Vegan Chicken Salad – Nora Cooks

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
  • 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!

  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.

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

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