Chickpea Salad Sandwich – My Husband’s Favorite Plant-Based Lunch

Sandwich cutTo say that my chickpea salad sandwich is awesome would sound kind of like bragging, and I’m not a fan of bragging. (I did say it’s awesome though!) Let me tell you this story:

A few weeks ago, my husband Rob and I were flying from Dallas to Seattle some time in the morning. Earlier in the am while still at home, I packed a couple of chickpea salad sandwiches and a little container of baby carrots so that we had something to eat on that 4-hour flight. The idea was to avoid the stress of searching for vegan-friendly food at the airport while running from one plane to another. As soon as the first midmorning hunger pangs struck, we unwrapped our sandwiches and dug in. After a few bites, Rob’s face lit up and he told me: ‘These are SOOO GOOD!’ For the rest of the meal, he kept complimenting his sandwich after virtually every bite! He even said that he felt bad for the rest of the people on the plane because they had no idea what they were missing out on! I made these sandwiches before, but for some reason Rob appreciated them so much more on that flight.

Since that day, I’ve been making the chickpea salad sandwiches at least once a week. Carrots turned out to be the perfect accompaniment!

with carrotsThe beauty of this chickpea salad is that it resembles the flavors and texture of tuna, chicken and egg salads (separate salads, of course!). Tuna salad sandwich used to be Rob’s go-to lunch option to bring to work before we went vegan. He was skeptical when I first introduced this chickpea salad into our lunch rotation, but it took just a few bites for him to find out that it’s good and filling. And a flight to Seattle to love it even more!

There’s been lots of versions of this salad posted all over the internet, but my version is as simple and delicious as it gets. No need to mess with perfection, right? (Ok, I’m kind of bragging again! 🙂 ) I’ve been using soy-free Vegenaise to bind all of the ingredients together, but if you prefer not to use packaged stuff from the store, you can try your hand at making homemade vegan mayo (Google is the best cookbook!).

By the way, if you’d like to change up this lunch recipe, you can use the chickpea salad in wraps, top salads with it, or eat as is! The latter option is very familiar to me since in Russia, where I grew up, mayo-based salads of this kind are hugely popular around the holidays. My version, however, is way healthier than what you’d normally see on a Russian holiday table!

Chickpea saladBeans are loaded with nutrition, easy on the wallet, and very versatile for all kinds of cooking! In fact, regular bean consumption may be the one single predictor of a longer lifespan, as explained in this informative short video by Michael Greger, MD.

You can find lots of recipes featuring beans on My Recipes page.

All right, time to feast!

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 2-4 sandwiches' worth of salad, depending on how much you put into each sandwich

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

A simple and filling plant-based sandwich that's loaded with nutrition and fiber! Serve with carrot slices or a small salad for a complete lunch.


    For the Chickpea Salad:
  • 1 1/2 cups home-cooked chickpeas (here are some tips on cooking chickpeas at home), or 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pickles
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery stalk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/2 tsp kelp powder (optional, adds nutrition)
  • 2-3 Tbsp vegan mayo (I use soy-free Vegenaise)
  • To Serve:
  • 4-6 slices whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
  • Spinach or lettuce leaves
  • Mung bean/broccoli/alfalfa sprouts (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, mash all of the chickpeas with a potato masher until almost all of the beans are broken down. A few whole chickpeas left is ok.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except mayo, mix well with a spoon.
  3. Add mayo (more or less to taste), mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning: adding more kelp will make chickpea salad taste more like tuna; more pickles will make it saltier.
  4. At this point, you can either let the chickpea salad rest in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors blend together, or serve it right away if you're pressed for time. I sometimes make the salad the night before I intend to serve it for lunch. The salad will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches:
  6. Toast bread slices (2 per sandwich). Spread sliced avocado on the top slices, cover with sprouts (if using) and lettuce/spinach leaves. Spread as much chickpea salad as you like on the bottom bread slices. Put both slices together to close the sandwich; enjoy!


About Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Being vegan eventually opened her eyes on the issues of animal welfare, environmental protection, human rights and feminism. Alina hopes that her blog will help its readers on their path to making this world a better place.

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Chickpea Salad Sandwich – My Husband’s Favorite Plant-Based Lunch

  1. Cameron says:

    This is awesome! You were right about the carrots. In fact, so much so I added finely diced carrot to the salad! Thanks for the recipe. My new go-to for lunch!

  2. Pingback: Going Vegan: Where to Start, What to Expect, How to Stick with It. | Vegan Runner Eats

  3. As a Registered Dietitian with a passion for plant based diets, I am working on my own new blog – loved reading yours. Did you do all the set-up yourself? I am still struggling with adding a recipe plug-in? Any tips you can share? Your blog looks awesome like your sandwich!

    • Alina says:

      Thank you Sandi! Yes, I did all of the setup myself. Trust me: it took a while before the blog started looking decent, and there’s still a lot to learn and implement! I’ve tried a few recipe plugins, and the one I’m currently using is ZipList. It requires a little bit of coding, but it’s not hard at all once you do your research and write a couple recipes. Good luck with your blog!

  4. Pingback: Vegan Asian-Style Cabbage Slaw and Rockstar Peanut Sauce Recipe | Vegan Runner Eats

  5. Pingback: A List of Top 10 Tried-and-True Plant-Based Vegan Recipes | Vegan Runner Eats

  6. Pingback: Eat and Greet: Vegan Runner Eats | Healthy Way To Cook

  7. Pingback: 5 Easy and Healthy Vegan Office Lunches | Vegan Runner Eats

  8. christine says:

    ‘fat free vegan’ has an excellent mayo, better than vegenaise , and it does keep for 2 weeks in the fridge

  9. Judith says:

    Loved this. I don’t like mayonnaise or the vegetable one. I used a ripe avocado. It was delicious. Thanks

  10. Emilia says:

    Delicious! Thanks so much, this will be a new staple in our house. I added a handful of Craisins to the salad, and some pesto to the bread. I’d also love to try it without the bread and just wrap it all in lettuce. Excited to have found your blog!

  11. Tammy says:

    I made this today. I didnt have or use kelp powder since I figured it would give it a little of a seafood taste. I had himalayan black salt which has a little sulphur taste and is used for mock eggs. I also used sweet gherkin pickles which I usually used for real meat chicken salad, and poured a little of the liquid in too. This was fabulous! I could eat the whole bowl. I even snacked on some on crackers. Thank you from a new vegan.
    Tammy recently posted…Homemade Non Dairy Butter and Newly Vegetarian/ Plant Based Vegan WannabeMy Profile

    • Alina says:

      So glad you liked it, Tammy! This is one recipe from the blog that I mske all the time, once a week or so on average. The last time I realized I didn’t have any pickles st home, so I used chopped-up capers. It was just as good!

  12. Christine Decker says:

    This is AMAZING! Wow, a new staple for us. I love egg and tuna salad and really miss it but not anymore. This is going in the regular rotation for sure! All of your recipes are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Mike says:

    Is kelp available in most grocery stores? I don’t exactly love in themost vegan friendly town. My mouth is watering looking at that sandwich.

    • Alina says:

      Hi Mike! I’ve seen kelp in most health food stores, and sometimes you can find it in regular grocery stores as well. If you can’t find it, you can still make this sandwich, and it will taste just fine! In fact, I’m out of kelp at home right now, so I’ve been making it without it. Another good stand-by that adds a nice seafood-y flavor is Old Bay seasoning.

  14. Dave says:

    My wife and I just found this recipe today. I Made it up and was amazed about how good it is.

  15. Last week I used the food processor instead of mashing and added cut up cooked red potatoes. My husband loved it as a side dish.

  16. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have recently started eating a plant based diet and have really missed egg salad/chicken salad sandwiches. I made this recipe exactly as written and it really hit the spot for my lunch today. I am confident that I can pack this sandwich in my husband’s lunch tomorrow and he will really enjoy it. He is slowly converting to veganism as long as I keep cooking yummy and filling things like this.

  17. Pingback: My Vegan Baby Shower Menu & Recipes | Vegan Runner Eats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge