Healthy Waldorf Salad

Published: 16 October 2020 by Simon Deane

This is a healthy version of the famous Waldorf Salad. It's named after the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York where it was first created.
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I first heard of this salad as a child, watching the classic British comedy series Faulty Towers, set in a dysfunctional English hotel. A brash American arrives at the hotel after the kitchen is shut for the day and demands a Waldorf salad. “I think we’re just out of Waldorfs”, was the reply from hotel owner, Basil Faulty (played by John Cleese).


A healthier lemon tahini dressing

A Waldorf salad is actually made with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts (and not Waldorfs), and is usually served on a bed of lettuce with a mayoinnaise dressing. For this version, the salad ingredients are the same. For the dressing I use a lighter and less calorific tahini and lemon dressing. The link for this dressing is below.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

For this salad size, the dressing should be increased by 50% so the quantities are as follows:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons (approx. 75ml of juice)
  • 3/4 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

My favourite way to preparing a dressing is to put the ingredients in a small jar with the lid on, and shake vigorously until everything is mixed.

For this Waldorf salad I use red apple and red grapes. Some recipes use green apples and grapes in order to keep the green visual vibe for this salad. Its up to you and what vibe you are feeling.


Walnuts in a Healthy Waldorf salad

You can roast the walnuts either in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or in a dry pan on the hub. I usually go for the hob option and put the crushed walnuts into a pan on a relatively high heat. You need to shake the pan around regularly to ensure that the walnuts are not burning. You should be able to smell when they start to roast, since they will start to give off a lovely aroma. I usually try one just to be sure they are ready. It’s important not to leave them unattended, since they can they burn quickly. Its also worth keeping in mind that the pan is still hot when removed from the heat so the walnuts will continue cooking. Its best to transfer them to the salad bowl immediately.


Salads are a great way to get in a daily dose of green leaves. Along with that, you get two portions of healthy fruit, and a portion of celery. Walnuts are a good source of mega 3 fatty acids and have been associated with a number of health benefits, including improved brain function. You can read more about some of the associated health benefits here. Healthy and delicious, is the winning combination.

For other delicious salad ideas you can also check out my tabbouleh salad and pomegranate quinoa salad.

Healthy Waldorf Salad

A healthier version of the famous Waldorf Salad. The salad ingredients of grapes, apples, celery, lettuce and walnuts remain the same. The mayonnaise dressing is replaced by a lighter and healthier lemon and tahini dressing. Delicious and light. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 portions


  • Salad Ingredients
  • 200 grams grapes
  • 60 grams walnuts
  • 2 small/medium sized apples
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • Lettuce leaves from one head of lettuce around 100 grams
  • Salad dressing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • Juice from 1 1/2 lemons around 75ml


  • Tear up the lettuce if the leaves are large and place into a salad bowl
  • Cut the apple in thin slices. Then cut the thin slices into match stick lengths. Add to the bowl.
  • Cut the grapes lenthways. Remove pips if there are any. Add to the bowl.  
  • Cut the celery into thin slices and add to the bowl. 
  • Chop the walnuts up with a knife or crush in your hands. Add to a dry pan on a relatively high heat on the hob for about 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan regularly to avoid the walnuts burning. Remove from the heat once they start to roast and add to the bowl. 
  • For the dressing, add all of the dressing ingredients into a small jar. Put the lid on and give the jar a good shake. 
  • Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad well to mix in the dressing, and serve. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  • Simon Deane

    My mission is to provide the resources to help people to prepare their own healthy and tasty meals at home and to teach people about nutrition and how to eat healthier...

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