Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
This one is as much for you as it is for me. While I truly don’t miss meat 98% of the time, I crave a chicken salad sandwich almost monthly.
I blame it on growing up in Richmond. Of a childhood filled with Ukrop’s (RIP) chicken salad on white house rolls. There might not be a more delicious sandwich on the planet. It’s a cult favorite in my hometown, with good reason. I guarantee that every neighborhood gathering, potluck, bridal shower and BBQ will have at least one tray of that chicken salad on those rolls. No other kind will do.
Since I don’t eat chicken, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. I’ve experimented with no less than a dozen different chicken salad replacements and they are all good, but never the level that I want them to be.
I’ve tried tempeh, chickpeas, raw tofu, cooked tofu, seitan, fake chicken strips, ect. If it’s been used as a meat substitute, I’ve probably tried to make it into a chicken salad sandwich.
I had almost given up hope. Almost.
Then, I saw a friend prepare tofu this way: baked with broth, soy sauce, sage and thyme. She then tore the tofu strips instead of chopping it to create chicken-like nuggets. One bite and I knew this was going to be the base for my vegan chicken salad sandwich.
Ukrop’s chicken salad is for purists, it only contains chicken, mayo, celery, salt & pepper. I tried that version and it was good, but I knew it could be better. So I added some walnuts for crunch and some grapes for sweetness.
And then I dived right into that bowl and didn’t stop until I had licked it clean because it was so, so good.
I’ve made this tofu chicken salad sandwich roughly a dozen times since that first tinkering and each time, I swear I love it more. I’m pretty sure the only way that would make it better is if I served it on white house rolls (which is exactly what I plan on doing next time I’m home.)
Sans rolls, try it like this. Toasted bread, arugula (spinach will work!) and a few slices of juicy tomatoes. Crack a bit of freshly ground pepper on top, then place the other slice of bread on and eat. It’s messy, it’s delicious, it’s perfectly southern.
I can’t wait for you to make this and then tell me what you think. Isn’t it the best vegan chicken salad sandwich you’ve ever had?
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Harvest Tofu Salad Sandwich! If you love Panera’s chicken salad sandwich, you’ve gotta try this vegan version! A tip for PERFECT chewy tofu that tastes just like chicken.