This Waldorf salad recipe is a twist on the classic with chickpeas and a creamy lightened-up dressing. You will love the fresh flavors in this protein-packed dish.
This creamy salad is perfect for summer. It’s cool, refreshing and filling thanks to delicious chickpeas mixed in for a punch of protein. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a Waldorf salad I think you’ll want to try this updated version.
When was the last time you had a classic Waldorf salad? It’s been around forever and for good reason. It’s a colorful fruit and nut salad with a combination of textures and flavors that’s hard to resist.
The classic recipe is a little heavy on the mayo and lacking a bit in the protein department making it a wonderful special occasion side dish, but not something I like to indulge in on a regular basis. So, of course, I’ve played around with it and gave it a healthy upgrade.
Lightened-Up Waldorf Salad
First, I lightened-up the dressing. Instead of an all-mayonnaise dressing, I substitute half of it with Greek yogurt. It gives the dressing a little tanginess and lightness with a hint of richness from the mayonnaise. It’s not nearly as heavy.
I also add a generous amount of chickpeas. They are protein-packed beans that pair perfectly with the other ingredients and make this salad perfect as a light main course. During the summer it’s divine on a warm night.
The rest of the salad is just like the original – a combination of juicy grapes, crisp apples, crunchy celery and walnuts
It’s a wonderful side dish for potlucks, BBQs and holiday meals and you can easily double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe if you’re serving a crowd.
- Greek yogurt
- Fresh lemon juice
- Canned chickpeas
- Diced honeycrisp apple
- Halved red grapes
- Chopped celery
- Minced red onion
- Chopped walnuts
- Salt and pepper
- Butter lettuce
For the apples, I love honeycrisp because they’re sweet and a little tart and they are wonderfully crisp. Pink lady apples are another great choice or, if you love tartness, try Granny Smith.
How to Make It
- Mix the yogurt, mayo, and lemon juice together in a bowl.
- Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the dressing and toss it all together until well combined.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve it over butter lettuce.
Recipe Variations and Tips
For another twist, I sometimes add some crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese. It’s not traditional, but it’s delicious.
This Waldorf salad is vegetarian but you can easily make it vegan by omitting the yogurt and traditional mayo and use vegan mayonnaise in their place. A ½ cup works great.
If you want to make this for a potluck you can multiply the recipe by four to serve a crowd. You can also make it up to one day in advance.
It’s best served cold from the refrigerator and will keep well for up to four days as long as you keep it cold in an airtight container.
What to Serve with It
I think you can serve this chickpea Waldorf salad as a light main dish or as a side dish. If serving it as a side you might like to try:
- Grilled chicken flavored with my all-purpose seasoning
- It’s delicious served as a side with my crock pot ham
- Or try it alongside baked or grilled pork chops
Whether you serve it as a side or a main dish I know you’re going to love it. It’s a cool and refreshing dish that everyone will love. Enjoy! XOXO San
More Summer Recipes
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Chickpea Waldorf Salad
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas drained
- 1 honeycrisp apple diced
- 1 cup red grapes halved
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 3 tablespoons red onion minced
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice and set aside.
- Add the chickpeas, apple, grapes, celery, onions, and walnuts to a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine until everything is fully coated.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over butter lettuce.