I’ve made this chickpea salad sandwich recipe for lunch EVERY DAY for the last two weeks. And I have a feeling that’s not going to change! It’s my new go-to easy, healthy vegetarian or vegan lunch option and I think you’re going to love it just as much. I mean, would you just look at it?!
The tale of the chickpea salad sandwich
People have asked me if there’s one meat/fish option I really miss since becoming vegetarian about 6 years ago. It had always been chicken tenders and tuna melts. Then, I discovered Gardein 7-grain tenders and some other great chickenless strips. But I still had a hole in my heart where tuna melts used to be.
That is, until I discovered chickpea salad sandwiches!
It was really a product of fate, the first time I made this. I had seen some recipes over the years for chickpea sandwiches but never really thought they’d be worth trying.
Then I was laying in bed one night planning/fantasizing about what I’d eat the next day (as I do every night), and thinking of what I had on hand and needed to use up.
When I realized I had a can of chickpeas, celery, pickles, red onion, and everything else I needed, I knew what had to be done.
It was time to finally make a chickpea salad sandwich.
I got to work pulsing my chickpeas in the food processor. At first, all I could think was that the texture of mashed chickpeas did not look appealing. Then, I added some mayonnaise and mustard. Okay, getting better.
But it needs crunch.
Time for some celery. And some red onion. And of course, pickles. Now it’s really coming together and I’m getting more and more excited as I taste test. I don’t stop there though. A splash of pickle juice. Some dried dill. Salt and pepper.
Time for another taste test.
I’ve done it. I’ve created a chickpea “tuna” salad sandwich that will forever fill the void tuna left in my heart!
What to expect
I’ve thoughtfully added ingredients into this recipe that remind me of the tuna sandwiches I loved. I always LOVED pickles on mine, so it made sense to include those in my chickpea salad recipe.
I think you’ll find (depending on how you mash your chickpeas…more on that later) that the texture is VERY similar to the “real thing.”
The big difference is that there’s no fishy taste with chickpea salad. (So I guess this can also be compared to egg salad. Except if you use vegan mayo, it’s vegan egg salad!). I’m assuming you weren’t expecting it to taste like fish, but I wanted to give you a heads up just in case.
Here’s what you’ll need to create this majestic dish for yourself:
- Canned chickpeas
- Red onion
- Pickle juice
- Yellow mustard
- Dried dill
- Salt and pepper (this is important!)
How to mash your chickpeas
If you follow XO&So on Instagram, you’ll know I recently did a poll to see how many people had a food processor. According to the poll, about one third of my followers DON’T have one.
Since I usually use a food processor to get the texture I want in the chickpeas, I wanted to make sure it could also be done by hand. And it absolutely can be! I actually tried using a potato masher and a fork. It took more elbow grease than my food processor, but certainly not impossible.
You just want to make sure your chickpeas are broken up at least more than in half…Or until you get the texture you want.
A note on chickpea skins
Once you open a can of chickpeas, you’ll see the clear skins starting to come off of some of the chickpeas. These are totally fine to eat, and plenty of people leave them as is. I find it fun to spend time picking most of the skins off (I’m weird, okay?) so I do this. I also prefer the texture without most of the skins.
Oh, bonus tip: if you’re making hummus, you’ll get a way smoother result if you remove the chickpea skins. More on that here.
It’s up to you if you keep the shells/skins on or take them off. If there are a few left on, don’t worry about it, though. It’s not going to make a big difference.
How to serve chickpea salad
You can go ahead and eat your chickpea salad with a fork all by itself!
Here are a few other suggestions:
- On toast with cucumber, tomato, mayo
- On toast with cheese melted on top (aka. a chickpea “tuna” melt)
- In a sandwich
- Stuffed in pita shells
- On lettuce with your other favorite salad toppings
Other easy vegetarian lunch recipes
The Chickpea Salad Sandwich That Changed My Life
The Chickpea Salad Sandwich That Changed My Life
- 1 19 oz chickpeas, canned
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise or more, to taste
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp pickle juice
- ¼ cup pickles finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp red onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup celery chopped
- 1 tsp dried dill or 1 tbsp. fresh
- ¼ tsp salt or more, to taste
- pepper to taste (but don't skip it!)
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, removing as many skins as you can with your hands. Pulse chickpeas in food processor until you get a tuna-like consistency, or use a fork or potato masher for the same results. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well until everything is combined.
- Serve cold or at room temperature. Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- On toast with cucumber, tomato, mayonnaiseOn toast with cheese melted on top (aka. a chickpea "tuna" melt)In a sandwichStuffed in pita shellsOn lettuce and other salad toppings
Now, you have to let me know if you’re as obsessed with this recipe as I am!!!! Keep me posted.
Thank you so much for stopping by, my friends.
XO – C