Waldorf Chicken Salad packed with red grapes, apples, celery, and crunchy walnuts is seriously the best chicken salad around.
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Waldorf Chicken Salad Recipe
This Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is the stuff lunch dreams are made of. Creamy chicken salad with crunchy apples, grapes, celery, and walnuts. This stuff is so good. It’s a favorite lunch recipe along with this Curry Chicken Salad and Avocado Tuna Salad.
Lately, I have been on a huge chicken salad kick and find myself prepping it weekly to have in the fridge for quick lunches and snacks. To keep things interesting, I have been testing lots of different recipes and this Chicken Waldorf version is delicious. It’s creamy, crunchy, slightly sweet – you have to try it.
When it comes to chicken salad, most versions are packed with mayonnaise, which is why most of us think of chicken salad as heavy and high calorie. However, chicken salad is actually one of the easiest things to lighten up without sacrificing flavor. After lots of experimentation, I have found that the ideal flavor comes from a combination of Greek yogurt and light mayonnaise. All Greek yogurt and the salad comes out too tangy. All mayo and it’s too heavy. A little of each – perfect.
The other key to making this Chicken Waldorf salad taste amazing is seasoning up the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise dressing. By adding lemon juice, onion powder, salt, and pepper – you guarantee that the salad will have tons of flavor. Then once you fold in all the toppings, you have a salad that you will want to eat every day.
One more note. There are tons of options for making your chicken. The easiest and quickest is to grab a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin, and simply shred or chop the chicken breasts. You can also cook the chicken in a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or you can poach the chicken, grill the chicken, or bake it.
What is Chicken Waldorf Salad?
This classic American salad was originally created at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in 1893. The original version was made with chicken breast, apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Over the years, grapes and walnuts were added as well. Since then there have been tons of renditions of this salad including versions with yogurt, red onion, poppy seeds, and more. Traditionally it is served on a bed of greens or in a croissant.
Ways to Serve Waldorf Chicken Salad
There are so many ways to serve this delicious and healthy chicken salad.
- Go the classic route and serve it over a bed of greens.
- Turn it into a sandwich of a wrap with your favorite toasted bread, a hearty roll, or a low carb wrap.
- For a fancy appetizer, serve it on slices of green apple, cucumber, or endive leaves.
- Take things low carb and serve this Waldorf salad in butter lettuce wraps.
How to Meal Prep Chicken Waldorf Salad
This salad keeps well in the fridge but there are a few tricks to ensure that it tastes great.
- Instead of chopping the grapes, keep them whole. Grapes tend to release liquid and get soft after a couple of days if they are halved. You could also pack the grapes separately or substitute in raisins or dried cranberries.
- Before adding the apples, toss them with some lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Pack the walnuts separately so they maintain their crunch. You could also layer them on top so they aren’t mixed into the salad.
- If packing sandwiches or wraps, layer lettuce against the bread on both sides so that it doesn’t get soggy. The lettuce creates a moisture barrier.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
- Make it Whole30: For a Whole30 version, replace the yogurt and mayonnaise with a Whole30 compliant mayonnaise. You could also substitute in mashed avocado.
- Without mayo: For a mayo free version, use all Greek yogurt instead. If it is still too tangy, use whole milk yogurt and add some sour cream to mellow it out.
- With cranberries: Use dried cranberries or raisins instead of the grapes. This is a great trick if you are making this in advance.
- Add flavor with fresh herbs like chopped chives, basil, parsley, or oregano.
- Try out a different nut. Pecans, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are all delicious in this salad. Some people also like to add poppy seeds.
- For a stronger onion flavor, use red onions instead of the milder green onions.
- Try a different protein – canned tuna, tofu, chickpeas, or chicken thighs all work great with this salad.
- For quick meal prep, use a rotisserie chicken that you chop or shred.