This Apple Celery Walnut Salad is a favorite throughout the Fall and holiday season. The creamy dressing and festive colors will have everyone wanting more!
As we start gearing up for the holidays, some people forget about the possibilities of salads. Most think of this as a Spring and Summer food, but with the right combinations, you can transform ingredients into a great holiday dish!
I’m sharing tips to help you get the best results with this recipe. If you don’t need the tips, scroll to the bottom for the full recipe, including a printable recipe card.
I can’t remember a holiday that doesn’t include some sort of “salad”. You know, the ones without all of the leafy greens. We usually serve a sweet salad, like my Orange Jell-o Salad or Pistachio Pudding Salad at holiday meals.
If I’m looking for a healthier dish, Waldorf Salad is at the top of my list. This version takes just a few minutes to make and compliments almost any main course meal.
I serve this delicious fruit salad year round, not just at the holidays. Be sure to read until the end to see all of the helpful tips, tricks, and variations.
What You Need to Make Apple Celery Walnut Salad
Lemon juice – we recommend using fresh if possible
Apples – you’ll want to use firm apples in this salad. See our recommendations below.
Grapes – use red and green grapes to balance out the taste and color. Don’t forget to grab seedless!
Walnuts – to save time, you can buy pre-chopped walnuts from the baking aisle.
How to Make Waldorf Salad with Apples, Celery, and Walnuts
Before making the actual salad, let’s make the dressing first. Whisk together the mayo, sugar, and half of the lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Dice the apples so they are in bite-sized pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Toss with the remaining lemon juice to keep from browning.
Halve all of your grapes and add them to the bowl of apples. Next add the chopped walnuts and celery.
Add the dressing and gently stir until the fruits and nuts are evenly covered.
Cover the bowl, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour or until you are ready to serve.
Do You Have to Use Mayonnaise?
You can actually swap the mayo for plain yogurt if you would like. Depending on how tart the yogurt is, you may want to adjust the amount of lemon juice that the recipe calls for. Also, if you choose to use Greek yogurt, this will add protein too.
Miracle Whip will work with this recipe, too. You’ll want to adjust the sugar and lemon if you make this substitution. Start with half the amounts and adjust until you get it just the way you want it.
Best Apples to Use for Waldorf Salad
Since this salad has a creamy dressing, you want to use a crisp variety of apples so it doesn’t get soggy. We recommend Gala, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Granny Smith. Feel free to use a variety if you want to change it up.
Tips for Making and Storing
- Chop ingredients in similar, bite-sized pieces.
- Sometimes I add dried cranberries to this recipe.
- This salad is best after it’s chilled for an hour but you can go a couple hours over that.
- Best eaten the “day of” but can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. The apples may start to brown and the dressing may break down a bit but it will still taste good.
- If you don’t like walnuts, you can substitute almonds or pecans
More Easy Salad Recipes:
- Lemon Poppyseed Dressing + Winter Romaine Salad
- Cousin Betty’s Best Pistachio Pudding
- Strawberries & Cream Salad
- Mom’s Creamy New York Fruit Salad
- Mandarin Orange Jello Salad
Apple Celery Walnut Salad
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon, divided
- 2 large, or 3 small apples
- 1 cup red grapes, halved
- 1 cup green grapes, halved
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, plus for more garnish if desired
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar and half of the lemon juice
- Chop the apples into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Toss with half of the lemon juice.
- Add grapes, celery and chopped walnuts. Stir to combine.
- Add the dressing and gently stir.
- Chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Use crisp apples like Gala, Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Granny Smith.
- Tastes best after it chills for an hour.
- Best eaten they “day of” but can be refrigerated up to 1 day.
Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.