This chicken Waldorf salad is a bit different than the ones you may be used to. The classic version can be a bit polarizing due to the mayonnaise, so we decided to switch it up!
Our no-reheat version has all the delicious elements you know such as crunchy apples, sweet grapes, walnuts, and celery with the addition of quinoa, chicken, and blue cheese crumbles. If you’ve ever been on the fence about trying a Waldorf salad or just want to change it up, give our version a shot!
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What you can change about this chicken Waldorf salad:
- Use chicken thighs instead of breasts. Shrimp, salmon, canned chicken, or canned tuna would be delicious as well!
- If you want a plant-based option baked tofu, tempeh, vegan chicken, or chickpeas would be a great substitute!
- If you don’t like blue cheese, swap it out for goat cheese, feta, gorgonzola, or any crumbly cheese of your choice!
- Use your favorite leafy greens such as spinach, kale, mixed greens, or romaine instead of arugula.
- Change out quinoa for farro or couscous.
- Swap out the dried cranberries for raisins or golden raisins.
- Use whatever nuts you have on hand instead of walnuts!
- For a creamier dressing that is closer to a traditional Waldorf salad, add 1 tbsp of mayo or vegan mayo to the salad.
Will this chicken Waldorf salad still be creamy without the mayo?
It won’t be as creamy as it would be if you use mayonnaise, but it will still have a slightly creamy texture! This is because of the blue cheese crumbles and the lemon juice. When they are added together, the blue cheese will turn into more of a sauce.
If you want it to be creamier without adding mayo, you can always add in more blue cheese crumbles and lemon juice. If you run out of lemon juice, you can add a touch of olive oil to help the crumbles liquefy a bit.
How to repurpose this salad/make it more filling
For some of us, a salad isn’t enough and that’s totally understandable! Stuffing a pita or wrap with this salad would be a great option to make it more filling.
This chicken Waldorf salad also makes a great appetizer or side during a dinner party or gathering!
Storage and Reheating Notes
This salad lasts in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s not freezer-friendly. You don’t have to reheat it! It tastes great cold or at room temp. Happy prepping!
Don’t forget to try some of our other no-reheat recipes!
- Roasted Veggie Sandwiches
- Basil Lime Chicken & Peach Kale Salad
- Veggie Pesto Pasta With Chickpeas
- Grilled Veggie Hummus Wraps
- Chickpea, Spinach, Onion and Red Pepper Pita Wraps
- The “Everyday” Kale Salad With Homemade Dressing
Chicken Waldorf Salad With Quinoa
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 oz chicken breast pounded thin or butterflied if very thick
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 3/4 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1.5 cup water
- 3 cup arugula roughly chopped
- 1 lemon for juices
- 1 cup blue cheese crumbles sub crumbly cheese of your choice
- 1 large red apple chopped small, sub 2 small apples
- 1 cup red grapes chopped in half
- 1 stalk celery chopped small, sub 1 cucumber, seeded
- 1 cup walnuts sub almonds or pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
- Mix the paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken breast to a baking dish on a sheet pan. Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture on the chicken breast and rub it in gently with your fingers or the back of a spoon, then flip it over and repeat on the other side. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken breast is. No need to flip it halfway.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package while the chicken cooks. In a big bowl, toss the cooked quinoa, chopped arugula, juice from half the lemon, the blue cheese, and add a pinch of salt.
- Squeeze half the lemon over your chopped apples and mix well to keep them from browning. Add the chopped apple, grapes, celery, walnuts, and dried cranberries to the quinoa mixture. Mix until the blue cheese starts to get creamy from the lemon. Separate the salad into meal prep containers.
- When the chicken is done, allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then shred it with two forks OR chop it into small bite-size pieces. Totally up to you! Store the chicken separate from the salad if you plan on reheating it.