Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Tofu Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

This Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Tofu Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing is the ultimate healthy indulgent salad! It’s topped with a vegan version of Honey Mustard Dressing and SO crave-worthy!

A bowl of vegan crispy cajun fried chicken salad with honey mustard dressing.

I know, this title is a mouthful. Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Tofu Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing. Let me explain. Back in college, before turning vegetarian then vegan, my favourite salad in the whole world was the Crispy Cajun-Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from TGI Fridays.

Okay, maybe not in the whole world, but definitely my part of the world and the salad that was most available to me. It was made up of lots of lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, eggs, Monterey-Jack cheese and fried chicken strips on top. Now, while I’ve made a whole barrage of beautiful and interesting salads on JITK over the years, I’ve never recreated this one. Good grief, one day last month the craving for it hit me like a brick.

So recreate I did.

Vegan fried chicken salad in a white bowl.

I’ve made this three times in the last two weeks. I honestly can’t stop devouring that entire salad over and over. Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Tofu Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing. WOW. I used tofu to replace the chicken, and of course, you could use seitan if you wanted something muchhh closer in texture. But all I really wanted was some really well-pressed tofu. The less water, the more of a chew it gets, like chicken. Breaded in flour, vegan buttermilk, and then panko breadcrumbs, it pan fries in a bit of oil to crisp up. Then comes the salad. I used grape tomatoes instead of the huge tomatoes I used to get, I didn’t even try to replace the eggs, I shredded red cabbage and carrots. Honestly, the first time I made this I didn’t use the red cabbage or carrots. It makes a DIFFERENCE. Trust me.

Top down view of vegan crispy cajun fried chicken salad in a bowl.

I know what you’re probably thinking at this point. “Honey mustard dressing?!” Okay, I’ll admit, there’s no honey. However I wanted to keep this recipe super consistent to the original and it’s made with honey mustard dressing, and this vegan version tastes just like honey mustard dressing. I mean seriously – Gavin and I are starting to wonder if they ever did use actual honey in the original? Because it’s an exact match taste for taste. Anyway, this creamy dressing is made up on vegan mayonnaise, maple syrup and mustard. It makes the perfect creamy topping for this salad.

Happiness. That’s what I felt eating this. Knowing I was having loads of greens, but also some indulgence with the crisp cajun fried tofu topping. There’s something about hitting a nostalgic feeling right on the head that brings the ultimate kind of happiness.

Vegan cajun fried chicken salad drizzled with dressing.

I hope my story inspires you to try this salad friends! P.S. weirdly enough, the leftover are even better that the original! I reheated the tofu strips in my toaster oven the next day (I made extra) and they tasted even more like the original salad. So, if you’re making extra of this, you certainly can!

Eat up and enjoy, friends!

 

This Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing is the ultimate healthy indulgent salad! It's topped with a vegan version of Honey Mustard Dressing and SO crave-worthy! via https://jessicainthekitchen.com
Top down view of vegan crispy cajun fried chicken salad drizzled honey mustard dressing.

Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Tofu Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

This Vegan Crispy Cajun Fried Tofu Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing is the ultimate healthy indulgent salad! It’s topped with a vegan version of Honey Mustard Dressing and SO crave-worthy!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Course 30 Minute Meals
Cuisine American
Ingredients

Vegan Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • ¾ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard

Vegan Fried Chicken Tofu

  • ¼ cup soy milk or almond milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs gluten free if necessary* + 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ cup flour gluten free if necessary**
  • ¼ block of extra firm tofu pressed
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or peanut oil or safflower oil or other oil, not olive oil

Salad

  • 3 cups lettuce washed and rinsed, chopped or shredded
  • 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • ½ carrot shredded
  • ¼ cup shredded red cabbage
  • ¼ shredded vegan cheese
Instructions

Instructions

Vegan Honey Mustard Dressing

  • Mix all the ingredients together, stirring well. Taste and adjust to your taste. Place in the fridge until you need it.

Vegan Fried Chicken Tofu

  • Cut the tofu in 1 inch by 3 inch strips. Some more water will come out, so wrap gently in paper towel to soak up the extra water while you prep the dredging stations.
  • Place the flour in a plate/bowl, then the vegan buttermilk (the milk with vinegar) in a bowl, and the panko breadcrumbs in another plate/bowl. Line them up next to each other for a dredging station. Mix 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning into the flour, and the other tablespoon into the breadcrumbs along with the sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dip one piece of tofu into the flour, then the buttermilk, shaking off the excess and then roll into the panko breadcrumbs, ensuring to press these in. Be gentle - you don't want to break the tofu!
  • Heat up the oil in a pan until at high heat. Place a strip of tofu in and fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb any oil.

Salad

  • Toss all the salad ingredients together. Top with the vegan fried chicken tofu, and drizzle the vegan honey mustard dressing on top. Enjoy!
NOTES
*If you can’t find gluten free panko breadcrumbs, you can make it by toasting some gluten free bread, then pulsing it in your food processor or blender until it turns into breadcrumbs. The toasting gives them that panko effect.
**My favourite gluten free flour brand is Bob’s Red Mill.
PLEASE adjust these quantities to the way you want your salad!

Nutrition

Calories: 932kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Sodium: 1235mg | Potassium: 1271mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 14797IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 374mg | Iron: 9mg
by Jessica

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6 comments

  1. Elie says:

    Looks delish. What type of tofu did you use? Thanks!

  2. Elie says:

    Awesome! Thanks for adding that info. I’m a beginner. 🙂 I can’t wait to try this out.

  3. Carlie says:

    Can you air fry instead of pan fry?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Yes you can Carlie thank you so much for reading!

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