A Fruity Waldorf Salad for Valentine's Day

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Are you gearing up for Valentine's Day? Take this chance to show your partner how much you care about them! There is no right or wrong way to express your affection. Some people go all out with grand gestures that put rom-com characters to shame. But you can also take the low-key approach, like preparing a homemade romantic meal. You can surprise your loved one with restaurant-quality dishes without breaking the bank. Go for creamy spaghetti carbonara, then a luscious chocolate cake for dessert. And for starters, why not a fun, fruity Waldorf salad?

But what exactly is a Waldorf salad? It features three main components, apples, celery, and mayonnaise, supplemented by other fruits, nuts, vegetables, seasonings, and flavorings. It originated in New York, but the "apple salad" became so popular that other places made their versions. Ready to give it a try? Whip up this popular dish in 10 minutes tops!

How to Make a Waldorf Salad

A bowl of Waldorf salad surrounded by its main ingredients

These days, finding ready-to-eat salads takes less effort. You can just buy some from groceries and restaurants or order through food delivery apps. However, making one yourself gives it a special touch your boo will appreciate. This Waldorf recipe tops the list of effortless DIY salads. Even beginners will breeze through its prep and find it difficult to mess up.


  • 1 cup Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise
  • honey, to taste
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 pc apple, cored and diced
  • 1 head lollo rosso lettuce, washed and trimmed


  1. Combine Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise, honey, and lemon juice in a bowl. Season to taste.
  2. Add walnuts, celery, grapes, raisins, and apples. Toss until the dressing coats every ingredient. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Top with prepared Waldorf salad. Serve immediately.

Top Tips to Make the Best Waldorf Salad at Home

Crates of red and green apples on a wooden slatted table

You’re almost set for your romantic date at home! But before you rush off to follow the recipe above, here are some more reminders to keep in mind.

Pick the correct apples.

Consider color, taste, and texture when making fresh salads like a Waldorf. Choose a sweet apple with a hint of tartness. You'll want a nice crunch that won't turn soggy when tossed in the dressing. And most importantly, choose a variety that doesn’t oxidize quickly; no one wants brown stuff in their salad. The top picks are:

  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady

Customize the Waldorf recipe.

Because this salad is easy to customize, you can create a version using available pantry staples. Got extra chicken strips from making a spread? Add them to the mix! Do you have leftover hard-boiled eggs from breakfast? Chop them up and toss ‘em in. Don’t forget to add your partner’s favorite ingredients, too, to make your DIY date night extra memorable. Check out these simple tweaks to make your Waldorf extra special.

  • Proteins: Transform the salad into a filling meal by adding shredded or chopped roasted turkey or chicken breast.
  • Dried fruits: Replace raisins with dates, cranberries, dried mangoes, or toasted coconut for a flavor boost.
  • Creamy dressing: Zhuzh up the mayonnaise-based Waldorf dressing by adding whipped cream, yogurt, or pickles.
  • More fruits: Add pineapple chunks, orange wedges, fresh cherries, and crisp pears to level up this simple dish.
  • Mini marshmallows: Take inspiration from the classic ambrosia salad and toss in some mini marshmallows into the mix. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

You can also make your Waldorf salad a day or two in advance. But for best results, prep it an hour before your dinner date. This fruity treat also works as a side dish to hearty mains, like grilled pork chops, steaks, and salmon fillets. Or, serve it alongside tomato-based hearty stews to counter the richness of the meal. Give this recipe a try and make your Valentine’s Day a little lovelier!

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