Vegan Chicken Salad
Southern style Vegan Chicken Salad made with plant based chicken, grapes, celery, and a delicious mayonnaise dressing. Serve with croissants, whole wheat bread, lettuce, crackers, and more.
This Vegan Chicken Salad recipe is one of our favorite lunches on a hot summer day. It’s a simple dish that comes together in minutes and can be served as a sandwich filler or as topping.
The ingredients and process used in this recipe are the same as my grandma’s southern chicken salad, except with plant based chicken.
You can use any brand of plant based chicken to make chicken salad such as Sweet Earth Mindful Chik’n, Gardein Meatless Chik’n Strips, or Lightlife Smart Tenders (our preference because they are more affordable and more easily available).
Plant Based Chicken – you’ll need 10 to 12 ounces (depending on the brand packaging), which is about 3 cups, chopped.
Vegetable oil – for sauteing the chicken. A neutral oil is best for browning the chicken but not adding flavor.
Vegetable broth – classic chicken salad uses broth to add a little flavor and moisture to the salad; using vegetable broth ensures the plant based chicken doesn’t get dry, resulting in a dry salad.
Mayonnaise – we love Hellmann’s vegan mayo, but you can use any vegan mayo or regular mayo for vegetarian chicken salad.
Prepared Yellow Mustard – mustard adds a little contrast to the chicken salad and keeps it from being bland. Use 1/2 of a teaspoon or increase to taste.
Lemon juice – fresh lemon juice adds acidity which brightens the flavor and adds a little tartness.
Pepper – since chicken salad is a limited ingredient recipe, adding freshly cracked black pepper in layers (when cooking, preparing, and when serving) makes a big difference to the flavor. Use salt and pepper to taste.
What to Serve with Chicken Salad:
Chicken salad is best served on a flaky croissant, toasted whole wheat bread, with club crackers, or over lettuce.
Serve chicken salad alongside macaroni salad, coleslaw, and a sliced tomato for a classic vegetable plate, or pair with cauliflower soup or zucchini soup for a filling lunch. Finish with peach pound cake or no-bake vegan chocolate pie for dessert.
Vegan Chicken Salad
For the plant based chicken:
- 10 to 12 ounces plant based chicken = 21/2 to 3 cups chopped
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
For the vegan chicken salad:
- 1 cup vegan mayo we use Hellmann's
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup diced red grapes = 20 grapes
- 1/2 cup diced celery = 1 to 2 stalks
- salt to taste
- freshly cracked pepper to taste
Cook the plant based chicken:
- In a skillet over medium heat, saute the plant based chicken with the vegetable oil and salt/pepper (as desired) for 2 to 3 minutes to begin browning. Add in the vegetable broth and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile,
Make the vegan chicken salad:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper (to taste).
- Finely chop the cooled chicken, then add it to the bowl. Add in the diced grapes and celery. Stir to combine until everything is well coated.
- Cover the chicken salad and set in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before serving.Suggested servings: on croissants, wheat bread, crackers, or lettuce wraps.