When it comes to finding inspiration for new and creative menu ideas, it can be hard to come up with something that you haven’t served many times before.
For a change, you could try making a Waldorf salad, a dish which is bound to delight and impress your friends.
But how do you know what to serve with Waldorf salad? Waldorf salad is crisp, fresh, and has a delicate blend of flavors, and it can be paired with many different dishes. Our favorites include light summery options, such as lemon chicken or grilled vegetables. Waldorf salad also tastes great with salty foods like grilled cheese or roast ham.
If you’re searching for some innovative and interesting ideas for your next feast with friends, then look no further! We’ve got everything you need to know about what to serve with Waldorf salad right here.
What Is Waldorf Salad?
The Waldorf salad is one of those classic recipes that has truly stood the test of time. As with most longstanding recipes, a few tweaks have occurred over the years, but some elements are essential in any Waldorf salad.
This world-famous salad was created over 120 years ago at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. It was developed as a signature dish for a prestigious charity ball held in honor of the St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in 1896.
The original Waldorf salad was much simpler than the version we know today and consisted of just apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Over the following decades, walnuts became a popular addition to this dish, as did grapes.
When this classic salad was first created, red-skinned apples were used to create a contrast in color to the celery.
Nowadays it is more likely that you will find green-skinned apples in your Waldorf salad, as chefs aim to create a harmonious blend of green shades in their salad.
Whatever your preference in color, there are just 5 key ingredients that should be included in any Waldorf salad: crisp apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, and mayonnaise.
Obviously, we all like to play about with different flavors in the kitchen, and the Waldorf salad doesn’t end there! One popular tweak is to season the mayonnaise with herbs or lemon or to use a full-flavored vinaigrette instead.
You will also often find Waldorf salad served on a bed of crisp green lettuce leaves, making this dish a perfect light lunch or side salad.
What Flavors Go Well With Waldorf Salad?
The great thing about Waldorf salad is that it is crisp, fresh, and has a delicate blend of flavors. This means it can be paired with many different dishes, from a light summer buffet to a hearty winter dinner.
Thanks to the apples, Waldorf salad has a hint of sweetness that can complement saltier foods such as ham and cheese. It also works well with white meats, such as turkey or chicken.
Waldorf salad can also make a beautiful centerpiece for a buffet table, served alongside cold meats, juicy tomatoes, and crisp slices of cucumber.
And if you’re planning a summer barbeque, then the classic Waldorf salad definitely has a place here!
The wonderful contrast of flavors in this side dish works perfectly with the smokiness of char-grilled meats.
Think of the combination of sweet apple, creamy mayonnaise, crunchy walnuts, crisp celery, and juicy, succulent smoked pork ribs – a true taste sensation!
Best Mains To Serve With Waldorf Salad
While Waldorf salad makes a delicious meal in itself, sometimes we all like to try something different. So, here are our favorite mains to serve with a Waldorf salad:
In our opinion, there is no more perfect partner for Waldorf salad than lemon chicken. The two complement each other so perfectly that we don’t know why this isn’t on every restaurant menu!
The zinginess of the lemon cuts through the sweetness of the apple, giving a light and refreshing twist to your Waldorf salad. Every mouthful will taste different, thanks to the range of flavors within the salad.
Definitely a taste sensation, and a combination that everyone should try at least once!
Slow Roast Baby Back Ribs
If you are cooking up a barbeque for the family and fancy a change from the traditional coleslaw or potato salad, then why not give Waldorf salad a try?
This classic salad will work with any food cooked on the grill, as the smokey flavors blend with the subtly sweet, fresh flavor of the salad.
Our favorite is baby back ribs, slow-smoked to perfection. The sweet, juicy meat with that classic smokiness is just crying out for the addition of a crisp and flavorsome Waldorf salad!
Baked Herby Fish
It can be so hard finding the perfect sides for delicate fish dishes, without overpowering the subtle flavors. Most salads are too punchy to serve with fish, but Waldorf salad is a great option!
When serving Waldorf salad with fish, we’d always suggest adding a few steamed new potatoes on the side, as well as some crisp salad leaves.
This is a delicious meal that is healthy, nutritious, and will satisfy even the hungriest appetites!
With a crisp, golden skin, and light and fluffy interior, baked potatoes are one of the simplest ways to enjoy this staple root vegetable.
However, it is all too easy to underestimate the humble baked potato, and it often becomes one of those things that we only cook when we’re totally out of inspiration or ingredients!
But, when cooked properly, a baked potato is the perfect partner to turn a Waldorf salad into a filling and nutritious meal.
Split the baked potato in half and pile the salad on top, allowing the mayonnaise dressing to soak into the fluffy potato. Add a small handful of shredded cheese or sprinkling of parmesan if desired.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
If you’ve never tried a stuffed sweet potato, now is the time! Pack a baked sweet potato with beans, corn, and crispy chorizo, and top with a dollop of sour cream.
Serve alongside a Waldorf salad for a delicious and appetite-satisfying midweek dinner.
Best Sides To Serve With Waldorf Salad
OK, so we’ve got the mains sorted out, but what if you want the Waldorf salad to be the star of the show? Let’s take a look at the best sides to serve with your Waldorf salad!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon
Bear with us here, as we know that Brussels sprouts are not top of everyone’s list! But there is a good reason why roasted Brussels pair well with Waldorf salad.
When Brussels sprouts are roasted in oil, they develop a beautiful nutty flavor that is completely different from the steamed or boiled versions we are all used to.
The addition of crisp, salty bacon bits adds another level of flavor that perfectly complements the flavorsome sprouts and Waldorf salad. Believe us, this dish really is much better than it sounds!
It can be hard persuading your family to eat their greens, but the good news is that grilled vegetables make the perfect side dish to serve with Waldorf salad.
When vegetables are grilled, the natural sugars are enhanced, making them sweeter and intensifying the flavor. The caramelized exterior is delicious when paired with the fresh flavors of a Waldorf salad.
If you’re in a rush, then a bowl of leftover Waldorf salad with tortilla chips is the perfect lunch in a hurry! You can use store-bought tortilla chips, or alternatively, bake up a batch at home with some corn tortillas.
Grilled Ham And Cheese Sandwich
The sweet and fresh flavors of Waldorf salad are just crying out to be paired with something salty, and there is no better option than a grilled ham and cheese sandwich!
Our favorite is thick slices of honey roast ham and swiss cheese, sandwiched between slices of whole-grain bread.
Do you want to turn your Waldorf salad into a more substantial meal? If so, then pesto pasta could be the answer!
All you need to do is cook up some of your favorite pasta shapes, and stir in a generous dollop of pesto. Serve a spoonful of this alongside your Waldorf salad for a healthy and nutritious workday lunch or light evening meal.
Best Drinks To Serve With Waldorf Salad
So, now you’ve got your menu planned, what about the drinks?
If you’re serving Waldorf salad, the important thing to remember is that the delicate flavors of this delicious meal can easily be overpowered. You need to serve beverages that complement the flavor, rather than drown it out.
Most wine connoisseurs recommend that green salads should be served with aromatic white wine with a little bit of sweetness. Favorites include Riesling and Pinot Grigio. Alternatively, a sweet dessert wine could work well.
If your guests prefer red wine, then you need something with minimal tannins, as these will taste sour alongside the acidic flavors of the salad. Our favorites include Malbec, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.
And for those who are steering clear of alcohol, a light and refreshing fruit juice drink would work well. We’d suggest a zingy grape and apple juice, topped with sparkling water for a bit of fizz.
Speaking of fizz, don’t rule out serving a glass of lightly sparkling wine such as Prosecco with your Waldorf salad – sometimes a dish this delicious deserves a glass of the good stuff!
If you’re looking for a new Waldorf salad recipe, here’s a great video from Jamie Oliver!
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