This tasty chicken Waldorf salad comprises a medley of fruits, shredded chicken, and walnuts coated in a creamy and tangy dressing.
Waldorf salad is crisp, crunchy, and so ridiculously refreshing, you’ll never look at salads the same way again!
This easy dish is packed with apples, grapes, raisins, and walnuts, just to name a few.
The combination of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise in the dressing is just magical.
It’s mildly sweet and ultra-creamy! It has a wonderful tartness to it, too, which adds to its impeccable flavor.
Whether you serve it for lunch or as a side for dinner, this salad will not disappoint. It’s easy to make, yet fit for a king!
Chicken Waldorf Salad
This salad is crisp and crunchy from the fruits, celery, and walnuts, meaty from the chicken, and sweet and creamy from the dressing.
Together, they create a wonderful balance of tastes and textures!
Waldorf salad goes all the way back to 1893. This delightful dish was created by Swiss immigrant, Oscar Tshirky, who worked as a maitre d’ at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City.
Now you know how it got its name!
The salad has seen so much success that even though Oscar wasn’t a chef, his picture is still displayed at the hotel to this day.
The original salad only contained four ingredients: apples, celery, lettuce, and mayo.
Throughout the decades, it has seen various improvements and transformed into the Waldorf salad we all know and love today.
While this recipe creates the perfect Waldorf salad, you can also easily customize it by adding your choice of fruits, nuts, and other ingredients.
You can alter the dressing to suit your diet as well!
- Apples – They’re crisp and crunchy, sweet, and tart. Chop them into bite-sized pieces for easier consumption.
- Lemon juice – For flavor and also to prevent the apples from browning.
- Chicken breast – For a meaty and savory flavor contrast.
- Grapes – Apart from flavor and texture, they also add color to the salad. You’ll want to use seedless grapes sliced in half for easier eating.
- Celery – For crunch and flavor.
- Golden Raisins – For color, flavor, and texture. Yum!
- Walnuts – For added crunch and flavor, too.
- Yogurt – Any kind will do, but for a healthier dressing, opt for non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Mayonnaise – For the richest, creamiest dressing.
- Orange juice – For a touch of sweetness and citrus flavor.
Tips for the Best Waldorf Salad
- Sure, the recipe yields a lovely dressing, but you’re free to alter the quantities to suit your taste. Just be sure to taste the dressing first before adding it to the fruits! It will be harder to adjust the flavor once it’s already mixed in.
- Yogurt, plus mayonnaise, plus orange will already give you a tangy dressing, but if you want an even tangier flavor, use sour cream instead of yogurt.
- For a sweeter dressing, simply add a bit of sugar or honey to the mix.
- This recipe yields an incredibly creamy dressing, but if you want it lighter, just reduce the amount.
- While it’s loaded with fruits, the mayo in the dressing makes this salad high in calories. For a healthier salad, use non-fat Greek yogurt for the dressing.
- Have some leftover rotisserie chicken? Use that instead! It will add even more flavor to the salad.
- Apart from chicken, you can also use ham, salmon, or tuna.
- Instead of walnuts, you can also use pecans, cashews, or almonds.
- Use a tart, crisp apple, such as Granny Smith, for better texture. Crispin, Honeycrisp, Rome Beauty, and Jonathan are perfect, too.
How Long Will the Salad Last?
Waldorf salad is best consumed within the day. Since it contains mayonnaise, you’ll want to keep it in the fridge before and after serving.
You can only leave it at room temperature for 2 hours max. Otherwise, the mayo will start to go bad.
If you have any leftover, which is highly unlikely, keep it in an air-tight container or cover it with plastic wrap.
It should last in the fridge for up to 2 to 5 days. But after day 2, expect the mayo and fruit to start getting watery.
Don’t freeze the salad in an attempt to keep it around longer! The texture of the mayo changes when frozen and thawed.
What Goes Well with Chicken Waldorf Salad?
This salad is so good, you’ll want to serve it at every meal. And that’s okay because it pairs well with many dishes. Here are a few wonderful choices:
- Use Waldorf salad as a sandwich filling. Simple, yet hearty, and full of flavor.
- Since the dressing is rich and creamy, it’s nice to pair it with something sweet and smoky, like pulled pork and Korean short ribs! Barbecues have never tasted this good.
- Waldorf salad is light and refreshing, so you can serve it with a rich and savory fried battered fish or chicken to balance things out.
- If you’re opting for something light, serve the salad with oven-roasted vegetables.
- Want a fruity dessert? Turn your Waldorf salad into a treat by throwing in mini-marshmallows into the mix.
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