June 14, 2021

Vegan Waldorf Salad

Bed of lettuce filled with fresh fruit Waldorf Salad.
Bed of lettuce filled with fresh fruit vegan Waldorf Salad.

Waldorf Salad is an easy and popular recipe. It has fresh crisp apples, grapes, and crunchy walnuts which makes this side dish a winning combination. A refreshing vegan Waldorf salad is a perfect side dish to any meal.

Close up angled view of fresh vegan Waldorf salad on a bed of lettuce.
A lightly tossed fresh fruit recipe makes a beautiful presentation.

Waldorf Salad is named from the original recipe that showed up at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City in the year 1893. Can you believe that?

The fact that it’s still being made and served on many holiday tables proves how delicious a simple salad can be. And this popular recipe is also easily turned into a Vegan Waldorf Salad by simply switching out the mayonnaise for an egg-free one.

The original recipe was just apples, celery, and mayonnaise. No nuts were included but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cookbook in 1928. So if you want to omit the nuts you sure can.

Of course, to make it fancy it is also served on a bed of lettuce. There again, it is your choice to serve it fancy on lettuce or, still delicious, in a salad bowl. You could line the bowl with lettuce just for the color. That would be pretty.

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Juicy grapes, sweet crunchy apples and celery makes this vegan Waldorf Salad a must-try and is perfect to make ahead of time. Because of this it’s a major contender at the holidays but can also be served as a side dish with a sandwich any time of the year.

Overhead view of vegan Waldorf Salad on a bed of lettuce.
A fresh apple salad on a beautiful bed of curly leaf lettuce makes an enticing dish.

How to make Waldorf Salad

It’s an easy recipe and the ingredients are in season all year long so there is nothing hard about it. Not even the shopping.

Get the ingredients together.

Ingredients for a fresh vegan Waldorf Salad are gathered together on a wooden board.
Only a few ingredients makes an amazing fresh side dish.

Core and dice the apples and cut the celery into small pieces. Leave the grapes whole or slice in half. Or you can have a combination of both.

Keep them all about the same size as in the photos. This distributes the textures and tastes more evenly.

Make the dressing first so that you can toss the fruit and vegetables right away after cutting. This keeps the apples nice are bright.

Chopped and sliced fruit and vegetables on a wooden cutting board.
Colorful and inviting fruit. vegetables and nuts!

Now place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. You can just scrape in the ingredients from the cutting board. I just separated them like this for the photo and for clearer instructions.

All of the ingredients separated and loaded into a large mixing bowl.
Five fresh ingredients make up a perfect sweet apple salad.

Now add the premade dressing and start tossing. It just takes seconds to mix it all together.

A mixing bowl full of tossed fruits, vegetables and salad dressing.
All the fresh ingredients are tossed and ready to be covered for the refrigerator.

Place in the refrigerator and the salad is best eaten cold. I’ve had it at room temperature though and that is still delicious. I have sensitive teeth so that is my preference anyway.

Variations

  • I don’t want to tempt you to mess with a good thing but you can definitely add many other ingredients to this recipe. Here are a few good choices.
  • Diced pineapple really would pump up the sweetness.
  • Raisins or dried cranberries would add another texture.
  • Chopped dates are delicious and because they are so sweet this would be a nice addition to Granny Smith apples.
  • Pecans could be substitutes for the walnuts.
  • Red onions for more contrast of flavors.
  • Seeds could replace the walnuts. Seeds such as sunflower seeds or pistachios.
An extreme close-up of the tossed fruits and vegetables.
An inviting vegan salad with a creamy dressing.

All about the apples

Crisp apples are a major player for this dish. You can use one variety or mix two different ones as a contrasting flavor.

Mixing up the skin color makes the recipe pretty too. Use Granny Smith as the green-skinned apple and there are many red-skinned apples to choose from.

The easiest to find that are crispy apples are Gala, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, and Fuji apples are also delicious. Red delicious apples are good when they are fresh off the tree but they go mealy fast so I would skip Red Delicious – just in case.

A spoonful of tossed fresh fruit is on a spoon and being held up close.
Take a bite!

Waldorf salad dressing

The original dressing was straight mayonnaise. We have added just a touch of sugar and lemon for more flavor. It is very subtle and makes a delicious dressing.

FAQ’s

How far in advance can you make a Waldorf salad?

You are safe to make it three days ahead of time.

Can you toast the walnuts?

Yes, all you have to do is heat the oven to 350° F and place the walnuts on a baking sheet. Toast for about 8 minutes and let cool completely.

What apples are the best for Waldorf salad?

Crisp apples are the best. You can use a tart Granny Smith apple but the salad would be better if it were mixed with a sweet crisp apple such as the gala variety.

Wide view of a fresh fruit mix on a bed of lettuce.
Beautiful colors for a festive and delicious apple salad.

More delicious salad recipes

Leaf bed filled with fresh apples, grapes, nuts and more.
The plates are filling up with this beautiful festive salad.

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📋 Recipe

Close up angled view of fresh fruit and nuts on a bed of lettuce.

Vegan Waldorf Salad

Ginny McMeans

Waldorf Salad is an easy and popular recipe. It has fresh crisp apples, grapes, and crunchy walnuts which makes this side dish a winning combination.

.wprm-recipe-rating .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #f2bb62; }

5 from 6 votes

Prep Time 15 mins

Total Time 15 mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine Egg Free, Vegan

Servings 6 Servings

Calories 195 kcal

Ingredients  

  • ¼ cup Egg-free mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Organic granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 2 ½ cups Apples – 2 large or 3 small apples, like Gala
  • 1 cup Red grapes – halved
  • 1 cup Green grapes – halved
  • 1 cup Celery – thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Walnuts – chopped – plus more for garnish, if desired
  • Dash Salt and ground pepper

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg-free mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice,

  • Chop, dice, and slice all of the fruit and celery.

  • Add the prepared grapes, apples, celery, and walnuts.

  • Stir to combine well and season with salt and pepper.

  • Top with more walnuts, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 69mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 3gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 137IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg

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