January 7, 2017

Lightened-Up Waldorf Salad

Happy New Year!  

For the coming year, I've already prepared a long list of healthy, modern-style recipes I'm anxious to try like lentil salads, a few recipes with pomegranate seeds (a new love) and some easy sheet pan dinners. 

I also plan to post a healthy sprinkle of some really naughty desserts too...my sugar addiction is still very real and I'll definitely be sharing it with you!

Of course, traditional and classic dishes, which are definitely my most comfortable and favorite recipes to share, are in the recipe line-up too. Blogging about food over these last few years has taught me many things, but one of the primary self-realizations is that I've got some seriously old-school tastebuds... and I'm okay with that.

So, I want to start the year off with a lightened-up version of one my all-time favorite, indulgent, old-school salads: the Waldorf Salad.

When I say this recipe is old-school, I really mean it. The Waldorf Salad was born in the kitchen of the Waldorf Hotel (This establishment eventually became known as the original, famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel after a business merger in 1897) in New York City. The hotel's manager at the time, Oscar Tschirky, is most credited with creating the recipe for some of the hotel's grand opening day festivities in 1893. He subsequently published the original recipe in a cookbook titled: The Cookbook by Oscar of the Waldorf  in 1896.

The original recipe only included apples, celery and mayonnaise, but as it happens to all recipes over time it's been adapted into several versions. By the 1920's, published recipes for the Waldorf Salad included chopped walnuts and still more modern versions add grapes, any number of sweet and savory spices and yogurt-based dressings.

The version I enjoy the most includes two types of apples, celery, grapes, raisins, walnuts and a light, sweet dressing made with combination of honey-flavored Greek yogurt and Cool Whip lite (yes, Cool Whip...don't hate, we love that stuff!) and lemon juice. 

I serve this salad on a bed of mixed baby greens as an appetizer or a light meal. I also love to eat it as a healthy dessert all by itself. No matter how or when it's been served at my place, it's always a treat! 

I hope you enjoy it too. 

yield: 6 servingsprint recipe

Lightened-Up Waldorf Salad

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 20 mins
This delicious and lightened-up version of the classic salad only has about 140 calories per serving. It's great on a bed of mixed greens as an appetizer or light lunch. It's also a delicious on it's own as a dessert. If you prefer a dressing with less sweetness, sub plain Greek yogurt for the honey-flavored version.


  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, rinsed, cored and chopped
  • 1 large, sweet apple (Gala, Fugi or Pink Lady apples are my favorites), rinsed, cored and chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced or thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Cool Whip lite
  • extra tsp of honey or sugar (optional, if you want a bit more sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of mixed baby salad greens


  1. Place all prepared fruits and vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Toss with the lemon juice.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and Cool Whip. Fold the yogurt mixture into the fruit salad. Stir in two heaping tablespoons of the chopped walnuts (reserve the rest for topping).
  3. Cover and chill the Waldorf Salad for 30 minutes -1 hour before serving. Stir salad to make sure dressing is evenly spread through. Serve fruit salad on small bed of mixed salad greens and top with a sprinkle of the reserved chopped walnuts, if desired.
  4. Enjoy!
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  1. Wonderful! We love salads and this one looks really tasty with all the fruits and nuts.

  2. Quite yummy! There is something about the New Year that brings us all back to wanting to eat healthy in a delicious way.
    Happy New Year!


    1. Hi there, Velva! Yes, back to the healthy diet always for the new year! Thank you :)

  3. Ooh ... I like the idea of eating this for dessert. I'm trying to focus on healthy recipes too!

  4. I haven't had a Waldorf salad in ages and love your lightened version, Marcelle. Now I'm craving some :)

  5. It is nice that you mixed two different apples, one for sweetness along with one a little tart…sounds good.

  6. What a great version, Marcelle. Mark loves Waldorf salad so I want to make this for him. Oddly, he ha as been on an apple kick, too, so the timing is perfect!

  7. I have not had waldorf salad in ages and now I am craving this. Love the addition of yogurt instead of mayo. Wishing you a super 2017 too!

  8. At a restaurant we once had a Waldorf salad topped with cold fried chicken. Fun combo! Love that you use two different apples in your version. Fuji are particularly nice, I think. Good to see an update of this classic -- thanks!

  9. I never liked the Waldorf mixed with straight mayonnaise. Your dressing sounds much better! What a beautiful salad!

    1. Hello there, Liz! I know wouldn't like the mayo with this salad either! Thank you! :)

  10. Sounds delicious! I like how you make the photos of the prep, really great!

    1. I Cecilia! I try to show prep photos on as many posts as I can. Thank you for your visit!

  11. i LOVE this salad and i'm thankful for the additions of nuts and grapes! i've never tried making it with cool whip--what a neat and appealing idea! nice twist, marcelle!

  12. It is amazing all the things that can be done with Greek yogurt. I love fruit in salads - it makes all the difference in terms of flavor.