Our easy vegan chicken salad recipe has the flavor and texture of traditional chicken salad, only it’s made with jackfruit and dairy-free mayo. Make it in 30 minutes or less and serve it with homemade vegan buttermilk biscuits.
Published June 13, 2017 and updated June 3, 2021.
Why This Recipe Works
The texture of shredded jackfruit is so similar to chicken, and its mild flavor is too.
When you marinate the jackfruit in vegan chicken broth, it soaks up the flavor of chicken. Pair that with the remaining ingredients that you’d normally put in chicken salad, and you’ll find that this recipe is closest thing to real chicken salad.
Ingredients & Substitutions
The best vegan chicken salad is made with the freshest ingredients, so make sure that your veggies are crisp and fresh.
Jackfruit – This is the closest vegan substitute to chicken that we’ve found. If you can’t find young green jackfruit, then substitute with chickpeas. Just note that the texture and flavor will not be the same.
Celery – Finely chopped crunchy celery adds freshness and texture to the salad.
Substitute with water chestnuts.
Green Onions – We prefer green onion in our salad because we enjoy the taste better than sharp red onion. If you don’t mind onion breath, feel free to use onions.
Substitute with chives.
Apple – The sweetness and crunch of the chopped apple adds so much to this salad.
We know that a lot of people add red grapes to their chicken salad recipe, and that’s a great substitute if you prefer them over apples.
Sunflower Seeds – We’re all about texture in our food, and these nutrient rich seeds add a nutty crunch to the dish.
Vegan Mayonnaise – This brings richness and a creamy texture to the salad. We like Follow Your Heart Veganaise.
Dijon Mustard – We love the tanginess that this adds to the salad.
Substitute with horseradish sauce or yellow mustard.
Lemon Juice – A squeeze of lemon juice add acidity and tanginess.
Salt and Pepper – Seasoning makes everything better, in our humble opinion. Add to suit your taste.
Drain and rinse the jackfruit and then use your hands to shred it.
Simmer it in vegan chicken broth while you chop the vegetables.
Finely chop the celery, apples, and green onions, and put them in a medium mixing bowl.
Drain the jackfruit in a colander and press the excess liquid out of it. Add it to the bowl of vegetables.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir together until combined.
Jackfruit is a gigantic fruit that grows in Asian and some African countries. It's full of fiber and incredibly versatile. You can make sweet or savory recipes with it, and young green jackfruit is a great meat substitute.
The jackfruit tree is quite amazing. It's resistant to pests, drought, and high temperatures, and it can yield up to three tons of fruit a year, which means good things for farmers and the environment.
Jackfruit is a great source of essential nutrients, such as protein, potassium, calcium, and iron.
It's also a good source of vitamin C. That's good because plant-based foods that are rich in iron should be consumed with vitamin C for best absorption.
It has a good amount of B-complex vitamins, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Jackfruit has the texture of pulled meat, and you can make it taste like chicken, pork, or beef with spices and marinades
How to Serve
Chicken salad sandwiches are an easy meal, especially on a hot and or busy day.
Just toast your favorite bread and pile the delicious vegan chicken salad on top.
If you’re trying to reduce your carbs, stuff the salad in a tomato or avocado, or put it on a bed of lettuce.
Storage and Freezing
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
This doesn’t freeze well because it becomes soggy when it thaws. This is best eaten soon after making it.
More Vegan Salad Recipes You’ll Love
Vegan Chik’n Salad
- 2 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 20 oz young green jackfruit in water
- 1 large celery stalk finely chopped
- 1 green onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped apple
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds raw or roasted
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Finely ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Bring the broth to a boil and reduce to simmer. Drain and rinse the jackfruit, then shred it by hand and add to the broth. Simmer while you prep the vegetables and apple. Drain the broth and press the excess liquid.
- Put the chopped celery, green onion, apple, jackfruit, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup vegan mayo, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in the bowl and stir until fully combined.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This does not freeze well.