This creamy, refreshing, and delicious Vegan Chicken Salad is a quick and easy meal you can make for yourself, your family, or even a barbecue or potluck. It’s gluten-free, oil-free, and ridiculously tasty in a sandwich or with some fresh vegetables!
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Hey Internet, this is really my new favorite recipe. I’ve been making this for lunch almost every day, especially since I perfected my 10 minute vegan shredded chicken.
This is a REALLY easy dish to throw together and then chill for a little bit before eating. You don’t HAVE to chill it before eating but I like my mock chicken salad really cold.
My vegan chicken salad is NOT chickpea based like most out there. It’s actually jackfruit based!
I’m talking about that young canned jackfruit. My recipe for vegan shredded chicken gives you allllll the tips you need to get rid of that briny taste and make your mock chicken crispy, savory, and delicious in just 10 minutes.
Ok I’ll get off my salesman soapbox. For now…
I’ll give you some other options to replace the jackfruit in the sections below in case you can’t find canned jackfruit or you just really hate it. I guess I can’t force you to eat it but I do recommend giving my methods a try.
As far as the mock chicken salad goes, it’s really freaking delicious. I used to get chicken salad on a croissant in college and I loved it.
Strange for a person who hates mayonnaise, I know. But for some reason, that savory, sweet and cold combination just really did it for me.
This dish is PERFECT for a potluck or BBQ, but I also really just love it for lunch or dinner at home. It’s also a great picnic item!
So since I mentioned it’s quick and easy, let’s just get into the recipe.
What You’ll Need
I kinda already mentioned it, but you’ll need one batch of my vegan shredded chicken made in 10 minutes with just the jackfruit and a few spices. That’s really it.
However, here’s a few substitutions if you can’t find or don’t want to use jackfruit: chickpeas (mash lightly with a fork), soy curls (rehydrate with water or vegan chicken broth), seitan chicken chunks, or store bought vegan chicken alternative.
Next, the other components of the salad itself, then we’ll move onto the dressing.
I like celery in my vegan chicken salad because of the crunch, but you can leave it off or substitute another veggie (like bell pepper, carrots, or broccoli) if you hate celery.
I also like the sweetness of halved or quartered red grapes. I just researched chicken salad and found that most do include grapes (one recipe included tomatoes? Interesting.) but if this sounds gross to you just leave them off.
Oh and I included green onions because YUM! You can also use red onion for a bite, if you wish.
This is OPTIONAL, because I like to make my recipes nut-free when I can… but I added a few tablespoons of sliced almonds to this. It’s a lovely crunch but again it’s optional. You could also use raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or sunflower seeds for a nut-free crunch.
For the dressing, it’s very simple: vegan mayo, Dijon mustard, and agave. That’s it!
I make my own tofu mayo that takes about 2 minutes in the blender and it’s also nut and oil-free. It’s customizable too.
But store bought vegan mayo will also work!
Oh and you can substitute the agave for the sweetener of your choice. I do recommend a liquid sweetener but if you’re using coconut sugar or cane sugar, use a little less (to taste).
Fresh dill and chives are optional finishing herbs for this dish. They’re absolutely delicious with it but not required to make this taste good.
Oh, and you can add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to this if you like. I add pepper when I put in a sandwich with either butter lettuce (Mmm) or green leaf lettuce (still good, and cheaper).
How to Make Vegan Chicken Salad
This is one of those recipes that seems so easy I’m almost embarrassed to write instructions for. But, I do have a few tips.
- First, if you’re making my vegan shredded chicken out of jackfruit, you’ll want to cool it down after cooking. Cool it so it’s not hot to the touch--I usually just throw mine in a bowl or container and put it in the freezer while I chop up my other ingredients.
- If using a different vegan chicken replacement (see the What You’ll Need section in the article above for ideas on substitutions) prepare it first.
- Finely slice your green onions and celery (if using) (I like to halve lengthwise and then finely slice). If you’re using red or green grapes, halve or quarter them depending on the size and your preference. Also finely chop your fresh dill and chives, if using. Mix in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl or jar, mix the vegan mayo, mustard, and agave (or sweetener of choice). You can add a little salt if you like, but since I make my own vegan mayo, it was already salted to my preference.
- Fold the vegan mayo mixture (just fold it in! Kidding.) into the vegan chicken and veggies/fruit mixture until well combined. It’s like stirring, but trying not to mush anything. Add your herbs and sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds / sunflower seeds (if using) and mix again.
- Chill for at least 20-30 minutes for the best taste (but it’s not required) and serve on a sandwich, with greens, or just a spoon/fork. Add freshly cracked black pepper if you’d like. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
More Quick and Light Vegan Recipes
What I love best about this recipe is how fast and delicious it is. But also light--sometimes (especially in the warmer months) I just like a nice light dish. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Ranch Pasta Salad with Homemade Ranch
- Vegan Chicken Cucumber Salad (similar to this recipe yet a different flavor and a lot more veggies)
- Vegan Waldorf Salad
- Chickpea Florentine Pasta (one pot)
- Creamy Avocado Salad
- Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Lemon Miso Tahini Dressing
- Vegan Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberry Tahini Dressing
- Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Pickled Red Onions
- Watermelon Vegan Feta Salad
- Vegan Italian Salad with Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. I think he ate at least two or three sandwiches of this the first time I made it, and regularly asks for seconds. I usually double or triple the recipe!
This vegan chicken salad is:
- Sweet AND savory
- And great for a meal, side, or dish to bring to a barbeque or party--even meateaters will enjoy it!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!