Skip to content

Not-So-Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe

Maitre D' Oscar Tschirky offered his idea of a simple salad, which the chef embraced wholeheartedly by adding the Waldorf Salad to the elaborate courses planned for the affair.
Waldorf Salad with Crab Meat Recipe | Michele Bogle
Waldorf Salad with Crab Meat Recipe | Michele Bogle

Why not make this time-honoured dish that you enjoy for lunch into a gratifying summertime dinner? In this month’s salad as a main entrée series, I am adding crab meat to the iconic Waldorf Salad.

The sweetness of the crab complements the grapes, while the contrast enhances the tanginess of the green apple on this exceptional classic. The creamy dressing unites the medley of flavours and textures that delight the palate with each bite. 

Unlike many recipes, the origin of the Waldorf Salad is indisputable. In March of 1893, the iconic Waldorf Astoria opened its doors for the first time. The hotel hosted a charity ball to benefit St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in New York City. Executive Chef Edouard Beauchamp produced the menu for this notable event.

At some time during the creative process, Maitre D' Oscar Tschirky offered his idea of a simple salad, which the chef embraced wholeheartedly by adding it to the elaborate courses planned for the affair. It was an uncomplicated side, made of tart apple, celery, and mayonnaise – forever known as the Waldorf Salad. 

Shortly after its introduction, the salad’s popularity grew and before long, so did the number of ingredients added. Others modified the dish by including chopped walnuts and sometimes oranges and marshmallows.

Currently serving more than 20,000 of these tasty salads a year at the Waldorf Hotels, it comes as no surprise that the recipe has evolved into something more elaborate to satisfy the discriminating palates of guests who now visit the hotel.

The salad includes julienned Granny Smith and Fuji apples, halved red and green grapes, and candied walnuts, in an emulsified mixture of Dijon mustard, olive oil, Champagne vinegar, egg yolk and white truffle oil.

Now you can impress your friends with the simplicity of this salad. The combination of flavours, when tasted, and the beauty of the presentation will most certainly be a catalyst for a great conversation starter at any event.

Try it with a glass of Pinot Gris, a lovely white wine, perfect for the summer that is crisp with well-balanced fruit flavours. 

Waldorf Salad with Crab Meat

PREPARATION TIME: 30 min          YIELDS: 4


Cutting board, paring knife, measuring spoon, measuring cup, paper towel, large mixing bowl, mixing spoon, whisk, plastic wrap


2 green apples, diced

2 pears, diced

1 cup crab meat, chopped

1 Tbsp sugar

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ cups celery, thinly sliced

2 cups red grapes, halved

⅔ cup walnut pieces

4 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and pat dry

1 ¼ cups plain, sugar-free yogurt

⅓ tsp salt


Step 1

Dice, chop, squeeze and measure ingredients. Cover the apple and pear with plastic wrap immediately after cutting to maintain freshness.

Step 2

In the mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the lemon juice, yogurt, salt and sugar with a whisk. Adjust to taste.

Step 3

Add the fruit, nuts, crabmeat and celery to the dressing and gently stir until evenly incorporated into the dressing.

Step 4

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Place a single lettuce leaf on each serving dish. Spoon desired amount of salad within the edges of the lettuce leaf, and serve!