This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is the perfect vegan alternative to a tuna or chicken salad. Canned chickpeas are mixed with a flavorful mayo blend, smashed to your desired consistency, then added to a sandwich with all your favorite toppings. This is the best recipe when you’re prepping for a summer picnic or simply want a healthy lunch.

Two halves of a chickpea salad sandwich are stacked on top of each other.

Healthy Chickpea Salad Sandwich

One of my best friends is not only gluten-free and dairy-free, like myself, but she’s also vegan.

To be honest, I’m pretty good with coming up with recipes no matter what the dietary restrictions, but this combination is tricky.

Recently we had a picnic at the park planned with friends and I wanted to make sure I brought something that even she could eat.

Anytime I think of a summer potluck my mind immediately thinks of summer salads, with a classic Chicken Salad being my all-time favorite!

My brain started turning and then it hit me- why not try making a Chickpea Salad Sandwich?! Use all of the same components and ingredients but swap out the chicken for garbanzo beans and make sure the mayo is vegan!

Spoiler alert: it worked!! And it’s so good and full of healthy dietary fiber I promise you won’t even miss the chicken at all!

This is so much more than a good sandwich. It will likely become one of your favorite vegan recipes with delicious flavors the whole family will love.

If you’re looking for another killer picnic recipe, try Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint.

(If you want a chicken-filled twist on the traditional recipe then you’ve got to check out this Curry Chicken Salad!)

Chickpeas, mayo, mustard, celery, grapes, pecans, and seasonings are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this chickpea salad recipe include: 

  • Chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are easy to find and make this recipe simple to throw together. Be sure to rinse them first, though. You can make your own cooked chickpeas at home, as well.
  • Mayo. You can use regular mayo if you’re vegetarian. But, you’ll want to look for a certified vegan mayo if you’re avoiding animal products, as traditional mayo contains eggs.
  • Hummus. Grab a tub of your favorite variety at the store or make your own homemade hummus. Opt for a plain type as the flavor will come through in the salad.
  • Mustard. Dijon mustard or plain yellow both work. If you choose a grain mustard, the texture will be affected. Spicy mustard will affect the flavor.
  • Seasonings. Garlic powder, salt, and pepper create a depth of flavor in this dish.
  • Pecans. Toasted pecans add the perfect texture to this salad. While you don’t want to miss the added crunch of this addition, it’s not essential to toast them if you’re short on time.
  • Grapes. Red grapes were used when making this, but feel free to use green or black. Steer clear of seeded grapes, however.
  • Celery. Similar to chicken salad, celery adds an earthy essence and fresh crunch to this chickpea salad.
  • Dill. Fresh, chopped dill is the perfect way to add an herbal flavor that complements the rest of the ingredients.
  • Sandwich ingredients. Choose your favorite bread along with toppings like lettuce and tomatoes. When it’s available, fresh multigrain bread at the grocery store is best.

How to Make Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Below, you’ll find the basic steps for making this simple chickpea salad sandwich recipe:

Prep the Chickpeas

Open the cans of chickpeas and pour them into a strainer or colander over the sink. Run them under cool water to rinse.

Set them aside until they are dry. If there is any extra moisture, the salad might end up runny.

Chickpeas are drained.

Make the Sauce

In a large bowl, combine the vegan or regular mayonnaise, hummus, mustard, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Use a fork or whisk to thoroughly mix.

Add the Chickpeas

When the chickpeas are completely dry, pour them into the bowl with the mayo mixture and toss until everything is coated.

Use a potato masher to smash the chickpeas. Stop when you have reached the desired consistency. You can leave chunks or mash until it’s smooth.

While you can use a food processor for this step, the result will be more of a whipped texture.

Incorporate the Mix-Ins

Once you’ve achieved the consistency you want, add the toasted pecans, grapes, celery, and fresh dill. Carefully stir everything until it’s just combined. Don’t overwork the mixture or you’ll crush the grapes.

Make the Sandwich

Scoop your desired amount of chickpea salad mixture onto two bread slices. (Learn how to make gluten free sandwich bread, if needed!) You can toast it to take it up a notch. This salad is also delicious on crackers, pita pockets, or a lettuce wrap.

Don’t forget toppings of your choice, like lettuce, tomato slices, or even pickles if you prefer! You can use whatever fresh veggies you love. A large ripe avocado is a delicious addition, as well.

A wooden spoon stirs chickpea salad.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: This entire recipe can be made a day before serving and kept in the fridge.
  • How to store: Keep leftover chickpea salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • How to freeze: While you can freeze chickpea salad for up to 6 months, the texture will change upon thawing if you included the grapes. Excess moisture will make the salad runny.

Are chickpeas the same as garbanzo beans?

Yes, chickpeas are the same as garbanzo beans. These beige-colored legumes are incredibly versatile, full of nutrients, and an excellent source of plant-based protein.

Can you make a vegan chicken salad sandwich?

You can make a vegan “chicken” salad with just a few alterations. The best way to do this is to sub in chickpeas instead of chicken and use vegan mayonnaise.

Is mayo vegan?

Traditional mayo is NOT vegan because it usually contains eggs. However, there are many varieties of mayonnaise available today that are vegan.

Serve this chickpea salad sandwich to the whole family.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian, dairy-free, and low-carb as written.  Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Vegan. Ensure the mayo is vegan.
  • Gluten-free. Stick with your favorite gluten-free bread, or opt for lettuce wraps.
  • Nut-free. Leave out the pecans.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Save time. Buy a couple cans of chickpeas at the store.
  • Read the label. Make sure the ingredients you use follow your dietary needs.
  • You choose. Mash the salad as much or as little as you prefer.
  • Change it up. While pecans, grapes, and celery are common mix-ins, you can customize what you include. Try red onion, green onions, or sunflower seeds. You can also try other fresh herbs.
  • Make it work. This salad is delicious on bread, but you can enjoy it with crackers or on lettuce wraps.
Chickpea salad is spread on fresh bread for a delicious sandwich.

What to Serve with Chickpea Chicken Salad

Just like any sandwich, this chickpea “chicken” salad recipe has many dishes to complement it. It becomes the perfect meal with these sides.

Homemade Tortilla Chips alongside Guacamole or Fresh Mango Salsa are delicious sides.

Salad, like Massaged Kale SaladCreamy Cucumber Dill Salad, or Italian Dressing Pasta Salad pair well.

If you prefer veggies, go with Air Fryer BroccoliAir Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, or Green Beans Almondine.

More Chickpea Recipes

Chickpeas are not only delicious, but they are also healthy and super versatile. Enjoy their many facets with these ideas!

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas are the perfect snack.

If you like hummus, try Homemade HummusRoasted Beet HummusRoasted Red Pepper Hummus, or Savory Pumpkin Hummus.

If you’ve never tried FalafelChana Masala, or Chickpea Curry, you HAVE to give these a shot soon!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Chickpea Salad Sandwich Recipe

This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is the perfect vegan alternative to a tuna or chicken salad. Canned chickpeas are mixed with a flavorful mayo blend, smashed to your desired consistency, then added to a sandwich with all your favorite toppings.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 20 minutes
Total 20 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2-15 oz. cans chickpeas
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise vegan
  • 2 Tbsp. hummus plain or garlic
  • 2 tsp. mustard Dijon or yellow
  • ¾ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup pecans coarsely chopped, toasted
  • ½ cup red grapes quartered
  • ¼ cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dill fresh, finely chopped

To Serve:

  • Sandwich bread
  • Microgreens or spinach

Instructions 

  • Add the chickpeas to a fine mesh strainer or colander and rinse under cool running water. Set them aside until they are completely dry.
  • Add the vegan mayonnaise, hummus, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
  • Once the chickpeas are dried, add them to the bowl and toss until well coated in the mayo-mustard mixture. Using a potato masher, mash the chickpeas until your desired consistency is reached.
  • Add the toasted pecans, grapes, celery, and dill. Mix everything together until just combined.
  • Serve on toasted bread with greens for a sandwich, with crackers or as a lettuce wrap. Enjoy!
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Video

Notes

  • Nutrition facts are calculated without any bread, crackers, or toppings.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: This entire recipe can be made a day before serving and kept in the fridge.
  • How to store: Keep leftover chickpea salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • How to freeze: While you can freeze chickpea salad for up 6 months, the texture will be changed upon thawing if you included the grapes. Excess moisture will make the salad runny.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 350mg, Potassium: 520mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 270IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 88mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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