Enjoy this sweet and savory simple celery salad with apples, grapes, and dried fruit. This simple salad is a healthy take on a Waldorf salad without the heavy mayo dressing! It takes just minutes to prepare and is gluten-free, and can be made dairy-free too!
Wash and finely slice the celery. I like to make my pieces really fine. This is great if you’re not a massive fan of celery, and it’s also easier for digestion - it’s a win-win!Make sure to remove any of the string fibrous parts of the celery. You can do this done manually or with a vegetable peeler.
Chop the apple either into thin slices or cubes based on personal preference and shred the lettuce. Finally, mince the garlic.
Step 2: Combine the ingredients
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss gently to combine.You can alternatively mix all the ingredients and the dressing in a separate bowl and serve it over a bed of lettuce rather than mixing it into the salad.
When ready, serve it alone, as part of a picnic, potluck, or with your protein of choice!
How to Store?
Store the celery salad in an airtight container, covered, for between 2-3 days. It will become a little watery over time, so you may want to drain it before eating. You can also add a little extra dressing before eating leftovers.Note that the nuts will go a little soft from refrigeration. I recommend keeping them to one side to top the salad with just before serving.To make ahead: It’s best to prepare the salad and dressing separately and combine the two just before serving. Also, only add the nuts/seeds just before serving. That way, you can store this celery salad in the fridge for 4-5 days.Note that cut apples will discolor quickly, so tossing them with a little lemon juice may be best to avoid this.
For super-crispy celery: You can place the chopped celery in an ice bath for 15-20 minutes. After soaking, pat it dry with a kitchen towel and continue with the recipe.
Raw or toasted nuts: You can enjoy the nuts either way in this salad. To toast the nuts, do so in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant - this should take just a few minutes.
For a nut-free salad: You could use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Raw or toasted will work.
Other Optional Add-ins and variations:
Greek Yogurt dressing: For a healthier creamy Waldorf salad with yogurt instead of mayo, combine greek yogurt (instead of the olive oil) with the lime juice and seasonings. You can keep the seasonings savory (garlic, salt, and pepper), or even make them sweet (cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little sweetener like honey/maple). You can optionally add in just 2-3 spoonfuls of mayo for that classic rich creaminess of a classic Waldorf salad.
For vegan Waldorf salad: Use dairy-free yogurt (like coconut yogurt or soy yogurt), optionally with a few spoonfuls or vegan mayonnaise. Alternatively, my olive oil citrus dressing is naturally vegan, and you can substitute or omit the cheese.
Honey Mustard vinaigrette: The flavors in this apple celery salad recipe also pair wonderfully with a tangy mustard sauce. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and honey and taste until you find your perfect balance.
For spice: You could add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Vinegar: You can add a few spoonfuls of red or white wine vinegar to the celery salad for more of a tangy marinated salad.
Proteins: this salad is great for chucking in leftover proteins after the holidays.
Other vegetables: Including red onion, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, avocado, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, olives.
Other fruit: orange/mandarine, pineapple
Herbs: mint and/or parsley would pair well. Dill may also work.