An Asian-inspired spin on the traditional Waldorf salad, my recipe for Asian Waldorf Lettuce wraps is light, refreshing, crunchy, and a little spicy. Roasted golden beets, apples, celery and walnuts are combined with a sweet and spicy chili mayo sauce.

waldorf salad 1

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest for California Walnuts and am eligible to prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

I worked at a popular Asian restaurant throughout college. I was a hostess, so I took orders, packaged up to-go orders, and helped prep some food in the mornings. It was a great job for a student– I got to take home some of the leftover food if I was working an evening shift. I’m not sure if I was actually allowed to take the food, or if the chefs were just being nice, but alas I took home many, many spring rolls, salad rolls, wraps, brown rice, soups, basically any appetizers that were cooked but no one bought. 

Hey, when you’re a student on a budget, you’ll take any free food right? There would always be these Vietnamese salad rolls leftover at the end of the night and I’d grab a handful of them. I’d package up some peanut and sweet chili sauce and eat a couple when I got home (around 10pm… where I’d shower and then study for a few hours…). Whenever I have sweet chili sauce, college memories come right back, haha.

So why am I talking about Asian food and sweet chili sauce? Because today I’m sharing my recipe for an entry to the California Walnuts Waldorf Salad Refresh contest! 


Someone posted about this recipe contest in one of my Facebook blogger groups and I knew I had to participate! How cool would it be to have your salad on the Waldorf Astoria menu?? 

A Waldorf salad is generally made of fresh apples, celery, walnuts, and is dressed in mayonnaise, served as an appetizer or light meal. The salad was originally created in the late 1800’s at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. Other ingredients such as chicken, turkey, grapes, dried fruit (raisins), are sometimes added. There are thousands of variations out there on the internet! The official Betty Crocker recipe (my go-to source for “traditional” recipes) contains mayonnaise, lemon juice, milk, apples, celery, walnuts and salad greens. Most Waldorf salads are some type of variation of this. 

waldorf salad 14

For my entry, I decided to throw an Asian spin on the traditional Waldorf salad using golden beets, apples, celery, red onion, cilantro and of course walnuts. The roasted golden beets are slightly sweet yet earthy, which goes well with the sweet red apples. Red onion, celery and walnuts add even more crunch and flavor.

The Asian flare comes from the mayo and sweet chili dressing. The consistency reminds me of “spicy mayo” that they serve with sushi. I used a 3:1 ratio of mayo to sweet chili sauce. If you like your salads with lots and lots of dressing, I would maybe double what the recipe calls for. But I like my salads with just a small amount of dressing. 

Here’s the recipe: 

Asian Waldorf Lettuce Wraps with Sweet Chili Mayo
Serves 2
  1. 1 golden beet
  2. 2 tsp sesame oil
  3. 2 tsp minced garlic
  4. 1 tsp lemon juice
  5. 1/4 red onion, chopped
  6. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  7. 1 tsp lemon juice
  8. pinch of sugar
  9. 2 small gala apples
  10. 1 head butter lettuce
  11. 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  12. cilantro for garnish, optional
For the dressing
  1. 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  2. 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  3. juice from half a lemon
  4. 1 squirt sriracha
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Using a spiral slicer, slice the golden beet into thin noodles. Toss with sesame oil, garlic, and 2 tsp of lemon juice. Spread onto a baking pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside to cool once done.
  2. Combine the red onion and celery in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, stir, set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, juice from half a lemon and sriracha.
  4. Using the spiral slicer, slice the apples into thin noodles.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the beets, apples, onion/celery mixture, and chili mayo sauce. Stir gently.
  6. Serve in lettuce cups or on a bed of lettuce. Top with chopped walnuts and cilantro.
Zen & Spice


  1. Love the asian spin on this salad! And the golden beets…. I need to try me some of those!

  2. So creative! I love waldorf salads, but never thought to put an Asian spin on it. Brilliant!

  3. Such a colorful recipe! The flavors look awesome. I love golden beets and they look great spiralized. Pinning to make!

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