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How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin' lovely feathered friends.How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a credible imitation without involving our cluckin’ lovely feathered friends.

When I first started thinking about making this I was merrily carrying my coat over my arm and revelling in the unseasonable warmth. Not only was it kind of warmish, it was also sunny and not windy. In Edinburgh that’s all we aspire to, even in July, so experiencing this topsy turvy weather in January kind of warped my brain a bit.

How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin' lovely feathered friends.The heady heights of 16C does strange things to me.

Being from Florida I was quick to pounce on this change of weather as a sign that I could relax my normal cold-fearing ways. I could cast off my double layer of socks. I could unwind my thick, tatty scarf and actually put it in the wash. I would dare to wear loafers and dust off the paddle boards. Pah!

The weather gods were quick to realise their error and now we are back to our not-untypical 50mph winds, glowering pensive skies and occasional energetic bursts of sleet. But still, a girl’s got to eat. And I’ve really been craving something like this: a home comfort food that speaks of springtime and picnics.

My mother used to make a mean chicken salad – with added water chestnuts for crunch, and usually some crisp green grapes too. I do think that if she were around she might like this version as it was she who first got us eating veggie chilli, back when such recipes were definitely deemed a second-class choice.

How times have changed. Now veggie versions of meaty dishes are seen as completely and utterly normal. Who doesn’t love a good veggie lasagne? Or, indeed, a vegetarian chilli? Only those whose brains have been addled by too much cold or too much meat would dare insist the meaty version of any applicable recipe is always superior.

I don’t know if I can convince firm meat eaters that my no-chicken salad is as good as that containing our fine feathered friends. But hopefully you, my discerning reader and kindred spirit, will think it is something to crow about. 😉

How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a credible imitation without involving our cluckin’ lovely feathered friends.

Vegan No-Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin’ lovely feathered friends.

 To keep this a completely whole food recipe I make a quick avocado mayo to bind it all together (you won’t use it all and it is fab with loads of things), but of course use a vegan or regular mayo if you like, but just maybe use half mayo and half smashed avocado.

One quantity of avocado mayo

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp lemon juice (more to taste)

1 tsp (more if you like) yellow miso, optional

250-300g cooked white beans (or the drained amount from the usual size of can), drained, well-rinsed and lightly crushed with a potato masher or similar

2 stalks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped

2 spring onions/salad onions, trimmed and whites and a bit of the green finely chopped

30g (1.2 oz) toasted pecans, sliced

1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh tarragon OR 1 tsp dried crushed tarragon

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp dried thyme

Salt, a pinch of sugar, and pepper – to taste

Optional: 1 tsp chicken seasoning (salt-free if available); handful of grapes, halved; palmful of water chestnuts, choppedHow can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin' lovely feathered friends.

Method: In a mixing bowl stir together the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and miso with about two-thirds of a batch of avocado mayo OR 2 tbsp vegan/regular mayo and half of a mashed avocado. Lightly fold in the remaining ingredients.

Serve in Little Gem lettuce cups or on best quality bread.

For something even quicker, why not try Planet Veggie’s Chickpea Mayo Mashup? Or, fancy something with black beans? Here’s Tinned Tomatoes’ Easy Black Bean Pate. And lastly, have a look at this great Avocado Chickpea Salad from Amuse Your Bouche.

How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin' lovely feathered friends.How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin' lovely feathered friends.

29 thoughts on “Vegan No-Chicken Salad Recipe (no tofu either!)

  1. kstienemeier says:

    This sounds wonderful I make a chicken salad I learnt from my mother too. But this sounds like a great healthy choice. on my to make list!

    1. Chicken salad is not a thing here in the UK but I do miss my Mum’s chicken salad. Heritage recipes are always the best. I love that it fosters connectedness in these fragmented times. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Karin. 🙂

  2. Mmm, this is right up my street – beans and mayo, and I love the extras you add to it, yum! Thanks for linking to my recipe.

    1. You ware welcome, Cathy. It is a fun, easy idea that is definitely a keeper 🙂

  3. Lauren says:

    That sounds delicious. I miss a chicken or tuna salad sandwich sometimes! Thank you for this clever recipe.

    1. I’m so glad you like it Lauren. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Let me know if you make this? cheers 🙂

  4. noehlina says:

    I was looking for a new salad recipe. Glad I saw this!

    1. Yay! I hope you like it Noehlina. I’m glad you saw it too. 🙂

  5. Nzinga Young says:

    This one looks simple enough to try! Thanks for sharing. –Nzinga xx

    1. Let me know if you do, Nzinga, will you? Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your message xx

  6. Officially salivating!!! My kids love chicken salad, so let’s see if they love your meatless version too 🙂 Enjoy prancing around in the heat wave!!!

    1. Ah, it is away for now but I am *thinking* spring so maybe I can make it happen!

  7. I am no vegetarian, but I love delicious, healthy recipes like this! Pinning to try soon!

    1. That’s great to know. I hope you find the time to make it. Maybe in the spring is more suitable 🙂

  8. Ohh my , I must really try this. Looks so easy and tasty ^_^ Thank you for sharing it with us :* have a great day

  9. This looks fab, love the idea of serving it in little lettuce cups. Yum 🙂

  10. This sounds fantastic! Great idea – yum 🙂

  11. Mishka says:

    I can’t wait to make this!!!

  12. recipesfromapantry says:

    I am salivating too – it is just the sort of meal I never think off but when I see I want to make there and then. Bookmarking to try later.

  13. I really like this no chicken salad, Kellie. I like the creaminess, brightness, and crunch of regular chicken salads, not the chicken itself (obviously ;-). So I’m excited to try this!

    1. This was such a fun meal to make and eat. Thanks Kellie! I used red and yellow bell pepper instead of celery and I really enjoyed the tarragon and avo mayo combination.

  14. Sally says:

    Just about to commence on another vegan month cooking for youngest teen (1 month on, 1 month veggie). She hates tofu! Keep warm Kellie

  15. Officially hungry…My favourite kinda food

  16. superfitbabe says:

    I have to try this sometime! It looks delicious!!

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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