Lighter and Healthier Waldorf Salad

Lighter and Healthier Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is my absolute favourite! And this lighter version definitely hits the spot. Traditional Waldorf salad is made with a creamy mayonnaise dressing but commercial mayonnaises are loaded with GMO canola, safflower and soybean oil, not to mention preservatives.

You could certainly make your own, I like this easy recipe from Jamie Oliver, just be sure to use a good quality oil. Alternatively, avocado oil mayo from Chosen Foods, has been popping up everywhere and I love this option. We often stock this healthy alternative at home. (Be sure to check your local Costco as they often have a good deal on this mayo.)

But I want to give you a lighter option so instead I’ve included a deliciously creamy tahini dressing, balanced with a little sweet balsamic vinegar and tart lemon juice.

This recipe is perfect to take to a summer barbecue as it will please any palate. And for dessert, this light and fluffy Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake is the way to go!

Lighter and Healthier Waldorf Salad
Makes 4-6 servings


4 chicken breasts (For vegetarian option, substitute 14oz can chickpeas)
1 tablespoon cooking oil (like coconut, avocado or grapeseed)
3/4 cup walnuts
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 ripe avocados
2 crisp apples, like gala, sliced or diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
2 heads of Boston or butter lettuce

Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon tahini
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, skin removed
1 small shallot OR 1/4 small red onion, skin removed and quartered 
1.5 cups olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper 


  1. MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: In a food processor, combine the first 7 ingredients with 3 tablespoons of water. Process until garlic and shallot are minced. With the machine running, drizzle in oil until incorporated. For a thinner vinaigrette, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper. (Remember, some lemons are juicier than others so start with half if you have a juicy one!)
  2. GRILL THE CHICKEN: Heat the oil in a pan on medium. Season chicken breasts and cook in the pan, flipping once, until lightly browned and cooked through. About 5min on either side. Omit this step if using chickpeas.
  3. PREPARE THE SALAD: Chop the celery, walnuts, apples and grapes and prepare the lettuce by pulling off the leaves, washing and drying them and tearing them into bite-sized pieces. Slice avocados.
  4. ASSEMBLE THE SALAD: Place lettuce on a plate, top with chopped chicken, celery, apple, grapes, avocado and nuts. Drizzle with vinaigrette.


A) Dress the salad just before eating so it doesn’t wilt.

B) This salad works well as a salad-in-a-jar, if making it for lunch for the week ahead. Use a wide-mouthed jar and layer the dressing on the bottom, followed by avocado, red onion, celery, apples, grapes, chicken/chickpeas and lettuce (in that order). Add walnuts on top, separated by a small piece of foil to keep them fresh. When you are ready to eat, simply add the nuts and shake up the jar!




About the Author:

Kate Ortak is Certified Holistic Nutritionist and health writer. She is the founder of KO Nutrition Wellness. She focuses on clean living, healthy eating and detoxifying naturally through the Slim Down Detox program, her hands-on cooking classes, private nutritional counselling and her all-natural beauty line.

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