One of my favorite foods as a meat eater was chicken salad, especially this time of year (although as a disclaimer, I never even tried to make my own–I always went to a place in Birmingham called Ashley Mac’s to buy chicken salad). Anyway, this afternoon, we were supposed to be taking my mother-in-law out for Mother’s Day, but she is very sick today. Since we had originally planned to eat out with her, I was trying to think of something I could whip up fast for lunch, and chicken salad kept coming to my mind. I searched online for a vegan “chicken” salad recipe, but it seemed like all I could find were recipes for “Not Tuna Salad” made with chickpeas. I figured since our plans for the day were canceled, what better time to attempt a vegan version of a spring/summer lunch classic! I have to say, this Chickpea “Chicken” Salad is really good! It’s definitely a keeper in my house. Eat it on bread, inside a pita pocket, on a vegan croissant, or in a wrap.
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp shallot, minced
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
3/4 cup veganaise
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 Tbsp tarragon (I used dried, but fresh would obviously be great, too.)
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Drain the can of chickpeas and pour the chickpeas into a medium bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the chickpeas.
Turn a small skillet to medium-high, add the walnuts, and keep flipping them in the skillet until they are browned. If you use whole walnuts, use whatever you have to chop them. Add walnuts to the mashed chickpeas along with the rest of the ingredients (celery, shallot, grapes, veganaise, red wine vinegar, tarragon, salt and black pepper). Mix well and it’s ready to serve!
The number of servings this makes will really depend on what you put the chickpea “chicken” salad in. For example, if filling pita pockets, this would have less servings than if you used regular bread because you can fit more inside a pita. My guess is 6-8 servings. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!