With only 4 ingredients, you’ll get rich, creamy mouthfeel, delicate, fresh sweetness, and lots of crunch in this classic Waldorf Salad — made keto-friendly. It’s super-easy to prepare, too: just combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix, and that’s it! You can refrigerate the salad for a few hours for deeper flavors.
Serve this wonderful Waldorf Salad in your New Year’s celebrations, remember it in the summertime when grilling, or use it as filling in your keto sandwiches — or make it a full meal, see the tips at the end of the post.
Tips for making the 4-Ingredient Keto Waldorf Salad
This is an easy dish to throw together. You can even let your kids help with that — like my son helped me, as you can see from the photo below where he is chopping celery.
The key is to slice the celery stalks as thin as you can. Even people who hate celery will tolerate it well in this salad, especially when the celery is sliced extremely thin. (I used to hate celery when I was a kid! Actually, celery used to be my most-ever-hated veggie. I still remember when I was in the first class in school, I went to the school kitchen to ask whether there was celery in the food — and if there was, I refused to eat it. Much has my taste changed from those days!)
Other than that, there are no gimmicks or complicated maneuvers needed to prepare this dish. It’s a good idea to let the ready salad rest in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors mingle if you have time. But nothing prevents you from serving it immediately if you need to feed your family or guests quickly.
So, let’s take a look at how to prepare this simple yet succulent salad:
Slice the celery as thin as you can. Here’s my 8-year-old son slicing celery for me. As you can see, the slices are not paper-thin, so I sort of completed the work later, but I certainly appreciate his contribution and enthusiasm to making this salad — and practice makes perfect, so I love the idea that he is helping me in the kitchen.
Chop also some walnuts into a bit smaller pieces.
You’ll need a very sour apple too — or jicama for even lower carbs. But since they don’t sell jicama here in Finland, I took as sour apple as I could find. Cut the apple or jicama into tiny dices. Actually, my dices here could be a tad tinier. The smaller, the better, because then it feels that there is more apple in the dish!
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. So here go the celery slices (that are now thin!):
…and the apple (or jicama, if you use it).
Add the remaining ingredient, mayonnaise. Use preferably homemade olive oil based (or other healthy oil based) mayonnaise for the best result. In my Low Sugar, So Simple book, there’s my go-to recipe for a healthy homemade mayonnaise. I used to have the recipe with photos on my Facebook page, too, but somebody was reporting the mayonnaise photos (he didn’t like them), so I had to remove it *eye-rolling*.
You can still add a few drops (5, to be exact) of stevia for some extra sweetness if you like.
Mix with a spoon…
…until well combined. Cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors mingle.
My 4-Ingredient Keto Waldorf Salad experiments
My mom used to make Waldorf Salad often when I was a kid. Back in those days, I hated celery, so I never touched the salad. However, times change (luckily!), so nowadays, I stand the taste of celery and actually have even learned to love it. Celery is a wonderfully healthy ingredient and perfect for a keto diet. It’s extremely low in carbs but has substantial health benefits. And making a keto version of the classic Waldorf Salad is very easy – as you can see!
Anyway, this is a very old recipe of mine. I first published it in my weight loss newsletter over four years ago. I remember I came up with the final recipe quite quickly and effortlessly. When preparing the keto version of the Waldorf Salad, I wanted to have sweetness like in the traditional version. But naturally, for the keto version, I couldn’t use fruits, like grapes, that the traditional recipe is calling for. The other required ingredients, celery and walnuts, are really low in carbs. I pondered adding a sour apple wouldn’t hurt — the carb count of the dish would still stay tolerable. To add some more sweetness without carbs, I chose to add a few drops of stevia.
I used homemade mayonnaise to tie the ingredients together and to give the dish that creamy mouthfeel it needed. I was first wondering if I should use some sour cream in addition, but ended up using just mayonnaise — which turned out to be just the right decision, at least for my taste buds.
After adjusting the amounts of ingredients, I was super-happy with the result. I actually had to use much more celery that I had planned to get enough salad. Well, but it didn’t matter as celery is a great veggie and very low in carbs. I didn’t want to add too much walnuts either: the salad had already mayonnaise that made it heavy, so more walnuts would have made it too stuffing. With these ratios, the balance of the ingredients is just perfect. The salad is rich, yet there is lots of certain lightness in it – thanks to celery.
Earlier this week, I was making this Keto Waldorf Salad recipe for my Finnish cookbook with Finnish measures. I realized I could actually post the old but perfect newsletter version here on my blog (instead of the much more complicated recipe I had planned for this week). So, here we go. Enjoy!
|Per serving if 4 servings in total
Tips for variation
This salad is very versatile — meaning you can serve it in several different ways. Serve it in the traditional way as an appetizer on lettuce leaves, or fill your keto sandwiches or wraps with it. Remember it also in the summer: it’s a perfect accompaniment with grilled food. Personally, I’m going to serve this Keto Waldorf Salad in our New Year’s celebrations instead of the traditional potato salad that we often eat with sausages on the New Year’s Eve here in Finland — except I’ve prepared a mock potato salad with cauliflower for several years because we’ve been doing keto for long.
To make this a full meal, add cubed cheese or chicken. Also, shrimp makes an elegant variation. I love sharp, flavorful cheese with this salad. Actually, I was about to take a photo of the batch where I added cheese, but I just couldn’t help myself but eat it. Sorry! It just tasted so good and I was hungry. (Which proves that I really loved the cheesy version!)
Not a fan of mayo? Replace it with full-fat sour cream or plain, thick full-fat yogurt like Greek or Turkish yogurt.
If your carb quota allows, you can add some craisins (aka dried cranberries that are unsweetened or sweetened with stevia or erythritol) for extra bite and tang.
Make it completely vegan by using this keto-vegan mayonnaise instead of eggy mayo.
We had very traditional Finnish Christmas celebrations in our summer house (well, the house is not only for summer, but you can also stay there during the wintertime, too). We often go there to spend a few days during Christmas. Like usual, my mom had prepared very typical Finnish Christmas food: ham, vegetable casseroles, herring, salmon, and salad with cooked vegetables (“rosolli”). Her dishes are actually lower in carbs than the traditional versions. For example, we never use potatoes in our rosolli. Also, the casseroles are made keto-friendly — which means there are no grains or other starchy stuff like in the traditional versions. Here’s a not-that-good photo of our Christmas food:
And on Christmas day, we eat a (naturally very keto) fish dish called “lipeäkala” that I love to eat drowned in a considerable amount of melted butter plus some salt and allspice sprinkled on top. The thing is that when you cook the fish, the whole house smells pretty bad. The dish itself is quite tasteless, but melted butter, salt, and allspice give lots of taste to it.
I actually didn’t rest too much during Christmas but was working on my cookbook — and some language technology stuff for the Maltese language. Oh yes, my son ultimately wanted to take a photo of me slicing celery for this Waldorf Salad in our summer house. Let’s see if the photo is also going to appear in my cookbook:
Hope you had a merry and peaceful Christmas!