Apple Salad With Pecans and Raisins

Apple salad with pecans and raisins heaped onto lettuce leaves on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Tara Omidvar

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
313 Calories
21g Fat
35g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 313
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 127mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 18mg 91%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 356mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This deliciously fresh apple salad is similar to the famous Waldorf salad, a classic fruit salad made with apples, celery, and mayonnaise, which dates back to the late 1800s. The addition of nuts didn't occur until 1928, and the Waldorf salad is now known to feature grapes and walnuts.

In this recipe, we use Red Delicious apples, which provide a fresh and crisp mouthfeel, and for a change of pace, pecans are used instead of walnuts, and raisins are added in place of the grapes, maintaining the salad's general taste and texture profile. What results is a refreshing but creamy dish with a nice crunch—perfect for lunch or even a late-day snack. For the holidays, you can incorporate dried cranberries in the fruit salad to give it a festive touch. 

"I love a healthy apple salad, especially in summertime. This one is great because it has crunch, sweetness, a little saltiness, and chewiness. This is a perfect dish to bring to a picnic or potluck or to pack in a bagged lunch. There are a lot of helpful recipe variations listed, which I love." —Carrie Parente

Apple Salad with Pecans and Raisins
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 5 medium Red Delicious apples

  • medium lemon, juiced, about 3 tablespoons

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • Lettuce leaves, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for apple salad recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Tara Omidvar

  2. Wash the apples but do not peel them. Core and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.

    Unpeeled apple dice in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Tara Omidvar

  3. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

    Apple dice in a glass bowl sprinkled with lemon juice

    The Spruce Eats / Tara Omidvar

  4. Combine apples with celery, pecans, raisins, and 1/3 cup mayonnaise in a large bowl and then gently mix. Add more mayonnaise if desired.

    Apples tossed with celery, pecans, raisins, and mayonnaise in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Tara Omidvar

  5. Serve scoops of apple salad on lettuce leaves.

    Apple salad with pecans and raisins served on lettuce leaves on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Tara Omidvar


  • Fresh pecans work nicely in this dish, but to bring out their flavor even more, toast them first. Place the nuts on a baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray and bake at 350 F for about 5 minutes—watch carefully, as the pecans can burn easily.

Recipe Variations

  • As with Waldorf salad, this apple salad also benefits from the addition of chicken and turkey, or even canned tuna, making it a more filling dish and even a sandwich filling (it is great stuffed inside a pita pocket).
  • If you would like to lighten up this recipe, you can replace some of the mayonnaise with plain yogurt. It will add a little bit of tang to the dish, so you should be conservative when squeezing the lemon juice, only using as much as needed to keep the apples from browning. You can also use a reduced-fat or fat-free mayonnaise if you prefer.
  • To make it vegan, use an egg-free, vegan mayonnaise spread like Vegenaise.
  • You can customize the salad with what's in your pantry: Use almonds or walnuts instead of pecans, add grapes instead of raisins, etc.
  • Turn this salad into a refreshing dessert by replacing the mayonnaise with vanilla-flavored yogurt and omitting the celery.

What Is the Best Apple for Salad?

A variety of apples work well for salad, but crisp, crunchy apples work best. Ideal varieties are crispy Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh. You can also play around with the apple variety, using what is in season or combining two different types—just stay away from softer, more mealy fleshed fruits.