I grew up loving asian-inspired “Chinese Chicken Salad” and whenever I saw it on a menu, I’d order it—without the chicken! I know that might sound crazy, but it I loved the toasted sesame dressing, juicy mandarin orange slices, and colorful salad. And as a vegetarian since age eight, I never missed the chicken. This vegan Chinese Chicken Salad recipe is as close as I could get to re-creating that delicious dining experience.
Fast forward a few decades to today. I figure it’s about time to create a vegan version—but step it up a notch from my “no chicken” days. In this recipe you’ll make your own sesame dressing from scratch, and instead of chicken, you’ll add chickpeas to the salad. Chickpeas are delicious and give this Asian-Inspired Chickpea Salad that filling protein boost!
In this recipe I use chickpeas because it’s so quick-and-easy to open a can, rinse them, and sprinkle them on the salad. But by no means are you limited to chickpeas! You can use any number of hearty alternatives to create your own spin on this Asian-Inspired Chickpea Salad. Such as…
All of these will give a nice protein boost similar to chickpeas.
Shred it up and toss it in the salad! There should be plenty of dressing to cover more greens.
Store it in a sealed container in the fridge and use it for your other salads throughout the week!
Not to worry! You can toss the chickpeas in a tablespoon of vegetable oil with some salt and garlic powder and roast them in the oven for a crispier bite. If you want to skip the chickpeas altogether you can use any of the other vegan alternatives to chicken listed above (tofu, vegan nuggets, veggie burgers, etc.).
Nope! Feel free to leave out the cilantro and this salad will still be delicious. The dressing is so flavorful it won’t feel like something is missing.
We want to thank our amazing recipe tester J.J. Steele for helping us perfect this recipe!
Asian-inspired Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad recipe by Michelle Cehn, author of The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, for World of Vegan. Copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved.
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Recipe looks amazing and I’m excited to try but am wondering if I could use jackfruit instead of chickpeas? Do you think I should marinated the jackfruit fro a while. I’ve a can of jackfruit on the shelf and haven’t tried it yet.
Jackfruit tends to be better for dishes that cook it and shred it similar to a pulled pork texture. You could still use it but it will change the overall texture and flavor of this salad. I would double the dressing and add half of it to a skillet with the jackfruit. Cook it over medium to medium-low until it softens and absorbs some of the dressing, then shred it with two forks and add it to the salad. Hope this helps! If you use jackfruit, please let us know how it turns out 🙂
This is such a perfect replica of the Chinese Chicken Salads I love, but made vegan! Way to go!!
Im always amazed at the versatility of chickpeas! Here is a great example of how it adds a meaty consistency to this Chinese “chicken” salad. This is a very flavorful and healthy vegan version. Delicious, colorful, and beautiful on the plate.
Craving Chickpea Chinese! This video made me drool SO much. All of my favorite flavors in one dish – yum! The thick, toasted sesame oil in the dressing and the addition of the sweet, bright mandarin oranges totally makes this dish an A+! I can’t wait to make this dish for my dad (who is fully Chinese and also loves chickpeas) – wooo!
Love making this! I usually just dump in all the Napa cabbage I have—and if there’s extra dressing, I am glad to save it for other quick-fix salads during the week. Hope you all enjoy!!