Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Lunch just got easier. Pop open a can of chickpeas and make this vegetarian take on a chicken salad sandwich. It uses pantry staples and is loaded with fiber and protein. The best part? It’s delicious and ready in about 15 minutes.

Side view of a vegetarian chickpea sandwich on plate with chips. A second plate and sandwich are behind it.

Sally Vargas

Our “Cooking for Two” series is all about those of us who love good food but need smaller batches. Maybe you’re single or coupled but with no kids (no kids, before kids, after kids). Whatever the reason, you don’t necessarily want a lot of leftovers hanging around. We had you in mind when we developed these recipes.

I love this vegetarian “non-chicken” chicken salad sandwich! It’s got everything I love about a chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich, but without the animal protein. On the face of it, it seems almost too simple to be that good. To be honest, I was pretty wowed by how tasty chickpeas are in a sandwich.

My skeptical better half, a die-hard meat and potatoes guy, was even more impressed when I sprung this on him. It’s a quick sandwich to make for an impromptu lunch for two — serve it with soup, salad, or my favorite indulgence, potato chips! It's quick, easy, and satisfying.

Chickpeas: The Perfect Pantry Staple

Mashed chickpeas, which are also called garbanzo beans, are like a blank slate. They assume the flavors of creamy mayonnaise and piquant mustard and complement the textures of crunchy celery and almonds.

Finish this sandwich with layers of buttery avocado, tomato slices, and greens to make a main course meal. Plain old lettuce is just fine here, but I happened upon some baby watercress on my shopping day. Its spiciness added a little extra zing to the sandwich.

Side view of two easy chickpea sandwiches stacked on a plate with chips. The filling includes chickpea salad, sprouts and tomato.

Sally Vargas

What’s the Best Sandwich Bread?

On the same shopping excursion, I found a fantastic loaf of seedy wholegrain bread from a local bakery. It was the icing on the cake for this quick-to-come-together sandwich.

The right bread makes a simple sandwich that is fit for a king. If you can find a good sourdough or hearty wholegrain bread in your market, go for it! It’s definitely worth the splurge.

Possible Swaps and Substitutions

Consider this recipe as a guideline—you could swap out different greens, like spinach or arugula, for the watercress or add chopped apples for a little sweetness and crunch instead of or along with the celery.

I would stick to chickpeas here, but other additions or substitutions could enhance your sandwich. Instead of capers, use some of your favorite chopped pickles, or add a few sliced radishes or grated carrots along with the greens when you assemble the sandwiches.

Ingredients for an easy sandwich recipe. Bowls include: almonds, canned chickpeas, capers, mustard, mayonnaise, sprouts, lemon, celery and tomatoes.

Sally Vargas

How to Scale It up or Make It Ahead

The filling makes enough for about two sandwiches. But depending on the size of your bread slices, you may have some leftover. Use leftovers in a salad or spread on crackers for an easy snack!

If you have a crowd to feed, by all means, double the recipe. The filling keeps well in the fridge for at least three days.

To prevent the bread from becoming soggy, don’t assemble the sandwiches more than four hours ahead of time.

More Easy Sandwich Recipes

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 2 sandwiches


  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 2 pinches black pepper

  • 4 slices sandwich bread

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 2 tablespoons roasted almonds, coarsely chopped

  • 2 to 4 tomato slices

  • Handful watercress or other greens, such as lettuce, arugula, or spinach


  1. Mash the chickpeas:

    In a medium bowl with a potato masher, coarsely mash the chickpeas.

    Canned chickpeas are mashed in a glass bowl with a potato masher next to it.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko
  2. Make the filling:

    Add the celery, capers, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard to the bowl. Taste and add a pinch each of salt and pepper.

    A glass mixing bowl is filled with vegetarian chickpea salad to make an easy sandwich recipe.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko
  3. Assemble the sandwiches:

    Set 2 pieces of sandwich bread on a cutting board. On one slice of bread, mash 1/4 avocado. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

    Top with a spoonful of the chickpea salad and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the almonds. Add a tomato slice or two, greens of your choice, and top with the second slice of bread. Repeat to make the second sandwich.

    A slice of bread is topped with mashed avocado on a cutting board. A second slice is to the left.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko
    Chickpea salad is on top of a slice of bread and topped wth chopped almonds. A slice of sandwich bread is to the left.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko
    Vegetarian "chicken" salad sandwich on a cutting board. Green sprouts are on top of the chickpeas and tomato on a slice of bread. The other slice of bread is to the left.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko
    One chickpea salad sandwich on whole grain bread on a cutting board.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko
  4. Enjoy:

    Slice the sandwich in half or leave it whole and serve with chips or a side salad.

    Leftovers? You may have extra chickpea salad depending on the size of your bread. Enjoy it the next day in a salad, with crackers or on a single slice of bread for a hearty snack.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
809 Calories
48g Fat
79g Carbs
26g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 809
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 62%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 1291mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 79g 29%
Dietary Fiber 23g 84%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 139mg 694%
Calcium 534mg 41%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 2104mg 45%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.