This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is vegan, delicious, and wholesome! It’s made with just a few super healthy ingredients, stores well in the fridge, and will keep you full and focused all day long. This is a FAST plant-based sandwich recipe perfect for anyone who doesn’t like to cook, doesn’t have the time to cook, or doesn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.
Sandwiches are the quintessential lunch food for a reason. They’re easy, portable, and so quick to make. This delicious vegan sandwich is no exception. It can be mixed up in just 10 minutes!
Made with just a few wholesome ingredients that are extremely pantry-friendly, this chickpea spread is an easy go-to lunch recipe you need in your weekly rotation. Spend a few minutes today to meal prep this chickpea mash, then have healthy sandwiches for lunch all week long.
What is Chickpea Salad?
Chickpea salad, or smashed chickpea salad, is a versatile and customizable plant-based sandwich spread. Made from protein-rich chickpeas (garbanzo beans), it’s a fast, easy, and healthy vegan lunch option.
While some recipes try to mimic egg salad, chicken salad, or tuna salad, this recipe stands on its own merits. It’s just a delicious vegan chickpea salad!
When mashed, the chickpeas become a wonderful, slightly flaky texture. Then we add a few delicious seasonings and add-ins to achieve a nice, thick spread. Boom, that’s chickpea salad.
This chickpea mash is:
- Fresh and bright (thanks, dill)
- A little salty
- SUPER fast
If you’ve never tried a mashed chickpea salad before, please give this recipe a try. This recipe has the usual red onion, pickles, and dill that you would typically find in other salad spreads, but it’s much healthier. And, if you have a discerning palate, you’ll notice that the slightly sulfuric taste of the chickpeas makes this spread taste a bit like egg salad.
It’s hard to explain just how tasty it is, so you’ll have to try it out for yourself!
What’s Special about this Recipe?
This vegan chickpea salad recipe is a little different. For starters, it’s healthier than most other salad recipes, including other vegan versions. This is a whole-food, plant-based and oil-free chickpea salad recipe that contains no mayo.
A lot of recipes out there rely on vegan mayonnaise, which is typically filled with oils and other thickeners. This recipe, on the other hand, relies on tahini for a bit of healthy fat.
In addition, instead of using salt, this recipe relies on super healthy miso paste for saltiness and depth of flavor. Why choose miso? Because it has anticarcinogenic benefits and doesn’t have the same hypertensive effect as table salt (source).
Everyone has different preferences, but for me, dried fruit and maple syrup don’t belong in a vegan chickpea salad sandwich. So there’s absolutely nothing sweet here.
Finally, with just a few ingredients that will last in your fridge and cabinet for a long while, this recipe is extremely pantry-friendly. Perfect for when you have “nothing” to make. 🙂
About the Ingredients
- Chickpeas: The base of this recipe is the super versatile chickpea. High in fiber, protein, iron, potassium, and zinc, chickpeas are a delicious legume to add to your weekly meal prep menu.
- Tahini: This is simply ground sesame seed paste. It’s a healthy source of fat that’s creamy, rich, and slightly nutty. Tahini allows us to make this chickpea salad oil-free and mayo-free. (Tip: Not familiar with tahini? Don’t let the rest of your jar go to waste. Instead, repurpose it for homemade hummus: Beet & Sumac Hummus and Easy Oil-Free Hummus.)
- Miso: A healthy source of salt and umami, miso paste is a great way to make almost any recipe healthier. A key ingredient in miso soup, it adds a complex flavor to your cooking. I’ve had trouble finding miso at my local grocery stores. However, note that Amazon sells it and it’s okay for it to be unrefrigerated while shipping. Score!
- Stone-ground Mustard: A nice chunky mustard adds flavor and zing to this chickpea sandwich. Spicy brown mustard should also work well.
- Red Onion: High in antioxidants, red onion is healthier, milder, and sweeter than white onion, so it’s perfect for eating raw in this sandwich spread. It adds texture, flavor, and crunch.
- Dill Pickle: This adds a bit of crunch, a bit of salt, and a bit of extra deliciousness. I like to use fermented pickles from a local vendor when I can get them, but this brand of fermented pickles also works well. Otherwise, use any dill pickles you prefer.
- Dill: Dried dill, or dill weed, is a typical ingredient in chicken salad sandwiches. It’s a little bit citrusy, mildly herbaceous, and ever so slightly sweet.
- Black Pepper: Last but not least, a little bit of freshly cracked black pepper to round everything out.
How to Mash Chickpeas By Hand
The “hardest” part of this recipe is simply mashing the chickpeas. I prefer to use homemade Instant Pot chickpeas for this recipe. I cook them for a few minutes longer than I normally would to ensure they’re creamy and soft all the way through, which makes the mashing process really easy.
However, this recipe also works well with canned chickpeas. Since some brands are softer than others, you may have more or less difficulty mashing depending on the brand you choose. If you’re having a lot of trouble mashing (this has only happened to me once), feel free to give the chickpeas a whirl in your blender instead.
Step 1: Add your drained and rinsed chickpeas to a shallow bowl with a flat bottom. You want as much surface area as possible for mashing, but also want to ensure nothing goes flying.
Step 2: Add your miso paste on top of the chickpeas. Since the paste is pretty sticky, mashing it into the chickpeas ensures that the miso is fully integrated.
Step 3: Using the back of a fork, or a potato masher, press the chickpeas firmly against the bottom and sides of your dish.
Step 4: Mash until you no longer have any whole beans remaining. This should take just a few minutes.
Step 5: Scrape along the sides of the dish and then give it a few final mashes. At this stage, your mixture should be fairly chunky. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
How to Use this Chickpea Salad Spread
This spread is perfect in a sandwich or wrap. Choose your favorite healthy bread, like Ezekiel bread, to keep things whole-food, plant-based, or go gluten-free. Alternatively, choose your favorite sprouted whole grain wrap, tortilla, or pita. You really can’t go wrong!
You can also put this mash on top of a fresh green salad. It’s a great way to dress up any salad and ensure you’re getting healthy protein, fiber, and fat.
This chickpea salad is also perfect as a spread or dip. Spread it on crackers or pita bread for an easy and wholesome lunch on the go.
Dolloped on crostini or cucumber slices and delicately topped, this chickpea spread also makes for a great appetizer that will impress your omnivore guests.
Sandwich Topping Ideas
You can use any toppings you’d like for your vegan chickpea salad sandwich. You can also feel free to add a stalk of diced celery to your spread. Remember that this is a versatile recipe!
Here are some healthy, plant-based toppings to get you started.
- Red or green onions
- Smoked paprika
- Hot sauce
- A squeeze of lemon juice
Make Your Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Now let’s put it all together!
- You’ll mash your chickpeas and miso paste. (Detailed directions above.)
- Then you’ll add all remaining chickpea salad ingredients to your bowl.
- Mix everything up until well-incorporated.
- Then sandwich your chickpea filling between two slices of bread.
- Add any of the optional toppings listed above for some extra crunch.
- Cut in half, then enjoy!
This plant-based vegan lunch couldn’t be any easier or healthier! Serve your sandwich with a side salad, raw veggies, or fruit for a complete (and completely delicious) meal.
HELPFUL TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Mesh Strainer
- Large Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Food Storage Containers
- Instant Pot
For Chickpea Salad
- 3 cups no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
- 1/3 cup diced dill pickle
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Bread of your choice (gluten-free, if necessary)
- Toppings of your choice
- Add chickpeas and miso paste to a shallow glass bowl with a flat bottom. Mash with a fork or potato masher until no whole chickpeas remain. The mixture should be chunky.
- Add remaining ingredients, stir well, and adjust seasonings to your preference.
- Spread your desired amount of chickpea salad onto a slice of toasted bread, then top with lettuce, tomato, red onion, radish, sprouts, etc. Top with a second slice of toasted bread, slice, and enjoy!
- This chickpea mash stores well for 5 days in the fridge and tastes even better after the flavors have had a chance to meld. For best results, store your chickpea mash in a separate container and spread it onto bread (or a wrap) shortly before serving.
- If you're having a lot of difficulty mashing your chickpeas by hand, they're probably better suited to a salad. Feel free to use a blender to make your life easier and choose a more tender brand next time.
- Feel free to substitute your favorite fermented or pickled vegetables in place of the dill pickles.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3/4 cup chickpea mash
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 10gSugar: 7gProtein: 14g
Nutrition information is an estimate for the chickpea salad only, based on the recipe as written. It does not include bread or any optional toppings. Data was obtained through MyFitnessPal's recipe creator.
The Background & Science Behind These Ingredients
- Miso is a much healthier way to add salt to your meals. For more information about miso, see this write-up about miso by Dr. Greger.
- Beans are such an important component of a plant-based diet. You can do so much with them too! The Exam Room Podcast by the Physicians Committee has a great episode about beans that will have you looking at legumes in a whole new way.
- I recommend raw tahini (like this brand) rather than roasted. Learn why you should avoid eating roasted nuts, seeds, and other high-fat foods cooked at high temperatures in this video.
What do you think?
Thanks so much for stopping by! If you make this recipe, then please leave a comment and rating. I would love to hear what you think and how it worked out for you!
For more sandwich filling ideas, please check out my other spread recipes!