A delicious and easy lunch or light dinner, this protein-packed Chickpea Salad Sandwich is also an excellent source of fibre. Make a double batch to enjoy lunches throughout the week.
You’ve likely seen many versions of chickpea salads trying to mimic a tuna salad. A lover of tuna, and especially tuna salad sandwiches, I was skeptical but willing to give it a try. I was blown away by how delicious it is. But vegan tuna? Hm, not really. Not in texture, and certainly not in flavour.
But let me tell you, this chickpea salad sandwich is delicious in its own right and has become one of my all-time favourite lunches. It may not taste like tuna, per se, but it is full of textures and flavours you crave in a tuna salad sandwich. There’s crunch from chopped celery and onions; capers and pickles add plenty of addictive briny bites; vegan mayo and punchy dijon give you all the creaminess you need. Once combined with the mashed chickpeas, you could argue it comes pretty darn close to a plant-based version of everything you love in a tuna salad sandwich.
PROTEIN-PACKED CHICKPEA SALAD SANDWICH WITH ARTICHOKES
Very often I make myself a vegan sandwich for lunch only to be hungry again an hour later. Not surprisingly, it’s because most vegan sandwiches are missing protein. The small but mighty chickpeas are packed with protein and fibre so this chickpea salad sandwich will keep you full and satisfied for hours.
This chickpea salad is perfectly satisfying made with just a base of chickpeas but recently I have been adding artichoke hearts. Not only do they add another dimension of texture and flavour, but they give the chickpea salad more substance and make the mixture softer and creamier. I also like to add them because when chopped up, or pulsed in a food processor, the flaky texture of the artichoke hearts looks like tuna. Kinda fun.
If you’re looking for a meatless lunch that is satisfying, nutritious, and quick to make – this hearty chickpea salad sandwich is hard to beat.
INGREDIENTS AND NOTES
The key ingredients in a chickpea salad sandwich are chickpeas, mayo, onions, mustard, salt and pepper. From there, feel free to omit or add whatever ingredients you like the most.
- Chickpeas: Though I love to cook chickpeas from scratch, for this recipe I prefer to use canned chickpeas. Not only for convenience but because I find canned chickpeas are less dry than the ones you make from scratch. Chickpeas can vary greatly from brand to brand. If you know of a brand that has consistently soft chickpeas, use that one. The softer the chickpeas, the easier to mash. That said, even if your chickpeas are a little on the hard side, you can always give them a few pulses in a mini chopper or food processor.
- Artichoke hearts: You can use frozen and thawed artichoke hearts, jarred, canned, or vacuum packed. Canned are easy and convenient and I like that they are packed in water as opposed to oil. If using jarred marinated artichokes be sure to drain them well so they aren’t too oily. Once drained, I even like to pat them dry with a paper towel. If you don’t love artichokes, feel free to leave them out.
- Vegan mayo: I love this vegan mayo but you can absolutely use your favourite vegan, or non-vegan mayo. If you don’t like mayo, use 4 tablespoons of creamy tahini. Sometimes I add tahini as well as mayo and it’s delish!
- Red onion and celery: For texture and crunch. If you despise celery, leave it out. If you find red onions too strong, use green onions instead. I sometimes use a mix of both.
- Pickles and capers: I strongly believe this chickpea salad needs the salty-sour flavour of the pickles. But the capers are very noticeable in this salad so if you don’t love capers, leave them out.
- Dijon mustard: Adds wonderful umaminess and complex flavour to the chickpea salad.
- Salt and pepper: I buy unsalted canned chickpeas so I find my salad needs quite a bit of salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you go.
- Lemon juice: Optional, but a little drizzle of lemon juice adds freshness and brightness to the chickpea salad.
- Optional add-ins: There are many ways to play with this chickpea salad to make it feel and taste more like a tuna salad. For some sea-flavour you can add crushed nori sheets, dulse flakes, or other seaweed. I rarely have these ingredients on hand but if you would like it to taste like the sea, go ahead and add some.
- Sliced bread: One thing to know about this chickpea salad is that it can be a bit crumbly (unless you add a lot more mayo). Therefore, it can be messy sandwich, particularly if you use toasted bread. I like to use a soft sandwich bread and I never toast it. That said, if you are serving open-faced-style sandwiches then toasting the bread is recommended since it will provide a sturdier base.
HOW TO MAKE
This chickpea salad sandwich is a great way of adding more vegetables into your diet. You will love how delicious it is and how easy it is to make. I highly recommend you double the recipe for tasty, healthy lunches all week.
- Start by mashing the chickpeas using a fork or potato masher. I like to mash them well so they hold together in the salad. If doubling the recipe, consider using a food processor or mini chopper. Just be sure you don’t over-process the chickpeas – a few pulses should be enough. If using artichoke hearts, add them to the food processor with the chickpeas. Or simply chop them up with a knife.
- To the chickpea mash, add the red onion, celery, dill pickles, capers, vegan mayo, dijon, a few squirts of lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- Mix well to combine. Spread on your favourite sandwich bread and enjoy!
Serve this chickpea salad on your favourite sandwich bread or buns. I prefer my chickpea salad sandwich with un-toasted bread but if going the open-faced route, I would toast it.
It’s also fabulous served as an appetizer on crackers or crostini.
For a gluten-free lighter option, serve the chickpea salad scooped into lettuce leaves. I also enjoy it rolled up in soft tortillas.
You can add some toppings to the sandwich to make it even more interesting and hearty. Here are a few ideas:
- Sliced cucumbers
- Microgreens or sprouts
- Greens such as leafy lettuce
- Roasted peppers
- Pickled onions
Chickpea salad is great for meal prep. It keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
TIP: If preparing sandwiches to take to work, add a few fresh lettuce leaves between the bread and chickpea salad to keep the bread from going soft.
If you give this Chickpea Salad Sandwich recipe a try, please feel free to leave a comment and/or a star rating below. We appreciate and welcome all your feedback. Thank you!
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained optional, but recommended
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup diced red onion or less to taste
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- ¼ cup diced pickle I use dill pickles
- 2 teaspoons capers (optional) drained and roughly chopped
- pinch each kosher or sea salt and black pepper or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice optional
- Mash the chickpeas using a fork or potato masher. If using artichoke hearts, chop them up until flaked. Alternatively, place the chickpeas and artichoke hearts in a food processor and pulse just a few times. Mixture should be on the chunkier side. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- To the chickpea mash, add the vegan mayo, dijon, red onion, celery, pickles, capers (if using), a pinch each of salt and pepper and a few squirts of lemon juice.
- Mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Spread on your favourite sandwich bread and enjoy!