gluten-free, Spring and Summer Recipes, vegetables and salad

Lightened-Up Waldorf Salad

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Happy New Year!
For the coming year, I’ve already prepared a long list of healthy, modern-style recipes I’m anxious to try like lentil salads, a few recipes with pomegranate seeds (a new love) and some easy sheet pan dinners.
I also plan to post a healthy sprinkle of some really naughty desserts too…my sugar addiction is still very real and I’ll definitely be sharing it with you!

Of course, traditional and classic dishes, which are definitely my most comfortable and favorite recipes to share, are in the recipe line-up too. Blogging about food over these last few years has taught me many things, but one of the primary self-realizations is that I’ve got some seriously old-school tastebuds… and I’m okay with that.

So, I want to start the year off with a lightened-up version of one my all-time favorite, indulgent, old-school salads: the Waldorf Salad.

When I say this recipe is old-school, I really mean it. The Waldorf Salad was born in the kitchen of the Waldorf Hotel (This establishment eventually became known as the original, famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel after a business merger in 1897) in New York City. The hotel’s manager at the time, Oscar Tschirky, is most credited with creating the recipe for some of the hotel’s grand opening day festivities in 1893. He subsequently published the original recipe in a cookbook titled: The Cookbook by Oscar of the Waldorf  in 1896.

The original recipe only included apples, celery and mayonnaise, but as it happens to all recipes over time it’s been adapted into several versions. By the 1920’s, published recipes for the Waldorf Salad included chopped walnuts and still more modern versions add grapes, any number of sweet and savory spices and yogurt-based dressings.

The version I enjoy the most includes two types of apples, celery, grapes, raisins, walnuts and a light, sweet dressing made with combination of honey-flavored Greek yogurt and Cool Whip lite (yes, Cool Whip…don’t hate, we love that stuff!) and lemon juice.
I serve this salad on a bed of mixed baby greens as an appetizer or a light meal. I also love to eat it as a healthy dessert all by itself. No matter how or when it’s been served at my place, it’s always a treat!
I hope you enjoy it too.


Lightened Up Waldorf Salad                                   printable recipe

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, rinsed, cored and chopped
  • 1 large sweet apple (Pink Lady, Fugi or Gala are my faves), rinsed, cored and chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, rinsed, and diced or thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/ cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 Cool Whip (regular or Lite) or sweetened homemade whipped cream
  • extra teaspoon of honey or sugar, optional if you want a bit more sweetness
  • 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) baby salad greens
1.  Place all prepared fruits and vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Toss with the lemon juice.
2. In another small bowl, combine the yogurt and Cool Whip or whipped cream. Sweeten with additional honey or sugar, if desired, at this time. Fold the yogurt mixture into the fruit salad. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of the chopped nuts (reserve the rest for serving).
3. Cover and chill the Waldorf Salad for 30-60 minutes before serving. Gently toss or stir salad before serving to make sure creamy dressing is spread evenly through. Serve fruit salad on individual plate on a small bed of mixed greens. Top each serving with a sprinkle of chopped nuts, if desired.
4. Enjoy!!


Historical information references for this post:


  1. It is amazing all the things that can be done with Greek yogurt. I love fruit in salads – it makes all the difference in terms of flavor.

  2. I Cecilia! I try to show prep photos on as many posts as I can. Thank you for your visit!

  3. i LOVE this salad and i'm thankful for the additions of nuts and grapes! i've never tried making it with cool whip–what a neat and appealing idea! nice twist, marcelle!

  4. Sounds delicious! I like how you make the photos of the prep, really great!

  5. Hello there, Liz! I know wouldn't like the mayo with this salad either! Thank you! 🙂

  6. I never liked the Waldorf mixed with straight mayonnaise. Your dressing sounds much better! What a beautiful salad!

  7. At a restaurant we once had a Waldorf salad topped with cold fried chicken. Fun combo! Love that you use two different apples in your version. Fuji are particularly nice, I think. Good to see an update of this classic — thanks!

  8. Hi David, I really hope you both enjoy it! Thank you 🙂

  9. What a great version, Marcelle. Mark loves Waldorf salad so I want to make this for him. Oddly, he ha as been on an apple kick, too, so the timing is perfect!

  10. I have not had waldorf salad in ages and now I am craving this. Love the addition of yogurt instead of mayo. Wishing you a super 2017 too!

  11. I haven't had a Waldorf salad in ages and love your lightened version, Marcelle. Now I'm craving some 🙂

  12. It is nice that you mixed two different apples, one for sweetness along with one a little tart…sounds good.

  13. Hi Beth, Happy New Year! Thank you 🙂

  14. Ooh … I like the idea of eating this for dessert. I'm trying to focus on healthy recipes too!

  15. Hi there, Velva! Yes, back to the healthy diet always for the new year! Thank you 🙂

  16. Quite yummy! There is something about the New Year that brings us all back to wanting to eat healthy in a delicious way.
    Happy New Year!


  17. Wonderful! We love salads and this one looks really tasty with all the fruits and nuts.

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