Not sure what to make for lunch? I've got a delicious, quick, and easy chickpea chicken salad you're going to love. You can eat it as-is, turn it into sandwiches, eat with crackers, or even have it on lettuce wraps. This recipe will have you counting down the minutes to lunch time!
Deciding what to make for lunch is a daily issue for me (is that just me, or do you deal with this, too?). I love when there are leftovers in the fridge but on the days when I have to make something, I usually end up with a mish-mash of items on a plate.
I'm not sure why that is...I am a food blogger after all. I think it has to do with the fact that I don't work in an office. If I did, I would be forced to pre-plan and pre-make my lunches but since I don't have to do those things, what to have for lunch is always a decision made at the last minute.
I need to get better with lunches, which is where this vegan chicken salad comes in. It's a quick and easy vegan lunch sandwich idea, that takes inspiration / seasonings / flavours of the salad many of us had growing up.
This is a great recipe for vegan school lunches, work lunches, or to even have as a light dinner with something else on the side.
Ingredients for a Vegan Chickpea Sandwich
All you need is cooked chickpeas (canned or cooked from dry), vegan mayonnaise (for a mayo free version see below), lemon juice, spices, herbs and some chopped fresh ingredients.
And of course, there's no chicken in this recipe, so why call it vegan chickpea "chicken" salad? Why not call it a chickpea mash, smashed chickpea salad, or just vegan chickpea salad recipe?
I did this to make the recipe accessible and familiar for those who are curious and looking for something similar to what they know and love.
I gear my recipes towards those who are fully vegan or plant-based, those who are not, and everyone in between. My readers fill a wide spectrum!
At the end of the day, no animals were harmed, so that's a win, no matter what the recipe is called 🙂
How to Make Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this vegan chickpea sandwich recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
First, you'll add your chickpeas to a bowl (there's no need to remove the chickpea skins) and mash them using a potato masher. You want to get them to a point where there are still small pieces of chickpeas left.
Next, you'll add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl, mix everything together and that's it, your vegan chickpea salad is done!
You can serve it right away, or refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavours mix and mingle together.
I like to make it ahead because I find that it does taste better after sitting in the refrigerator for a while, but if you're in a hurry, it's delicious when you eat it right away, too.
What Kind of Chickpeas Should I Use?
I go back and forth between using low-sodium canned chickpeas and chickpeas that I cook myself from dry in my Instant Pot.
Whether you use canned chickpeas or chickpeas cooked from dry, the recipe will turn out the same, it all depends on how much time you have and your preferred method.
Can I Use a Food Processor to Blend this Chickpea Sandwich Spread?
Yes, you can. Add the chickpeas to the food processor first and pulse until they have broken down and some small pieces remain.
Then, add all the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything has blended together.
Be careful not to over process since you want to leave some texture in your vegan chickpea chicken salad, you don't want it to be a paste.
What is the Best Vegan Mayonnaise to Use?
There are plenty of vegan mayo brands out there such as Veganaise, Just, Earth Balance, and the Whole Foods brand, to name a few, but my favourite is Hellmann's vegan mayonnaise.
And yes, vegan mayo does taste good. I find that the Hellmann's tastes exactly what I remember regular mayo tasting like.
Can I Make This Vegan Chickpea Salad with No Mayo?
Yes, you can leave the mayo out but you need to replace it with something else and the best thing is a mashed avocado.
Simply mash a large avocado with a fork, so no chunks remain, and use it in place of the mayonnaise.
Whether you use avocado or mayo, you'll end up with a very tasty and creamy chickpea salad.
How to Serve Vegan Chicken Salad
I like to serve it as sandwiches, as you can see from my pictures. To do so, just use your favourite bread and add your favourite toppings (see below for suggestions).
You can also serve it on crackers, or you can turn it into wraps by wrapping it, along with your favourite toppings, in gluten-free tortillas, wheat tortillas, or in lettuce leaves.
I also like to have it as-is, especially when I make it with avocado instead of mayo.
How to Top Your Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwich
My favourite way is with sliced tomatoes and lettuce, as shown, but there are so many other ways to top them that your sandwiches can be different every time. Here are some vegan sandwich filling ideas:
- sliced cucumber
- sliced avocado
- sliced red peppers
- spicy pickled onions
- red onions
- shredded carrots
If You Want to Make Your Sandwiches Ahead of Time...
I've found that making my chickpea sandwich ahead of time can make the bread a little soggy, so a little trick to save your sandwich, if you absolutely must make it ahead of time, is to place a piece of lettuce on one slice of bread, add the mashed chickpea salad on top, add any toppings, then finish off with another slice of lettuce and then the other slice of bread.
Sandwich saved! Because no one likes a soggy sandwich 🙂
I hope you love this quick, easy, and simple chickpea salad, it's a recipe that has saved my lack of lunch plans, many times!
If you make it...
...let me know in the comments below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me so I can see. I'm @delightfuladventures.
If you like this recipe, you may also like these:
- Lentil Sloppy Joes
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Vegan Aioli
- Vegan Veggie Dip
- Vegan Spelt Rolls
- Vegetable Pinwheels
How to Make Chickpea Chicken Salad
Chickpea Chicken Salad
- 2 ¼ cups cooked chickpeas (one 19oz / 540ml can, drained and rinsed)
- ¼ cup diced celery
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dry dill (or 2-3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill)
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard (or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise (see above or below for how to make without mayo)
- Add chickpeas to a large bowl and mash using a fork or a potato masher. Mash until there are still some chickpea pieces remaining, you don't want to mash into a paste. See picture above.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
- Please read all of the helpful info and FAQ above to ensure recipe success.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Recipe will make 2 cups of chickpea chicken salad and will make 4-6 sandwiches. I like to use ½ cup per sandwich but you can stretch the recipe out and use ⅓ cup per sandwich, instead.
- I use low sodium canned chickpeas but you can make this recipe with chickpeas you cooked from dry. After they have cooked, simply measure out the 2 ¼ cups needed.
- To make this recipe without mayo, simply mash a large avocado with a fork, so no chunks remain, and use it in place of the mayonnaise.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 of 4 servings of the chickpea salad on its own (using dry mustard, dry dill, and no bread, crackers, or toppings) and made as written. Info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.