I am not a vegetarian. I commend those who are and admit I really only have meat on special occasions. I grew up having meat as the main course almost every night of my childhood. In the Midwest, a prototypical “meal” is not a meal without some type of meat. And yes, ground meat often counted. When I cook for myself, I find that I don’t crave the meat. I love to experiment with bringing the best flavors out of vegetables, making unique salads, and exploring spices from all over the world. This is not just a riff on the classic chicken salad. No, a chickpea salad sandwich ]is a movement of perfect flavors coming together to make
Don’t get me wrong: I still enjoy chicken, but don’t always want to take the time to have it ready. Sound like you sometimes? What’s always an easy alternative is canned chickpeas. In my pantry, these are a permanent stock item. Literally. If I run low, I stock up for fear that I may run out on one of those make-everything-I-crave days.
Plus, if I’m in the mood for hummus and didn’t take the time to make my own dried chickpeas, I just turn to my pantry and open a can. They’re a great salad topping, a perfect roasted snack, and now… a great way to enjoy a sandwich!
When left alone, chickpeas can be bland. Yup, I’ll be the first to admit it. The round, slick shape doesn’t really hold onto flavor that well. But when used as a base, you take a run-of-the-mill item and transform it into something special.
To make the base for the salad, I found that smashing the chickpeas works best. If you’re like me, you’ll have an old style potato masher laying around (and you’ll probably have found it at a flea market or antique store). I mean, they’re so versatile and who actually uses those for mashing potatoes? Mashing about 80% of the chickpeas to an almost paste-like consistency creates a base that will soak up all the flavors. Leaving approximately 20% of the chickpeas in smaller pieces still retains some much-needed texture.
The ingredients in this chickpea salad are almost a mirror image to my favorite chicken salads:
- Hardboiled eggs: chickpeas naturally have protein and eggs add to the protein, giving a protein-rich meatless dish!
- Green parsley: for a fresh twist, parsley is a must.
- Mayonnaise: I love to keep the dressing simple, so it’s mostly made with mayonnaise. (I always use my homemade recipe.)
- Apple cider vinegar: for tang and sweetness
- Sweet relish: also for a bit of sweetness
Once mixed together, I find that letting the salad rest 2-4 hours helps the flavors meld together and lets the salad set up. With this cool-down period, it just tends to hold together better.
To serve this, have some fun! Oftentimes, people notice that this isn’t their prototypical chicken salad, but can’t quite put their finger on what’s different, at least not right away. Personally, I love to add anything crunchy: sprouts, nuts, grapes, radishes, crisp lettuce… anything will send this sandwich over the top!
Watch how to make this chickpea salad sandwich
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped scallion
- 2 hardboiled eggs diced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Drain, rinse, and dry the chickpeas.
- Place the dried chickpeas in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, smash the chickpeas, leaving some large pieces and approximately 80% smashed to a near paste.
- Add the parsley, hardboiled eggs, salt, pepper, relish, apple cider vinegar, and mayonnaise. Stir until combined. This is best after it has been covered and chilled for 2-4 hours.
- To serve, put a large scoop on favorite bread or bun. Top with shredded radish, sprouts, and crispy lettuce.