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Sharon’s Chickpea Salad or Sandwich Spread

Sharon's chickpea salad or sandwich spread

This chickpea salad recipe is super easy and completely delicious; it takes only about 15 minutes to make, and there are so many ways to serve it — as a sandwich, appetizer, or dolloped into a lettuce leaf. The hint of sweet pickle relish really gives this preparation a great flavor! See suggestions following the recipe. Recipe contributed by Sharon Nazarian, from Big City Vegan. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

Sharon's chickpea salad or sandwich spread

Sharon’s Chickpea Salad or Sandwich Spread

This chickpea salad recipe is super easy and completely delicious; it takes only about 15 minutes to make, and there are so many ways to serve it — as a sandwich, appetizer, or dolloped into a lettuce leaf.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sandwich spread
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 15- oz can chickpeas garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup carrots shredded (about 2 medium carrots)
  • ½ cup celery finely chopped (1 large or 2 average-size stalks)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice from about 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise or as desired
  • 2 tablespoons chives or scallion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional but highly recommended
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 1 to 2 teaspoons dried to taste
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste, optional, see Note


  • Mash chickpeas in a bowl with a potato masher until there are no whole chickpeas left. A potato masher works best but if you don’t have one, you can use a fork (or for the totally lazy, place the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse on and off until finely chopped).
  • Combine the mashed chickpeas with the remaining ingredients and mix together. Serve as suggested below.


Sharon's chickpea salad or sandwich spread reicipe

Note: Depending on what brand of chickpeas you use, you may or may not need to add additional salt. Some canned beans have more salt than others. You can buy no-salt added chickpeas for complete control over your sodium intake. You could also soak and cook your beans instead of buying canned. This requires a little extra work but can be more economical.

Serving Ideas

  • Serve as a sandwich with toasted bread. Try it on Food for Life Ezekiel bread with sliced tomatoes, or your favorite multigrain bread over a bed of greens, like baby spinach, baby kale, or romaine lettuce.
  • Or make romaine lettuce boats. Just scoop some chickpea salad onto a romaine lettuce leaf – so good and refreshing.
  • This is also delicious on whole grain crackers or stoneground tortilla chips served as an appetizer.

Sharon's chickpea salad or sandwich spread reicipe

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  • Reply
    Winter Harvey
    June 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I get posts for so many amazing looking recipes on facebook, but when I follow the link and go to this sight, it won’t let me pin it. Somehow the picture that is posted with the recipe doesn’t transfer to pinterest and I guess they won’t let you post it without a picture. I notice that other people are posting these on pinterest. Can you give a me a tip on how to do this?
    Thanks, Winter

    • Reply
      June 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Winter, so sorry about this. We do have intermittent trouble getting things posted on Pinterest, and will continue to try to resolve the issue. Thanks for your interest!

  • Reply
    June 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Question: Do you drain the chickpeas before mashing?

    • Reply
      June 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Oh, good catch. Yes, drained and rinsed. I just amended.

  • Reply
    June 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm


  • Reply
    Rebecca C.
    June 18, 2013 at 12:23 am

    just wondered if you recommend peeling the chickpeas (canned) or just use them as they are?

    • Reply
      June 18, 2013 at 2:24 am

      If there are loose hulls, you can discard them, but in general, no, you need not peel the chickpeas.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Still not able to pin it…..

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    This recipe is a stroke of brilliance! I made it exactly as written, and it is satisfying and delicious. I ate it on a bed of lettuce. Yum! Thanks so much.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    For Pinning on Pintrest hover your curser or arrow over the image. The Pintrest Icon will show up on the picture. Do Not use the icons above the pictures, they aren’t working.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    since i am sooo totally lazy, i’m adding a small scallion to the food processor! i think it will be a delicious addition.
    thanks for the inspiration! 😉

  • Reply
    February 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    please ignore previous comment! i just re-read the recipe! D’OH!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      No worries, Taza — despite all my recipes, I’m totally lazy, too. That’s why I like recipes that are really simple and quick the best!

  • Reply
    Shirley Polkowske
    February 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Yum! I used to love tuna salad and had been missing it. This fits the bill very well! I was out of lemons, so I used a lime. It is winter here, no chives untill spring, so I used a leek. It was tasty on romane leaves, seaweed rice crackers, and even pear slices! My picky autistic son loved it! What a nice light lunch, extra for a later snack! Thank you!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    This looks delicious. I tried to pin it. It shows the picture on my computer pin-it box, but when I attempt to finalize a new box pops up that says they can’t fetch the picture. So sad. But I did make a copy on my computer. Anxious to try this yumminess.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Looks delicious, anxious to try this yumminess. Tried your suggestions, but still couldn’t pin it, so sad.

    • Reply
      February 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Suzanne, do you see the Pinterest symbol when you hover over the photos? It should be working …

  • Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Sounds delicious! As an aside, fresh-cooked chickpeas (or chickpeas that you have cooked and then frozen) have a much nicer flavour than out of a can. So say my tastebuds 🙂

  • Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Love this!!! Just followed the recipe to a “T” except I didn’t rinse my beans, because I cooked them fresh with rosemary and garlic. Drained and kept the juice to use as a vegan soup broth base. Fresh chickpeas just taste so much better than canned. Plus I don’t buy canned foods.

    The salad actually tastes almost exactly like tuna salad and even the texture is similar. I am so thrilled with this recipe.

    I’ve been looking for something I can take to work for lunch and not need to heat in a microwave. And I’ve also been trying to eat more protein, so for all these reasons this recipe is perfect!

  • Reply
    Sharon at Big City Vegan
    February 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    This is such an easy, delicious and satisfying recipe. Thank you Nava for sharing it with your fabulous readers. Suzanne, I’m using Firefox and didn’t have a problem pinning either photo. Maybe try a different browser. I used the Pinterest share button at the top of the post just under the title as opposed to the pinterest button on the photo.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I love this page!!! Thank Thee Carole for sharing this on Facebook for us♡♡♡

    • Reply
      April 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you, Diana! Please come back often …

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Add a little powdered Dulse (seaweed)and you have a good mock Tuna salad as well.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, Martin. Dulse has a lot of nutrients, too.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t like relish, what do you recommend instead of it?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Cathy, there’s so little relish in this, you can just skip it. But if you want a little something pungent, you can add a few chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes.

  • Reply
    June 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Is there anything I can use as a mayo substitute? I don’t like the real stuff or the vegan kind.

    • Reply
      June 24, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Kimberly, you can use your favorite salad dressing, or some well-mashed avocado. Depending on the texture of the chickpeas (some canned or cooked chickpeas are a bit dry and crumbly, some are more moist), you do need some kind of moistening in this. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I have a similar recipe, but instead of mayo, some tahini and miso give it a great flavor, although I love the avocado idea.
    I do get lazy , so throw not only chick peas, but also carrots and onions in a small food processor . When the beans are a little more chopped , it all stays together.
    It makes such a satisfying meal. Thanks !

  • Reply
    [email protected] cookware online
    June 2, 2016 at 1:31 am

    4 stars
    I’m a big fan of ceasar salad and even more so now that you’ve shared this recipe. It’s such a great twist on a classic recipe. Sharing and pinning for later. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #shinebloghop this week!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I’m making a bunch of easy meals for my mom who is trying to go vegan for health reasons and I’m wondering if anyone has ever frozen this or if you know how long it will last in the fridge? I make most of my food the day I eat it unless it’s a veggie burger or soup. But she doesn’t cook a whole lot and I’d like to come up with a week worth of food that’s already prepared for her. Thanks for the help. 🙂

    • Reply
      October 9, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Sarah, this particular recipe always gets eaten so fast that we’ve never had occasion to freeze it! It will last several days in the fridge, but I can almost guarantee you that it will be devoured quickly.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    5 stars
    This is my new favorite sandwich!

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