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Apple salad is a delicious side dish or snack that’s ready in just 10 minutes! All you need to make this apple salad recipe is crisp apples, celery, walnuts, raisins, mayonnaise (or yogurt) and a splash of lemon juice.
Apple salad is like fruit salad but even better, and it goes with pork, chicken, steak and seafood. Putting apple in salad is trending thanks to the Panera Fuji apple salad. This vegetarian side dish is also nutritious and low in saturated fat.
This recipe shouldn’t be confused with its close cousin the snicker apple salad, which is made with snickers candy bars, cool whip and marshmallows.
WHAT’S THE BEST APPLE FOR SALAD?
The best apple for salad is crunchy and sturdy. Favorite varieties include Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and Empire.
I prefer a red apple to contrast with the green color of the celery, but you can also do green-on-green.
HOW LONG WILL APPLE SALAD KEEP?
Apple salad is a great make-ahead dish, and the dressing prevents the apples from browning. Store it chilled in an airtight container for up to 2 days and stir before serving. Just note it does not freeze well!
APPLE SALAD RECIPE VARIATIONS
The classic apple walnut salad is just chopped apples, celery, raisins, walnuts mixed with a dressing to coat. There are also popular variations for every taste:
- Waldorf salad: this is apple salad with grapes instead of raisins, invented at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York
- Cranberry apple salad: substitute dried cranberries for raisins
- Apple pecan salad: simply substitute 1:1 for walnuts to make apple salad with pecans
- Apple salad with chicken: add cubed cooked chicken breast to make chicken salad with apples)
- Broccoli apple salad: replace celery with a mixture of broccoli, carrots and red onion
For an attractive serving presentation, you can try apple salad with lettuce by spooning onto butter lettuce or romaine leaves!
APPLE SALAD DRESSING
Traditionally apple salad dressing consists of a splash of lemon juice (to prevent apple browning during preparation) and mayonnaise to coat all the other ingredients.
If you prefer, you can make apple salad with yogurt by substituting plain yogurt for mayo. I recommend using Greek yogurt, as the thicker consistency coats nicely.
- 3 medium apples, cored and chopped (see note)
- 1 cup walnut pieces, or pecans
- ¾ cup raisins, or dried cranberries
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise, or plain yogurt
- 1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed (optional - see note)
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped apples with the chopped celery, raisins and walnuts.
- Add mayonnaise/yogurt and toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- The best apples are Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and Empire.
- Squeezing fresh lemon juice on the chopped apples will prevent browning during preparation. Organic apples brown particularly quickly.
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EQUIPMENT TO MAKE IT:
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