Today we're making an easy vegan chickpea salad sandwich, inspired by classic southern chicken salad. This recipe is plant-based, mayo free, dairy free, and can be gluten free with the right bread. And, since this is The Hangry CHICKPEA, I'll share a few chickpea options for every time constraint and texture preference. Let's get into it!
You don't need much to make this delish chickpea salad sandwich:
- Mixing bowl for bringing it all together
- Knife and cutting board for preparing veggies
- Cheese grater for fresh carrot shreds
- Blender (or immersion blender) for the sauce
- Medium sauce pan, strainer, and stirring spoon for softening chickpeas
- Potato masher for smashing some of your chickpeas (a fork works too)
- Toaster (optional) for toasting bread
Got all of that? Great. Let's talk ingredients.
Classic chicken salad contains shredded chicken, mayo, and some chopped up veggies, and marinates for at least a couple hours. My vegan chickpea salad sandwich substitutes chickpeas for chicken, and a delicious homemade dressing for mayo.
Let's break it down:
The most important ingredient in this chickpea salad is, well, chickpeas. We want our chickpeas to be nice and soft. Unfortunately, most chickpeas that come out of cans can still be a little, well...not as soft as we'd like. You have three options:
- The best thing for this chickpea salad recipe is to rehydrate your own chickpeas, but this takes anywhere from 3-24 hours, depending on the method you choose. Personally, I'm a fan of the quick-soak method - it takes about 3 hours. If you have a hankering for some chickpea curry, falafel, or hummus, make a bulk batch and go to town!
- The fastest option is using a can of chickpeas.
- You can also soften a can of chickpeas by removing the skins. The chickpeas won't be quite as soft as rehydrated chickpeas, but they'll definitely be softer than straight out of the can.
To remove skins (option 3)...
- Heat small sauce pan with water over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse chickpeas. Put in bowl with baking soda and toss to coat.
- Add chickpeas to warm saucepan for ~3-5 minutes, until they're warm on the inside.
- Once warm, drain and dunk in bowl of cold water, vigorously running them through your hands to remove the skins.
- Skim the floating skins out of the water using a slotted spoon, and repeat rinsing process until most of the skins are gone, then drain (I did this 3 times).
Science nerds: read more here.
Pimientos and carrots are two of my favorite chickpea salad ingredients. If you like celery, go for that too!
For our dressing, we're going sans-mayo in favor of a creamy avocado sauce. We'll use a ripe avocado, water, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh dill, and some salt. You can sub the dill for other herbs - I've used cilantro and lime before. Don't be afraid to taste it.
Finally, build your sandwich on some whole wheat bread for texture, and add some fresh lettuce and tomato if you have it. Pickled red onions, hummus, and avocado are also great.
Frequently asked questions
I hate chickpeas! Is there another bean I can use? You could get away with some cannelini beans or white beans. Or if you're not a bean fan, try my Basic Vegan Sandwich or Roasted Carrot Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Dressing. If you have a sweet tooth, check out these Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches.
What do you put on a chickpea salad sandwich? There are so many options - keep it simple with lettuce and tomato or get fancy with pickled red onion, hummus, and avocado. Chickpea salad is just one component of your sandwich.
Can I use canned chickpeas instead? Of course - see recommendations above.
Are chickpeas healthy? Yes, chickpeas are healthy in the sense that they are a relatively unprocessed whole food. While eating dehydrated chickpeas is dangerous, you can use properly rehydrated chickpeas or canned chickpeas to add some protein to a plant-based diet.
Are chickpea skins ok to eat? Yes, chickpeas skins are ok to eat though they are a little more fibrous than the soft chickpea inside. To remove the chickpea skins, see instructions above!
What can I make with the liquid from the can of chickpeas? This liquid is also known as aquafaba, and it's a fantastic egg substitute! Try making my kitchen sink cookies for a sweet and salty dessert.Print
The bread: Basic sandwich bread from the grocery store. Nothing special. Think about the bread from a good old fashioned PB&J. That's what we're going for.
- ½ ripe avocado
- ¼ c water
- ¼ c olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tsp salt
From the Garden Bed
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (+1 Tbsp baking soda for extra credit)
- 2 tsp pimientos
- 3 stalks of celery sliced
- 1 c shredded carrots
- Romaine leaves
- Sliced tomato
- Prep chickpeas - either canned chickpeas, softened chickpeas, or rehydrated chickpeas (see above instructions).
- Blend together ingredients for dressing. Mine didn't take more than 10 seconds.
- In a new bowl, smash chickpeas until they reached desired consistency. I like mine a little chunkier. A potato masher works well.
- Add celery, carrots, pimintos, and dressing, and mix.
- Spread chickpea salad on one slide of bread, and top with romaine, tomato and the other slice of bread. Enjoy!