This vegan egg salad recipe really hits me in the nostalgia bone. Growing up, there were few things I loved more than a heaping scoop of egg salad between two slices of perfectly soft, squishy white bread. If my mom packed an egg salad sandwich in my lunch, it was bound to be a good day. This tofu egg salad takes me right back.
Before going vegan, I loved hard-boiled eggs so much that I could have eaten a whole carton in one sitting. Add mayo to the mix, and we had two of my favorite foods at the same flavor party. When I cut eggs out of my diet, I needed to fill the void. The good old tofu scramble was Vegan 101, but how would tofu fare in a vegan egg salad? The answer is: swimmingly.
Why You’ll Love This Tofu Egg Salad
This vegan version hits just like the regular egg salad. Like, seriously, between the color, texture, and flavor, you could probably feed it to a non-vegan and convince them they’re eating the real thing. Oh, and it’s a super easy recipe that’s perfect for meal prep or quick lunches!
When you combine crumbled tofu with all of the same ingredients you’d find in a traditional egg salad, plus a little pinch of kala namak (black salt) for that funky eggy flavor, you end up hitting the nail on the head.
This tofu egg salad is creamy, tangy, savory, and outright delicious. It’s also high in protein. My favorite way to use this is as a sandwich filling, but it can also be served in other ways! Spoon it over some greens, use it as a filling in lettuce wraps, or use it as a dip for your favorite crackers.
Ingredients for Vegan Egg Salad
This recipe is made entirely from simple ingredients, and if you’ve ever made a classic egg salad prior to going vegan, the ingredients are mostly the same! We’ll simply be swapping out eggs in favor of tofu, and adding in a few extra spices to achieve the right color and flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Firm or extra-firm tofu: Tofu is a fantastic plant-based protein source and the perfect substitute for eggs in this classic salad.
- Vegan mayonnaise: Make sure to use a brand whose flavor you really like, because it features prominently in this recipe. My favorite is good old Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart. A lot of brands have released vegan “sandwich spreads” which taste a little too much like canola oil in my opinion.
- Scallions (green onions): Or sub in ~2 tablespoons finely-diced white or red onion if that’s what you have on-hand. It adds a little bite to the salad.
- Dill: Fresh is ideal, but you can sub in about 2 teaspoons of the dried stuff in a pinch.
- Celery: Adds a nice crunch and, in my opinion, makes this taste more reminiscent of the real deal. You can boost the flavor with 1/4 teaspoon celery seed as well, if you have some handy.
- Lemon juice: Optional, to brighten up the flavor of the salad.
- Dijon mustard: A classic addition to mayo-based salads. Dijon mustard or yellow mustard will both do the job.
- Turmeric: A pinch of this will impart an eggy yellow color without changing the flavor. It’s an optional (but fun) addition.
- Black salt: This is the not-so secret ingredient that adds an eggy smell and flavor. Find it at your local Indian food market or online.
- Black pepper. Because pepper is always a plus.
How to Make Vegan Egg Salad
- Press your tofu: Don’t skip this step unless you fancy a watery eggless salad! Pressing your tofu removes the excess moisture. Use your favorite method to press your tofu for at least 30 minutes. Nowadays I can’t live without my tofu press, but otherwise you can simply wrap the block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel (or paper towels) and weigh it down with a cutting board and a few cans.
- Chop & mash your tofu: I like to mash half of the block of tofu (to make the salad creamier and to somewhat mimic the texture of mashed egg yolks). Give the remaining half a rough, irregular chop like egg whites.
- Mix everything together: Easy-peasy. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Keep it classic, or see below for a few fun variations on vegan egg salad.
- Let it marinate: This can be eaten right away, but I do think the flavors improve after they all have a chance to meld in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight.
- Chow down! Get ready for the best vegan egg salad sandwich of your life.
3 Tasty Variations on Vegan Egg Salad
Here are a few twists you can add to this classic eggless salad.
- Curried eggless egg salad: Add in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of curry powder and one small grated carrot. Swap out the dill for chopped parsley.
- Bacony tofu egg salad: Dice up some of your favorite plant-based bacon and add it to the mix for extra savory, smoky flavor and a protein boost. I like Sweet Earth’s Benevolent Bacon or Lightlife’s Smart Bacon. Stir it right into the salad, or crisp it up, chop it and use as a topper so it stays crispy.
- Pesto vegan egg salad: Omit the fresh dill and add in two tablespoons of prepared vegan pesto. Two easy options are the Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto or the Sprouts Vegan Organic Basil Pesto.
How long will this recipe keep?
Your leftover vegan egg salad will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but it’s best eaten within the first 3 days! It will start to get a little weepy after that, with the salt drawing the moisture out of the fresh ingredients.
Do I absolutely need to add black salt?
The black salt is what gives the recipe the familiar eggy taste/smell, so I recommend adding it if possible! But the salad will still be tasty if you can’t find it or don’t like it. Just make sure to add in some regular salt in its place. You can also experiment with adding a little garlic powder or smoked paprika. It won’t taste like the black salt, but it will give the salad a little extra flavor boost so it reads less “tofu.”
What can I substitute in for the mayo to make this oil-free?
Don’t skip the vegan mayo if you want this recipe to taste as much like classic egg salad as possible. If you don’t mind a bit of a different flavor, here are a few potential substitutions you can make to lighten up the recipe:
- Plain hummus.
- Vegan yogurt. Make sure to select a plain, unsweetened variety. I think Culina would work well for this, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t 100% vouch for the results.
- Tahini. In a separate small bowl, whisk a tablespoon together with a splash of water until it’s fluffy. Do this before adding it into the rest of the eggless salad ingredients.
- Cashew cream. Purée some soaked raw cashews with enough water to form a thick cashew cream. Or thin out some raw cashew butter with water.
- Mashed avocado. I only recommend using this substitute if you’re able to eat the salad within a day or two. Past that, the avocado will develop an unappealing color/flavor.
More Creamy Salad Recipes
Vegan Egg Salad (Tofu Egg Salad)
- mixing bowl
- 1 (14 oz) block firm or extra-firm tofu divided
- 2 green onions finely sliced, or ~2 tablespoons finely diced red or white onion
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard to preference
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
- black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric optional, for color
- juice of 1/2 lemon optional
- Drain tofu and use your favorite method to press for at least 30 minutes. (This step is important; if you don't press out excess liquid, your salad will become watery.) See notes for tips on pressing tofu.
- Add half of the block of tofu to a mixing bowl. Add the vegan mayo, mustard, and optional turmeric. Mash everything together with a fork to create a thick dressing. (Mashing some of the tofu makes the salad more cohesive, so it's less likely to fall out of your sandwich.)
- Give the rest of the block of tofu a coarse chop to mimic the texture of chopped egg whites. Add the tofu to the mixing bowl along with all remaining ingredients (celery, green onion, dill, black salt, and black pepper). Fold all ingredients together.
- Give the salad a taste and adjust the flavors to your preference. This recipe is very flexible, so feel free to add more fresh dill, extra Dijon, or even a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you like.
- You can serve it immediately, but it's best if you let it marinate for an hour or two in the fridge.