Vegan Chicken Salad is the perfect fast and easy summer meal. It’s made with all whole food ingredients, is gluten and oil free, and tastes super delicious! It makes a great dish to take to potlucks, too.

sandwich filled with chicken salad

I debated what to use in place of chicken for this recipe. I thought about using soy curls, which would probably be good, but I really prefer the taste of whole food ingredients like beans, nuts, whole grains, potatoes and vegetables most of the time. Then I remembered my Chickpea Tuna Salad, and how much I love it, and decided to work from there.

This Vegan Chicken Salad with grapes and dried cherries has become my new favorite summer dish. I was absolutely blown away by how tasty it came out, and it was gone in about a half hour with help from my husband and mom! I’ll be making it frequently for lunches, quick dinners and potlucks too because it’s very crowd pleasing. I hope you love it, too!

bowl full of vegan chicken salad with grapes and cherries.

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How do you make Vegan Chicken Salad?

The best thing about this recipe is how fast and easy it is to make. First, pulse 1/2 cup raw, slivered almonds in a food processor. Just until crumbly, not into a powder or a paste.

Now add the drained/rinsed can of chickpeas, and pulse a few times until they become flaky. You can leave a few beans whole. You want to avoid over processing, or the whole thing will become a paste which is NOT what we want. Just a few pulses will do.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, you could chop the almonds by hand, mash the chickpeas in a large bowl, then add everything else.

collage showing how to make vegan chicken salad

In a large bowl, add the chickpea/almond mixture, then add everything else: 2 ribs of celery diced, 1/2 cup halved grapes, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup of Vegan Mayo, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste. Stir well to combine everything.

Serve either on bread with lettuce, in a wrap, with crackers or on a large green salad. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so it makes a great meal prep for the week!

bowl with different ingredients for chicken salad, white background.

Possible substitutions

  • Almond allergy? Sub cashews, pepitas or sunflower seeds. Or you can leave them out entirely, but they add a nice crunch and flavor.
  • I prefer my Vegan Cashew Mayo here, but you can use store bought vegan mayo or my Tofu Mayonnaise recipe.
  • I used dried cherries from Trader Joe’s that are unsulfured and unsweetened (and SO good!), but you can sub any dried cherries, or dried cranberries, raisins or leave them out if you don’t want them in there.

close up of chicken salad

Want more summer potluck dishes?

close up of bowl of chicken salad, blue towel and grapes in background.

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sandwich filled with chicken salad
4.98 stars (43 ratings)

Vegan Chicken Salad

Vegan Chicken Salad is the perfect fast and easy summer meal. It's made with all whole food ingredients, is gluten free and tastes super delicious! It makes a great dish to take to potlucks, too.
Prep: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 celery ribs, diced small
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Mayo
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a food processor, pulse the slivered almonds a few times until crumbly, but not so much they turn into a powder or paste.
  • Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to the food processor with the almonds, and pulse a few times until flaky. You can leave a few beans whole; you don't want to over process and have the mixture become pasty and smooth. Just a few pulses will do.
  • Add the almond/chickpea mixture to a large bowl and mix in the celery, grapes, dried cherries, vegan mayo, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve on bread with lettuce, on a salad or even with crackers. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. If you do not have a food processor, you can chop the almonds up with a large knife until small. Then, in a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork until flaky, and add the rest of the ingredients. It's just a bit easier with a food processor. 
  2. Allergic to almonds? Omit them, or sub cashews, pepitas, or sunflower seeds. They add a nice crunch.
  3. I like this best with my Vegan Cashew Mayo, but you can use store bought vegan mayo or my Tofu Mayo if you like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Another great recipe, Nora, thank you so much! We didn’t have dried cranberries sadly but it worked beautifully without them. We added some onion crunchies since my husband loves onions and that was delish too. We only had about a quarter cup of mayo and it worked great. Thanks again–it’s a perfect hot summer no-cook dinner.

    1. Hi Katie. You are welcome! The onion crunchies sound so good! Thanks for sharing your great feedback and review! I’m so glad you love the chicken salad.

  2. Nora, thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it dozens of times over the last couple of years — I just finished making another batch now — and I figured it is finally time for me to say THANKS! I always make it using your Tofu Mayo recipe, and I frequently sub diced apple for the grapes. Super easy and delicious. You are a vegan food genius — thanks for sharing your creative and delicious recipes with us!

    1. You are so welcome, Angie! What wonderful words 🙂 Thank you for using my recipe and I’m so happy to hear how much you love the “chicken” salad!

  3. I just looked through the comments thinking I had already left a rating and review but I guess I didn’t!!! I make this all the time! I don’t use dried cherries or grapes just the almonds. This is such a wonderful recipe!! You rock!!!!

  4. This is one of my favorite go to lunches when I have grapes in my house!  I substitute whatever nuts I have lately it’s been pecans. And I use onions in place of celery. It really is versatile enough to substitute with whatever you want and still taste excellent! 

    1. Hi Jenn. Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review. I’m so glad you love the salad! It’s a great, cool, summer dish! Happy cooking!

  5. For the record, I didn’t believe any of this would work. I made the “chicken” salad and vegan mayo and damn, they’re really good!

    1. LOL! I’m sure glad you tried it, Shannon! I’m really glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing your fun and positive feedback!

  6. This is so delicious! I didn’t have slivered almonds, but regular unsalted worked fine and still added a nice crunch. I also only had dried cranberries, which worked but I’ll be excited to try with cherries sometime too. Thanks for a tasty vegetarian alternative to an old favorite!

    1. I am really glad you loved the vegan chicken salad! Thank you for your great feedback and review! Wishing you happy cooking!

  7. I have made this multiple times now and it’s a staple at our house! Thank you for another delicious recipe!!! 

  8. so so good! Easy to make and I can’t believe how similar it is to chicken salad. definitely going to be making this a lot from now on!

    1. Hi Caroline! I’m thrilled you love the chicken salad! Thank you for taking time share your great review and comments. Happy cooking!

  9. This is just scrumptious, thank you! Easy to make. Had it for my book club and the non vegans not only loved it but strangely  some were surprised it wasn’t chicken salad. In any case it was a hit. Thanks again. 

  10. I’m obsessed with this!! Just made my third batch and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite lunches. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  11. Like all Nora’s recipes this one is delicious and so quick to make.
    I like to eat this wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves.

  12. I’m impressed! I just made this for lunch and was surprised how spot on it tasted. It only took me a couple minutes to whip up! 

    Only changes I made/would make: 
    – did not add cherries, added a full cup of sliced grapes (personal preference)
    – I wish I hadn’t food processed the almonds as much, they got a bit gritty and the fuller pieces would add more crunch 
    – Next time, I’ll add the Mayo more gradually. Mine ended up a bit more moist than I prefer
    – You could add spices if you like more flavor

    Overall, I’m very impressed and was able to make this recipe with what I already had at home. Definitely adding this to my meal rotation! 

    1. Hi Maddie. I’m glad you enjoyed the chicken salad! Thanks for sharing your comments, and for taking your time to share your review!

  13. This was AMAZING! Tasted just like a regular chicken salad sandwich. This is a new favorite.

    I did not include the cherries because the ones they sell at my grocery store are pumped with added sugars. I didn’t feel like it was lacking anything. I used Nora’s tofu mayo recipe.

  14. Super yummy! I used a store bought vegan mayo. But I’d like to try it with the cashew mayo recipe next time.

  15. Easy and delicious! I rinse and towel dry the chick peas for a firmer consistency. Nora thank you for all your recipes, every one delicious! 

    1. Thank you, Margaret, for using my recipes! I’m glad you love them. I appreciate you taking your time to share your wonderful review. Thank you!

  16. I have made this recipe for my husband and I a few times now. So good! Better than any chicken salad I ever had. 

  17. Yummy! Based on what I had I did make a few substitutions. I did sunflower/pumpkinseed/mixed nut combo instead of the almonds. I had no dried cherries so I used dried cranberries instead. I had no lettuce for my sandwich so I shredded some carrots to use as “lettuce” Now that I am working from home, having some good healthy sandwich fillings will be great!

  18. I love chicken salad and found out my cholesterol is much too high for my liking. So, I’m going to try more plant based foods and much less meat. I gave this recipe a try, but was somewhat skeptical of the cashew mayo. Let me say, I was pleasantly surprised. It is so good!! Thank you so much, now I can eat a much healthier chix. salad.

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