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Vegan Chicken Salad

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Vegan Chicken Salad that isn’t boring but tangy, bright and zippy! And best of all you can totally customize it to your own taste!

Just like Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad wasn’t something I ate very regularly before going vegan. And for similar reasons. Chicken Salad just seems to be cold and bland at best, or warm and congealed at worst. I think I never liked it because I never made any for myself to be honest. So we are fixing that now, and making a Vegan Chicken Salad way better than I remember!

And Chicken Salad is one of those things that everyone has strong opinions about 1 way or the other. Some people love grapes, others despise them. Same with nuts, raisins, and just about anything else you might wanna throw in there. My advice is to add or subtract whatever you want from this recipe.

I do throw some pecans and dried cranberries in there. Those might be the most controversial thing, so do with them as you please. As long as you make it the way you like it you can’t go wrong!

vegan chicken salad ingredients

Jackfruit or Tofu – This is the base, you can use either one, or a mixture of both. I personally like the texture and flavor of jackfruit, but I love Tofu too! You’ll need 2 cups worth for this recipe. For the jackfruit, make sure to get the young jackfruit in brine and not syrup. You can rinse it and chop it up, I don’t get rid of the seeds or anything. I use it all! You can chop it up as fine or chunky as you like depending on what kind of texture you are going for. One 14 oz. can should get you about 2 cups worth once chopped up.

For the Tofu, I recommend Super Firm, the kind that’s vacuum packed. If you can’t find that, Extra Firm will work, but you’ll want to press it for at least 30 minutes. Then I’ll just cube it up into bite size pieces, and then tear them in half. This will give them a rougher surface that will hold onto the dressing. You can also just tear them off with your hands and make them totally rough all over! A 1 pound block of Super Firm should get you about 4 cups of cubed tofu.

Whether you use Tofu or Jackfruit, we will be cooking and seasoning them first. This is to infuse some flavor, but also to dry them out a bit. Water is the enemy of chicken salad, so anything we can do to reduce that will help us avoid chicken salad soup!

Obviously you can use any vegan chicken you want. Seitan, tempeh, or store-bought stuff would work fine too. Soy Curls should work. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why rehydrating them in some vegan chick’n or veggie broth, and then cooking them down like I do with the jackfruit and tofu wouldn’t work. If you go this route, let me know how it goes!


Vegan Mayo – For the mayo, I would suggest starting with at least 1/4 cup and adding more until it’s at your desired creaminess. I ended up using 1/2 cup. You can also make some Homemade Vegan Mayo if you prefer!

Another option for something a little lighter, you can sub out the mayo for some unsweetened vegan yogurt. Try to get something with a bit of tang to it. I like the Forager brand yogurt for this scenario.

  • Fresh Veggies – I like using red onions, celery and garlic for some added bite (both texturally and flavor wise) add whatever else you like!
  • Fresh Herbs – I like to use some Dill, Parsley and Chives. Tarragon would work too!
  • Tangy & Bright – Capers will bring a nice salty edge and some dijon mustard and red wine vinegar will add some acidic tang. You can use lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar too.
  • Nuts & Fruit – Add whatever nuts and fruit you like! Or leave them out all together! I like pecans and dried cranberries but you do you!

This bears repeating, feel free to season this as you wish, you can certainly add or subtract things as you see fit.

Handy Dandy Video Here!

other variations!

I also have some variations on this recipe! Check out the Curry Chicken Salad!

As well as the Gochujang Chicken Salad recipes too!

other recipes you might like…

storage

Keep in the fridge in Tupperware for 3 days. Though if you’re like me it’ll all be gone the same day you make it! You can also double or triple the recipe and have Chick’n Salad for days. The flavors get better the next day in fact!

Recommendations for Kitchen Gear, Spices & Pantry Items, Photos and Videos, are on my AMAZON Storefront!

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, please leave a rating & review! It really helps out the blog and it makes my day, thank you!

Yield: 2-3 Servings

Vegan Chicken Salad

Vegan Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped jackfruit or cubed tofu
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo (or unsweetened vegan yogurt)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped capers
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Drain and wash off jackfruit. Chop up to your desired consistency. If using tofu, cube it up into bite size chunks. You can tear them in half or just tear off chunks from the block for a rougher texture.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat and a little oil, cook the jackfruit or tofu for about 6-8 minutes. Season with the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste, and anything else you might want. Remove from the heat once they get slightly browned, and let cool completely.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Season to taste! Add more of anything you like!
  4. Then combine the dressing with the tofu or jackfruit. Season to taste again! Refrigerate for 30 minutes if you can, but enjoy on a sandwich, with some lettuce or crackers, or just eat it with a spoon!

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10 Comments

  1. Thanks Dude. But as usual can I request that you PLEASE add a Pinterest link to your site so I don’t have to cut and paste your recipe into a picture and manually post it? I have a great Vegan Goodies folder and would love to have some of your creations in there. Cheers!

    1. Hmm, on my end I’m able to do that. I see a pinterest button on the top right corner of the recipe card and if I click it I can pin it with the full recipe intact. I’m not sure how else to do it!
      EDIT: Now I see what’s happening, it’s not including the instructions!

  2. Made this for lunch today, since our AC broke and I wanted something cold to eat. Honestly it was amazing. Perfect texture and flavor. I did add a bit of poultry seasoning while browning the jackfruit and tofu (I used one can of jackfruit, a block of super firm tofu, and doubled everything else because I love leftovers). I will be making this again and adding it to my collection. Also now that I’ve done the jackfruit and tofu like that I may end up experimenting with other things using that as the base. Thanks for the recipe burger meister 🙂

  3. Made this for my meat-eating mother, and she loved it (as did I)! Many thanks for this–I am off to prowl your website for more recipes……

  4. This is the best “chkn” salad recipe I have found. No capers, as I don’t like them, and used dried cherries instead of cranberries. Frying the jackfruit to remove the moisture is genius, as well as adding the spices directly onto the jackfruit and cooking it a tad more. Delish! Any jackfruit “egg” salad planned?

    1. So glad you liked it! And thank you for the kind words! I’m planning a tofu egg salad sometime in the next month or so! Also working on a deviled egg recipe too!

  5. I’ve tried both the classic and gochujang chicken salads and both were fantastic! I’ve also recently purchased your cookbook and tried the “TVP/Seitan Burger” recipe; it’s definitely one that I’ll make again!

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