One of my favorite spring lunch items is chicken salad and the other is Waldorf salad. What happens when you combine the two together and make Chicken Waldorf Salad? I’ll tell you- all kinds of amazing. There are more varieties of chicken salad recipes than one could ever imagine, and it seems I never make it the same way twice. I really like to play with flavor combinations and have yet to find one that will stick around for a while. Then again, this combination is pretty darn close to making another appearance, that’s for sure!
Putting a spin on a classic salad
Waldorf salad is an American classic created at the New York City Waldorf Hotel in the 1800’s. It originally combined only three ingredients; apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Over time, adaptations to the recipe began to emerge as chefs took liberties by adding walnuts, grapes and sometimes raisins.
Today, I’m sharing this version of Chicken Waldorf Salad because well, it’s good and most of all flexible. If you don’t care for a certain ingredient, you can replace it or leave it out all together. We have a fantastic base to start with and where you build from there is completely up to your imagination.
I wanted to make a lighter version of this salad and opted to use plain Greek yogurt and omit the mayo all together. With the tang of yogurt, mixed with lemon zest and honey the dressing is really creamy and quite tasty. The recipe below has the herb tarragon, which if you have never used it before gives a very slight licorice flavor. If you are not a fan of this, you can substitute fresh mint or chives.
Adding sweet apple, grapes, tart lemon and toasted walnuts with shredded cooked or perfect roasted chicken basically creates a fancy chicken salad-one that explodes with wonderful flavor. You won’t even miss the mayo! I served this on top of baby kale, which added a nice peppery finish to every bite. You could substitute arugula or baby spinach for the kale.
Do you have a version of Chicken Waldorf Salad that you enjoy?
I would love to hear about your recipe!
- 1 (5.3 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced
- Kosher salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie is great)
- 1 medium Gala apple, cored and chopped
- 1 cup green grapes, halved
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup baby kale
- Make dressing:
- In small bowl, combine all ingredients with whisk and set aside.
- To make salad:
- In fry pan over medium heat, toast walnuts until slightly brown and fragrant; about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Chop apple and halve grapes. Place fruit and nuts into a bowl. Add chicken. Top with dressing and gently mix.
- Place Kale on plate and top with salad mixture.
This Chicken Waldorf Salad recipe is also great as a sandwich filling if you prefer a heartier meal.
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