The Perfect Pairings: Discover the Ideal Complements for Waldorf Salad

What goes well with Waldorf salad?

Waldorf salad is a classic dish that has stood the test of time. It is a refreshing and flavorful salad that combines crisp apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, and mayonnaise. The delicate blend of flavors in the Waldorf salad makes it a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of other dishes. Whether you’re planning a light summer buffet or a hearty winter dinner, there are several options that can complement the flavors of the Waldorf salad.

Pairings for Waldorf Salad

  1. Lemon Chicken: One of the best main courses to serve with Waldorf salad is lemon chicken. The tang of the lemon cuts through the sweetness of the apple, giving the salad a light and refreshing twist. The combination of flavors creates a taste sensation that is sure to impress.
  2. Slow Roast Baby Back Ribs: If you’re hosting a barbecue and want to offer something different than the traditional coleslaw or potato salad, consider pairing Waldorf salad with slow roasted baby back ribs. The smoky flavor of the ribs blends well with the fresh and subtly sweet flavors of the salad, creating a satisfying and delicious meal.
  3. Baked Herb Fish: When it comes to delicate fish dishes, finding the perfect side dish can be a challenge. However, Waldorf salad is a great option to pair with baked herb fish. The crispness and flavor of the lettuce complements the subtle flavors of the fish, while the addition of steamed new potatoes and lettuce leaves creates a well-rounded and nutritious meal.
  4. Baked Potato: A baked potato can be a simple yet satisfying accompaniment to a Waldorf salad. The potato’s crispy golden skin and fluffy center make a perfect base for the salad. Slice the baked potato in half and top with the Waldorf salad, allowing the mayonnaise dressing to soak into the potato for added flavor.
  5. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: For a more adventurous option, consider serving Waldorf salad with stuffed sweet potatoes. Fill baked sweet potatoes with beans, corn, and crispy chorizo and top with a dollop of sour cream. The combination of flavorful stuffed sweet potatoes and refreshing Waldorf salad makes for a delicious and satisfying dinner.

Sides for Waldorf Salad

  1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon: Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon make a surprisingly delicious side dish for Waldorf salad. The roasted sprouts develop a nutty flavor that pairs well with the flavors of the salad. The addition of crispy, salty bacon bits adds another layer of flavor that enhances the overall taste experience.
  2. Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables are a healthy and flavorful side dish that complements the freshness of the Waldorf salad. Grilled vegetables release their natural sugars, making them sweeter and more flavorful. The caramelized exterior of the grilled vegetables pairs well with the crunch of the salad.
  3. Tortilla Chips: If you’re in a hurry and want a quick and easy side for Waldorf salad, tortilla chips are a great option. You can use store-bought tortilla chips or make your own with corn tortillas. The crunchy texture of the chips adds a fun element to the meal, and you can use them to scoop up bites of the Waldorf salad.
  4. Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich: The combination of sweet and fresh flavors in the Waldorf salad pairs well with something salty, like a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Thick slices of honey roasted ham and Swiss cheese, sandwiched between slices of whole wheat bread, make a satisfying and savory accompaniment to the salad.
  5. Pesto Pasta: If you want to turn your Waldorf salad into a more substantial meal, consider serving it with pesto pasta. Cook your favorite pasta shapes and stir in a generous dollop of pesto. Serve a spoonful of pasta with your Waldorf salad for a healthy and satisfying lunch or light dinner.

Drinks to Serve with Waldorf Salad

When choosing drinks to serve with Waldorf salad, it’s important to choose options that complement the delicate flavors of the dish. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Aromatic white wine: Green salads like the Waldorf salad pair well with aromatic white wines that have a hint of sweetness. Riesling and Pinot Grigio are popular choices. These wines enhance the flavors of the salad without overpowering them.
  2. Red wine with minimal tannins: If your guests prefer red wine, choose varieties with minimal tannins, as the acidity of the salad can make tannic wines taste sour. Malbec, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are good options that won’t overpower the flavors of the Waldorf salad.
  3. Light and refreshing fruit juice: For nonalcoholic options, consider serving light and refreshing fruit juices. A tangy grape and apple juice blend or a combination of citrus juices can provide a refreshing and fruity accompaniment to the Waldorf salad.
  4. Sparkling water with citrus slices: If you’re looking for a hydrating and refreshing option, serve sparkling water with slices of lemon, lime or orange. The carbonation adds a fizz, while the citrus slices add a subtle flavor to the water.
  5. Iced Tea: Another popular choice to serve with Waldorf salad is iced tea. Whether it’s classic black tea or a fruity herbal blend, iced tea provides a cool and satisfying beverage option that complements the flavors of the salad.

Bottom line

The Waldorf Salad is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of other dishes to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Whether you choose to serve it with Lemon Chicken, Slow Roasted Baby Back Ribs or Baked Herb Fish, the flavors of the Waldorf Salad will complement and enhance the overall dining experience. In addition, a selection of sides and beverages, such as roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, grilled vegetables, tortilla chips, and aromatic white wine, can further enhance the flavors and create a harmonious meal. Experiment with different pairings to find your favorite combination and enjoy the refreshing and delicious flavors of Waldorf Salad.


What are some popular dishes that go well with Waldorf Salad?

Answer: Some popular dishes that pair well with Waldorf Salad include grilled chicken, roasted turkey, seared salmon, crusty bread, and creamy soups such as butternut squash or tomato bisque.

Can I serve Waldorf Salad as an entree?

Answer: While Waldorf Salad is traditionally served as a side dish or appetizer, you can certainly enjoy it as a main course by adding protein such as grilled chicken or shrimp to make it more substantial.

Are there vegetarian options to complement the Waldorf salad?

Answer: Yes, there are several vegetarian options that complement the Waldorf Salad. Some delicious choices include roasted vegetable quinoa, stuffed bell peppers, grilled halloumi cheese, or a medley of roasted vegetables.

What dressing goes best with Waldorf salad?

Answer: The classic dressing for Waldorf salad is a combination of mayonnaise and lemon juice. However, you can also try variations such as yogurt dressing, honey mustard dressing, or a light vinaigrette to suit your taste.

Can I make variations on the traditional Waldorf salad recipe?

Answer: Absolutely! Waldorf salad is a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking. You can add ingredients like dried cranberries, sliced grapes, toasted walnuts, or crumbled blue cheese to enhance the flavors and textures. Feel free to experiment and make it your own!

Are there any gluten-free options for Waldorf salad?

Answer: Yes, there are many gluten-free options that work well with Waldorf salad. Some examples include gluten-free crackers, quinoa salad, grilled vegetables, or a gluten-free bread alternative such as rice cakes or gluten-free baguette slices.