This Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad is my favorite no mayo chickpea salad sandwich recipe! Try it spread on your favorite sandwich bread, wrapped in a tortilla with veggies, or on it’s own with crackers! Have it ready in just 20 minutes for an easy vegan lunch.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Healthy: Most vegan chickpea salad sandwich recipes are made using vegan mayonnaise. This version is made with avocado instead, making it WFPB compliant and oil free. You can even enjoy it on a vegan Whole 30 stuffed between two bell pepper halves to made a vegan bell pepper sandwich!
- Customizable: The best part of making your own chickpea salad at home is you can add whatever you’d like. I recommend starting with the base, and then making adjustments from there.
- High in protein: Chickpeas are a great source of protein – about 39 grams per cup!
- Easy to make in large batches: If you’re looking to make this chickpea avocado salad for meal prep, good news! It lasts up to 4 days in the fridge. Double or triple the batch as needed.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- chickpeas – You can use chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) from a can or you can cook them from dry in a pressure cooker. If using canned chickpeas, just be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly. I would not recommend substituting the chickpeas with another bean – chickpeas have a unique texture that works really well when imitating tuna salad.
- red onion – Diced raw red onion adds a great tangy crunch to this chickpea salad. You can skip it, if preferred or, if you want it to be a bit milder in flavor, try soaking the diced red onion for 10 minutes in cool water to take the edge off the pungent flavor.
- mustard – I’ve made this chickpea avocado salad with both yellow mustard and dijon mustard and both are great. Any kind of mustard will do here.
- avocado – You’ll want to make sure to use a ripe avocado so it’s as creamy as possible. Guacamole would also work in a pinch, but if using, I’d lower the amount of spices and lemon juice called for because guacamole is typically already seasoned with lime juice and spices.
- lemon juice – Brightens up the flavor and balances the fat in the avocado. I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice as opposed to pre-bottled.
Step by Step Instructions
- Cube the avocado. Cut your avocado into cubes and spoon it into a medium sized mixing bowl. It’s okay if this isn’t perfect – we just want to cut it into small enough pieces to easily pulverize it into a smooth texture.
- Mash the avocado. My favorite way to make the avocado silky smooth is by pulverizing it with an immersion blender. The immersion blender does an amazing job at whipping enough air into it to mimic the light fluffy texture of mayonnaise. Of course, using a fork or even a potato masher will work as well, it just may not be as fluffy!
- Add in the seasonings! In my base recipe, I always add mustard, lemon juice, red onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can also add in your favorites here like dulse flakes, Old Bay Seasoning, relish, diced pickled jalapeños, etc. Make this mashed chickpea spread your own. Stir to combine.
- Mash the chickpeas. In a separate larger mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas. You can mash them using a fork, a potato masher, or even transfer them to a food processor to pulse them a few times into your desired texture. I typically like to leave a few whole, so there is some texture left in them. You may also notice (especially when using canned chickpeas) that mashing the chickpeas often causes their skin to come off. This is fine! It’s completely edible!
- Combine the chickpeas and avocado. Transfer your avocado mixture to the bowl with the chickpeas and fold in the avocado mixture until combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings from here to your liking. Spread on your favorite bread, tortilla, bell pepper or eat with more veggies and crackers!
Yes. Canned chickpeas are completely cooked and ready to eat straight from the can. Just drain the liquid (also known as aquafaba) and give the chickpeas a good rinse in a fine mesh sieve before eating.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein, along with tofu, tempeh, hummus, lentils, nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa and more! It is actually quite easy to get enough protein on a plant based diet. This chickpea avocado salad alone has 28 grams per serving.
If you are making this chickpea salad for meal prep and will be storing it in the fridge for a few days, you may notice that it turns brown. This does not mean that it is no longer good, but if you want to keep it a more appealing color, squeeze a little extra fresh lemon juice over the top. This will help prevent it from oxidizing quickly.
- Taste as you go. Use my recipe as a guide and adjust the flavors and measurements to your liking.
- Use a ripe avocado. If your avocado isn’t super soft and creamy, allow it additional time to ripen. It will be very hard, if not impossible, to mash an unripe avocado into a creamy texture for this chickpea avocado salad recipe, leaving your chickpea salad dry and less palatable.
More Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas
Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich
Chickpea Avocado Salad
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can 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 black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Optional Chickpea Avocado Salad Additions
Sandwich Topping Ideas
- 4 slices bread - *use gluten free bread if desired, or a bell pepper cut in half in place of the bread to make this sandwich Whole 30 compliant.
- red onion
- yellow mustard
- dill pickles
- mixed greens
- Using an immersion blender or fork, 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!
- Avocado substitute: If you're out of avocado, try substituting ½ cup of mayonnaise.
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.