This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is made with wholesome ingredients and packs a ton of flavour, protein, and dietary fiber into a sandwich. Great for packed lunches, picnics, and more. If you're looking for an easy and delicious vegetarian sandwich, this is it!
Quick question: what's your favourite vegetarian sandwich?
Are you a classic PB&J kind of a person or are you more into a juicy Tempeh Bacon BLT?
Personally I could go either way depending on my mood, but if I'm packing a sandwich for my lunch I'm definitely looking for something substantial.
If you're looking for inspiration you should definitely check out this list of 22 Vegetarian and Vegan Sandwiches which has so many drool-worthy options. But I'd like to add one more to the list... this Chickpea Salad Sandwich.
What we have here is a sturdy, nourishing vegetarian sandwich recipe that's packed with plant-based protein, loaded with veggies, and is dang delicious. Not only does it taste great, but it'll keep you satisfied all afternoon.
Sound good? Let's make it!
What's in this chickpea salad sandwich?
Will you just look at all that good stuff?! Here's what's going down:
- Chickpeas --> Obviously. Check out my Instant Pot Chickpeas if you want to cook 'em from scratch.
- Red pepper --> Diced up nice and fine.
- Green onions --> Thinly sliced, please and thanks.
- Capers --> For a little salty bite.
- Sunflower seeds --> For crunch!
- Parsley --> Sooooo fresh.
- Yogurt --> To keep things on the light side.
- Mayo --> Because we're worth it.
- Dijon mustard --> For a little punch.
- Maple syrup --> To sweeten things up.
- Your favourite sandwich bread --> Because, sandwich.
Nothing fancy here, folks. Just a sturdy bowl for mixing and a fork for mashing the chickpeas and you are in business.
How to make chickpea salad:
Step 1: Start by toasting your sunflower seeds until they're smelling nutty and delicious. I do this in a dry skillet over medium heat while I'm prepping the other ingredients. Just keep a close eye on them so they don't burn!
Step 2: Prep the rest of the ingredients. Dice your red pepper, slice your green onion, and chop your parsley.
Step 3: Place the chickpeas into a medium-sized bowl and give them a rough mashing with a fork. You don't want to purée them or anything, just break them up a bit.
Step 4: Add the diced veggies, toasted sunflower seeds, yogurt, mayo, mustard, and maple syrup to the bowl. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper.
To make a chickpea salad sandwich
Simply spoon the filling onto your favourite sandwich bread and you are in business.
I used a local sourdough here, but whatever you have on hand is great. And to be honest, this chickpea salad is good enough to eat out of the jar with a spoon, so you could totally just skip the bread if you wanted to.
Want to fancy it up?
Of course you do! Here are some ideas:
- Spread your bread with some hummus, like this Chipotle Hummus or Mung Bean Hummus.
- Spread the bread with an olive tapenade or pesto.
- Layer the sandwich with your favourite veggies, like avocado, juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, etc.
- Wrap the chickpea salad up with a wholegrain wrap or in big lettuce leaves if you want to skip the bread.
- Add some Spicy Pickled Onions. They made everything better!
Can this sandwich be made vegan?
You bet! The only non-vegan ingredients are yogurt and mayo. I recommend replacing those with vegan equivalents if you have them on hand, or with an equal amount of prepared hummus.
How to store chickpea salad
The chickpea salad will last for 3-5 days in an air-tight container in your fridge. I don't recommend bulk-prepping sandwiches for the week as the filling is a bit on the wet side and I worry it would make your bread soggy. But since the filling is already prepared, making a sandwich will take you approximately 30 seconds.
If you're looking for tips on how to make the best packed lunch (who isn't?!) be sure to check out this post with 10 Lunch Packing Tips for Healthy and Tasty Lunches.
Are chickpeas healthy?
Heck yes they are!
Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. About two-thirds of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble, which is great for digestive health, particularly in the colon. The remaining third is soluble fiber, which can help lower our LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides; important for cardiovascular health.
Chickpeas are also a great source of plant-based protein, offering up about 12 grams per cup. The protein-fiber combination in chickpeas is key for stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace.
Chickpeas are notable for antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, but also contain concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Chickpeas also contain valuable amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the body’s omega-3 fatty acid from which all other omega-3 fats are made.
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- 1 ¾ cups chickpeas rinsed and drained Equal to one 14oz can of chickpeas
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds toasted
- 3 tablespoon plain yoghurt
- 1 - 2 Tbsps mayonaise
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 small red pepper finely diced
- ½ cup green onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon capers drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 slices sandwich bread
- Place a dry skillet over medium heat and add the sunflower seeds. Shake the pan frequently, until the seeds are lightly browned and fragrant - about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Finely dice the red pepper. Thinly slice the green onion. Finely chop the parsley.
- Place the chickpeas into a medium-sized bowl and lightly smash them with a fork.
- Add the toasted sunflower seeds, yogurt, mayo, mustard, green onion, parsley, and capers.
- Stir to combine, taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- To make the sandwiches, spoon the chickpea salad onto large slices of sandwich bread.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Chickpea salad will last for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- To make vegan chickpea salad, replace the yogurt and mayo with plant-based yogurt OR with an equivalent amount of prepared hummus.
This recipe was originally published September 11, 2011. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on September 4, 2020. Please enjoy this photo from 2011:
Hey Nutrition Lady loved this recipe. Made it today. Substituted fresh dill for the parsley. I noticed that your recipe "how to" does not include the diced red pepper even though its mentioned up top under "what you will need". Keep the good recipes flowing.
Oops, will fix that immediately! Thanks for the keen eye 🙂
Omg I made this yesterday - soooo good! I have it for lunch today and I can't wait! Thanks Katie!
Oh YUM! Just made this today and couldn't resist adding a few extras, but the basis was all your recipe and it is so delicious! I added capers and green olives, and about a tsp of dried tarragon. Thanks so much, Katie. My lunches will not be the same.
Yum! I can't wait to try it again with some salty olives chopped up in there. Great idea, Meg!
Yum, looks great! We're making paninis tonight on our new panini grill and I might make up a batch of this to try in a hot sandwich. Ever had the paninis at Liberty Bakery on Main Street? They have one option with something like this spread inside, with green olives added, and it's delicious. So I'm aiming for that, with this as the base chickpea recipe. Thanks Katie!
This looks fabulous Katie! I really need a change in my sandwich routine.
Hi Katie, what a coincidence I just have some leftover chickpeas!!! By the way, I made your black bean salad and everybody loved it!!!
I love that salad too! In fact, I have some black beans soaking for it right now!
Love it! I used to just skip lunch and work all day, but have now committed to a full hour lunch break (and when given the time to realize it, I'm usually ravenous). How long will a batch of this keep in the fridge?
I'd say 5 days to be safe. I left some for 8 days and made a sandwich with it yesterday, which I ended up feeding to the dogs at work. It was starting to taste a little manky.
I thought this recipe sounded delicious, and it was! In fact, delicious and nutritious, what more could you ask for? It will be on high rotation from now, thank you.
I'm a big fan of anything with chickpeas. This looks like the perfect sandwich.