This waldorf salad without mayo is an easy but flavourful dish that is perfect as a side for a light lunch or dinner, or to go with other plates for a BBQ or picnic. With some ingredient swaps it is suitable as a low histamine salad, as well as being vegetarian and gluten-free.
Trying to find salads without mayo can be a bit tricky at times, but I have you covered! Perhaps you may also like to see my roasted vegetable panzanella salad, which has a tahini dressing, and my sweet potato couscous salad which is perfect for fall.
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Why this recipe is so good
- The best crunch. Crisp apple and celery goes so perfectly with the toasted pistachios.
- Without mayo. For those who aren't able to have mayo, this salad uses a honey oil-based dressing instead.
- Easy to make. Super simple, with just a few steps.
Traditionally, waldorf salad is made with apples, celery, walnuts, grapes and mayo. Sometimes it is served on lettuce, although we haven't ever done that in our family.
So this is my take, and a waldorf salad without mayo:
- Apples: for sweetness and a good crunch. Personally I like gala apples in this recipe, but any you prefer will work!
- Celery: for an even better crunch! Light and refreshing. Did you know that celery is a good source of antioxidants and has generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre? (Healthline).
- Pistachio nuts: in place of walnuts, I use pistachio nuts as they rate as low histamine on the SIGHI list. Be sure to use ones that aren't salted or roasted as that would change the flavour.
- Blueberries: in place of grapes. I think blueberries actually taste better, and go so well with the celery and pistachio nuts. Brimming with health benefits, blueberries are known to be a source of the flavanoid anthocyanin, as well as vitamin C and many other nutrients (Medical News Today).
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Add the pistachio nuts to a pan (without any oil) and toast on a low heat until they become fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Step 2: Make the honey dressing by combining the oil and vinegar, and stirring well.
Step 3: Combine the fruit and vegetables in a bowl, stir through the pistachios and drizzle over the dressing.
Vinegar and a low histamine diet
This waldorf salad can of course be made without a dressing, but I have included a very simple one in the recipe. Oil-based dressings typically also include a vinegar or citrus to offset the olive oil.
One of the questions I get asked the most is which type of vinegar is 'allowed' on a low histamine diet. The answer is a bit complex, and I can only tell you what the SIGHI list describes in relation to their score of foods from 0-3 in terms of histamine. Definitely consult with a doctor or dietician for their advice, and whether any form of vinegar (even those deemed low histamine) are suitable for you personally.
You can leave the vinegar out of this recipe if it can't be tolerated, but it won't have the same tang. Perhaps not use a dressing at all, or one you know you tolerate.
Higher histamine vinegars
There are many higher histamine vinegars, and so likely best avoided on a low histamine diet. These include:
Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar - all of which score 3 on the SIGHI list.
Lower histamine vinegars
These vinegars score lower on the SIGHI list, but you should be sure you tolerate before using in this recipe:
White distilled vinegar
This scores 0 and has the note 'Low histamine, but not free from histamine. Use sparingly. Check for intolerated additives'. I use the Heinz white distilled vinegar.
Apple vinegar (by which I assume SIGHI mean apple cider vinegar)
This scores 1, but a little confusingly has the H for high histamine content and a ? as a liberator. Personally I do OK with a teaspoon of the Aspall organic apple cyder vinegar, but this is one to tread carefully with if you are unsure how you would react (seek the advice of a dietician).
How to serve
I tend to have this salad as a lunch alongside some fresh mozzarella, and perhaps some new potatoes in the summer months. Or if I have a batch, then my seed crackers are good too.
It can also be lovely as one dish amongst many others at a family BBQ or picnic. A variety of salads, crackers, cheeses and some meat or fish where you can have a bit of everything you fancy is always my idea of a perfect meal! There are lots of recipes you can pair this waldorf salad without mayo with in my low histamine recipes collection.
More salads to enjoy
Waldorf salad without mayo
- 2 apples diced
- 3 celery sticks diced
- ⅓ cup pistachio nuts halved or crushed
- ⅓ cup blueberries halved
- mint leaves to garnish
For the dressing
- 1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar optional
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
- Add the pistachio nuts to a pan (without any oil) and toast on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until they become fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing by combining the oil, vinegar (if using), honey, salt and pepper (if using) in a small bowl and stirring well to combine.
- Add all the fruit and nuts to your serving bowl or plate, drizzle over the dressing and garnish with mint. You may have extra dressing left over for another dish. Enjoy!
- Toast the pistachios without oil, giving them a stir occasionally so they don't catch and burn.
- Dice the apple last as it can brown easily.
- If you prefer to use foods scoring 0 on the SIGHI list, then swap out apple cider vinegar for distilled white vinegar. Or leave out altogether.
- apple cider vinegar, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2.