Weekday lunches are easy with a container of creamy, flavorful mashed chickpea salad in the fridge. Sweet-tart sliced grapes and crunchy sunflower seeds bring amazing flavors and textures to this vegan lunch staple.
Y'all, I have been struggling at lunchtime lately. Unless we have leftovers in the fridge, every day it feels like I am just learning for the first time that humans need to eat lunch.
This mashed chickpea salad has been a great solution to the lunch problem! It only takes a few minutes to make, and it makes two days' worth of lunches for my family of three.
This vegan chickpea salad recipe is a lovely mix of savory ingredients with a hint of sweet from sliced grapes. I love using red or black grapes in this recipe for a pop of color, but green will work just as well.
If you think grapes and chickpeas together doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, though, feel free to leave them out. This recipe is still super flavorful without them.
The first step in this recipe is to mash your chickpeas. When you're mashing, don't worry about getting them totally smooth. You're going for a chunky, smashed potato texture, not hummus.
Once you're all mashed, add vegan mayo, celery, onion, and toasted sunflower seeds. Stir everything up until you have an even mixture.
Now it's grapes time! The reason I have you add the grapes at the end is because grapes are on the delicate side. You don't want to smush them! Gently fold them into the salad, season with salt and pepper to taste, and you are ready to serve.
Think of chickpea salad as the vegan equivalent of chicken salad that does not taste like chicken salad.
You can serve chickpea salad anywhere that you’d serve chicken salad:
- scooped over a heap of greens
- piled onto whole grain bread
- stuffed into a pita or wrap
- with crackers on the side for dipping
It's a true treat when you want a quick lunch that's also reasonably healthy.
How to store it
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for three to five days in the fridge.
I don't recommend storing these as fully made sandwiches for longer than overnight, because they will get soggy with time.
If you do need to pre-make chickpea salad sandwiches, go for a hearty, whole grain bread. A bit of lettuce between the salad and bread can also help prevent sogginess.
Mashed chickpea salad recipe
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas - drained
- ⅓ cup vegan mayo
- ¼ cup minced celery
- ¼ cup minced sweet onion
- ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup quartered red grapes
- salt and black pepper - to taste
- In a medium sized bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork. You can also use a food processor, if you prefer. A little bit of chunkiness is fine. You're going for a smashed potatoes texture, not a totally smooth, hummus situation.
- Add the mayo, celery, onion, and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine them will with the mashed chickpeas.
- Gently fold in the grapes until they're evenly incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you don't want to use canned chickpeas, you can use 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas instead.
- This salad will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator