Chicken Waldorf Salad is a classic chicken salad made with tender chunks of chicken, apples, grapes, walnuts, celery, and a bright, light dressing. This lightened-up chicken salad recipe is filled with flavor, texture, and makes a wholesome, delicious meal.
Whether you are looking for a chicken salad recipe that is creamy, yet light, a chicken salad that is full of crunch and flavor, or just an easy recipe to enjoy leftover chicken, this Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe is one to try!
What is Chicken Waldorf Salad?
The classic Waldorf Salad was named after the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where it was first served in the late 1800s. It is traditionally made with grapes, walnuts, apples, celery, and dressed with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
When chicken is added to the mix, the result is a hearty chicken salad that is both creamy and crunchy.
But the chicken is not the only difference in this Chicken Waldorf Salad. The classically heavy mayonnaise-based dressing has been lightened up with a bit of Greek yogurt, making this recipe a bit lower in fat and calories--but just as delicious.
Notes on Ingredients
- Chicken--Use any leftover chicken you like for this recipe, like leftover Rotisserie Chicken or Instant Pot Chicken Breast.
- Apples--I prefer a sweeter apple, like Gala or Honey Crisp, in this recipe but if you like tarter apples like, Granny Smith apples, that will work as well. There is no need to peel the apples. Simply wash well and add to the chicken salad. The skin adds color and nutrients to the chicken salad.
- Grapes--I often opt for red grapes for this chicken salad, as they lend more sweetness and color. Feel free to use green grapes if that is what you have on hand.
- Celery--By all means, if you do not care for celery, you can omit it. However, the tiny bit of crunch and burst of freshness that the celery adds really helps to complete the dish.
- Toasted Walnuts--Feel free to omit nuts if you need a nut-free chicken salad recipe. Slivered almonds also work well in place of the walnuts.
- Waldorf Chicken Salad Dressing: Made with a combination of mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper, this dressing is simple, bright, and light.
How To Make Waldorf Salad with Chicken
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the Waldorf dressing by mixing together the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, and salt and pepper together.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, diced chicken, celery, grapes, and walnuts.
- Pour the prepared dressing over the chicken mixture and toss until evenly distributed.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve on sliced Whole Wheat Bread or Cranberry Walnut Bread for an additional punch of flavor.
- Serve the chicken salad on top of greens with additional grapes and walnuts.
- Serve on a tortilla with greens for a healthy chicken wrap.
Store leftover chicken salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It does not freeze well.
Yes! While I find the mayonnaise and yogurt combination to be perfect, feel free to use all mayonnaise or all Greek yogurt for the base of the chicken salad.
More Healthy Lunch Recipes
If you gave this Waldorf Chicken Salad a try, I would love for you to leave a comment below.
Chicken Waldorf Salad
For the Chicken Salad
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast cubed
- ½ cup celery thinly sliced
- 1 cup grapes halved
- 1 cup apples cubed
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts chopped
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup low-fat Mayonnaise
- 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, add walnuts and toast for 2-3 minutes, tossing every 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool before chopping and adding to salad.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Toss the chicken, celery, apples, grapes, and walnuts together until evenly combined. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve this chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, on a wrap, on crackers, or as a sandwich.