The original Waldorf Salad recipe, plus a dozen vintage variations on this classic

Waldorf salad recipe - celery walnuts grapes

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Waldorf: The king of salad

The Greenville News (Greenville, South Carolina) June 23, 1977

As originally created by Oscar Tschirky, maitre d’ of the Waldorf-Astoria [Hotel in New York City], the Waldorf Salad was a crunchy mixture of apples and celery tossed with mayonnaise and served on a bed of lettuce.

Someone later added broken walnuts, and this is the version that we have come to accept as the classic Waldorf Salad.

Inventive cooks continue to embellish the salad with their own touches, but the basic ingredient is still crisp and juicy apples, most frequently the Red Delicious variety.

One variation is Frozen Waldorf Salad, which includes juicy fresh peaches and grapes in addition to apples, celery and nuts. Cream cheese, mayonnaise and whipped cream are blended for the dressing, a rich base that gives this frosty Waldorf a dual role as salad or dessert.

For an exotic variation of the Waldorf Salad, combine apples and celery with summer melons and tropical fruits like fresh pineapple and papaya. This Islander Waldorf Salad, with a flavor of the South Seas, is tossed with a luscious pineapple dressing.

Classic Waldorf Salad recipe

Classic Waldorf salad recipe


3 apples, diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup broken walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light cream or milk


Core and dice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Add celery and walnuts and toss to mix. Blend mayonnaise and cream or milk. Add to salad and mix until well coated. Makes four servings.

Frozen Waldorf salad recipe


1-1/2 cups diced apples
1 cup diced peaches
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup halved green grapes
cup finely chopped celery
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Chopped nuts and apple slices, for garnish


Combine apples and peaches. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Add grapes, celery, marshmallows and nuts. Beat cream cheese and mayonnaise together until smooth. Add sugar. Fold in whipped cream. Add to apple mixture.

Turn into 9×5-inch loaf pan or six-cup mold. Freeze until firm, several hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for a few minutes. Turn out onto serving plate. Garnish with chopped nuts and thin apple slices.

Makes eight servings

Frozen Caribbean salad: Bananas, pineapple, rum, cream, lime and mayo (1972)

Islander Waldorf Salad (Hawaii-themed) recipe


2 apples, cored and coarsely diced
1-1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 small papaya, diced
1-1/2 cups honeydew melon cubes
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup salted peanuts or cashews
Pineapple dressing (recipe below)


Combine fruit with celery and nuts. Add pineapple dressing and, toss until well-coated. Serve in lettuce-lined bowl.

Makes eight servings

Pineapple dressing recipe


1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash salt
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped


Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt in saucepan. Blend in pineapple juice and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add portion of hot mixture to egg and mix well. Return to saucepan. Cook for three or four minutes. Cool. Fold in whipped cream.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Classic Waldorf Salad, Frozen Waldorf Salad & Islander Waldorf Salad

Classic Waldorf Salad recipe & two variations (1977)

Fruits Royal Hawaiian: A carved pineapple basket with fruit salad inside (1965)

Waldorf Salad takes on new ways with substitutes (1957)

By Cecily Brownstone; Casper Morning Star (Wyoming) – January 10, 1957

Waldorf salad — featuring apples, celery and mayonnaise served on lettuce — has been a favorite ever since it was introduced into the American cuisine dozens of years ago. But nowadays, the salad has taken on new ways.

In the following recipe, for instance, a dressing of oil, vinegar and spices is substituted for the mayonnaise because crisp rich bacon is included in the main ingredients.

New Waldorf Salad recipe

Ingredients: 1 envelope old-fashioned garlic salad or French dressing mix, cider vinegar, water salad oil, 1/4 pound bacon, 1/2 of a medium-sized head lettuce, 1 cup diced unpeeled red apple, 1/2 cup diced celery, salt.

Method: Combine the salad dressing mix, cider vinegar, water and salad oil as directed on envelope. Cook bacon until crisp. drain and’ crumble. Shred lettuce into a bowl. or tear into bite-size pieces. Add apple, celery, crumbled cooked bacon and enough of the salad dressing to moisten; toss, adding salt to taste. Serve at once. Makes 4 small servings. Store remaining salad dressing in refrigerator.

Jell-O Waldorf Wheel (1979)

Waldorf salad on romaine lettice

Other vintage variations

1. Adding walnuts to the basic Waldorf Salad mixture — apples, celery and mayonnaise — has been going on for so many years that it has ceased to be a liberty!

2. Adding diced cooked ham or smoked tongue is a way of making basic Waldorf Salad hearty for a lunch or Sunday night supper main course. Nice menu when preceded by split-pea soup and croutons.

3. Pitted fresh dates, cut into slivers with the kitchen scissors, are. sometimes added to basic Waldorf Salad. This is good served as a dessert salad.

4. Waldorf Salad may be made in molded form. Lemon flavored gelatin is spiked with a little vinegar and the apple and celery are folded in when the gelatin mixture has been chilled and is slightly thickened. When the salad is unmolded it should be served on‘ greens with mayonnaise. Salted nuts are a pleasant accompaniment.

5. Swiss or mild cheddar cheese may be finely diced and added. to the basic mixture.

6. Fresh pear is sometimes peeled and diced and used to supplement the apple. Or tidbits of canned pineapple may be used instead of the pear.

7. Even diced cooked potatoes have been added to the basic mixture for Waldorf Salad. For this combination sour cream, if available, may be mixed with the mayonnaise for the salad. For extra seasoning in this combination, dill is a good choice.

8. Shredded green cabbage may be added to the basic Waldorf Salad mixture.

9. Raisins have been known to be added to this salad. If this is your pleasure. wash the raisins in very hot water and drain well before using whole or chopped.

10. Leftover turkey or chicken white meat may be cut into thin strips and added to the basic Waldorf Salad mixture.

Take a trip back to New York's original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel & see inside this famously luxurious old hotel

Make Waldorf ritzier Tossed Waldorf Salad recipe (1982)

Make your salad ritzier: Tossed Waldorf Salad recipe (1982)


4 red apples, unpared
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped Diamond walnuts
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise


Core apples; dice two of them. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine with walnuts and celery. Serve on 6 individual lettuce-lined plates. Slice remaining apples. Arrange them around each serving. Top with mayonnaise.

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