A hearty chickpea salad sandwich is the perfect vegetarian substitute for tuna or chicken salad. Make a batch at the beginning of the week to have an easy lunch prepped for several days!
There’s nothing better than a hearty homemade sandwich. But vegetarian sandwiches with protein are often hard to come by. Most veggie sandwiches have a slather of hummus and some veggies and don’t fill you up. Or they have an unappealing slab of eggplant or tofu and don’t taste all that great.
That said, if you think outside the sandwich box, you might just come up with something special, like this Sweet & Salty Chickpea Salad Sandwich.
How to make a healthy vegetarian sandwich
The base for a healthy vegetarian sandwich is protein. While carbs are important, protein and healthy fats help keep you full, which is what you want from a sandwich. Build your sandwich around proteins, like beans, legumes, tofu or tempeh.
Next, add in veggies for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and texture. Not only do veggies add much needed nutrients to basically any dish, raw vegetables add a varying texture and flavor to a sandwich. Since plant-based proteins tend to be soft, they taste really good with some sort of crispy textured food.
Lastly, a little bit of healthy fats go a long way. Fat has more calories per gram (9 cal/g) than carbohydrates and protein (both 4cal/g), so you want to use it sparingly. That said, healthy fats help with satiety and have been linked to healthy heart and brain function. Good sources of healthy fats for a sandwich include olive oil, avocado or nuts. If you’re watching your calories, try to stick to one type of fat per sandwich.
How to make a Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This healthier take on the traditional tuna salad is made without mayo OR tuna! It’s a combination of smashed chickpeas, dried cranberries, apples, carrots, scallions, walnuts and a mixture of cottage cheese, lemon juice and plain Greek yogurt.
Since few people want to use their oven for a lunchtime meal, this sandwich doesn’t require any cooking. Just whip out the food processor to smash up the chickpeas, then stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and put on some crispy whole grain toasted bread.
Can I make this sandwich vegan?
I think the combination of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese give this sandwich a nice protein boost and creamy flavor. But if you’re vegan or avoiding dairy, you can sub in vegan mayo for the cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
Vegan mayo is usually made from soybeans, rather than eggs. It’s also a bit sweeter than the dairy in this recipe, so I suggest using the lemon juice to balance out the sweetness.
Ingredient substitutions and additions
I say this for practically every recipe– you can almost always make substitutions and additions to suit your taste buds. For this Chickpea Salad Sandwich, here are some of my suggestions for substitutions or additions. If you have more ideas or a question, comment below!
- Instead of walnuts, try chopped pecans
- Add celery to the mixture for more crunch
- To make this vegan, use vegan mayo instead of cottage cheese and Greek yogurt
- If you don’t have any dried cranberries, raisins or golden raisins will work.
- Substitute white onions for scallions (the taste may be a bit stronger, so use ¾ of the amount)
- For a lower carb option, serve the chickpea salad in a lettuce wrap
Can I make this ahead of time?
One of the benefits of this Chickpea Salad Sandwich (aside from the taste) is that you can make a big batch and eat it throughout the week. Rather than buying an expensive sandwich at lunchtime, meal prep a batch of this on a Sunday and enjoy it for the next few days. You’ll look forward to your lunch break even more!
Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Dried Cranberries
- 15.5- ounce can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ apple chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 scallions diced
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- ⅓ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 8 slices whole grain bread
- Bibbed lettuce
Place the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
Place the smashed chickpeas in a large bowl. Add the apple, carrots, scallions, walnuts, dried cranberries, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and salt. Stir until well combined.
When you’re ready to serve, toast two slices of whole grain bread and scoop ⅓ mixture onto the bread. Top with 1-2 bibbed lettuce leaves, close the sandwich and enjoy.