Chicken Waldorf Salad is a high protein salad that has sweet and savory components. It is a fun twist on a classic chicken salad that can be served over lettuce or in a sandwich.
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Chicken Waldorf Salad Recipe
Chicken Waldorf Salad is one of my favorite salad recipes. This high protein salad is made with a no mayonnaise salad dressing and is packed with sweet and savory fruits and veggies! It is perfect for make ahead lunches and entertaining.
This salad originated from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1893. It has become one of the most popular chicken salads around the world and once you try it you will see why it is so popular! It is simply divine.
What is Chicken Waldorf Salad?
Chicken Waldorf salad is a chicken based salad with a creamy yogurt dressing. The salad has a combination of chicken, grapes, celery, apples and dried cranberries. The combo of sweet and savory fruits and veggies paired with the chicken and yogurt dressing is so delicious! Walnuts or pecans add a nutty and crunchy flavor to the salad.
The salad is packed with flavor from an irresistible yogurt based dressing. So there is no need to worry about a heavy mayonnaise dressing with this salad. Instead, this salad has a healthier yogurt dressing that is flavored with honey and lemon juice. Poppy seeds add a pop of color throughout the salad.
What to Serve with Chicken Waldorf Salad
What is in Chicken Waldorf Salad?
- Chicken – for this recipe I like to use boneless skinless chicken breast. For the quickest recipe use rotisserie chicken! Just remove the white meat and cut it into bite sized pieces. You can use a combination of white and dark meat, or all dark meat if you prefer. There is no need to worry about the white meat being dry as the creamy yogurt dressing keeps it nice and moist.
- Grapes – red grapes are recommended for this salad but you can also use green grapes. They add a nice crunch and sweetness to the salad.
- Celery – I love celery in chicken and tuna salad! It is so crunchy and adds a unique flavor to the salad.
- Apple – adds a pop or sweet flavor and crunch. You will be surprised how well chicken and apple pairs together in this salad!
- Dried Cranberries (Craisins) – one of my favorite dried fruits. I love dried cranberries in salads, especially when they have had a chance to chill in the fridge in the salad. The dressing slightly rehydrates the fruit and makes it so sweet and delicious.
- Yogurt Dressing
- Yogurt – there is no mayo in this chicken salad recipe. Greek yogurt, Icelandic Skyr or plain yogurt are healthier alternatives to mayo. They are just as creamy as mayo and have a delicious flavor!
- Honey – adds a sweetness to the yogurt dressing.
- Lemon Juice – adds tang to the dressing and cuts down the yogurt flavor. The result is a creamy, sweet and slightly tangy dressing.
- Poppy Seeds – a signature ingredient in Waldorf salad. It adds a pop of color throughout the salad and a unique flavor.
- Salt, Pepper
How to Make Chicken Waldorf Salad
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
1 In a large bowl add the chicken, apples, grapes, celery, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
2 In a small bowl combine all of the yogurt dressing ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
3 Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated.
4 The salad can be served immediately, or chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes for the flavor to develop.
5 Serve over a bed of lettuce of choice (ex. spring mix, green leaf, romaine, bibb lettuce, etc.) or serve in lettuce cups (ex. Boston lettuce, baby romaine, etc.). You can also serve the salad as a sandwich, or wrap with pita bread or tortillas. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Chicken Waldorf Salad
- Chicken – for the quickest recipe use rotisserie chicken (2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces). You can also use any leftover home cooked chicken you may have. I prefer to make this salad with only white meat but you can use dark meat or a mix of dark and white.
- Dressing – for a healthier dressing use Greek yogurt, Icelandic Skyr or plain yogurt. Don’t worry about the yogurt flavor! The honey and lemon juice in the dressing cuts down on the yogurt flavor. Once the salad is tossed the apples, dried cranberries, and grapes add a sweetness to the dressing so you do not taste the yogurt flavor.
- Make Ahead – this salad is perfect for make ahead lunches! Please note, the yogurt dressing will thicken as the salad chills in the fridge. If you are making this 2-3 days in advance, just before serving you can stir in an additional 2-3 tsps of yogurt if you want the salad to be creamier.
FAQs Chicken Waldorf Salad
Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days, noting expiry date of yogurt.
Yes. This is perfect for make ahead and meal prep. Just take note of the expiry date of yogurt used.
I would not recommend freezing as the yogurt dressing and salad ingredients will change consistency when frozen.
Yes. This is a healthier version using yogurt and chicken breast white meat.
For a dairy free recipe use dairy free yogurt of choice.
This recipe is gluten free.
Looking for More Salad Recipes
- Dill Pickle Chopped Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Olive Garden Salad Copycat
- Strawberry Panzanella Salad
Chicken Waldorf Salad
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces, rotisserie chicken or home cooked
- 1 medium apple, cored and chopped into bite sized pieces, red apple recommended
- 1 cup grapes, sliced in half, red recommended, or green
- 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced or diced small, approximately 2 stalks
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries , or raisins, optional
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt , plain, or plain Icelandic Skyr, or plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp black poppyseeds
- In a large bowl add the chicken, apples, grapes, celery, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
- In a small bowl combine all of the yogurt dressing ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated.
- The salad can be served immediately, or chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes for the flavor to develop.
- Serve over a bed of lettuce of choice (ex. spring mix, green leaf, romaine bibb lettuce, etc.) or serve in lettuce cups (ex. Boston lettuce, baby romaine, etc.). You can also serve the salad as a sandwich, or wrap with pita bread or tortillas. Enjoy!