Easy vegan “chicken” salad recipe made with tofu, celery, onion, carrot, and apple. And Creamy vegan homemade dressing that is so much healthier than mayonnaise and so much tastier! This salad is delicious, protein-packed and great for sandwiches and lettuce wraps. Perfect vegan and gluten-free recipe for parties or for a picnic with friends and family.
First I have to say I really don’t have any idea how original chicken salad taste like 😉 I have not eaten chicken in 26 years. And I’ve actually never had a chicken salad. I named this recipe as a vegan chicken salad because it maybe tells you about the style of this salad recipe more than just call it “tofu salad recipe”. I also didn’t use mayo. You can totally use one of those as there are great vegan mayos available in stores nowadays. I didn’t have any and I also wanted to make this more healthier version and to add extra protein.
Note! Sometimes raw onions can leave you bad after taste ( and bad breath ) because of their sulfur compounds. You can prevent that by soaking the chopped onion in cold water for 10 minutes before adding them to vegan salad recipes like this.
RECIPE IDEAS WITH VEGAN CHICKEN SALAD
Vegan Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap
Wash and dry romaine lettuce leaves.
Add a few spoonfuls of vegan chicken salad inside every leaf. Enjoy cold and fresh 😉
Vegan Chicken Sandwich
Toast few slices of bread in a toaster.
Spoon the chicken salad over the toasted bread. Add a layer of green salad on top. Cover with another slice and press down.
Halve the vegan chicken sandwich and serve
WHY TO USE FROZEN TOFU?
To freeze tofu is an easy way to make it more “meaty” and less mushy and to add more bite to it. Freezing also helps tofu to absorb marinades better.
1. Place tofu in the freezer for at least 3 hours. I always have some in my freezer, you can’t just put the package of tofu right into the freezer when coming from a store.
2. When you want to use it, just unwrap the tofu and let it defrost ( if in a hurry, use a microwave ).
3. Gently squeeze out excess water with your hands. Or use a tofu press.
4. Cut the tofu into cubes or use your hands to crumble it to “chicken bites”
5. Marinade depending on the recipe. Frozen tofu works best in stir-fry recipes, vegan salad recipes, or inside veggie wraps.
Vegan Tofu “Chicken” Salad
- 1/2 cup celery 1 stalk
- 1/2 cup red onion half an onion
- 1/2 cup carrot 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup greenapple half an apple
- 200 g firm tofu frozen if possible
- marinade for tofu:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- ingredients for cashew mayo:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water add more if needed
- 2 tbsp olive oil add more if you want more oily mayo
- First defrost the tofu ( if you are using frozen one ) and press all extra liquid away as much as possible. You can use tofu press or just wrap it inside a clean towel and add weight on top for 10 minutes.
- While tofu is drying, prepare the cashew mayo. First soak the cashews in hot water for 10 minutes ( or use overnight soaked cashews ). If you have a good quality high-speed blender, soaking is optional. But it will give more creamier version easier. Add drained cashews along with all other mayo ingredients to blender and process until smooth. Add more water or oil if it's too thick. Taste and add more salt if needed or more vinegar for tangy flavour. Pour into a glass jar and store in fridge. It stays good at least a week.
- Chop all the vegetables to similar size pieces. I like them quite small, max half-inch pieces, but do as you like it most. You can also add different vegetables based on your taste or what you have in hand. I like to have every vegetable about similar amount to get balanced taste.
- Using your thumbs, crumble small bite-size pieces off from the tofu block into a frying pan. Cook with low heat in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes to make sure all extra liquid is gone. Add marinade ingredients and mix well. Cook in medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tofu is little bit crispy but not too hard.
- Mix vegetables with tofu in a large size bowl. Add cashew mayo dressing one spoonful a time and combine until you get desired consistency.
- You can serve this salad immediately or store in fridge, it last good for 3-5 days.