The perfect lunch option for back to school and work! This vegan sandwich is a twist on the classic tuna sandwich – it’s got more protein (thank you, chickpeas!) and we swapped the traditional mayonnaise for mashed avocado, making this sandwich oil-free. All you’ll need for this Chickpea Avocado Salad is a loaf of your favorite bread and 8 ingredients.
I’m a really big fan of lunches that require as little effort as possible. Seriously. I don’t have the time or energy to meal plan separate lunches and my guess is you don’t either! Especially with it now turning to fall and everyone going back to a more routined, busy life.
Lunch is usually snacks, leftovers from dinner the night before (which honestly is the best if you ask me), or easy sandwiches that can be put together in 5 minutes like this one or Tofu Banh Mi with Sriracha Aioli.
Say no to complicated lunches!
The Healthy Mayonnaise Substitute
The classic tuna sandwich is made with mayonnaise. It’s really easy to find store bought vegan mayonnaise. I usually opt for the Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise but even big brands like Hellman’s have their own vegan mayo now.
And as much as I do love mayonnaise, I wanted to create a Chickpea “Tuna” Salad sandwich with a healthy whole food option, too!
Avocado is a great mayonnaise substitute because it is a great source of healthy fat and it purees into a really nice, almost whipped texture when blended with an immersion blender!
See that fluffiness?!
Pretty close to mayonnaise texture if you ask me!
And all it took was about 30 seconds of pulsing with the immersion blender.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, don’t worry! Simply mash with a fork until nice and creamy.
It might not have that same whipped look but it will work perfectly fine.
The great thing about this recipe is it’s completely customizable. I recommend adding in a few key ingredients, but feel free to add in whatever you love! This is your sandwich, after all.
My favorites key ingredients:
- red onion (lots of it!)
- yellow mustard (also lots of it)
- lemon juice
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
Additional add-in ideas:
- pickled jalapeños
- dulse flakes (for that fishy “tuna” taste)
- Old Bay Seasoning (also for that fishy “tuna” taste)
The sky really is the limit. You’ll have a great sandwich if you stick to the key recommended ingredients, but feel free to experiment!
Chickpeas are one of my absolute favorite vegan staples. I almost always keep two pounds of dried chickpeas on hand at all times because they’re so versatile and an excellent source of protein and more in a vegan diet. I’ve also used them before in a few past recipes, like the Vegan Butter Chicken with Cauliflower and Chickpeas and this Gooey Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookie.
For thorough information on the benefits of chickpeas, check out this video: Benefits of Lentils and Chickpeas.
In a nutshell, though, eating chickpeas on a weekly basis is a great idea.
I cook my beans from dry (learn how to do this really quickly and easily in this article: Instant Pot Chickpeas) but you can absolutely make this recipe with a can of chickpeas as well.
Just be sure to drain them and rinse them thoroughly. And for this recipe, I like to mash them, but keep a few chickpeas whole or not mashed completely for good texture.
Building Your Sandwich
Once you’ve mixed your avocado “mayo” with the mashed chickpeas, were ready to build our sandwich!
I like to use a fresh baguette for the bread but any bread will do.
Then I like to add more yellow mustard, hummus, greens, and pickles! Simple but so, so good!
Just like making your chickpea avocado salad, feel free to build your sandwich however you want. Tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers would all be delicious here!
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Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich
Chickpea Avocado Salad
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can of chickpeas drained and rinsed (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 large avocado cubed
- ½ cup red onion diced
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Optional Chickpea Avocado Salad Additions
- celery thinly sliced
- dulse flakes for the fishy flavor of tuna - a little goes a long way!
- Old Bay Seasoning for fishy flavor
- pickled jalapeños
Sandwich Topping Ideas
- 4 slices of favorite bread gluten free if needed
- red onion
- sliced cucumbers
- yellow mustard
- dill pickles
- mixed greens
- Using an immersion blender, pulverize the avocado until creamy and a whipped, pureed texture similar to mayonnaise.
- Mix the pureed avocado with lemon juice, yellow mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red onion. Taste and adjust to your preferences.
- In a separate bowl, mash the drained and rinsed chickpeas. I like to leave some chickpeas whole or partially smashed for texture. Mash to your preference.
- Add the avocado mixture into the bowl with mashed chickpeas and mix until fully incorporated. Chill for 10 minutes while you prepare your sandwich toppings.
- After 10 minutes, build your sandwiches and enjoy!
- Storing: If you want to prep the avocado chickpea salad in advance, store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The avocado may oxidize and not be as bright green but it is okay!
- The measurements for the chickpea avocado salad are meant to be a rough guide. Adjust measurements to your own preferences/taste and add in whatever ingredients you like! I listed a few optional ingredients just to give you an idea.
- This recipe makes two good size sandwiches, but this recipe can be easily doubled or tripled if needed.
- When you mash the chickpeas you may notice some of the chickpea skins coming off. It's okay! It's perfectly fine to eat.
- If you don't have an immersion blender, just mash the avocado until creamy. It will work just fine!