Pile this Vegan Chicken Salad onto a sandwich or stuff it into a wrap or a pita. If you’re in the mood for something bread-free, serve it on a pile of greens for a salad. Made with Soy Curls, this easy meatless recipe comes together quickly. It's great for lunch or a light dinner. It’s vegan and gluten-free.
Vegan Chicken Salad
Chicken salad sandwiches were a favorite of mine before I went vegetarian. I stopped eating meat in 1992, and “tuna” (or “chicken”) salad sandwiches made with chickpeas is one dish that I perfected soon after giving up meat. Since then, I’ve made versions with tofu and sunflower seeds, too. The basic recipe for the two is the same – the difference between tuna salad and chicken salad is simply a matter of seasonings.
I’ve changed things up a little and used Soy Curls in this recipe. At this point in my blogging career, think my love of Soy Curls is well documented. I love them because they’re versatile and delicious. And they’re made with just one ingredient – non-gmo soy beans.
Soy Curls come dry and need to be rehydrated in hot water for about 10 or 15 minutes in order to cook them. They then need to be drained of any excess water. I like to soak them in a colander sitting inside a metal bowl that’s just slighter larger. I drain them by pulling out the colander, and then I squeeze out any extra water by placing the bowl inside the colander and pressing down. (Over the kitchen sink, of course!)
Where to Buy Soy Curls
I have yet to find Soy Curls in a store in my area, so I buy them in bulk from Amazon. They can be purchased in 8-ounce packages or 12-pound bulk boxes. You an also buy them directly from Butler. I recommend storing them in your fridge or freezer, because the natural oils in them can go bad.
Making Vegan Chicken Salad
I’ve used red grapes, slivered almonds, scallions and chopped celery in this recipe for a bit of a twist on Sonoma chicken salad. Sonoma-style chicken salad is usually made with grapes, pecans, celery, and poppy seeds. I’ve used almonds instead of pecans simply because I prefer them, and I’ve left out the poppy seeds just because I didn’t think to add them!
I’ve used Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base in this recipe. It adds a little bit of umami flavor to the Soy Curls. Rather than using oil to cook the Soy Curls, I’ve cooked then in the bouillon. I kind of swirl it around the pan with a wooden spoon and then toss the Soy Curls in it while they cook.
You can use Not-Chick'n Edward & Sons Bouillon Cubes, too, or any other type of vegan bouillon that you might have on hand. If you’re using a cube, you might need to use a little oil or water in the pan in order to make a paste to toss the Soy Curls in.
I like to use my homemade tofu-based vegan mayonnaise when I make recipes such as this one, because it’s low calorie and not loaded with oils. Homemade mayo is super easy to make, but if you’re pressed for time, you can use store-bought.
If you can't get your hands on Soy Curls, this recipe can be made with seitan instead.
Vegan Chicken Salad Can Be Made in Just a Few Easy Steps!
- First, reconstitute the Soy Curls.
- Next, cook the Soy Curls for about 10 minutes.
- Finally, mix everything together!
Serving Your Vegan Chicken Salad
Serve your Vegan Chicken Salad on sandwiches, in a pita pockets, or in wraps. It can be served on a bed of lettuce as a salad or in lettuce cups as an appetizer, too!
Soy Curl Chicken Salad
- 4 ounces Soy Curls (about half a package)
- 1 tablespoon No Chicken Better Than Bouillon (or 1 Not-Chick’n vegan bouillon cube)
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 scallion chopped
- 1 cup seedless red grapes sliced in half
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Re-constitute the soy curls by placing them in a bowl and pouring 2 cups of hot water over them. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Once they’ve softened, drain them and squeeze as much of the excess water out of them as possible.
- Place a large pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the No Chicken Better Than Bouillon and Soy Curls to the pan and toss to coat. (If you’re using a bouillion cube, break it apart and mash it with a wooden spoon or spatula. You may need to add a little oil or water to the pan to soften it.)
- Cook the Soy Curls, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the begin to brown.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place the cooled Soy Curls in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix everything together until well incorporated.
- Serve on a sandwich with lettuce and tomato or on top of a bed of greens for a salad.