Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad

6 servings
15 min

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Chicken Waldorf Salad is delightfully sweet and savory. Thanks to ingredients like creamy yogurt and crunchy celery, this salad is full of different textures. It’s perfect for make-ahead lunches! Serve over greens or in between two slices of bread.

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Chicken Waldorf salad is the perfect combination of fresh ingredients. It hits all of the texture and flavor notes thanks to a variety of different ingredients. There is crunch from the celery and walnuts. The grapes are crispy and soft. And, the yogurt-style dressing is creamy and beautifully coats the rest of the ingredients.

What is Waldorf Salad?

Waldorf salad is an American classic. Traditionally a fruit and nut salad, this dish is a clever combination of apples, grapes, celery, nuts, and mayonnaise. It is crunchy, creamy, sweet, and tart. Why is it called Waldorf salad? Its name comes from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where it was first made.

What makes this recipe healthier? First, the addition of chicken makes this salad a complete meal that is packed with protein. Second, instead of packing on the mayonnaise, this recipe uses non-fat Greek yogurt and a small portion of olive oil mayonnaise. This version is a delightful update on the classic.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Cooked Chicken – For the easiest {and quickest} preparation, use rotisserie chicken. It is already cooked with a fair amount of salt, so there is no need to add more. For an even healthier alternative, poach and shred the chicken yourself. Be sure to salt the water that you cook the chicken in.
  • Celery – Similar to tuna salad, celery adds a flavorful, textural element to this salad.
  • Red Grapes – Quindesential to Waldorf salad, this recipe calls for red grapes. Be sure to half them. You can use green grapes too.
  • Green Apple – The complex flavors of this recipe find tartness from green apple. In addition to the celery, the apple adds a lovely crunch. There is no need to peel the apple unless you want to.
  • Walnuts – Chop and toast the nuts. The walnuts can be omitted, or substituted with another nut like almonds or pecans.
  • Non-Fat Greek Yogurt – This recipe is healthier than its original counterpart thanks to non-fat Greek yogurt versus all mayonnaise. It is creamy and tangy, which pairs beautifully with the other ingredients.
  • Mayonnaise – Because this recipe uses Greek yogurt in place of most of the mayonnaise, only a small amount of mayo is required.
  • Lemon Juice – A little goes a long way.

Possible Ingredient Additions

  • Dried Raisins, Dates, or Cranberries
  • Diced Avocado – If using, the shelf life of this salad will not be as long.
  • Honey Mustard – Add alongside the dressing ingredients.
  • Lemon Zest

How to Make Chicken Waldorf Salad

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine.

Add the chicken, grapes, apples, walnuts, and celery.

Toss everything to combine.

How to Serve This Salad

  • Serve as a Sandwich or Wrap – Just like classic chicken or tuna salad, this recipe is delightful when spread between two slices of toasted bread. Similarly, it’s delicious in a large tortilla with lettuce.
  • Scoop Over Greens as a Salad – Scoop a serving of chicken Waldorf salad over a bed of romaine, spinach, watercress, or your favorite greens.
  • As Lettuce Wraps – A healthier variation to a tortilla, scoop servings of this chicken salad into large leaves of lettuce for a low-carb alternative.
  • Eat it By the Spoonful – There are no rules. This salad is great on its own, so just transfer a serving to a bowl and enjoy it as it is.

Tips for Success

Combine the Yogurt Dressing First – Combining the yogurt mixture in the bowl first leads to the best incorporation.

Use Rotisserie Chicken – It saves on time and adds flavor!

Toast the Walnuts in a Skillet – Place the walnuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring frequently until toasted, about 5 minutes. *You will know they are ready by their subtle golden brown color and nutty smell.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store chicken Waldorf salad? Store this chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long does chicken Waldorf stay fresh for? This salad will stay fresh for up to 2 days.

Can this recipe be made in advance? Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. Once combined, transfer the salad to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Use within 2 days.

Can you freeze chicken salad? Because of the use of fresh vegetables and fruit, this recipe cannot be frozen. You can, however, thaw already cooked chicken from the freezer to make this recipe.

This chicken Waldorf salad is delicious for lunch or as an easy dinner. Whether enjoyed as a salad or sandwich, you are going to love it! Ready in just 15 minutes, this is the perfect addition to your recipe book.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Please leave a star rating and review on my website!

Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 15 min
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  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken Or homemade (poached) chicken
  • 1 green apple diced
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced or diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped and toasted
  • 1 cup red grapes halved or sliced (depending on size)

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine.
Add the chicken, grapes, apples, walnuts, and celery.
Toss everything to combine.
Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Katelyn | Sugary Logic
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  • Leigh Leigh on Sep 19, 2021

    This sounds delicious! I never thought of adding chicken to a Waldorf Salad but it does make sense and the various ingredients sound very balanced in texture, color, and flavors. Will definitely try this one. Can't leave a rating or review however. Only the Save button is visible for some reason.

    • Katelyn | Sugary Logic Katelyn | Sugary Logic on Sep 19, 2021

      The chicken is an excellent addition to Waldorf Salad. The textures and flavors are wonderful! You can rate and review the recipe on my website Please let me know what you think! 😊

  • Becky Becky on Sep 19, 2023

    Love waldorf salad! My mom always made it with raisins, but this version looks great - thanks!