Open main menu

A Waldorf salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of fresh celery, apples, walnuts, and grapes, dressed in mayonnaise, and traditionally served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal.[1] The apples, celery, and grapes can all be green, which harmonizes the color palette of the dish.

Waldorf salad
A modern Waldorf salad with green grapes and whole walnuts, served in a glass bowl (2008)
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateNew York
Created byOscar Tschirky
Serving temperatureChilled
Main ingredientsApples, celery, mayonnaise, walnuts, grapes
VariationsPoultry, dried fruit (raisins, dates), yogurt dressing, zest of citrus, cauliflower



Waldorf salad is named for the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, where it was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary's Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896.[2][3][4] The Waldorf-Astoria's maître d'hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, developed or inspired many of the hotel's signature dishes and is widely credited with creating the salad recipe. In 1896, the salad appeared in The Cook Book by "Oscar of the Waldorf".[5]

The original recipe was just apples, celery, and mayonnaise.[6] It did not contain nuts, but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cook Book in 1928.[7]

In popular cultureEdit

The dish is featured prominently in an eponymous episode of the sitcom Fawlty Towers on the BBC.[8] It is also mentioned at the end of House of Games. Mentioned in Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce season 1 episode 11, referred to as “trailer trash food”.

Modern versionsEdit

Other ingredients such as chicken, turkey, and dried fruit (e.g. dates or raisins) are sometimes added.[9] Updated versions of the salad sometimes change the dressing to a seasoned mayonnaise (see also: dressings based on mayonnaise) or a yogurt dressing. Modern Waldorf salad may also include the zest of oranges and/or lemons.

A variation known as an "emerald salad" replaces the celery with cauliflower.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Judith Weinraub (15 November 2016). Salad: A Global History. Reaktion Books. pp. 89–. ISBN 978-1-78023-705-3.
  2. ^ Nan Lyons (1 March 1990). New York City 1990. Bantam. ISBN 978-0-553-34845-3.
  3. ^ Janet Clarkson (24 December 2013). Food History Almanac: Over 1,300 Years of World Culinary History, Culture, and Social Influence. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 245–. ISBN 978-1-4422-2715-6.
  4. ^ "The History of Waldorf Salad". Kitchen Project. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  5. ^ Andrew F. Smith (26 November 2013). New York City: A Food Biography. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 155–. ISBN 978-1-4422-2713-2.
  6. ^ "The History of Waldorf Salad". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  7. ^ Andrew F. Smith (28 October 2013). Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia [3 Volumes]: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 774–. ISBN 978-1-61069-233-5.
  8. ^ Albert Jack (2 September 2010). What Caesar Did For My Salad: The Secret Meanings of our Favourite Dishes. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 168–. ISBN 978-0-14-192992-7.
  9. ^ Andrew F. Smith (17 November 2015). Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City. Oxford University Press. pp. 628–. ISBN 978-0-19-939702-0.