Crunchy celery, sweet apples and toasted walnuts are mixed with mayonnaise and comforting flavors like black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and radish for a fun Waldorf salad twist. If you are looking for a delicious side to accompany your holiday meal, look no further than this delicious apple salad recipe!
Why this recipe works
For my part, I am a huge fan of almost all types of apples. They are beautiful to look at, crunchy to eat, and the perfect balance between sweet and tangy. It’s a treat of nature!
There are so many types of apples, so feel free to experiment.
To my apple salad recipe, I also like adding radishes. Their crunchy texture and peppery flavor are a natural pair for apples! If you’re not a fan of radishes, don’t hesitate to leave them out.
The creamy dressing in this apple salad recipe is made with mayonnaise. You can use your favorite store-bought brand of mayonnaise or make it at home.
Finally, I add toasted nuts for more flavor and crunch. You can easily substitute your favorite nut to customize the salad to your preference – almonds, cashews or pecans would all be adorable.
Feel free to personalize even more with more additions like banana slices, dried berries, halved grapes or vegan marshmallows.
Maybe the best thing about my apple salad recipe is that it can easily be scaled up or down depending on the size of the crowd you’re trying to feed.
This apple and nut salad can also be made ahead, keeping well in the fridge or freezer. It’s the absolute perfect side dish to serve at any gathering.
Also Read: Air Fryer Apple Fritters
How to make an apple salad
1. In a mixing bowl, place 2 to 2.25 cups of peeled and chopped apples. (That’s about 2 large; 3 medium; or 4 small apples.) If using, add 2 tablespoons of grated radish.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix well. The citric acid will keep the apples from turning brown when you assemble the salad later.
TIP: If you have citric acid on hand for canning, you can dissolve a teaspoon in a cup of water and do a quick 5-10 minute soak instead of using the lemon.
3. Add 5 tablespoons of chopped toasted walnuts and 2 tablespoons of chopped celery. I prefer my celery and walnuts to be chopped quite finely, so there’s a bit of it in every bite. Leave them in slightly larger chunks if you prefer more variety per bite.
TIP: For flavorful nuts, you can toast them quickly before chopping them. Either bake them in an oven preheated to 175 Celsius for about 10 minutes, or in a dry sauté pan on the stove.
Just be careful to keep your eyes and nose sharp; nuts can go from nicely toasted to rather burnt in a flash. When you start to smell the nuts more intensely, they should be ready!
4. Add ¼ cup of mayonnaise (your favorite brand, homemade recipe, vegan or without egg). Season with 2 pinches of ground cinnamon, 2 pinches of grated nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of crushed black pepper.
5. Mix very well. You are ready to enjoy a delicious creamy and nutty crunchy apple salad!
6. Serve the apple salad topped with chopped celery and chopped walnuts.
How else can I personalize the salad?
- Mayo: First of all, feel free to use whatever type of mayonnaise you prefer. Perhaps you have a store-bought version on hand, or you prefer to make your own egg-free or vegan mayonnaise. Don’t hesitate to use whatever mayonnaise you like! Are you not a fan of mayonnaise? Instead, try Greek yogurt (or vegan Greek yogurt).
- Nuts: Then, feel free to swap the nuts or remove them entirely. Good substitutions include pecans, almonds, cashews, or pistachios.
- Nut-free: Prefer a nut-free salad? Opt instead for dried fruits or sunflower seeds!
- More Variations: You can also feel free to make your apple salad a little sweeter by adding a banana slice or berries (fresh or frozen) or some vegan mini marshmallows.