This Curry Tofu Salad is a vibrant, flavorful, and realistic chicken salad substitute. Toss the “chicken” style tofu in the creamy curry sauce and layer it into lettuce cups for a refreshing and healthy lunch!
Creamy tofu salad with “chicken” style tofu
Still searching for vegan meal prep ideas? This Curry Tofu Salad would be a perfect option! It’s easy to make, so creamy and flavorful, and can be served with greens, in wraps, or stuffed into sandwiches. Bonus: it takes less than 1 hour to make and stays fresh throughout the week!
It’s made with crispy baked tofu, fresh vegetables, and a creamy sauce that’s boosted with curry powder and chutney. Every bite is bold, sweet, creamy, and crunchy!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Baked extra firm tofu – The “chicken” style tofu is tossed in cornstarch and oil, then baked until crispy. You don’t have to cook the tofu if you need the salad in a hurry, but I think it tastes better when it’s cooked first. Alternatively, 2 cans of mashed chickpeas, my vegan chicken, or storebought vegan chicken (like Tofurky) can be substituted for the baked tofu.
- Olive oil
- Cornstarch – Arrowroot and tapioca starch can be used instead.
- Vegan mayonnaise – This is the base of the creamy curry salad dressing. You can lessen the oil in the recipe by using my oil free homemade vegan mayo.
- Curry powder – This flavorful and aromatic spice blend is the main flavor booster in this tofu salad recipe. Curry powder is made from a mix of Indian spices, like coriander, turmeric, cumin, ginger, fennel, red chilies, and more. It’s a necessary ingredient in vegan curry and can provide so much flavor to roasted cauliflower!
- Chutney or apricot jam – Or substitute half of a shredded apple or 2 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup.
- Green onion
- Raisins – Or use dried cranberries, dried cherries, or leave them out if you want.
- Roasted cashews – Optional, but they give the salad a delicious crunch!
How to make tofu salad
Press the tofu to remove the excess moisture, then rip the block into small chunks. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, cornstarch, and salt. Lay the coated tofu on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crispy.
Next, make the salad dressing by whisking the vegan mayo, curry powder, chutney, salt, and black pepper together. Feel free to make the dressing ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for later!
Stir the cooked tofu pieces, celery, green onion, raisins, roasted cashews, and cilantro in the bowl with the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary, then serve!
Treat this creamy, filling salad just like vegan egg salad or vegan chicken salad. Scoop some over a bed of greens or into lettuce cups for a light lunch. It can also be stuffed into sandwiches, vegetable wraps, or enjoyed on its own with crackers or bread for dipping.
Frequently asked questions
- How do you press tofu? You can either use a tofu press or wrap the block in paper towels or a clean tea towel. Place a heavy plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, then put some heavy books or a cast iron pan on top of that. Let the tofu press for about 30 minutes.
- Should tofu salad be served cold or warm? It’s up to you. I find that the flavors get even better when the salad is left to chill in the fridge for a few hours but you can serve it as soon as it’s assembled with the freshly baked tofu.
- How long does it last? The leftover salad will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days when it’s stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s perfect for meal prep!
Want more creamy vegan salad recipes?
Curry Tofu Salad
"Chicken" Style Tofu
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 tablespoons mango chutney or apricot jam
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- few shakes ground black pepper
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 1 green onion, chopped white and green parts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup roasted cashew pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
For the tofu
- Press the tofu – Wrap the tofu in paper towels (or a clean dry tea towel). Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books or cast iron pan on top of that. Let the tofu press for about 30 minutes. You can skip this step if you buy the super firm variety in a vacuum pack.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the tofu into about 6 slices, then rip each slice into small chunks. You want a ripped texture, and it's okay if some of the tofu crumbles.
- Add the tofu pieces to a large bowl, then add the olive oil, cornstarch and salt and stir gently to combine. You want the tofu to be coated in the olive oil/cornstarch.
- Arrange in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside. Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the dressing and salad
- In a medium-large bowl whisk together the vegan mayo, curry powder, chutney, salt and black pepper.
- Next add the cooked tofu pieces, celery, green onion, raisins, roasted cashews and optional cilantro. Stir until well combined.
- Add more salt/pepper as desired. Serve on a bed of greens, in a sandwich, lettuce cups, wrap or with crackers. Enjoy! The salad will keep for 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.
Cook or no cook tofu – You don’t HAVE to cook the tofu if you want to make it faster and easier. You could simply chop the pressed tofu small or crumble it into the bowl with the dressing and other ingredients. I do think it tastes better when you cook it first.
Use beans instead – Substitute 2 cans of mashed chickpeas for the tofu for chickpea curry salad. Or use my recipe for vegan chicken, chopped or store bought vegan chicken like Tofurky.
Chutney or jam – Instead of chutney or apricot jam, you can substitute 1/2 of a shredded apple, or 2 tablespoons of agave/maple syrup.