Dairy-Free Chicken Salad Recipe
I’m loving the sunny weather these past few days. Whenever it’s time to eat a meal, I grab my food and take it outside to sit on the patio. There’s something so nostalgic about sitting in the backyard under the big umbrella while eating lunch. It reminds me of being a kid again, and those were the best of days. Since I live right by the elementary school, I get to listen to recess all day, and some people ask me if it ever gets annoying, but I secretly love it. My plan before blogging was to be an elementary teacher, so I don’t mind all of the screaming and whistleblowing.
One meal I’ve been eating outside all week long has been my dairy-free chicken salad. In fact, I’ve had to make three batches of this already because Kyle keeps requesting it. We both can’t get enough. I’ve been adding it to my toast, topping my salads with it, and my favorite way of eating the chicken salad? Inside a gluten-free wrap with avocado, tomato, and kale!
If you don’t eat chicken, you can sub it for tuna, chickpeas, tofu, or even tempeh!
I think chicken salad is such an underrated recipe. It’s not something I’d order first at a restaurant, but every time I eat it, I love it! I was craving chicken salad a few weeks ago but knew I would have to make my own since I eat a dairy-free diet. Most of the time, chicken salad is dairy-free as long as they only use mayonnaise, but when I was looking at the ingredient list on some of the chicken salads at the grocery store, it said “contains milk,” so I think they may add a little sour cream or some Greek yogurt. Lately, I’ve been loving Earth Balance vegan mayo. Some people believe that a vegan mayo is gross, but I like it much better than egg-based mayo. It’s all about preference! I used the vegan mayo for this recipe, but if you’re a traditional mayo fan, you can stick to that. They both work 😃
Wondering what’s in vegan mayo? expeller-pressed canola oil, water, brown rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, pea protein, salt, mustard flour, lemon juice concentrate. Soooo probably not as bad as you were thinking.
There are so many different ways to customize this salad. The first time I made it, I added a ton of broccoli, but when I was making it for wraps, I left the broccoli out and added more chicken. If you don’t like raisins, swap them for dried cranberries, grapes, or you can leave them out altogether. If you don’t have sunflower seeds, try using pecans or walnuts! I think this recipe could be made with all the extra broccoli and no chicken at all if I needed to bring a vegetable side dish to a summer party. The sauce is what makes it taste so great!
This creamy sauce is perfect for any type of salad. Add it to your kale, broccoli, potatoes, pasta, or seafood! The first batch I made, I used agave, which is my favorite way to sweeten up this dish. The second time I made it, I used 0-calorie monk fruit, and that was just as good! If you’re trying to watch your sugar intake, monk fruit is a great replacement. I’ll be making a pasta salad with this combo for the weekend.
To make this recipe easy and delicious, I used a rotisserie chicken. You can prepare your chicken in the oven, crockpot, grill, or pan-fried. This recipe would probably be so good with chargrilled chicken. I may have to try that for next week’s meal prep.
Using rotisserie chicken for this recipe just makes life easier. I’m not a fan of cooking chicken, so grabbing a chicken that’s already cooked and using it for this recipe makes it so much simpler. I also think it tastes much better!
You can use any kind of bacon in the recipe, but I’ve always used turkey bacon to keep it on the lighter side. I think turkey bacon has a milder flavor, so it doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
I love adding a sweet ingredient aside from the agave. You can use dates, figs, or cranberries as well. Any dried fruit would be a good addition.
Adding broccoli to the chicken salad is a great way to sneak in those vegetables! It’s like eating a broccoli salad and a chicken salad at the same time. YUM!
I’m always going to be a team red onion! You can use white as well. The apple cider vinegar and the creamy mixture will pickle the onions taking away the powerful punch of flavor.
Sunflower seeds add the extra savory crunch! I can’t make a salad without my favorite ingredient.
Tahini is my secret ingredient for creamy salads!
The Earth Balance brand of dairy-free / vegan mayonnaise is by far the best! I use that in almost all of my salad recipes!
You can use any type of sweetener, or no sweetener at all! I love adding monk fruit or agave to these salad recipes. You could also use regular sugar or honey as a replacement. Sometimes it’s best to use whatever you have in the house at the moment.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar adds an extra punch of nutrients and also helps to tame the flavor of the onions!
SEASONINGS SALT / BLACK PEPPER / GARLIC POWDER / DILL WEED / ONION POWDER
You can switch up the seasonings to make your recipe unique! I love using my basic black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and always dillweed with chicken recipes.
Dairy Free Chicken Salad Recipe
- 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise (I used earth balance vegan mayo)
- 1/4 Cup Tahini
- 1 1/2 Tbsps Agave (or your choice of sweetener)
- 1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Tsp Dill-Weed
- 1/2 Small Red Onion Chopped
- 4 Cups Shredded chicken I used rotisserie
- 1/4 Cup Turkey Bacon Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Roasted Sunflower Seeds
- 1/4 Cup Raisins
- 1 Cup Broccoli Chopped
- In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, tahini, agave, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, sea salt, and dillweed.
- Add the creamy mixture to the bowl with the broccoli, chicken, bacon, sunflower seeds, raisins, and onion. Mix until all ingredients are coated. Give it a taste test to make sure it doesn't need any more salt, sweetness, or garlic!
- Place in the refrigerator for thirty minutes before serving.
This recipe will be in my upcoming meal-prep YouTube videos! It’s the ultimate dish to make when you want something easy in the fridge. For the wraps, I used the Mission gluten-free wraps, and so far, they are my favorite! You can find them at Target, Sprouts, and most grocery stores!
Questions for you!
- Do you like eating lunch outside? (this time of year)
- Are you team raisin or craisin?
- How do you eat your chicken salad? A wrap, on toast, plain…or?