Candied Walnut Waldorf Salad Recipe

This delicious candied walnut Waldorf salad truly has it all — candied walnuts, apples, grapes, plus a homemade dressing. It's a restaurant-worthy salad you can make at home. This salad was first served in 1893 at a charity ball inside the Waldorf hotel, hence the salad's historic name. The original recipe kept things simple with a mixture of apples, celery, and mayo on a bed of greens. Over the years, home and professional chefs have put their own spin on the Waldorf salad, adding ingredients like walnuts, oranges, and even marshmallows (via The New York Times). 

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating came up with her own version of the iconic recipe. "The textures in this salad are great! There's plenty of crunch and color, and the sweet walnuts are a delicious addition to the creamy salad," Brookes says. "I like to serve this as a light lunch but it would work well as a side or starter too." 

Keep reading to find out how to make this candied walnut Waldorf salad. 

Gather the ingredients for this candied walnut Waldorf salad

Start by gathering all of your ingredients, such as halved walnuts, butter, honey, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, grapes, 1 red apple, 1 celery stick, lettuce, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Once you have those items, you can throw together this candied walnut Waldorf salad.

Candy coat the walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In the meantime, take out a baking sheet, and line it with parchment paper. To make the walnut candy coating, grab a bowl, and mix together the melted butter and honey. Add the walnuts to the same bowl with the butter and honey, and combine. 

Then, grab your prepared baking sheet, and evenly spread out the coated walnuts. Pop the walnuts into your preheated oven, and bake for 10 minutes. "Be careful not to burn the walnuts as they can start to brown fairly quickly in the oven," warns Brookes.

Make the dressing and dice the fruits and veggies

In a large mixing bowl, add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. "The dressing is rich and creamy with a slight tang from the lemon," Brookes shares. 

Then, chop the apples and celery into small pieces, and slice the grapes in half lengthwise. Add the fruit to the bowl with the dressing, and toss well to coat.

Arrange the salad and serve

Now, you can arrange the salad. Just layer the lettuce leaves in the serving bowls, and spoon over the fruit mixture. Top with toasted walnuts, and voila, the salad is ready to eat. If you want a more filling salad, you can always top with a protein. "Adding some chicken, fish or even chickpeas could work great," Brookes shares. 

If you have any leftovers, save it for another meal. "Leftovers should keep well in the fridge up to 2 days, but I would keep the walnuts separately at room temp," Brookes explains. 

Candied Walnut Waldorf Salad Recipe
5 from 2 ratings
Learn to upgrade the iconic Waldorf salad with this revamped recipe that includes salad greens, grapes, and candied walnuts.
Prep Time
Cook Time
candied walnut waldorf salad in bowls
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 8 large lettuce leaves, whole
  • ½ cup walnut halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup grapes
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 celery stick
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the melted butter and honey in a bowl. Add the walnuts, and toss to coat.
  3. Spread the walnuts out on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden and toasted.
  4. Stir together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Dice the apple and celery, then chop the grapes into halves lengthwise.
  6. Add the fruit to the dressing mixture, and toss to coat.
  7. Arrange the lettuce leaves in your serving bowls, then spoon over the salad mixture. Top with the toasted walnuts.
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