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This Apple Salad is light and creamy with a nice crunchy texture. All you need to do is combine crisp apple chunks with celery, walnuts and raisins in a simple mayonnaise (or yogurt) dressing. It’s a healthy lunch idea, snack or side dish!
Apple salad is a timeless classic that’s healthy and delicious. This recipe is based on the traditional Waldorf salad created by the Waldorf Astoria hotel back in the 1800s. We’ve changed it up slightly by adding raisins and walnuts, but there are many mouthwatering combinations to make it your own!
You’ll see that it’s easy to make in just 10 minutes using ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand. So let’s get started.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Apples: Use a sturdy, crunchy variety such as Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady or Empire. Some people prefer red-skinned apples to have a color contrast with the celery.
- Celery: A few stalks of crisp fresh celery is all you need
- Walnut Pieces: Walnut halves are ideal as they’re easier to eat with a fork. You can also use pecans if you want to make an apple pecan salad.
- Raisins: You can use any plump raisins. Possible substitutions include dried cranberries or halved grapes, both of which also make festive combinations for the holidays.
- Mayonnaise: Regular or low-fat mayo will work as the dressing. Some people prefer yogurt but use a thick type like Greek yogurt for the best results.
- Lemon: A splash of fresh lemon juice will prevent discoloration while you prepare the salad. Cider vinegar is a decent substitute.
For an attractive presentation, try scooping it onto lettuce leaves although it’s great on its own too.
Apple Salad Variations
In addition to the substitutions above, there are some other savory variations you might want to try…
- Broccoli Apple Salad: Replace the celery with a mixture of broccoli (or spinach, kale or fennel), carrots and red onion.
- Panera Fuji Apple Salad: this Panera Bread menu item adds mixed greens, slices of cooked chicken, gorgonzola cheese and red onion (also called apple salad with chicken)
… as well as some recipes for those of you with a sweet tooth:
- Taffy Apple Salad: a Southern classic combining apple with pineapple, peanuts and mini-marshmallows, dressed with Cool Whip for a sweeter flavor.
- Snicker Apple Salad: a dessert combining apples, chopped Snickers bars and pudding mix in a Cool Whip dressing.
Given the endless possibilities, you can really get creative and use the ingredients you have on hand!
More creamy salads:
View all salad recipes
- 3 large apples, cored and chopped*
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces, or pecans
- ¾ cup raisins, or dried cranberries
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise, regular or low-fat, or Greek yogurt**
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or cider vinegar
- Core and chop the apples into 1/2-inch chunks. Sprinkle fresh lemon juice and toss to prevent discoloration.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chopped apples with the celery, raisins and walnuts.
- Add the mayonnaise or yogurt to the bowl. Then toss all the ingredients together until thoroughly coated.
- Spoon onto serving plates, or onto lettuce leaves for an attractive presentation.
- * Look for a crunchy, sturdy apple variety such as Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and Empire.
- ** For yogurt, use a thick type such as Greek yogurt, which will evenly coat the ingredients.
- Make-ahead: You can make it up to 2 days ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge. The dressing will prevent the apples from browning. Note: apple salad does not freeze well.
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Editor note: Published Apr 26, 2019 and updated Apr 9, 2020