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Not Your Grandma’s Waldorf Salad with Shredded Chicken

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
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Why we love it:

Don’t think you like Waldorf Salad? Don’t panic! Buttermilk in the dressing is creamy but better balances the traditional mayo heavy flavor. Did you know buttermilk is LOW in fat? The addition of massaged kale adds an earthier, leafy component. Give it another 2021 shot!


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 12 pound Chicken Breast (leftovers are perfect, roasted or otherwise cooked)
  • 14 cup Mayonnaise
  • 14 cup Sour Cream
  • 12 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale
  • 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 2 Apples (large, granny smith or other tart variety)
  • 1 cup Celery
  • 1 cup Red Seedless Grapes
  • 12 bunch Fresh Parsley (flat leaf)
  • 2 Tablespoons Raisins (optional)
  • 12 Baguette
  • 2 Tablespoons Walnuts

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. QUINOA

    Combine quinoa with 1 cup water and ½ teaspoon of salt in a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cover. Cook for 18 minutes then fluff and turn off heat. Let it sit until you’re ready.

  • 2. CHICKEN

    If you’re starting with raw chicken, cook it. Either place in a small pot and cover with water and simmer until it’s cooked through - OR place in a sauté pan and sear on both sides until it’s cooked through. Shred.

    If using leftover chicken - dice or shred it.


    In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk. Zest in the lemon, then add the juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the honey. Put the dressing in the fridge.

  • 4. KALE

    Wash and drip/shake dry the kale leaves. Slice off the thickest lower stems. Stack a few leaves together and slice them into strips about ⅓” thick. Place in a large bowl.

    Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Massage the kale with your fingertips until it’s darker green and reduced by about half in volume. Set aside.


    Dice the apple into ½” pieces. Dice the celery. Slice the grapes in ½. Coarsely chop the parley. Add all to the kale. Add the raisins and toss.


    Slice baguette on an angle. Brush with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in a sauté pan over high heat until they’re toasty and golden brown. Remove and add the walnuts to the pan and toast them for 1 - 2 minutes until fragrant; chop.

  • 7. TOSS

    Whisk the cold dressing and pour it over the salad to taste. Toss as you go to get the right amount. Add in the walnuts.

  • 8. SERVING

    You can either toss the chicken and the quinoa in and make 1 fully mixed up salad, or serve the salad with chicken on top and a little scoop of quinoa. Add crispy bread on the side.

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    bread is optional, easy to omit
    to make this dressing dairy free: 1 cup almond yogurt, 1 lemon, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoon tahini, 1 to 3 Tablespoons honey. If needed thin it out with nut milk or water
  • NUTS:
    allergic? Omit. Or try almonds, pecans, or even pistachios
    omit and make this a side dish, or grill or sear some chicken or steak alongside
    lentils, brown rice, couscous
    you can use yogurt, or just more sour cream. If you have extra buttermilk and no ideas, divide it into 1 cup portions and freeze it! Use it the same way once defrosted
    try garbanzo beans, roasted cauliflower, or roasted winter squash

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Poach or roast your chicken in advance
  2. The dressing is actually better if it sits overnight and up to 5 days
  3. Cook the quinoa ahead and store for up to 7 days; serve slightly warmed or cold on the salad
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