Fresh and Flavorful Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps

I feel like chicken Waldorf salad gets a bad wrap. Er, rap.

Vertical image of a chicken salad wrap on a plate with a green salad, on a piece of burlap on top of a dark gray surface, with a blue bowl in the background, printed with white and orange text at the midpoint and bottom of the frame.

Haha, get it? I crack myself up sometimes…

Usually looked upon as a classic, stuffy recipe that was created at a famous hotel way back when, it seems a little retro. But it’s one of those recipes that’s stuck around for all this time for a reason.

A traditional Waldorf has always been made with apples, celery, and walnuts, with a mayonnaise dressing to bring it all together. And it’s good that way.

But our version brings grapes, a burst of bright lemon, and golden raisins to the party for a new spin on the same-old dish.

Overhead vertical shot of two plates of chicken salad wraps with green salads, on a gathered piece of light brown burlap with a light blue glass bowl filled with more of the dish, on a dark gray surface with white streaks.

Personally, I am all about the types of apples that are used here. You can take your pick from a variety of eating apples, but I like a crisp red Gala or Fuji for sweet crunch, plus a touch of tartness from a green Granny Smith to balance out those overly sweet tones that you can sometimes get from adding fruit to a recipe.

This chicken Waldorf salad should be your go-to lunch, pretty much like our other chicken salad with strawberry vinaigrette, but you can also whip it up and make it ahead of time with leftover chicken, so a simple dinner will be waiting for you in the refrigerator when you get home from work on a busy day.

It’s wonderful on its own, eaten straight up, but my preferred conveyance for this tasty salad is a wrap. Instead of needing a fork, you can simply grab your wrap and go to work, school, or a picnic in the park.

You can use any kind of leftover cooked chicken in this dish (you’ll have some, especially if you learn how to break down a whole bird!), but I really love using rotisserie chicken, if only for the fact that you don’t have to cook it yourself. The savory flavor of roasted poultry complements the sweet, acidic, and tangy flavors of the other ingredients in the best way.

Vertical image of a Waldorf chicken salad wrap in a flour tortilla, cut in half and displayed on a blue and white plate with leafy greens, on a piece of burlap, with a blue bowl containing more of the salad and another plate in the background, on a gray surface.

I first tried chicken salad made Waldorf style as a kid at our annual family ladies’ tea that we have around Christmastime. There were little sandwiches with this filling stuffed between white bread for us kids (because heaven knows we weren’t going anywhere near the cucumber sandwiches).

When I tentatively took my first bite, I thought I was going to hate it, but instead I was pleased to discover that it was oh-so-yummy. The chicken paired with bursting fruit flavors and a light, creamy dressing was just the sandwich to enjoy while sitting properly and drinking tea.

Without the chicken, maybe I wouldn’t have liked it so much. But this particular combination was love at first bite. I’ll always associate it with festive gatherings, and times when you’re looking for something casual that’s also a bit fancy to put on the table.

Overhead vertical image of a blue glass bowl of chicken salad with fruit and nuts, and two wraps on blue and white plates with green salads, and a stack of flour tortillas at the top left corner of the frame, on a folder piece of light brown burlap on top of a gray slate surface.

I’ve been making this kind of salad for years because it’s so simple. You just throw everything into a bowl and mix it all up together. That’s it.

To make it portable, you simply wrap up the salad tightly inside of flour tortillas, like little burritos. I like to pair my wraps with a side salad of mixed greens with a little olive oil, freshly cracked pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.

It’s a healthy, refreshing meal that makes the rest of the workday not seem so terrible. It also makes for a great lunch for the kiddos that they can grab on their way out as they run to make the school bus.

And if you’re hosting a tea party, you know which recipe to turn to.

Print
Two halves of a chicken salad wrap, cut at an angle and arranged on a white plate with a blue pattern, with a blue bowl and another plate in the background, with leafy greens and flour tortillas, on a gathered piece of burlap.

Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

When you feel like treating yourself to a flavorful and fresh lunch, reach for one of these chicken Waldorf salad wraps.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 red apples (like Gala or Fuji), cored and chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2 medium stalks)
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves and pieces, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups chopped leftover cooked chicken
  • 4 flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise or yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and honey. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together apples and lemon juice. Add grapes, celery, walnuts, raisins, and chicken, and toss to combine.
  3. Add dressing and toss to coat well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors meld together for at least 1 hour.
  5. Add a couple large spoonfuls (at least 1/2 cup for small tortillas and 1 cup for large tortillas) of the salad into the middle of each tortilla and roll tightly, like a burrito.
  6. Serve immediately, or wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. Wraps can be made 1 day in advance.

  • Category: Sandwiches
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Keywords: chicken salad, chicken salad wrap, Waldorf salad, chicken

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients

Zest enough of a medium lemon to have 1/2 teaspoon total. I use about half a lemon for this, finely shaved with a microplane or zester.

Get out your cutting board and a chef’s knife. Core and chop the apples.

Halve grapes until you have a total of 1 ½ cups.

Chop 2 medium stalks of celery so you have 3/4 cup total.

Overhead shot of the ingredients required to make chicken Waldorf salad in small round and square bowls, including raisins, walnuts, chicken, celery, grapes, lemon juice, mayonnaise, seasonings, chopped apples, lemon zest, and olive oil.

If you’re using whole walnuts or nut halves, give them a rough chop.

Chop enough leftover chicken until you have 2 cups total. You can use whatever you like, dark or light meat, poached, grilled, baked, or roasted.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Step 2 – Make Dressing

Horizontal oblique image of a light blue glass bowl of mayonnaise, oil, and seasonings, on a gray slate surface.

Add mayonnaise or yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and honey to a small bowl.

Horizontal image of a wire whisk stirring a mayonnaise mixture in a pale blue glass bowl, on a dark gray surface.

Whisk to combine.

Step 3 – Make Salad

Toss together the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Horizontal image of chopped red and green apple with the peel on in a light blue glass bowl, on a rough gray surface.

Add the grapes, celery, walnuts, raisins, and chicken.

Horizontal oblique overhead shot of a glass bowl of cubed cooked chicken breast, halved red grapes, chopped walnuts, and chopped celery, on a dark gray surface with white speckles.

Toss to combine.

Overhead horizontal image of a slightly misshapen metal bowl filled with chicken salad, on a gray surface.

Add dressing to the salad and toss to coat evenly.

Step 4 – Chill

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Step 5 – Make Wraps

To make the wraps, add a couple large spoonfuls (about 1/2 cup for small tortillas, 1 cup for larger tortillas) of the salad to the middle of each tortilla.

A large dollop of chicken salad with fruit and nuts is at the center of a flour tortilla, on a dark gray surface with white speckles and streaks.

Wrap tightly like a burrito.

Overhead horizontal image of a tortilla wrapped tightly around a chicken salad filling, on a dark gray surface.

Serve immediately, or wrap each individually in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate to be eaten later. Wraps can be made one day in advance.

Prep for a Week of Lunches

When it comes to prep cooking for the week, this is a fantastic salad to do it with. The flavors continue to meld together as they sit, so they get even better as you let them mingle throughout the week.

I recommend keeping the salad and the tortillas separate to make the most of this recipe. You can either make a wrap the night before you go to work, or you can bring the salad in a container with tortillas carried separate, to fill just before you’re ready to eat.

Then you can simply make the wraps at your desk. It’s as easy as that.

Horizontal image of two chicken salad wraps on plates, with the one in the foreground cut in half to show the filling inside, with leafy greens to the side of each plate, and a glass bowl of more of the salad to the left of a stack of flour tortillas in shallow focus in the background, on a folded piece of light brown burlap on top of a dark gray surface.

Want to keep things fresh? Here’s even more inspiration for your lunch routine:

Do you like to meal prep your lunches for the week? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe as well!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on November 18, 2010. Last updated: September 20, 2019 at 19:45 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

7 thoughts on “Fresh and Flavorful Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps”

  1. Ah! My mother always used to make Waldorf Salad. It always grossed me out (the mayo!) Perhaps you can tempt me into trying something new.

  2. Kim, Thanks, friend!

    Tim, Hahaha, well, thanks!

    Anne, This version has no mayo if you want to make it with yogurt! Nothing to fear!

  3. I agree with Anne in that my mom always makes this with A TON of mayo. and it always grossed me out. But this is a different story. Must try soon.

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