Waldorf Slaw: Elevate Your Salad Game with This Refreshing Twist

Waldorf Slaw: Elevate Your Salad Game with This Refreshing Twist

In the realm of salads, there are few that have stood the test of time quite like the Waldorf Slaw. This refreshing dish, with its crisp and colorful ingredients, has been a favorite among salad enthusiasts for decades. Today, we’ll delve into the history of Waldorf Slaw, explore why it has become so popular, highlight its common ingredients, discuss its nutritional benefits, and provide some creative serving ideas. Get ready to discover the irresistible charm of Waldorf Slaw and why it deserves a place in your culinary repertoire.

The History of Waldorf Slaw

The origins of Waldorf Slaw can be traced back to the renowned Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The hotel’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, is credited with creating the original Waldorf Salad in the late 19th century. The salad, initially made with only apples, celery, and mayonnaise, quickly gained popularity among the hotel’s elite clientele. Over time, variations of the original recipe emerged, incorporating new ingredients and flavors. One such variation is the Waldorf Slaw, which takes inspiration from the Waldorf Salad but replaces the traditional greens with a vibrant coleslaw base.

Why Waldorf Slaw is Popular

Waldorf Slaw has gained popularity for several compelling reasons. Firstly, its delightful blend of sweet and savory flavors creates a harmonious balance that appeals to a wide range of palates. The crispness of apples and pears, the slight chewiness of raisins, and the nuttiness of walnuts come together to create a satisfying texture that adds depth to every bite.

Secondly, Waldorf Slaw is incredibly versatile. It can be served as a side dish, a light lunch option, or even as a topping for sandwiches and burgers. Its adaptability makes it an ideal choice for various occasions, whether it’s a casual family gathering, a summer picnic, or a potluck party.

Common Ingredients in Waldorf Slaw

The key ingredients that give Waldorf Slaw its distinctive flavor profile include Braeburn apples, Bartlett pears, raisins, walnuts, and a coleslaw mix of cabbage and carrots. These ingredients work in harmony to provide a vibrant mix of textures and flavors. The sweetness of the apples and pears is complemented by the natural sweetness of the raisins, while the walnuts add a satisfying crunch. The coleslaw base offers a refreshing and crispy backdrop to the salad.

Waldorf Slaw

Enjoy a healthy and delicious Waldorf Slaw that puts a refreshing twist on traditional coleslaw. This easy-to-make salad combines crisp cabbage and carrot coleslaw with the sweetness of Braeburn apples, Bartlett pears, and raisins, along with the nutty crunch of walnuts. Tossed in a tangy dressing made with low-fat mayonnaise, buttermilk, and zesty lemon, this Waldorf Slaw is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
Course Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 8
Author N. Jay Sorensen, MBA RDN


  • 2 cups Braeburn apples chopped
  • 1 cup Bartlett pears chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 16 ounces packed cabbage and carrot coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Begin by preparing the fruits and vegetables. Peel, core, and chop the apples and pears into bite-sized pieces. Chop the walnuts into small pieces. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped apples, pears, raisins, and walnuts.
  • Add the packed cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix to the bowl with the fruits and nuts. Toss everything together to combine thoroughly.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat buttermilk, grated lemon rind, fresh lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture and toss everything together until the coleslaw is evenly coated.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy the delightful flavors of Waldorf Slaw!


This Waldorf Slaw can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Nutritional Benefits of Waldorf Slaw

Aside from its delicious taste, Waldorf Slaw offers an array of nutritional benefits. The apples and pears are packed with dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, providing a boost to your immune system and aiding digestion. Raisins, on the other hand, provide natural sugars and additional fiber, while walnuts offer heart-healthy fats, protein, and essential minerals. The coleslaw base contributes to your daily vegetable intake, providing a range of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. By choosing low-fat mayo and buttermilk in the dressing, you can further reduce the calorie and fat content without compromising on flavor.

Serving Ideas for Waldorf Slaw

Waldorf Slaw is incredibly versatile and pairs well with various dishes. Here are a few serving ideas to inspire your culinary adventures:

  • Classic Side Dish: Serve Waldorf Slaw alongside grilled chicken or fish for a refreshing and nutritious side dish. The combination of flavors and textures will enhance the main course.
  • Light Lunch Option: Create a wholesome lunch by adding protein such as grilled shrimp, diced chicken, or tofu to the Waldorf Slaw. This makes for a satisfying and balanced meal.
  • Creative Wraps: Use Waldorf Slaw as a filling for wraps or sandwiches. The crispness and flavors of the slaw provide a delightful contrast to the softness of the bread or tortilla.
  • Party Dip: Turn Waldorf Slaw into a crowd-pleasing dip by serving it with crispy pita chips or vegetable crudités. It’s a unique twist on traditional party dips that will leave your guests impressed.


Waldorf Slaw is a timeless salad that continues to captivate food enthusiasts with its vibrant flavors, crisp textures, and versatility. From its humble origins at the Waldorf Astoria hotel to its widespread popularity today, this delightful dish has earned its place among culinary classics. With a simple yet irresistible combination of ingredients and a refreshing dressing, Waldorf Slaw offers a healthy and delicious option for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing side dish or a light lunch, Waldorf Slaw is a must-try recipe that will surely become a favorite in your kitchen. Embrace the charm of Waldorf Slaw and discover the joys of this twist on a classic salad.

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