This vegan chicken salad is easy to make and reminiscent of the recipe you’ve enjoyed for years…except this one is made without meat or dairy! But don’t worry, there’s lots of flavor, healthy protein, and creaminess to keep you coming back for more!
Cooking with Tempeh
Nothing says chicken salad like tempeh. “Tempeh?” you say.
If you don’t know what it is, let alone how to pronounce it, here’s a little guide. Tempeh, pronounced TEM-pay, is basically fermented soybeans.
Did I lose you? Stay with me on this because it will be worth it in the end.
You can find Tempeh in the same area of your grocery store as tofu. It’s the one soy-based product that didn’t originate in either China or Japan. All credit goes to Indonesia for this tasty little creation. And tempeh packs a powerful nutritional punch: as much as 18 g of cholesterol-lowering protein per serving, riboflavin, magnesium, manganese and copper, and (saving the best for last) the fiber in tempeh binds to fat and cholesterol in the other foods you eat so less is absorbed. Does that need repeating? Eating tempeh can help your body absorb less fat. That alone may be reason to try this recipe.
Tempeh is like tofu in that it takes on the flavor of what it’s cooked with. You can marinade it, grill it, and then slice and serve over a salad for a yummy, protein-packed dinner. Or you can try my favorite way to serve it, Chic Chick Salad.
Let’s begin with a quick trip to the grocery store.
I sometimes have a hard time staying focused in a section like this, but we try to stick to the shopping list.
How to Make Vegan Chicken Salad
When you get your tempeh home, remove it from the package and chop it up. Here’s what that can look like:
A block of tempeh waiting to be chopped.Place the tempeh on a cutting board.
We are going to steam the tempeh, but for this recipe, first it needs to be cut into cubes.
Karate Kid has nothing on me!
You can always break these cubes into a smaller pieces, but for now, nice large cubes will work just fine.
After chopping the tempeh into cubes, I drop them in a steaming basket over a saucepan. Then I steam the tempeh for about 15 – 20 minutes. This helps the tempeh to soften and bind together (and not become crumbly).
What are the Ingredients in Chicken Salad?
You’re going to love the combination of flavors in this vegan sandwich recipe.
It has everything from granny smith apples to carrots and craisins!
While your tempeh is steaming, chop the rest of your ingredients, like the celery, carrots, and green onion, into a bowl.
This is an important step because, well, you’ll see in the next photo.
Once the tempeh is steamed, use tongs to place the hot tempeh in the bowl with your chopped ingredients. Why? Because the heat from the tempeh will gently cook and soften things like carrots and green onions.
You’ll still get a nice crunch from the fresh veggies, but not too much.
Finally, stir the ingredients for the sauce. We want that tempeh well-coated so it can take on the flavors of everything around it.
Then once the tempeh has cooled enough, simply pour the sauce over and stir. I like to Salt and pepper to a desired taste. Serve this over greens or on toasted buns as a sandwich!
This vegan chicken salad is another one of our family favorite recipes! We eat this as a sandwich on toasted wheat buns. I love to serve it with sliced green apples for added sweetness and flavor.
We love a good vegan sandwich. For example, you’ll want to try our vegan lentil burgers recipe. It’s gluten-free and so easy to make! We love it!
Also, we have a delicious vegan egg salad sandwich. I know. How can an egg salad sandwich be vegan? Trust me, you won’t miss eggs or dairy at all in this recipe! Even my mom, who has eaten egg salads her entire life, really loved this recipe!
I hope you love this recipe for vegan chicken salad as much as we do! If you make it, be sure and snap a photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!
- 8 oz tempeh
- ½ Granny Smith apple , diced
- 1 carrots , diced
- 1 stalk celery , finely chopped
- ¼ cup green onions , diced
- 2 tablespoons cranberry raisins
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- ⅓ cup dairy-free mayo
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons berry preserves (Strawberry, plums, raspberries)
- Salt & pepper to taste
Remove tempeh from package. Cut into cubes. Steam tempeh in a covered steamer basket for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl add apples, celery, carrots, onions, dried cranberries, and walnuts and mix well.
Once the tempeh is done steaming, carefully remove steaming basket from pan, drain any excess liquid and dump hot tempeh cubes into the bowl with the apple mixture. The hot tempeh will help soften these ingredients. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine mayo, vinegar, and preserves.
Add mayo mixture to cooled tempeh and season with salt and pepper.