Waldorf salad on lettuce leaves

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This healthy Waldorf salad is made with yogurt rather than the traditional mayonnaise, resulting in a light, healthy and delicious salad. Super crispy and creamy, with a little zest, this salad makes a great side dish or light meal. You can even add some chicken to make a more substantial dish.

Who created the Waldorf salad?

Ever wondered if the Waldorf salad had anything to do with the Waldorf hotel? You thought right – the New York Waldorf-Astoria hotel was the birthplace of the salad. It was created in 1896 for a charity ball and has become a staple ever since. It shows how tasty and appealing the recipe is that over 120 years later it is still a popular salad.

How is this healthier than the original?

The main replacement is yogurt instead of fatty mayonnaise. Yet no flavour is lost as the yogurt is flavoured with dijon mustard and lemon juice to add some extra richness to the dressing.

The recipe is typically served with walnuts which may not be great if you are following a calorie-restricted diet. While I use a fairly small portion, you could omit these to reduce the calorie count. Nuts also contain some fat – although it’s mainly monounsaturated fats which is one of the ‘healthy fats’.

Waldorf Salad on a plate

What can you serve it with?

This is a great light meal on its own. You can serve it on top of some crisp whole leaves such as gem or iceberg. If you want to make it more of a filling meal then grill some chicken breast and serve it sliced on top of the salad.

This also works really well as a side dish. It is a great accompaniment to fish or chicken. you could even serve it with red meats – but it works best with any dishes that don’t contain a lot of sauce themselves since it’s fairly heavily dressed and creamy. It’s a perfect choice for a BBQ side dish.

How long does it keep?

This is best eaten on the day it is made but can be kept for a day or two in the fridge. Make sure you keep it in a lidded tub or tightly sealed bowl.


Waldorf Salad Ingredients
  • Low-fat natural yogurt. You can also use fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Walnuts – chop them into rough pieces
  • Green apple – remove the core and then dice into small pieces
  • Celery – diced into small pieces
  • Red grapes – cut in half, or quarters if they are particularly large
  • Parley – finely chopped (optional)

Optional Extras:

  • Whole green salad leaves – such as iceberg, romaine or gem
  • Grilled chicken

How to make it

To make this healthy Waldorf salad first prepare the dressing. Simply mix the yogurt, lemon juice and dijon in a bowl until fully combined and smooth.

Prepare all the remaining ingredients aside as directed and then place everything but the parsley into a large bowl. Season well and pour over the dressing and stir everything together with a large spoon until all the ingredients are coated. Serve and scatter the parsley over the top.

Recipe steps - mix the dressing ingredients and prepare the salad ingredients

If you are looking for other great creamy-dressing salad recipes then check out this curried chicken salad or this chopped salad with tuna.

Products that work great for this recipe:

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Waldorf salad on lettuce leaves

Healthy Waldorf Salad

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


This healthy Waldorf salad is just as creamy and tasty as the original, yet with a healthy light yogurt dressing for a lighter meal. 

The default recipe serves one




  • 3 tbsp (40g / 1.4oz)  low-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard


  • 45 walnut halves (around 10g / 0.35oz), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 green apple (around 50g / 1.75oz), diced
  • 1 stick celery (around 40g / 1.4oz), diced
  • 10 red grapes (around 60g / 2.1oz), halved
  • Optional: few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Optional: Few leaves of iceberg or romaine lettuce, to serve


  1. First, make the dressing. Mix together the yogurt, lemon juice and dijon in a bowl until well combined. 
  2. Prepare all the ingredients as described above. 
  3. Place all the ingredients apart from the parsley and lettuce in a bowl and mix together. Season well and stir through the dressing until everything is coated. 
  4. Spread the lettuce over a plate and then spoon the mixture on top. Scatter the chopped parsley over the top. 


If you aren’t a fan of mustard then you can skip the dijon

This is great with some chopped or shredded cooked chicken stirred through if you are looking for a meat option

You can use fat-free Greek yogurt instead of natural yogurt if you prefer

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Protein: 4.5g

Keywords: salad, healthy, vegetarian, lunch, side dish

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