Vegan Waldorf Salad! A sweet/savory dish, light on its feet but filling enough to be an entrée. This plant-based, gluten-free salad is the ultimate way to step into fall!
Autumn means apple season. And while most folks can get apples year-round in the grocery store, there is something so inviting about those seeing those fresh-picked crisp lovelies piled high. Those overflowing bushels at the farmers market got my mind racing to create a new recipe!
How to Make Vegan Waldorf Salad
Wait, apples and . . . what?
Talk about a culinary leap. Who would have thought back in 1893 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York, someone would have said, “I’ve got a great idea. It involves apples, celery and mayonnaise!” Wait, what? Try offering that combo up to your kids and watch their reaction.
Turns out it may have been a stroke of brilliance. . . .
Where Savory Meets Sweet
Creating a vegan Waldorf Salad was made easier by removing the ingredient I wanted the least: mayo! When you realize that the recipe is basically a fruity blend of savory, sweet, and creaminess, there are plenty of options. Best of all, you can fine-tune it to your palate with ease.
Like it on the sweet side? Add some coconut palm sugar to the dressing. More savory? Spice it up with a little garlic powder. Make it your own!
A Flexible Dish
One of my favorite things about this vegan Waldorf salad is its flexibility. It makes a sensational appetizer. And not only does it serve well as a side salad, it is substantial enough to hold its own as a light main dish over a bed of greens.
Vegan Waldorf Salad
The best feature of all? This dish is packed full of nutrients. Just look at the list of players: apples, grapes, raisins, celery, even lemon juice! And the cashew-based dressing delivers a healthy portion of plant-based protein. What could be better than a nutritious, seasonal treat? Bring on the autumn leaves. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for some other delicious filling salads, try my Chickpea Chicken Salad or Cauliflower “Egg” Salad! Or if you are searching for a recipe to use up those apples, try my Apple Cake Muffins or Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl!
My cookbook is now available for pre-order on Amazon: Eat Well, Be Well: 100+ Plant-Based, Gluten-Free & Refined-Sugar-Free Recipes. Check it out!
Vegan Waldorf Salad. A sweet/savory dish, light on its feet but filling enough to be an entree. This plant-based, gluten free salad is the ultimate way to step into fall!
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked (1 cup is before soaking)
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk (I used cashew milk)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt finely ground
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard (not powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional-add to enhance savory aspect)
- 2 cups chopped crisp sweet red apple (about 1/2 inch pieces, I used Gala)
- 1 cup red grapes (halved)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (walnuts can be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup diced celery (1/8 to 1/4 inch pieces)
- Boston or green leaf lettuce for serving
- 1) Soak cashews in 1 1/4 cups very hot water for about 20 minutes. Cashews should be soft and tender. Rinse and drain.
- 2) Add soaked cashews and remaining dressing ingredients to blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to break down nuts then blend on high speed, stopping periodically to scrape sides. If you are using the extra large blending container you will have to scrape frequently for the first minute.
- 1) Core and chop apple. Add to medium mixing bowl. Bathe apple in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. This must be done immediately to prevent apple from browning.
- 2) Chop grapes, celery, and nuts and add along with raisins to bowl containing apple. Stir to blend ingredients.
- 3) Dollop salad mixture with 1/2 cup of dressing and stir gently until evenly mixed. If a more heavily dressed salad is desired add more dressing at this point. Optionally reserve some dressing to add to salad after chilling.
- 4) Salad may be eaten immediately but is best when chilled (about an hour). After chilling add more dressing and serve on a bed of greens such as Boston or green leaf lettuce. Store in refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.
*Prep time* - does not include time for soaking nuts or refrigeration.
*Serving sizes* - will vary depending on use (appetizer, salad, main dish)
I made this recipe..turned out pretty good. I’m thinking of adding some vegan penne pasta to it next time.
One item I noticed is that the dressing changes to a light brownish-gray color after a very short time. Really surprised me. Any ideas on why thst happened? Maybe that’s just a property of the cashews?
Hi Dean, I’m glad you liked the recipe! Great idea trying with pasta–let me know how that goes. The color change in the dressing could be one of two things. Sometimes the skin of the grapes or especially the red apples will bleed and this can cause some discoloration, or if the cashews are soaked too long sometimes they will turn a little grayish. I hope this helps. 🙂