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Waldorf risotto is a delicious side dish recipe, combining the flavors of a classic Waldorf salad with the creaminess of risotto.

Waldorf Risotto

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Rebecka Evans


  • 4 red crisp apples
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 1 cup mayonnaise divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon lemon juice divided
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup California walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


For the Salad

  • Slice apples across lengthwise into ¼ inch rounds, thinly slice each round into match stick lengths, toss in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Reserve 1 cup match stick apples, set aside
  • Thinly slice 3 celery stalks, combine slices with apples
  • Add ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar to cut apples and celery and toss, cover and refrigerate until ready to use

For the Risotto

  • Diced the reserved match stick apples, you should have about 4 tablespoons
  • Dice 1 stalk celery, combine diced apples and celery with a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon sugar
  • In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, melt 1 teaspoon butter
  • Saute diced celery and apples until Al dente, (tender but not soft), remove from pan and set aside
  • Heat 4 cups apple cider in a saucepan, keep warm

For the Candied Cayenne Walnuts

  • Add walnuts to non-stick pan, turn heat to medium, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over nuts, allow sugar to melt, When sugar is almost melted or begins to caramelize, stir or toss walnuts to coat evenly. Pour candied walnuts out onto a piece of waxed paper and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, cool and rough chop

For the Risotto

  • Add 1 teaspoon butter and ¼ teaspoon olive oil to the same pan the apples were cooked in.
  • Stir in 1 cup arborio rice, saute for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally to coat rice kernels
  • Begin making risotto by adding 1 cup of apple juice at a time to sauteed rice, allow liquid to absorb, and continue adding liquid 1 cup at a time, until all 4 cups are incorporated, this will take about 25 minutes. Risotto should be tender but not mushy, more liquid can be added if the rice is still tough, add 1 cup water until absorbed and test again until desired consistency.
  • Turn heat off.
  • Add cooked apples and celery and 1 teaspoon butter to risotto mixture, stir to combine. Finally, add ½ cup mayonnaise. Season with additional lemon juice, and salt to taste

To serve

  • Ladle ½ cup risotto portion onto plate, top risotto with prepared Waldorf salad, and sprinkle with candied cayenne walnuts