With summer almost here and plenty of picnics on the horizon, this vegan chicken salad recipe is just what you need. Not that you’ll only serve it in the summer… Because it’s amazing!
When I first made this recipe and ran it by my crew of taste testers, all meat eaters by the way, they almost cleared out the entire bowl of chicken salad before we could even make sandwiches. One overly excited taste tester noted, “We could sell these chicken salad sandwiches and make a million dollars!”
I’m not sure about the million dollars, but I will say this is the best chicken salad out there, vegan or otherwise. It’s great on bread or lettuce, or yeah right out of the bowl. Plus it’s really fast and easy.
I got this recipe from Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family, an awesome cookbook for vegans and meat eaters (I’ll post a review soon). I changed it up a little, but barely. It was pretty much perfect as is.
If I had one complaint it would be that you can’t go 100% organic with this dish, because organic mock meats are few and far. Still, go organic with the rest of the ingredients and you’ll be on the right track.
Chicken salad ingredients
- 2 cups mock vegan chicken – I used Gardein chick’n scallopini, but if you like another vegan mock chicken, go nuts. If you’re not down with mock meats, consider using lightly seasoned firm organic tofu.
- 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
- 1/2 cup Veganaise or other favorite organic mayo
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (usually found in bulk food section – or Bob’s Red Mill sells it in a bag)
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 2 pinches of celery seed
- Pinch to 1/4 cup of dried parsley
- 2 medium stalks of organic celery (chopped)
- 1/2 large organic red onion (chopped)
- Dash of Liquid Smoke
- Crushed pink Himalayan salt (to taste)
- Black peppercorns (to taste)
The above optional items were included in the original recipe. I skipped all of them. You can try them if you like. Note that while I encourage folks to mix stuff up, I would FOR SURE NOT omit the nutritional yeast or lemon juice from this recipe. These two ingredients seriously make the dish what it is.
You’ll also need to gather organic bread, lettuce, tomato or whatever else you’d like to serve with the salad.
Make your chicken salad
- The night before you make your salad, heat up the olive oil and optional Liquid Smoke in a skillet or pan, over medium heat.
- Place the defrosted vegan chicken (or organic tofu) into the pan. Cook until hot and crispy.
- Allow the chicken to cool, chop into small pieces, then place in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, combine the chicken with the mayo, lemon juice, celery, onion, nutritional yeast, parsley, lemon pepper and celery salt (basically everything but salt + pepper). Mix well.
- If using salt and pepper, add it to taste now.
Serve in a sandwich, on lettuce or however you like. If you somehow end up with leftovers, this saves well in the fridge for many days.
Want more vegan recipes?
- Homemade vegan organic pop tarts with sugar glaze
- Vegan pot pie that even meat-eaters will love
- Organic mocha frappuccino – vegan or vegetarian
All images ©Jennifer Chait