Dish
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Description

This Spanish take on the classic Waldorf salad is tangy and refreshing. It has all the favorite aspects of the traditional salad just with an updated flavor profile.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
  • 2 Braeburn apples, cored and diced
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup diced dried apricots
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine apples, celery, apricots, almonds, and parsley in a large bowl.

Whisk together yogurt, vinegar, honey, zest, salt, and pepper; drizzle over salad and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Using yogurt instead of the traditional mayonnaise give this salad the perfect amount of tang. However, if you’d prefer to use mayo, go right ahead and swap it in for the yogurt.

Make it dairy-free/vegan: use dairy-free yogurt.

Make it low-sugar: leave the honey out or decrease honey to 1 teaspoon.

Make it nut-free: use pepitas (pumpkin seeds) instead of toasted almonds.

 

I developed this recipe for Cuisine at Home magazine and it was originally published in their fall 2016 issue (no. 119)


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 149
  • Sodium: 260mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg

Keywords: Waldorf Salad, Waldorf Salad no-mayo, Waldorf Salad with yogurt

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. A friend brought this to book club and it was amazing. I have always loved Waldorf Salad’s but felt the mayo was “too heavy”. The yogurt adds just the right touch! I’m making this today for my Mom (I try to take meals to her at least 3 days a week) and think she will agree with me – delicious!

    1. Hi Susan! I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad! This is one of my favorite recipes to date—I wish more people would come across the recipe, because I agree, I think the yogurt really lightens things up nicely. Thanks for trying the recipe and leaving a comment! 🙂

  2. This is a great salad, and very simple to make. I didn’t have the exact apples called for, but I think a mix of sweet and less sweet apples is the key. Served with vegetarian French onion soup, for a delicious and comforting meal on a damp day. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hi Vivian! I’m so glad you found this recipe and enjoyed it. Such a great note to make for other readers that a mix of sweet and tart is key!