This simple chickpea salad sandwich turns a humble can of chickpeas into a protein-packed vegan sandwich recipe everyone will love. With no mayo and a zippy Dijon Vinaigrette, this healthy lunch or dinner is herbaceous, rich in texture, and loaded with Mediterranean flavors!

a close up of a vegan chickpea salad sandwich.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

I believe that to make a salad you actually want to eat you can’t be shy: you need a bold amount of color, freshness, and texture. This chickpea salad sandwich is no different! I would happily eat the delicious filling by the spoonful, but tucked between freshly toasted whole grain bread this vegan chickpea salad is a downright treat. 

I like to mash the chickpeas so they get a bit creamy and hold together nicely. Then I load them with my usual suspects: fresh veggies for crunch, parsley and mint for freshness, and olives and green onions for depth of flavor. 

The creamy-meets-crunchy filling is similar to a classic egg salad sandwich–though there are no eggs involved. And a zippy Dijon Vinaigrette replaces the mayo for a lighter and more flavorful approach. 

The best part: you can prep the sandwich ahead and enjoy it for lunches throughout the week. Or wrap everything up to bring to work or a vegan picnic when the sun is shining!

ingredients for vegan chickpea salad sandwich including chickpeas, slices of bread, celery, carrot, persian cucumber, radishes, green onions, kalamata olives, green olives, parsley, mint, and dijon vinaigrette.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich Ingredients and Substitutions

This vegan sandwich recipe uses pantry staples. A humble sandwich with bold flavor, what’s not to like? You’ll need:

  • Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas but you can boil them yourself from dry if you prefer–see How to Cook Chickpeas for 3 easy methods. A 15-ounce usually has about 1 ¾ cups of cooked chickpeas, which is about ¾ cup of dried chickpeas. 
  • Celery, carrot, and cucumber adds a welcome crunch and freshness. I prefer Persian cucumbers as they have sweet and tender skin. If using standard slicing cucumbers, peel off the waxy skin before chopping them.
  • Radishes add a peppery kick and a nice crunch.
  • Green onions add a sweet and savory depth of flavor. Yellow or white onions would be too strong but you can substitute with chives, red onion, or shallots. 
  • Olives add a tangy, briney flavor for balance. I like the combination of bold Kalamata and buttery Castelvetrano, but you can use whichever olives you prefer or substitute with pickles or capers. 
  • Parsley and mint are very important, don’t skip them! They bring so much flavor and freshness. You can use other tender herbs if you prefer, like dill, basil, or cilantro. 
  • Dijon Vinaigrette is peppery and tart, the perfect match for the rich chickpeas. To make it, you’ll need Champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Bread: I like the wholesome flavor of seeded whole-grain bread for this chickpea salad sandwich, but you can use whichever type of sandwich bread or gluten-free bread you like.
An overhead photo of two plates, each containing 2 vegan chickpea salad sandwich halves, next to two glasses of water.

How to Make a Protein-Packed Vegan Sandwich

This chickpea salad sandwich is one of the simplest chickpea recipes out there: just mix, dress, and stuff! Here’s the step-by-step:

  • Make the Dijon Vinaigrette. Finely chop a small shallot and add to a mixing bowl (1 tablespoon or so of chopped shallot.) Add ¼ cup Champagne vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and a splash of water to help with the emulsion. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon each) and whisk to combine. Continue whisking as you drizzle in ½ cup olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking and set aside. a close up of dijon vinaigrette in a glass jar, with a bit being lifted out with a spoon.
  • Mash the chickpeas. Drain and rinse 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas. Add to a large mixing bowl and lightly mash with the back of a fork until they’re still chunky but a bit more pasty. This will help the mixture stay together. Chickpeas in a mixing bowl just after being slightly smashed with a fork.
  • Chop the veggies, adding to the bowl as you go. Chop one celery stick, 1 Persian cucumber, and 4 radishes. Peel and chop 1 carrot. Trim and chop 2 green onions (both white and green parts.) Chop ¼ cup each of pitted Kalamata and Castelvetrano olives. Chop enough fresh parsley leaves to give you 1 cup, and enough fresh mint leaves for ¼ cup. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. the ingredients for vegan chickpea salad in a mixing bowl before being mixed together with a fork.
  • Dress. Add as much of the dressing as you like, making sure you coat all the chickpeas and veggies well. Toss to combine. The vegan chickpea salad mixture in a mixing bowl with a fork.
  • Toast the bread. For 4 sandwiches, toast 8 slices of bread until golden.
  • Serve. Spoon the chickpea mixture over 4 of the toasted bread slices and top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Enjoy!two slices of toast on a wooden cutting board, each topped with vegan chickpea salad.

Ways to Mix it Up

This chickpea salad sandwich is easy to tweak and adapt based on your mood and what you have. If you have other fresh veggies on hand, like bell peppers, avocado or arugula, feel free to throw them in the mix. Here are some more ideas to play with the flavors of this recipe:

  • Add cheese: Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on the bread for more tangy-creamy flavor. Or add crumbled feta to the mix. And if you love that, try this Veggie Sandwich with Whipped Feta and Pepperoncini next.
  • Add pickles: Add an extra tang with quick pickled red onions, pickled cucumbers, or even finely chopped preserved lemons.
  • Make it spicy: Add a thin layer of harissa to the bread–you can make homemade harissa or order my favorite online at our shop.
  • Make it gluten-free: You can, of course, swap in your favorite gluten-free bread. But I also love to skip the bread altogether and pull apart endive to make perfectly crisp cups for filling. Or serve on a bed of lettuce.

What to Serve with this Vegan Sandwich Recipe

I love to keep this chickpea salad sandwich’s vegan picnic vibes. Give the classic packed lunch a Mediterranean twist with a side of fresh green grapes, pita chips, pickled turnips, and glasses of iced Karkade (Hibiscus Tea).

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4.91 from 10 votes

Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Fresh Veggies and Herbs

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
A close up of a vegan chickpea salad sandwich.
Turn a simple can of chickpeas into a protein-packed, healthy vegan sandwich! This recipe takes its inspiration from a classic egg salad sandwich but is completely plant-based. Rather than creamy mayo, a zippy Dijon vinaigrette takes a lighter, more flavorful approach where the fresh herbs and veggies can shine. Feel free to swap in your favorite gluten-free bread. Or, if you avoid bread entirely, simply serve on a bed of lettuce.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 5 minutes
Total – 15 minutes
Cuisine:
American/Mediterranean
Serves – 4
Course:
Entree, Lunch

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Persian cucumber, chopped
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and chopped (both white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe (see note)
  • 8 slices whole grain bread, toasted

Instructions
 

  • Mix. Add the chickpeas to a large mixing bowl and lightly mash them with the back of a fork. To the bowl, add the celery, carrot, cucumber, radish, green onion, olives, parsley, and mint. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
  • Dress. Add as much of the dressing as you like, making sure you coat all the chickpeas and veggies well. Toss to combine.
  • Serve. Spoon the chickpea mixture over 4 of the toasted bread slices and top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • I typically use the whole ¾ cup of vinaigrette but you can start with half the amount and go from there. Save any remaining vinaigrette in the fridge for up to two weeks. Simply give it a shake or whisk before using. If the oil has separated and hardened, use whisk to incorporate it (it may just take a few minutes to warm up). 
  • To meal prep this sandwich: Store the dressing and chickpea mixture in separate containers in your fridge, then dress/toast only the amount you want. The chickpea mixture will keep for up to 3 days. 
  • Nutritional info does not include the Dijon Vinaigrette.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 278.7kcalCarbohydrates: 43.1gProtein: 13.2gFat: 6.9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.8gSodium: 834.2mgPotassium: 497.1mgFiber: 10gSugar: 3.9gVitamin A: 4094IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 177.8mgIron: 4.1mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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4.91 from 10 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Pam says:

    5 stars
    This will be my go to salad this summer. I have a batch right now that I make into a lettuce wrap for lunch with pita chips. I dressed the recipe with the vinaigrette before refrigerating and really like the zing it gives all the veggies. Thank you for your healthy and tasty recipes.

    1. TMD Team says:

      You are very welcome, Pam! Thanks for the great review!

  2. Darlene says:

    5 stars
    Delicious healthy chickpea sandwich. The flavours are amazing. I followed the recipe except I used cilantro and mint instead of parsley. I will be making this again and again especially for the hot summer months. Thank you for an excellent recipe

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Darlene!

  3. Nancy Johnson says:

    4 stars
    Can I substitute cannellini beans for chickpeas in your recipes (except hummus?) Chickpeas do not agree with me. Also, I live in Albania, but their olives are not well labeled. I don't know if they have Castelvetrano olives here and even kalamata olives are not always available. What other labels might the Castelvetrano olives be under or how might I identify them in a Tirana deli or market? Thanks. Your dishes look great, but the ingredients can be prohibitively expensive. I have to wait until my daughter, who hates seafood, graduates in June, and then I can try all the fish and legume dishes I want. 🙂 Nancy

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Nancy! Sure, you can substitute cannellini beans for chickpeas. We actually even have a White Bean Hummus recipe. Castelvetrano olives also go by the name Nocellara del Belice. If you can't find those, some good substitutes include California sevillano, Cerignola green, and manzanilla olives.

  4. Jan Brockway says:

    Hi sweetheart Suzy!
    I’d love to make the dressing for this sandwich but I don’t have champagne vinegar. Is there a substitute?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Jan. A white wine vinegar should be fine here as a substitute. Enjoy!

  5. Maria says:

    5 stars
    I am OBSESSED with this recipe!! It is easy to make, super healthy and most of all, FULL OF FLAVOUR!! I didn't have dijon so I used regular mustard instead. AMAZING! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you loved it, Maria!

  6. Cindi says:

    5 stars
    This waweather best recipe I have tried!! So fresh, a real flavor explosion! Thank you!!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! Love to hear that, Cindi! Thanks so much!

  7. Jean says:

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS! This is wonderful! I made it exactly as written but separated the dressing to make this for meal prep. I used the Ezekiel Sesame bread. I did do a dash of Tabasco with each bite (it didn’t need it at all, I just like Tabasco on just about everything!)
    So fresh tasting and delicious!

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jean!

  8. Susan Graham says:

    5 stars
    This is really wonderful!! Love the flavor and how easy it was to make. The Dijon Vinaigrette puts it over the top! Thank you Suzy!

    1. TMD Team says:

      That’s so great to hear! Thank you for sharing that with us, glad that it was a huge hit.

  9. Jamie D says:

    To help save a little money, eat healthy and for a quick meal option, my husband and I do a week of sandwiches for dinner.
    Very excited to try your spreads
    So much healthier than deli meats etc.
    Thank you

    1. TMD Team says:

      Love that "week of sandwiches" idea, Jamie!!

    2. TMD Team says:

      What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Heather says:

    Your recipes are sooo good. But not only are they easy to prep. They are so very cost affective. I try everyone and have them on repeat. I love that you often offer alternatives. Your love of life and food shines through every time. Thanks Suzy

  11. Kathleen T Will says:

    I’m not a fan of mustard. What other dressing would be good with this?
    Love you and your recipes!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Kathleen! Great question. We haven't tried this recipe with a different dressing. You could just make the dressing without the mustard. It won't cling to the salad quite as well, but it will still taste good. We generally don't use mayo around here but if you were looking for something rich you could swap the mustard for mayo. It would make the recipe a little sweeter. Good luck with your kitchen experiments. I hope you can report back and let us know what tried.