Delicious Waldorf Pasta Salad Recipe for Summer

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I am excited to share with you my Waldorf Pasta Salad Recipe. This dish is a fusion of two classic favorites – the Waldorf salad and pasta salad. The end result is a unique and delectable dish that is perfect for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish at a barbecue.

The Waldorf salad has been around since the late 1800s and was first served at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. It is traditionally made with fresh apples, celery, and walnuts, covered in a creamy dressing. On the other hand, pasta salad is a staple at any summer gathering, often made with various vegetables and dressed in a vinegar-based dressing.

Combining the two dishes creates a refreshing and filling salad that is perfect for any occasion. The sweetness of the apples and grapes pairs perfectly with the crunch of the celery and the nuttiness of the walnuts. The dressing, made with plain low-fat yogurt and lemon juice, adds a tangy flavor that complements the other ingredients.

This Waldorf Pasta Salad Recipe is a crowd-pleaser and will leave your taste buds satisfied. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Waldorf Pasta Salad
Waldorf Pasta Salad

Are you tired of the same old pasta salad? Look no further than this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe! This unique twist on the classic Waldorf salad combines crispy apples, crunchy celery, sweet grapes, and nutty walnuts with tender shell pasta, all tossed in a tangy yogurt dressing.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. It can be served as a side dish, a light lunch or even a main course. The addition of grilled chicken turns it into a hearty and satisfying meal. The creamy and crunchy textures of the salad make it a crowd-pleaser that will be a hit at any gathering.

Not only is this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe delicious, but it is also easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a flavorful dish in no time. Plus, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, making it a perfect option for meal prep.

And let’s not forget about the health benefits. This pasta salad is packed with nutritious ingredients like apples, celery, and Greek yogurt. The yogurt dressing adds a creamy texture without the added fat of mayonnaise, making it a healthier option than traditional pasta salads.

Overall, this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe is a must-try. It’s a refreshing and satisfying dish that will add variety to your meal rotation. So, next time you’re looking for a new pasta salad recipe, give this Waldorf Pasta Salad a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

“A pasta salad that’s crisp, refreshing, and perfect for summer!”

Before we get started on this delicious waldorf pasta salad recipe, let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make it. This recipe serves 6-8 people, and you can easily adjust the quantities to suit your needs. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients 1x:

  • 10 ounces small shell pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 Red Delicious apple, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients 2x:

  • 2 cups uncooked small shell pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 Red Delicious apples, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients 3x:

  • 3 cups uncooked small shell pasta (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 Red Delicious apples, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

As you can see, the ingredient list is fairly simple, and you may already have most of these items in your pantry or fridge. Don’t forget to adjust the quantities based on the number of servings you need. Now, let’s get started on making this delicious waldorf pasta salad!

The Recipe How-To

“The classic flavors of the Waldorf salad in a pasta dish.”

Now, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these easy steps to create a delicious Waldorf Pasta Salad that will be the highlight of any meal.

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

Cook the shell pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

While the pasta is cooking, it’s time to prepare the rest of the ingredients. Dice 1 Red Delicious apple, 1 celery rib, and 1/2 cup of red seedless grapes into bite-sized pieces. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup of walnuts.

Step 3: Make the Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of plain low-fat yogurt, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of orange juice until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Step 4: Combine the Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, diced apple, diced celery, grapes, and walnuts. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat.

Step 5: Chill and Serve

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the Waldorf Pasta Salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and make the salad even more delicious. Serve the salad as a side dish or add grilled chicken to make it a hearty main course.

Now that you know how to make this delicious Waldorf Pasta Salad, it’s time to get cooking! Enjoy this refreshing and tasty pasta salad on a hot summer day or any time you want a quick and easy meal.

Substitutions and Variations

“A colorful and flavorful pasta salad that’s sure to impress.”

There are several ways to customize this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe to your liking. Here are some of my favorite substitutions and variations:

– Chicken: You can use grilled or roasted chicken breasts instead of boiled chicken for a smoky flavor. Alternatively, you can omit the chicken altogether for a vegetarian version of the salad.

– Pasta: While I recommend using small shell pasta for this recipe, you can use any short pasta you have on hand, such as bowtie pasta or macaroni. Just make sure to cook it according to the package instructions and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

– Apples and Celery: If you don’t have Red Delicious apples, you can use any other sweet apple variety, such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp. For a slightly different flavor, you can also add some diced pears. If you’re not a fan of celery, you can substitute it with diced cucumber or fennel.

– Dressing: Instead of using a mixture of plain low-fat yogurt and mayonnaise, you can use Greek yogurt for a tangier flavor. You can also add some orange juice to the dressing for extra sweetness and acidity. For a creamier dressing, you can add some sour cream or buttermilk.

– Nuts and Grapes: If you don’t have walnuts, you can use any other nut you like, such as almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts. You can also use raisins or dried cranberries instead of red seedless grapes.

– Poppy Seeds: To add some crunch and texture to the salad, you can sprinkle some poppy seeds on top of the dressing. Alternatively, you can add some chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or dill.

Overall, feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make this Waldorf Pasta Salad your own. It’s a versatile and forgiving recipe that can be adapted to your taste preferences and dietary restrictions.

Serving and Pairing

“The perfect side dish for BBQs, picnics, and potlucks.”

This Waldorf pasta salad recipe is a great dish to serve as a side or as a light meal. It’s perfect for outdoor picnics or BBQ parties during the summer months. Since this salad has a creamy and tangy flavor, it pairs well with grilled chicken, steak, or fish. You can also serve it with a variety of other salads, such as fruit salad or walnut salad.

For a complete meal, you can add some grilled chicken to the salad, which will give it a protein boost and make it more filling. You can also try adding some poppy seeds to the salad to give it a nutty and crunchy texture.

If you’re serving this salad as a side dish, you can pair it with some corn on the cob, roasted vegetables, or baked potatoes. You can also serve it with some crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up the creamy dressing.

For a more indulgent experience, you can try making a Waldorf chicken pasta by adding some grilled chicken to the salad and mixing it with some short pasta, such as penne or fusilli. You can also make a Waldorf macaroni salad by using macaroni pasta instead of shell pasta.

Overall, this Waldorf pasta salad recipe is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served in many different ways. Whether you’re looking for a light meal or a side dish, this salad is sure to impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“A twist on the traditional Waldorf salad – in pasta form!”

One of the best things about this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later use. If you’re planning to make this salad for a party or a potluck, you can easily prepare it a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

To store the salad properly, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Before serving, give it a good stir and add a little more dressing if needed.

If you have leftovers, you can also use them for a quick and easy lunch or dinner the next day. To reheat the salad, simply transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. You can also reheat it on the stove by adding a little bit of water or chicken broth to the salad and heating it over medium heat until warmed through.

It’s important to note that the pasta may absorb some of the dressing while stored, so you may need to add a little more dressing before reheating. However, be careful not to add too much dressing, as it can make the pasta soggy.

Overall, this Waldorf Pasta Salad is a great make-ahead dish that can save you time and effort in the kitchen while still providing a delicious and healthy meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

“This pasta salad is easy to make and even easier to love.”

Making a Waldorf pasta salad is easy, but making a Waldorf pasta salad that’s so good it’ll make you want to do a happy dance is another story. Fear not, because I have some tips that will help you achieve Waldorf pasta salad nirvana.

1. Don’t skimp on the salt: Salt is essential in any dish, and pasta salad is no exception. It enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and brings everything together. When cooking the pasta, add a generous amount of salt to the water. And when seasoning the salad, be sure to taste and adjust the salt as needed.

2. Add lemon juice: A splash of lemon juice brightens up the flavors of the salad and adds a zingy freshness. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the salad before serving, or add it to the dressing for an extra pop of flavor.

3. Use plain low-fat yogurt: The dressing for Waldorf pasta salad is traditionally made with mayonnaise, but using plain low-fat yogurt instead lightens up the dish and adds a tangy creaminess. Mix the yogurt with a bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper for a simple and delicious dressing.

4. Toast the walnuts: Toasting the walnuts brings out their nutty flavor and gives them a pleasant crunch. Simply spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned and fragrant.

5. Dice the apples and celery evenly: When dicing the apples and celery, make sure to cut them into evenly sized pieces. This not only looks better, but it ensures that each bite of the salad has a balanced mix of flavors and textures.

6. Cook the pasta al dente: Overcooked pasta is a no-no in any pasta salad. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but check it a minute or two before the recommended cooking time. The pasta should be cooked al dente, or just tender with a slight bite.

7. Chill the salad before serving: Waldorf pasta salad is best served chilled, so be sure to refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and gives the salad a refreshing coolness.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to making a Waldorf pasta salad that will knock your socks off.


Now that we have gone through the main aspects of the recipe, let’s address some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that may come up when preparing this delicious Waldorf Pasta Salad. These questions will help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the cooking process and ensure that you end up with a perfect dish every time you make it.

What is Waldorf salad dressing made of?

For this recipe, you’ll need some Greek yogurt, either dairy or dairy-free. Additionally, most versions of this salad call for mayonnaise, and fresh lemon juice is highly recommended. As for the apples, either red or green will do, but I like to use green apples for their crispness and tart flavor.

What are the five mistakes to avoid pasta salad?

When it comes to crafting a delicious pasta salad, there are a few common pitfalls that can lead to a less-than-stellar dish. One mistake is choosing the wrong type of pasta or using an incorrect amount, which can throw off the balance of flavors and textures. Another issue is cooking the pasta improperly, resulting in an unappetizing mush or a tough, chewy texture. Additionally, some cooks may not use enough seasoning, leading to a bland and unremarkable dish. Another problem is failing to dress the pasta while it’s still warm, which can prevent the ingredients from melding together properly. Finally, making the pasta salad too far in advance can cause it to become soggy or stale. By avoiding these missteps, you can create a mouthwatering pasta salad that will impress your guests.

Is it better to make pasta salad the night before?

For best results, I suggest preparing this dish at least 8 to 12 hours ahead of time. This will allow the flavors to develop and intensify, resulting in a more delicious and satisfying meal. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Before serving, remember to give it a good stir to ensure that the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the dish. This will prevent the dressing from settling at the bottom of the bowl and ensure that every bite is just as flavorful as the last.

What fruit does a Waldorf salad typically contain?

The Waldorf salad is a type of salad that is usually made with a combination of fresh apples, walnuts, celery, and grapes. It is commonly dressed with mayonnaise and is often served as a light meal or an appetizer. This salad features a delightful color palette due to the use of green apples, grapes, and celery.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe is a must-try for all pasta salad lovers. With its unique combination of ingredients, including apples, celery, grapes, and walnuts, this salad is a refreshing twist on the classic pasta salad. The tangy and creamy dressing made with yogurt, lemon juice, and mayonnaise adds a burst of flavor to the salad, making it a perfect side dish for any occasion.

This recipe is also versatile, as you can substitute the pasta with short pasta or bowtie pasta, and the chicken with grilled chicken, depending on your preference. You can also make ahead and store the salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making it a convenient option for busy weekdays.

So, whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a side dish for your next barbecue, this Waldorf Pasta Salad recipe is sure to impress your taste buds. Give it a try and enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of this delicious salad!

Waldorf Pasta Salad Recipe

The crispy freshness of a Waldorf salad meets that summer favorite, pasta salad. I’ve used a combination of yogurt and mayo here so that it’s not so gut-busting. If you want to substitute mayo for the yogurt, though, have at it.

  • 8 ounces small shell pasta (conchigliette)
  • 2 Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt, to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package and drain. Rinse under cold water, then drain again.
  2. Combine the pasta and all other ingredients, except the salt, in a bowl and toss gently until the pasta is evenly coated and all ingredients are blended. Season with salt, to taste. Cover and chill for at least five or ten minutes before serving.
Side Dish
< 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Potluck, Refrigerator, Shells, Stove Top

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