For some reason, I’ve been craving Waldorf Chicken Salad lately. Named for the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, the salad was invented in the late 1800s by Oscar Tschirky, the hotel’s maître d’hôtel, who also was into recipe creation.
The classic Waldorf salad is apples, celery and walnuts dressed in mayo. When I was a kid, my mom always put raisins in it and tended not to add the nuts. I suspect that’s how my grandmother made it—and since my grandmother was a Miracle Whip woman, it was made with Miracle Whip instead of plain old mayonnaise!
Honestly, the mayo puts me off this type of salad. I’m not that big of a mayo eater and the thought of it as a sole dressing for a salad, unless it’s tuna or chicken salad, is too much for me. I don’t mind some, just not that much.
I also like the idea of adding chicken to this classic salad so that you can make a meal of it. I’m a fan of endive and apple salads (with blue cheese!), so I thought adding endive might make for an exciting variation on the Waldorf so that you weren’t just relying on celery. Since I had some red cabbage in the house, I thought adding a bit of that would not only add some nice colour but additional fibre and crunch!
I wanted to try yogurt as the primary dressing base, as well. I recommend using excellent quality whole milk plain yogurt for this so that you’re still getting some creaminess without all the mayo fat. The best whole milk yogurt in Northern California is Straus Creamery’s, if you ask me, so if you can find it, use it!
Tangy Waldorf Chicken Salad With Endive and Yogurt Dressing
Waldorf Chicken Salad Ingredients
- 1 medium apple cored and diced
- ½ cup raisins golden or regular
- 1 stalk celery diced
- ½ cup red cabbage shredded
- 1 small chicken breast cooked and sliced
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- 2 medium endive halved and chopped
- ¾ cup plain yogurt whole-milk
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, make salad dressing.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients, toss and serve!
- Best served over some greens. I used arugula, but butter lettuce, romaine, or Boston Bibb, would all be great.