This sweeter twist on the classic Waldorf salad is made with red apples, green pears, fresh celery, and crunch pecans which are all tossed in a dressing of Miracle Whip and fruit juices. Perfect for potlucks and parties!
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About Waldorf Salad
After thirty some odd years, this Waldorf salad recipe is now a part of my life – and, ironically enough, I have my mother to thank for that.
I say it’s “ironic” because when I was growing up, food wasn’t something I shared with my mother.
Now, before we all go judging, our lack of foodie bonding wasn’t her fault at all. My mother tried to teach me to like a variety of foods, but the younger me insisted on surviving off of mac and cheese and hot dogs. So while she flaunted an endless assortment of new food in front of me, I would only turn up my nose and spear another cheese-covered noodle.
Flash forward to thirty years later and here we are, both of us sitting at my kitchen table, flipping through magazines and super old cookbooks while we hunt for new recipes to develop for my food blog.
My food blog. You guys, considering my early relationship with food, the fact that this is something I do for a living now is absolutely crazy. And wonderful. And really, super crazy.
But anyway, this history is where the irony comes in, because these days when I hear my mother exclaim, “I haven’t had this in ages!” or, “You would love this!” she now has my undivided attention.
Because now that I’m older and wiser, I want to experience new food. And, better yet, I also want to make it up to my mom for being such a brat all those years.
And what better way to do that than whipping up food she loves?
So a few weeks ago when she told me about Waldorf salad, I immediately promised her that we’d make it, even though I had no clue what it was.
I mean, I’d heard of it before, but I was having a complete disconnect on the name of the recipe and the ingredients. All I knew was that she liked it so we were going to make it.
As it turns out, I have had Waldorf salad before; it was served at a work potluck a few years back.
This was all the endorsement I needed, because not only did I remember it being delicious but I’m also a sucker for recipes that can be served at parties and gatherings. Maybe it’s the southerner in me, but I firmly believe you should always bring food with you to events, and I love being able to add this Waldorf salad recipe to my ever-growing list of options.
And as for how this recipe tastes?
The miracle whip dressing has a sweet and tangy flavor, which pairs perfectly with the sweet fruit and fresh celery. Plus, the pecans add just the right amount of crunch!
No matter what type of event or occasion you’re planning for, this salad is a great crowd-pleasing option!
Where did the original Waldorf salad come from?
The Waldorf salad was first served at the Waldorf Hotel, and included three main ingredients: red-skinned apples, celery, and mayonnaise.
Over time the ingredients have changed to include more flavors and varieties. For instance, the classic American version usually includes chopped walnuts or pecans and has replaced mayonnaise with large bowl.
As for the version of Waldorf salad shared here, it is sweeter and tangier than the traditional, thanks to the addition of chopped pears, lemon juice, and orange juice.
What dressing do you put on Waldorf salad?
This is sort of a trick question, as it depends on what you consider Miracle Whip to be.
If I were asking an old friend of mine, he would probably insist that it’s a condiment, used interchangeably for (or to him, always in place of) mayonnaise.
However, Miracle Whip is also commonly regarded as a dressing, and when it comes to Waldorf salad, this is usually the ingredient someone means when they reference the dressing used.
Can you make Waldorf salad in advance?
Yes! You totally can make it in advance.
For best results, the ingredients can be mixed 24 hours in advance (at maximum) and stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container until ready to serve.
If you need to make this salad more than a day in advance, keep the mixed dressing (Miracle Whip, orange juice, and lemon juice) and the chopped fruits, veggies, and nuts separate until ready to mix and serve.
Notes & tips for this Waldorf salad recipe
- This dish is typically served as an appetizer (just like a traditional salad or soup), but I’ve always liked it as a side dish to savory meals with chicken or pork.
- Lettuce listed as an ingredient in this recipe, but it’s almost entirely used for presentation, as the salad is served on a bed of lettuce. Some people may eat the lettuce, but it’s not required; you can skip it if you’d like.
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How do you make Waldorf salad?
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a large bowl, add Miracle Whip, orange juice, and lemon juice, then whisk until it’s smooth and creamy.
Step 2 – Add in chopped apple, celery, pear, and pecans to the bowl, then use a spatula to toss all the ingredients until the fruit is coated with dressing.
Step 3 – Serve and enjoy!
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.