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Looking for a way to use up leftover turkey or chicken? You need to try our Waldorf salad. It’s a breeze to put together and it tastes amazing!
You’ll love the sweetness from the grapes, nuttiness from the walnuts, crunch from the tart apples, and the savoriness from the turkey.
The original recipe had only three ingredients: apples, celery, and mayo. Over time, walnuts became standard, and now dried fruit like raisins, chopped dates, or dried cranberries are popular additions.
Adding meat, such as chicken or turkey, is a modern variation. This is served chilled and is usually presented on a bed of fresh lettuce.
In 1893, Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’ at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, invented this for a fundraising event being held at the hotel.
- Fresh Fruit: crisp, tart apples
- Vegetables: thinly sliced celery
- Dried Fruit: raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates (optional)
- Dressing: mayo, sour cream, or Greek yogurt
- Nuts: walnuts or pecans
- Seasonings: salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard
- Sweetener: sugar, honey (optional)
- Poultry: chicken or turkey (optional)
What is a good dressing?
The classic dressing is plain mayonnaise, but over time it’s become standard to add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Of course you can add other spices and ingredients like Dijon mustard or add some sugar.
If you want to stay away from mayonnaise, use half sour cream and half Greek yogurt for the base of the dressing, just add some honey to cut the tartness of the yogurt.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Yes, Waldorf tastes better if it has at least one hour of chilling time. If you need to make this the night before an event, add the grapes closer to serving time, as they can lose their crispness. The walnuts are best if added just before serving.
How many carbs are in this recipe?
For a 1 1/4 cup serving, they are 22.6 g of carbs and 562 calories. Our recipe is high in protein thanks to the turkey and is also high in vitamin A. For more nutritional facts, scroll past the recipe card.
Can this recipe be frozen?
It depends. You can’t freeze the grapes or the dressing, but all the other ingredients can be frozen. If you are planning on freezing leftovers, it won’t be very successful, as the grapes and the mayo-based dressing won’t freeze very well.
- Appetizer: served on a bed of lettuce or in choux pastry
- Sandwich: served on a croissant or stuffed inside a pita
- Wrap: served rolled up on butter lettuce or a tortilla
- Main Course: served with torn butter lettuce with chopped turkey or chicken
What can you serve with this recipe?
- Poultry: if your Waldorf salad doesn’t contain poultry, serve alongside roasted chicken or turkey.
- Vegetable: broccoli, green beans
- Bread: dinner rolls
How can I change the presentation?
- Composed: artfully arrange the separated ingredients on a large platter with dressing on the side.
- Layered: use a glass trifle bowl to layer lettuce, chopped turkey or chicken, diced apples, and dried cranberries, etc. Serve dressing on the side.
- Lunch Prep: layer the ingredients in four large mason jars. Serve the dressing on the side.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients. Chop up the leftover turkey (or chicken), slice the grapes in half, and measure out the ingredients for the dressing.
Dry toast the walnuts by spreading them out on a small baking tray and baking at 350 F for 6 minutes.
Shake the pan to mix the nuts around, then place back in the oven for another 6 minutes. The walnuts are done when they taste lightly toasted.
Toss 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with the diced Granny Smith apple to prevent it from turning brown. The additional lemon juice tastes great with the mayo-based dressing.
Add the grapes and dried cranberries to the bowl of diced apples. Keep some cranberries to use as garnish.
Whisk 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the mayo.
Add the seasonings, Dijon mustard, and some salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk in the spices and Dijon so the dressing is smooth and uniform in color.
Add the chopped turkey or chicken to the bowl of apples, grapes, and dried cranberries.
Pour as much dressing as you would like on the salad. Toss to combine. Cover and chill for a minimum of one hour.
When ready to serve, add the toasted walnuts, keeping a few for garnish.
When ready to serve, line a plate with 7 fresh butter leaves. If you are making this on individual plates, you can tear up the butter leaves so it is easier to eat.
Carefully place the ingredients on top. Garnish with the remaining walnuts and some extra dried cranberries.
- Don’t want mayo? Use sour cream and Greek yogurt.
- Don’t have leftover turkey? Use poached chicken or rotisserie chicken.
- Want other dried fruit? Try raisins or chopped dates.
- Don’t like walnuts? Try using toasted pecans.
- Need a veggie? Try thinly sliced celery, it’s in the original recipe.
- Need this vegetarian? Leave out the turkey. It won’t be as filling, but still very tasty.
- Duke’s Mayo: this is our favorite kind of mayo because it has a lemony taste.
- Wilton 9×13 Cookie Sheet: this small sheet pan is the perfect size for roasting nuts.
- Set of 3 Whisks: these sturdy stainless steel whisks don’t bend out of shape easily.
- Glass Prep Bowls: this set of 6 bowls is great for storing prepped ingredients.
Here’s some other delicious salad recipes that your family will love.
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Waldorf salad with turkey is a healthy recipe that has tart apples, sweet grapes, creamy mayo, crunchy walnuts, and dried cranberries. Use up your leftover turkey to make this classic salad with a simple dressing. Serve with lettuce for a light supper, or make into a sandwich for an easy lunch; either way, it’s sure to please.
For the Dressing
- 1 cup Duke’s mayo (185g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (15 ml)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (15 ml)
- sprinkle of salt and black pepper
For the Salad
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (58g)
- 2 2/3 cups turkey, chopped (354g)
- 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved (151g)
- 1 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (55g)
- 1 head of butter lettuce (165g)
Making the Dressing
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Making the Salad
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Toast the walnuts by spreading them on a small baking tray and baking them for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, shake the pan to redistribute the nuts, and bake for another 6 minutes. Test to see if they are done by tasting one walnut piece. The walnuts should look browned and taste toasted.
- Toss the chopped apples with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Gently toss together the turkey, grapes, apples, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
- Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat each piece. Cover and chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
- When ready to serve, stir the toasted walnuts into the salad. Line each dinner plate or a serving platter with butter lettuce leaves and place the Waldorf salad on top of the lettuce. Serve cold.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Chopped
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: creamy waldorf salad, waldorf salad with turkey