Chicken Waldorf Salad

Can you believe spring is just right around the corner. Here in the south, the trees are already starting to bud, the flowers beginning to bloom and we’re already seeing some warmer temperatures. Along with warmer weather comes fresh produce. Even though the veggies and fruits of late spring and summer are still a few months away, I always start craving salads about this time of year. Today’s recipe is a take on the classic Chicken Waldorf Salad. Perfect for a tasty lunch and hearty enough as a light dinner; it’s also quick and easy to make.

The first Waldorf Salad was actually first presented at the NYC Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1896. The original recipe consisted only of diced red-skinned apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts were added later to this now American classic. This version is loaded with chicken, crisp gala apple, red grapes, celery and pecans. You can really experiment with all different sorts of variations, apples or even pears, different nuts and dried fruits like raisins or craisins can also be added.

Chicken Waldorf Salad, Dairy Free, recipe

This recipe can be made in minutes when you use leftover chicken or even better, a rotisserie one from the grocery store. The rest of the salad comes together in about 10 minutes. The longest part for me was tweaking the dressing to get it exactly the way I wanted it; tangy with a hint of sweetness. Instead of traditional mayonnaise, I used a combination of non fat plain Greek yogurt and Coconaise, a coconut oil based mayonnaise made with MCT oil. In case your wondering, this does not add any coconut flavoring at all to the dish. Feel free to substitute with your favorite mayo or add a bit more of the greek yogurt.

Another small change that I made to this salad was using pecans instead of walnuts. Walnuts aren’t my favorite nut, I think they taste a little bitter. Pecans on the other hand I love and could eat those all day.

My favorite thing about this salad is that you can serve it over a bed of greens, add it to a wrap or right on top of a fresh baked whole grain roll. I love the result and I hope you will too. Enjoy the recipe!

Coconaise, Chicken Waldorf (Dairy Free), recipe

Chicken Waldorf Salad, a classic salad that will surely hit the spot, packed with chicken, apples, grapes, pecans and a creamy delicious dressing.

Chicken Waldorf Salad, Dairy Free, recipe, Coconaise

5.0 from 3 reviews
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup gala apple, chopped with skin left on
  • ½ cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
  • Dressing Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBS Coconaise(Can substitute with mayonnaise or omit)
  • ½ TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 tsp.dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl mix together Coconaise(or mayo), greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey, and dijon mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Place the cubed chicken,apple,celery and grapes in a large bowl and toss together.
  3. Pour in the mayonnaise mixture and gently stir.
  4. If you are going to enjoy the salad right away, stir in the pecans. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate and add the pecans right before serving.
  5. Serve over fresh greens, in a wrap or whole grain roll.
  6. Enjoy.

For more salad inspired recipes, try these;

Healthy Egg Salad

Healthy Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocado Mango Raspberry Chicken Salad

What is your favorite salad? Have you taken any classics and put your own twist on them? Please share – I would love to hear from you!

7 Responses to Chicken Waldorf Salad

  1. I’ve actually had a Waldorf salad at the actual NYC Waldorf Astoria Hotel 🙂 Love your twist on this classic recipe! You should remake more salad recipes, like Caesar, Chinese Chicken, pasta salad, fruit salad, etc. Happy Wednesday, dear Wendy! XO

    • I’ve never been inside the Waldorf Astoria but have walked by it many times. I love that you’ve had the actual experience of dining there. I’m loving the Chinese Chicken and pasta salad ideas, my wheels are already turning. Have a great Wednesday Liz! xo

  2. Yum! I love your take on the chicken salad. My mom’s staple recipe was Swanson’s canned chicken, light mayo, celery, shredded carrots, & tomato and she would serve on croissants. I need to get my sister’s recipe as I LOVE her’s, she makes it with a light honey mustard dressing, lots of spices, and does include nuts. I prefer pecans to walnuts too. We always used to make a Mandarin Orange Salad with toasted almonds for the holidays but we got sick of it every year so now change up the salad course each year. The Chinese Chicken salad sounds delish!

    • Thank you Jo! Good old Swanson’s canned chicken, I remember those days!! Your sister’s version sounds delicious with the light honey mustard- yum!! My mom would also make a Mandarin Orange Salad similar to the one you described around the holidays as well. Sounds like we had very similar childhoods.:)

Wendy Moore
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