Deli-Style Chickpea Salad

Eating a plant-based diet and missing those nostalgic picnic salads of tuna, egg or chicken? Want to replace the creamy tuna filling in a homemade sushi roll or kimbab? Wish you could have a picnic style salad when it's cool outside? This salad is for you!

Deli-Style Chickpea Salad patriotic

This salad takes less than 30 minutes to make from start to eating. Several of the ingredients are optional, so you can opt for a simple chickpea salad or a jazzed up version. You can make this the night before to assemble sandwiches in the morning for your lunch at work or school, and the salad lasts a week so if you absolutely love it (which we do!) you can make yourself a chickpea salad sandwich every day of the week!

It's summer! It's barbecue and picnic season! It's about to be Independence Day! This recipe is perfect to celebrate any of these awesome events!

Our recipe is an adaptation of the Chickpea Salad Sandwiches recipe in America’s Test Kitchen cookbook Vegan For Everybody.

What can you pair this salad with?

  1. Make a sandwich! - toasted bread, Dijon mustard, slice of tomato or/and avocado, lettuce or spinach or arugula, and bean sprouts - or all on it’s own! Don’t be afraid to make open-faced sandwiches so you can tower the chickpea salad on.

  2. Hors d’oeuvres! - stuff fresh mushrooms, tomato halves, or cucumber halves with this chickpea salad or top a whole grain cracker with a bit of basil and an olive. Ouila!

  3. In a wrap! - use all your sandwich fillings in a whole grain, cabbage, lettuce, kale or collard leaf wrap.

  4. In a seaweed roll! - wish you could make a creamy tuna-filled homemade sushi or kimbab roll without the fish? Here’s your solution! Pair with matchstick carrots and cucumbers, avocado slices, sesame spinach salad and pickled ginger. If you’re feeling very adventurous, try making your own pickled radish to add to your seaweed roll filling.

  5. Straight out of the bowl like a salad! - if you like your creamy picnic salads sans distractions this salad is great straight out of the bowl. You can also jazz it up with a little sprinkling of cayenne or sweet paprika, mix in some olives for some pizzazz, and top it off with some crumbled whole grain crackers.

Recipe Variations:

  • Don’t like dill pickles or just don’t have any? You can add another baby cucumber or ⅓ of an adult cucumber and another ½ Tbsp of dried dill, along with about ½ teaspoon of garlic powder or 1 small diced garlic clove.

  • Don’t have fabanaise or don’t like vegan mayo? You can try subbing vegan sour cream (our favorite brand is Wayfare).

  • We like adding about 1 ½ Tbsp of Dijon mustard to the chickpea salad before spreading more Dijon on our toast but it’s not necessary to the awesomeness of the recipe.

  • If you substitute bread and butter or sweet pickles for the dill pickle spears your salad will be sweet rather than savory but if that’s what you’re aiming for then go for it!

  • Try adding ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika or cayenne to your chickpea salad for an extra dash of spice or sprinkle on top when stuffing tomatoes or mushrooms or filling cucumber boats.

Recipe: Creamy Deli-Style Chickpea Salad

Course: Salad

Cuisine: Picnic

Skill Level: Easy/Beginner

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Assemble Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 8 ½ cup servings


2 15oz cans chickpeas

½ cup fabanaise

1 ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp dill pickle juice (or just water)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

2 large celery stalks (about 1/3 cup chopped)

2 large spears of dill pickles (about ⅓ cup chopped)

1 baby cucumber (or ⅓ adult cucumber, about 1/3 cup chopped)

2 scallions (or 1 teaspoon dried chives)

1 Tbsp dried dill (or 2 Tbsp fresh)

1 Tbsp dried parsley (or 2 Tbsp fresh)


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas.

  2. Process about 3/4 cup of chickpeas in food processor with fabanaise, Dijon, lemon juice, pickle juice and salt for about 10-15 pulses, until mostly smooth (not too much or the consistency will be too close to hummus).

  3. Add remaining chickpeas and pulse about 5-6 times, until coarsely chopped with some larger pieces remaining.

  4. Chop scallions, celery, cucumber, and pickle and toss together into a bowl until combined.

  5. Mix in dill, parsley and pepper until well combined.

  6. Add processed chickpea mixture to other ingredients in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

  7. Chickpea salad can be used as stuffing in hors d’oeuvres, as a sandwich or wrap or seaweed roll filling or just eaten on it’s own. It keeps in the refrigerator for about a week. We do not suggest freezing.

Tried our recipe for a picnic or barbecue? Tell us how it went? Do you like it best as a stuffing, as a sandwich or on it's own? Did you try it differently than any of our suggestions? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!

Deli-Style Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

#Salad #PicnicFare #SideDish #MainDish #AllergyFriendly #GlutenFree #VegCurious #Vegetarian #Vegan #DairyFree #EggFree #Legumes #NutFree #PlantBased #SoyFree

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