Waldorf Salad

Everyone loves this Waldorf salad that is filled with grapes, apples, celery, walnuts, cheese and chicken. Toss it in a homemade poppyseed dressing and this salad is perfect for any lunch, dinner or appetizer.

Salads are great for a light and refreshing lunch. During the summer months, I especially enjoy salad with some fruit tossed in—like kale salad with apples, broccoli salad with dried cranberries, or my favorite, chicken berry salad!

Waldorf Salad in a bowl

A salad the whole family loves

Hello again! It’s Alicia from The Baker Upstairs, and I’m excited to share one of my all-time favorite recipes with you today! This Waldorf salad with chicken is one of my go-to’s when I need a quick and easy dinner that’s still filling and hearty. It has the most fantastic combination of crunchy and creamy, and salty and sweet.

When I first met my husband, he was not a big fan of salads. Even the thought of eating a salad for dinner would elicit moans and groans from him. Despite his distaste, I decided to make a Waldorf salad for dinner one night, and to my surprise, my husband actually loved it!

Since then, it has been one of our favorite easy weeknight meals. We almost always have all of the ingredients in the fridge or pantry, and it takes just a few minutes to throw together. Best of all, our kids love it too!

How did Waldorf salad get its name? This dish was created in New York city in the late 1890’s. Oscar Tschirky, maître d’hôtel at the Waldorf hotel, is credited for creating this delicious salad!

Waldorf chicken salad topped with dressing

Tips for making this salad

There are several variations of Waldorf salad floating around, but this is the ingredient combo that we like best! As always, you are more than welcome to make it work for you by switching out ingredients here and there.

Alternative ingredients: turkey, cranberries, raisins, dates, pecans, cauliflower and even marshmallows have all been used in variations of this salad.

What apples are best to use? Use any crisp apple such as pink lady, fuji or gala. You can also use a crisp granny smith apple for a more tart flavor. (TIP: To keep the apple from browning toss the pieces in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice before adding them to the salad.)

Blue cheese substitutes? I know blue cheese can be kind of polarizing, so if you are not a fan, you could easily substitute another kind of cheese. Here are some other cheeses that would work well in this salad:

  • Feta cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Swiss cheese


The finishing touch is a good poppy seed dressing. I absolutely adore the Brianna’s brand poppy seed dressing, but feel free to use your favorite or to make a homemade version (which is super easy to do). Just whisk the following ingredients together for an easy poppyseed dressing recipe…

  • ¾ cups mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

NOTE: Unless you’re planning on eating the entire salad, I would serve the dressing on the side. If the salad has dressing it will only last about 2-3 days in the fridge. Without dressing, it will last a few days longer.

Waldorf Salad Recipe in a white bowl

A great make-ahead lunch!

There are so many things I love about this Waldorf Salad, but  the thing I love most is that it’s pretty sturdy, so you can make it in advance. Just add the dressing right before serving!

I like to make a big batch of salad earlier in the week, and then portion it out into single servings so my husband can take it to work for lunch throughout the week. It’s such a time-saver to have it all prepped in advance! It really is the best Waldorf salad recipe!!

For more salad recipes, check out:

Waldorf Salad Recipe

5 from 17 votes
Waldorf Salad is filled with texture and flavor. Tossed in a homemade poppyseed dressing, it's perfect for any lunch, dinner or appetizer.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 235 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 6 cups spring mix salad
  • 2 cups chicken chopped and cooked
  • 1 apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
  • poppyseed dressing


  • Add the salad mix to a medium bowl. Cut the grapes in half, and chop the apples and celery into chunks. Add the chicken, grapes, apple, celery, blue cheese, and walnuts to the bowl.
  • Drizzle with the poppyseed dressing, and toss to combine. Serve immediately. (NOTE: If making the salad in advance, add the dressing just before serving.)

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About Alicia

Hi! I’m Alicia and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I am in love with all things food! I love to bake bread, cupcakes, cookies… you name it! When I’m not baking, I am running after my two adorable little girls, working as an RN, knitting, reading, and trying to squeeze in time with my husband every day.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I am no cook but you really inspire me to be one of the best. The Waldorf salad looks magnificent. I really will bookmark this page for practice. Thanks Krystin.

    1. Awe, you are so nice! Thank you so much!! This is a good one! Hope you find more to practice with 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I love the combination of ingredients in this salad! The crisp from the apples & crunch from the nuts mixed with the cheese & poppyseed dressing is the best! One of my new favorite salads.

  3. 5 stars
    I love adding chicken to a salad so that it can serve as the main dish. Especially in this Arizona heat! Thanks for sharing

  4. 5 stars
    Salads are kindof my go to this summer since it’s so hot. I love having a variety… so thank you for this YUMMY recipe.