California Chickenn and Quinoa Salad

California-Chicken-Quinoa-SaladCan you believe that it is almost June? I know that time is supposed to go faster as we get older, but honestly the reality of summer being here is a little overwhelming.

Between brakes going on in the car, my oldest son catching a very serious case of Hot Tub disease (from a vacation rental), we’ve had more than a little drama around here lately.  I’m looking forward to a (hopefully) very peaceful summer.

Growing up in the South, there were certain foods that we always had in the summer.  Chicken Salad was one of them.  I never liked it when I was little but by the time I hit high school a really good Chicken Salad Sandwich was something I craved.

These days, while Chicken isn’t part of my diet, I still find myself longing for Chicken Salad.  And honestly, I don’t miss the Chicken in it at all.

I used tempeh when I made this, but feel free to substitute your protein of choice.  I used Nayonaise in the nutritional information but I really like the Tofu Cashew Mayonnaise from Fat Free Vegan for a healthier option.

I’m headed to the grocery store today to stock up for the June Salad Challenge hosted by Angela of Oh She Glows. The challenge is simple – include one salad a day in your diet every day for the month of June. I used to eat salad every day for breakfast but I got really burnt out (due to eating the same thing over and over) and lately I haven’t been getting enough produce in my diet. I’m committed to rectifying this in the month of June.

I’ll be sharing some of my new creations here and on Facebook as well as Tweeting & Pinning using the tag #saladaday!

Won’t you join me?

California "Chicken" and Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8

Calories per serving: 260

Fat per serving: 15.2 g



  • 16 ounces Chicken or Tempeh, cooked or steamed
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup grapes, sliced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup tofu mayo, veganaise or low fat mayonnaise of choice
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large bowl combine protein (Chick’n, tempeh or chicken), quinoa, grapes, celery and pecans.
  2. In a smaller bowl combine mayonnaise, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until well combined. Toss with quinoa mixture. Serve on bread, wrap or salad of choice.


Calories 260, Carbohydrates 20.5g, Protein 13.3g, Fat 15.2g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 244 mg, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 4.1g, Weight Watchers Points Plus 7, Old Points 6

  • Kristen

    Can I substitute olive oil for the mayo?

    • Wendy Polisi

      That should work but I'd start with 1/4 cup olive oil and add more if its too dry. If you do try it, let me know how it goes!

  • Brad

    This was quick, easy, filling and delicious! Also, I tried the veganaise for the very first time in my life…so tasty!

    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad you enjoyed it! And I agree – Veganaise is so delicious! I never liked mayo before and I'm hooked now.

  • Shawn

    I am addicted to this recipe. The last time I made it I had to double the recipe to make it last the day. Brava! I look forward to trying more recipes! Question: one of your recipes calls for almond milk, could I use skim instead? Thanks!!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hi Shawn! So glad that you like it! Yes, any milk will work in my recipes. Almond is just what I use. Thanks for reading!
      My recent post Warm Quinoa & Berry Bowl